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“Video Killed the Radio Star” at Reclaim Hosting

Lauren posted about this back in January when we first got the art because she is better than me, but Reclaim Hosting‘s site has undergone a subtle re-branding from vinyl to VHS. We launched the new art for our site back in April when we unveiled the Reclaim Video project at OER18. The idea is that the shelf is getting a bit more cluttered ? Next to the vinyl you have those upstart VHS tapes demand some of the real estate. The new logo is a VHS tape, but if you look close enough, all the elements of the vinyl are still there, which was quite brilliant on Bryan Mathers part—surprise, surprise.

The tape is now replacing the record on the site, but the easter egg is still fully operational:

The art is pretty much inline with our look, so perhaps rebranding is too strong a characterization—but it does feel like a new look for me. I particularly like the way shared hosting packages are re-imagined:

Almost works better than the albums, and the single VHS tape with a blank label is something we still need to play with. Bryan worked on a tool that would basically right a URL on the label, something like this:

Or even better , this ?

So, when you create your site for the first time at Reclaim Hosting the splash page could be this VHS tape with your domain name ? This might be something we need to return to sometime soon ? As usual, I am completely enamored with Bryan Mathers handy work, and it is the collaboration that just keeps on giving.

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Back in the Burg

I’ve been back in the Burg for the last 10 days working from Reclaim’s HQ on a range of stuff. As a result the bava has been a bit quiet given the push to get as much done as possible in a relatively short time frame. I’ve been able to get some of my stuff out of storage on the first day of my return, which has been on focus of the trip. I’ve been going through boxes of toys, books, movies, and more which is always a fun past time for me. I’m figuring out how to get my stuff overseas in the next month os so, but until then I am using CoWork’s unclaimed spaces as a temporary waylay station. 

This rip-up brought to you by Civic TV

Paint it Black

We have also been working quite diligently on making Reclaim Video a reality, which has been quite a blast. I’ll post more on that soon, but we did a pretty intense carpet and tile rip as well as began painting the store, which Lauren blogged about earlier today. Watching the space come together has been a dream come true—I’ve pretty much wanted to run a VHS store since I was a pre-teen, so this is pretty exciting.

Pioneer DVL-700

I have also been doing some shopping for VHS tapes, laserdiscs, game consoles, and more. I went to Fat Kat Records 20 minutes south of here in Ladysmith and picked up a ton of mint laserdiscs as well as a mint Pioneer DVL700. I even tested it out with a showing of Red Dawn …. WOLVERINES!

Red Dawn Title

When the Mongols could see each other they had worked themselves up into a pretty good frenzy.

I’ve also been a regular at the Library of Congress’s Packard Campus in Culpepper, VA, which has been amazing. I got to see Sense and Sensibility, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Last Picture Show, and Lawrence of Arabia , all of them in glorious 35mm. I even missed a few gems like Guess Who’s coming to Dinner, A River Runs Through It, and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen—world enough and time!

Packard Campus February Program

But that’s alright, there’s always March!

Packard Campus March Schedule

I was a little sad to learn that Culpepper’s 1938 State Theater had closed after only being re-opened for two years. There was a major funding drive to get investors help refurbish and re-open Culpepper’s movie house at the tune of $13 million dollars, It was an impressive remodeling to restore it to its original glory. I had the good fortune to see Independence Day there in 2014. But that was then, since it has gone defunct and just a few weeks ago it was auctioned to the highest bidder for $700,000.

I was also able to rekindle my ds106 roots with a quick stop by UMW yesterday to record a  video for The End 106 with the great Martha Burtis. She’s a genius.

 And later that afternoon I actually got back in the classroom after a long hiatus to talk to to an awesome group of students in Eddie Maloney’s graduate course Technology Innovation by Design, which is part of Georgetown’s new Masters program in Learning and Design. It was a thrill to talk to student who want to think critically about the future of educational design, and I’ll write more about my approach in a follow-up post. I do miss the classroom, it is always a lot of fun for me—but damn I tend to talk a lot.

Anyway, if nothing else, this post serves as a roadmap for all the posts I need to write after taking a bit of a hiatus from the blog in order to dig in a bit while here in the US. it’s been quite nice to work alongside Meredith, Lauren, and Tim in CoWork—it’s been a welcome change to reconnect in person with the awesome crew that makes Reclaim so damn good.

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ReclaimVideo Nightmares

It took a bit of time, but ReclaimVideo has moved out of the possibility stage into the planning stage. We will be working on building out the storefront space from January through March, with hopes of a grand opening this Spring. Timelines are flexible, but there will be a brand new video rental store opening up in Fredericksburg in 2018. Expect nothing less than the trailing edge of innovation in all things Reclaim—the first name in retrograde technologies. More on that as the store progresses, but right now we are in the fun stage of purchasing movie titles and equipment on Ebay and beyond. Read more

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Reclaim Video

I’ve been on a bit of a blogging sabbatical the last month or so. It’s been nice to take a break, but at the same time I have never had more to write about between the Domains 17 conference (total blast), a cross-country trip on Route 66 to LA, the community work Tom Woodward has been developing with Reclaim, a position paper I’ve been procrastinating, and an impending trip to Melbourne, Australia in just over a week. Life moves pretty fast when you’re a Reclaimer.

I tried to capture as much of the UMW Blogs migration as possible in my previous post (a temporary breaking of the blog hiatus) for fear it would all be lost, but that’s always the fear with blogging. the more time that passes the less that gets blogged. Not always a bad thing for the two or three remaining readers given I make no pretensions towards quality here, this blog has always been about quantity. So taking a month-long blogging break wreaks havoc on the numbers.  Read more

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CoWork Fredericksburg


CoWork Fredericksburg is officially up and running now, and I even have a tweet to prove it!

This is a big day for us at Reclaim Hosting given two short years ago Tim Owens and I were working in UMW’s newly minted Convergence Center, doing Reclaim off the side of our desk, and dreaming one day of having a space of our own. Well, today that’s come to pass, and the CoWork Fredericksburg “Our Story” page says it all:

Founded in 2013, Reclaim Hosting provides web hosting support for individuals and institutions that want to build out spaces online for personal portfolios, digital projects, and more. In January 2016, we were invited to speak at an Open Coffee event held at The Foundry, a local coworking space in Fredericksburg, Va. The Foundry was created by a non-profit group called FredXchange, with a mission to build a startup culture that encouraged community and collaboration.

As Reclaim Hosting grew, the need for some kind of dedicated office environment was a growing concern. But we didn’t want just any office– we wanted a space where we could also work alongside the community, invite them in, and collaborate. Just like The Foundry. As months passed, we became increasingly aware that The Foundry would be a perfect home base. So in December of 2016, we decided to take the plunge and make The Foundry our new home.

We’ve given the space a new name, a fresh coat of paint (to say the least), and a new website. After months of renovations and remodeling, we opened our doors as CoWork Fredericksburg in May 2017. We’re committed to building the community that FredXchange began, and we sure do hope that you’ll join us on this journey.

The space is pretty awesome if I must say so myself. A large, warehouse feel for the main working area with a class enclosed conference room, and a media/private office ticked away in the back. What’s cool is that we basically designed the whole thing on-the-fly, a telephone booth from Ebay here, shelving from Etsy there, farm table from local furniture store, etc. Tim and Lauren Brumfield did the lion’s share of the design and on-the-ground work, and I’m truly blown away by how good it looks from afar. I’ll be there in just over a week, and will be able to enjoy it IRL. 

The idea is to have a community of co-workers use the space, and given we have priced it pretty affordably ($20/day or $75/month) we are thinking there will be a fair amount of takers. The nice thing is that if it covers our overhead for the space we are already ahead of the game, and anything more than that is a bonus. So in this regard it’s not like we are depending on the space for ends meet. This frees us up to have some fun and experiment with the space, and not be solely driven by a bottom line, a laboratory of sorts.  

Now that the getting CoWork up and running is pretty much done, one of the ideas I’ve been playing with is converting the storefront portion of the other half of the space, which will soon be empty, into a video rental store. In my imagination at least, it will be a fully operational 1980s VHS video rental store that will rent VHS tapes and VCRs.  It will be called Reclaim Video, and I’ll run it remotely from Italy. I’ll have erratic store hours that I run on the web, some kind of Dr. Oblivion like telepresence, and everything will work of a kinda of barter system.  I like the idea of automating most everything, yet still being remotely present.  I’m imagining it as an installation along the lines of the UMW Console, and I love the idea of having a bizarre presence in the space from 5000 miles away. Anyway, it’s still just germinating as a kinda of crazy idea, but I do think it would be fairly simple to do on the cheap, and it might really be fun. So, if I can convince Tim and Lauren, you may be reading more about my new job as video store proprietor, a growth field for sure!