Reclaiming State U

Earlier this week we rolled out State University at Reclaim Hosting. What’s State University? It’s Tim Owens‘s latest project to showcase just how elegant and painless he’s made the whole process. What’s more, the site demonstrates the experience we have created for the 22 schools running the Domain of One’s Own institutional package. We set the site up as a trial space that provides inquiring minds a 30-day trial to experience the service.

Reclaiming State U

We did something similar last year when we rolled out http://reclaim.host, but that didn’t highlight the institutional experience, nor did it provide a simple, elegant login system for folks who want to try it out. That has all changed now. One of the coolest elements of this new space is the fact that anyone with a Facebook, Google, or LinkedIn can automatically authenticate through those services and get up and running with their trial account immediately. It literally takes seconds to setup and account, install an application, and start creating. This accurately represents the environment we have created for schools by hooking into a wide range of single sign-on environments.

Reclaiming State U

I inaugurated this site for a faculty workshop at the Universidad del Sagrado Corazón designed to introduce them to the power of managing their own web hosting space. We had a great turnout, and everyone in the room had either a Facebook, Google, or LinkedIn profile, so getting them up and running literally took seconds. I’ve never had such a smooth on-boarding experience during a workshop. But once we started installing applications things slowed down a bit because we were running State U on Linode server with 1 GB of RAM (fine for a few folks, not so much for a room full). So while Martha Burtis worked her magic explaining the form and function of WordPress, I called back to the Reclaim mothership (Tim) and he scaled the server by 8x in less than 10 minutes. Virtualization is a powerful thing. By the time Martha was done, the server was lightening fast and we finished up the workshop which entailed getting them all up and running with a WordPress instance within a subdomain of their account.

I had also put the call out on Twitter leading up to the workshop, and a few folks tried it out. I was particularly pleased to learn that John Johsnton had given it a spin and was thoroughly impressed.

Reclaiming State U

What I really love about State U is how well it showcases the fact that managing your own web hosting space does not have to be painful. By making it increasingly easier and more user-friendly we’re empowering students and faculty everywhere to start reclaiming their piece of the web.That’s why we did this whole thing in the first place. State U reinforces the fact that our mission is firmly in tact, and it’s quickly becoming more and more difficult to refute the fact that becoming the sysadmin of your digital infrastructure is within the realm of possibility for everyone—and it need not be expensive either. That’s the reclaim mission we envisioned two and a half years ago with Kin Lane and Audrey Watters—and it’s alive and well. Don’t believe me? Try it out for yourself. Go to http://stateu.org and explore the control panel or try installing your own WordPress. You’re mind will be blown.

Reclaiming State U