A domain of my own – Step 2

It took a while, but back for the next step in acquiring and setting up a domain of my own (more on that later).

First a little background. I mentioned last post about the grad course I am taking. In this course we are studying universal design for learning and accessibilty – focused heavily on accessibility in web design. I am not a web designer. I learned some very basic html in an earlier course – a year and a half ago. I look at pages of code and feel woozy. I do not have a good grasp of site and file structure and semantic markup. I have much work to do to study, understand and learn it.  I do know some basic requirements for accessibility on the web: images need alt text, pages need clear organization provided by level headers, folks need options to be able to use a site without a keyboard – like skipping navigation- think: “How does a screenreader see my site?” The HOW to do all of that is what I am learning.

Now, back to my domain/host/site:

Thanks to advice from Tim Owens (whose comments, and emails have helped me get this far!) I have a domain pointed to Hippie Hosting (see last post). Easy enough. (And I am admitting that if I can do this…anyone can – including faculty and students).
So far so good.

But…here’s where the rub comes. I am looking at the dashboard feeling a little overwhelmed at this point. So, back to studying how to give my work some bones before I move ahead. I know that WordPress offers many/most of the accessibility tools I mentioned above, so I am leaning toward a fresh install of that as container for my remaining course tasks this semester. I’ll be collecting (a somewhat ‘meta’ approach) and creating (a few) tools for faculty in higher education to create accessible learning materials online and for the classroom. I’ll share it here when it is finally up and running.

And to close this post, I want to point out how long it took me to get from buying the domain to actually getting it to the host (see how long it is between these posts???)….which just further illustrates why I have not wanted to take this path for so long. MUCH stuff has intervened…I am not able to work on this every day. Time goes by, I spend tons of time catching back up to where I left off last time I looked….

Oh well. The way things are.

On to Step 3 – Setting up a site and putting stuff in it (and making it accessible in the process). 😉

A domain of my own…

Where to start?

I hope with this first post to document my own process of jumping into the ‘personal cyberinfrastructure’ waters – reluctantly so, but jumping in nonetheless.

Here is some background:
I am currently enrolled in and slowly making my way through an MSEdTech program where I now need to purchase a domain to accomplish certain course and program-related tasks. I have taken one course last fall where my first fledgling attempts at html and such were completed. This spring I have new assignments and challenges and am determined to expand my learning and document the process for myself along the way.

Why blog it?
Why indeed.
Well, I have been lurking around the magnetic and magical ds106 offering by Jim Groom at UMW ever since last year when it started. I’ll spare the details of how I was already following the works several of those involved.

Here’s the point. Where I live and work and teach, the prospect of ‘scaling’ (for lack of a better word) a process like owning and maintaining one’s own digital identity and learning and work via domain ownership and all that goes with it is…well…daunting. While potentially powerful (and much as I regard highly and respect those involved in shepherding this idea), I am not entirely convinced that this is the path for everyone (sorry Gardner). I am not a total tech novice, but these are new and perilous waters for me. Just reading posts by folks fighting off recent hack-attacks makes me want to RUN in the opposite direction. I have no time or interest in learning THAT part of this process.

But, I’ll stick with it – precisely because of the regard and respect I have for those who have gone before me to make this work.  I am …taking the plunge. Precisely because I want to EXPERIENCE it …to see how it works and how I might show it to others as a result of my own tentative steps.

Here is where I am now:

Imagine my delight to learn about Hippie Hosting over at Tim Owens’ blog (A domain of one’s own: rebooted) – a hosting co-op being offered up by folks involved with ds106. This is where I plan to leap. Heck, I might even move THIS blog over there.

But wait. How?

I have begun. I have purchased the domain name. What next? (And about now a whole lot of ds106 students are laughing at me).

Well…I have more work to do to thoroughly understand what comes next.
That will be my next post.