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.


8 thoughts on “A domain of my own…

  1. FABULOUS!! You guys are already awesome!
    So… for me (and any who might follow along). I have purchased domain name at Hover. Is next step to ‘forward’ to HH (after setting up account there)? Sorry, but I am sooooo green at this.

  2. Yep, you sign up for an account at Hippie Hosting and indicate the domain name you will be using. At Hover all you have to do is setup the nameservers to point to Hippie Hosting. Here are directions for that: https://www.hover.com/help/change-your-domain-name-servers-dns-servers. Our nameservers are ns1.hippiehosting.org and ns2.hippiehosting.org. That will at least get your space setup and properly point the domain. The next step after that is installing WordPress new or migrating an existing install, and I’m happy to help you with that.

  3. As usual Tim beats me to the punch, but let me just note that I understand and respect all your questions about the idea of making a domain of one’s own require, I thinking it should be provided as an option, but folks should be free to opt out, much like the UMW Blogs model. fact is, I think it is very much a pilot idea that may have wings based on how well folks like you who are skeptical find the process both technically and conceptually. I am not a very technical person, but I found hosting my own blog an working my own web host conceptually thrilling, an it still remains so. I hope that’s what we get out of this much more so then everyone can tell you what DNS means. I think the former, not the latter, is the point of this, but the latter would be a cool thing to pickup along the way 🙂

  4. Thanks Jim!
    I TOTALLY agree about how conceptually thrilling you all make this process SEEM. And I would LOVE to see a whole lot of people become thrilled enough about their teaching for this to catch on. (fwiw…I think the truly central and significant feature tho’ is what Mike Wesch got at recently in his comments and post on the Chronicle (Tech Happy Professor: http://chronicle.com/article/A-Tech-Happy-Professor-Reboots/130741/)piece about him…it’s about the RELATIONSHIPS as much as anything else.

    Still, I am determined to give this a whirl…mainly because I don’t think I can SAY anything of substance about the merits or challenges of a personal cyberinfrastructure if I don’t HAVE one.

    All that said, here’s one more observation at this point: The time it has taken me to get back to write ‘part 2’ of my own process documentation is an illustration of the challenges I face with just keeping up.
    Thanks for stopping by….any further insights from you guys area always welcome.
    And yes, Tim has been very kind to offer his help to me …the beginner…. 🙂

  5. It’s also important to note that the process we have with Hippie Hosting is a tad more complicated than it would have to be at the University level because we don’t have the scale to purchase and resell domains and require people to go out and buy their domain first before moving over. The pilot we’ll hopefully be doing at UMW will allow a student to sign in, choose the domain they’d like, and install WordPress in probably 10 clicks or less. I completely agree about the importance of relationships. UMW Blogs would never have succeeded without a group like DTLT working one on one with faculty and students to make the system work for them and support them. In the same way I don’t think right now many universities are poised to be able to offer this because the support isn’t there. But at UMW we’ve layed a lot of the groundwork to make this happen. We have faculty who understand why it’s important and can conceptualize the integration of it into their curriculum, we have the staff at DTLT that can build and support such a system, and we have an amazing group of students that have already done great things with a hosted system like UMW Blogs and will no doubt take it to the next level. What was technologically very challenging 5 years ago is becoming easier and easier and I look forward to the day we look back and say “Remember how hard it used to be to get your own space online? It’s so easy now.”

  6. Thanks Tim!
    And I really should note that it is in fact the good (open, documented, and shared) work of folks at UMW that makes it possible for someone like me to even consider possible options like you have already tried and made work. So, thanks to you and everyone there who have been conscientious enough to push this out for others to learn from.
    Surely the process will get easier over time. Until then, I hope at least some folks (like me) will be brave enough to start small and try…to see what can/will happen. You can’t get there without a first step….which is what I am trying to do here.
    More later on the next steps. Buried with work atm (which is part of the challenge).

  7. Of course I understand completely your point about all the hurdles and mess and time constraints on PCI generation. But (sorry, you knew this was coming!) I’m more and more convinced that it shouldn’t be an option unless folks know that it’s like opting out of reading and writing. It’s hard for us right now because we’re coming to this at a time when we’re adults and our lives are already full and brimming over. But the costs of not doing–not modeling–not contributing–are enormous. There are many folks who’d like to turn the Internet into a social networking version of an LMS (“life management,” that is). The free and open Internet has come under heavy fire lately and this was only the first of many big battles on the way. But just as I don’t want my writing to be limited to what I find in a phrasebook, I don’t want my “netting” to be limited to what’s provided by vendors, closed app-heavy un-webbed experiences, etc. etc. I’m with Jon Udell: we must move from web users to web makers. And the only real way to do that is via some version, mine or someone else’s, of the PCI idea. But it is damn hard, esp. at first. Unfortunately for all my dear colleagues, I’ve come back from CNI with a renewed sense of urgency, as this comment no doubt attests!

    And one more thing (apologies to SJ): You, my esteemed colleague and friend, are helping to lead the way both with commitment and with skepticism. Jim’s absolutely right. It’s such a privilege to be shoulder-to-shoulder on this journey with you. I mean that with all my heart.

    All good hippie love vibes from your friend Gardo.

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