(Re)Claiming My Space on the Web


flickr photo shared by mrkrndvs under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA ) license

It is coming up to a year now since I made the move from Blogger to WordPress via Reclaim Hosting. I have been asked by many about why I changed, what was involved and what my experiences have been. I thought that now would be as good a time as ever to take stock and reflect on my experience so far.


I came upon Reclaim Hosting via the generous sharing as a part of Connected Courses.

Although I received some warnings in regards to the risks involved in setting up my own space:

 

Thankfully, I am still hear and blogging away. The question though that I keep getting asked is what have been my experiences.

Here then is a list of my thoughts and reflections:

CHANGING SPACES

The first concern that I often get asked is transferring content from one space to another. The reality is it took about five minutes. The only issue I had was with tags and categories. However, tags can be selectively converted to categories using the tag to category converter.

MORE THAN MONEY

There is really no comparison in regards to cost between paying for something like wordpress.com and Reclaim. To be honest, if you were choosing the cheaper option, you would probably go with Reclaim. Not only is it affordable, but also includes free domain registration. One thing I had to consider is that the space is limited (2gb). However, this is the same with most spaces. The answer is to learn to store content elsewhere – such as Amazon, Scribd, Youtube and Flickr – and embedding it.

CHOOSING A THEME

One of the complaints that I have heard people complain about is the lack of flexibility or the requirement to pay for something that you are not even sure about. I have found that there are so many more options out there when running WordPress.org, most of which are unavailable within wordpress.com. The hardest thing is then finding the right one. Inspired by a post from Alan Levine, I went with Moesia for Readwriterespond, while in a site a created DigiCon15 I used Asteria Lite.

IMPROVING MY WORKFLOW

It is really interesting working with both Edublogs at school and my own installation of WordPress here. Although in many respects they are both the same, I have been forced to rethink many of the solutions that I have developed for my own blog. Some of the plugins that I have come to depend upon within wordpress.org include:

  • Creative Commons Configurator: This allows you to set the Creative Commons license for each of your posts.
  • Automatic Post Thumbnail: One of the catches with many themes is that they depend on a featured image. Using Flickr and Alan Levine’s Attribution Helper for my images, the plugin makes the first image used ‘featured’.
  • Jetpack: This provides a means of measuring statistics and connecting with the wider WordPress family. I must admit, I have stopped measuring the statistics , but still find it useful when connecting. Plus, Alan Levine shared that removing Jetpack wrecked his theme, so warned against it.
  • WordPress Backup to Dropbox: I must admit, I could do a better job at backing up, so a plugin that does it for me is priceless.

WORLD CLASS SUPPORT

The thing that I will say has been the best to moving to Reclaim is the amount of support. Whether it be touching base to check how I was settling or promptly responding to questions, I am always astounded at how quickly I get responses. Jim Groom recently reflected on the level that they set. What I love the most is the feeling that no question is too small and that, as Jim Groom explains, it all comes back to helping others make sense of the web.

LEAD LEARNER

All the talk at the moment seems to be about computational thinking. For some this is just another word for coding, but to me it is about developing an awareness about how things work. Not just knowing that the internet is built with code, but what this actually means. I find the best way to develop awareness is through the act of tinkering and creation. Whether it is exploring Known or exploring the limits of the platform, owning your own space is a great learning experience, what Jim Groom describes as a return of teaching and learning to the scale of the individual.

HURDLES REMOVED

Although other spaces can be easy to create, using templates and so forth, they soon become complex though when trying to co-claim that content. Not only does the team at Reclaim support you with whatever content you are bringing across, but they are just as supportive in regards to taking it out again.

SUB-DOMAINS

One of the other benefits I have found to owning my own domain is the opportunity to create sub-domains. This can include creating different sites or redirects. Alice Keeler provides a great explanation of this.


I am sure that there are things that I have missed, but this is at least a start. What about you? Have you made the move to own your own space on the web? What have been your challenges? Experience? Benefits? As always, comments welcome.

For more on Reclaim, I recommend checking out Tim Owens introduction.


If you enjoy what you read here, feel free to sign up for my monthly newsletter to catch up on all things learning, edtech and storytelling.

Aaron Davis

I am an Australian educator supporting schools with the integration of technology and pedagogical innovation. I have an interest in how together we can work to make a better world.

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<span class='p-name'>(Re)Claiming My Space on the Web</span> by Aaron Davis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

10 thoughts on “(Re)Claiming My Space on the Web

  1. Blogging Resources

    6 min read

    A collection of resources assocatied with blogging:Why Blog?<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=134">I Blog Therefore I Am</a>A collectuon of thoughts regards the benefits of blogging.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=537">Blogging Starts with Why</a>There is so much written about why to blog, this post starts with finding your reason.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=2433">Developing a Blog</a>Often blogs are spoken about as some sort of fixed entity. Sadly, this focuses on the what overlooks how and why we blog in the first place.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=1710">Why Blogging Still Matters</a>With the rise of various social media spaces in education, such as Facebook and Google+, blogs matter more than ever for they offer control and privacy that other spaces do not provide.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=2364">The Many Faces of Blogging</a>Some break blogging down into tasks or unpacking the response. However, we often overlook the purpose and intent behind them.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=568">5 Ways to Change the World Yesterday</a>Why associated with blogging starts with me, but it is through sharing that ideas and thinking are given the possibility to grown and develop,<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=1102">Blogging in the Classroom</a>A reflection on my experiences of blogging in the classroom.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=686">There is More Than One Way to Write a Blog</a> Often it is presumed that there is only one way to write a blog, this post unpacks some other possibilities, including as a means of collecting links and resources. <a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=78">Sharing the Load of Blogging In and Out of the Classroom</a>Exploring the different possibilities and potentials of collaborative blogging beyond the classroom. <a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=133">Sharing the Load of Blogging</a> A reflection on the idea of a collaborative school blog to share practice. Which Platform?<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=2325">A Guide to Blogging Platforms and their Niches</a>A summary of some of the different blogging services available, what they enable and where their biases lie. Included are an array of resources to support.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=1286">Creating a Deliberate Social Media Space for Students in School</a>To support students in regards to digital citizenship, use WordPress to create a social space, therefore gaining more control over online presence<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=1134">Starting with Edublogs from Scratch</a>I have discussed the benefits of blogging with Global2, as well as some of the intricacies, however, I have not unpacked how to get started.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=794">Introduction to Blogging with Global2</a>Some of the possibilities for blogging with Global2/Edublogs, as well as a list of resources to with getting going.How To Engage?<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=598">To Comment or Not To Comment? Is that the Question</a>There are many out there who say blogging is dead and that this is best epitomised in lack of dialogue and conversation. This post provides a different perspective by reframing the question.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=1959">What Makes a Comment?</a>A question that does not get asked often enough is what it actually means to comment and what might it mean to bring the comment back?<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=1763">Reading Texts is Easy, especially When You Listen to Them</a>Although not directly on blogging, it captures some different ways to listen to blogs, rather than read them.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=1052">Ten Step Guide to Being Connected</a>An attempt at a guide to getting connected. Having a blog as a place for people to hear your story is an essential part of it.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=834">A Guide to Following Blogs</a>A post that explains some different ways to follow a blog, including subscribing, via an RSS Reader or an automated recipe using a platform like IFTTT.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=76">Are You Really Connected If You Are Not Giving Back</a>One of the challenges with a participatory environment is that without contributions there is no network. So it begs the question, are you really connected if you are not giving back?Reflection<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=68">Read, Write, Respond</a>A reflection on the decisions associated with beginning a blog.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=2337">A Blog for All Seasons</a>Different blogging platforms enable different possibilities. Here is an account of some examples that I have created over time.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=444">Uncanny Reflections on a Year Blogging</a>Memories forgotten can often haunt us when later uncovered. This post is about three posts that had this effect.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=1322">Reflecting on the Voices in the Village</a>Rather than look back at the number of hits to measure the impact, here is a collection of comments from readers collected across the year. Creating Content<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=1122">Creating Images for Blogs</a>A list of programs with their positives and negatives for making visual quotes to add to blogs and other social media platforms.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=1069">Who’s Telling Your Story</a> An introduction to Storify, a platform that allows you to curate tge content a number of social media platforms and then embed it within a blog.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=1255">Powering Up Your Blog by Adding Content</a>Incorporate different content, such as video, GIFs and audio, in order to improve engagement and communicate using a different voice.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=1203">A Guide to Visualisations</a>There are so many different forms of visuals that you can add to a blog, from a mind map to a sketchnote, each adding to the mental image of the reader.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=1266">Making My Own Maps with Google Apps</a>Another point of contact to embed in a blog.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=971">An Introduction to GIFs</a>A guide to creating and sharing GIFs. Reviews<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=2348">Claim Your Domain</a>A review of Audrey Watters book on why it is important to claim our presence online and some steps to going about it.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=1885">School of Thought</a>A review of Dan Haesler 's book. Although not solely about blogging, he touches on it throughout.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=850">Master Teacher to Master Learner</a>A review of Will Richardson's book unpacking connected learning. Blogging is an important part of this. <a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=12">Things Are Not Always As They Seem</a>A collection of short reviews, including a comment on Clive Thompson's Smarter Than You Think and David Weinberger’s To Big to Know<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=1153">(Re)Claiming My Space on the Web</a>A reflection on my experience of blogging with Reclaim Hosting so far.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=416">Looking for a Local Perspective on Blogging</a>In response to AITSL’s dismal attempt to provide a list of bloggers for educators to read, this is my attempt to capture a local perspective. Other Resources<a href="https://www.diigo.com/user/aarondavis/blogging">Diigo Library</a> Blogs to <a href="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1u8rMEt-jocpL3qZTqFa25AF9Ak67XfOApNFOS7KBC18/edit?usp=sharing">Follow</a> &amp; <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7zjf-LFJlqWS3pqanhlOVk2NEE/view?usp=sharing">OPML for Feedly</a>

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