A Brief History of Domain of One’s Own, Part 2: The 12 Days of Domains

We, Jess and Jesse, have been working on a series of posts that offer a history of University of Mary Washington’s Domain of One’s Own project. Our first post offered a more narrative, personal account of how we came to know the project. For our second, we’ve gathered together a list of lists — 78 moments, articles, quotes, people, and more — stuff that inspired the project and inspires us as we continue to care for it.

????  On the 12th day of …

12 Data Points

University of Mary Washington’s Domain of One’s Own (DoOO) project currently hosts 2,422 active domains. The project launched over 4 years ago with 116 pilot domains. In Fall of 2013, Domain of One’s Own expanded as a way to give free domains and hosting to every student and, in fact, every member of the UMW community. Over the course of 3 years, there were 70 participants in Faculty Initiative, a Domain of One’s Own faculty development project. The Digital Knowledge Center, a peer tutoring center, opened in Fall 2014. Since then, the Center has offered 345 Domain of One’s Own tutorials. The most popular months for new sign-ups are January and September, marking the start of our semesters, but sign-ups continue consistently throughout the year (with as many as 850 new domains in a single year). This fall, we’ve already had 300 new users create domains. The Domain of One’s Own project continues to spread. Currently, over 40 other schools have active initiatives inspired by Domain of One’s Own and over 100 schools have individual faculty implementing DoOO at the course level.

A snowflake growing

11 Student Domains

Meredith Fierro, dgst395.meredithfierro.com 
Madison Buechler, madisonbuechler.com/blog
Dominique Giles, tiredmimi.com,
Elaina Finkelstein, 
Amy Fanghella, 
Natalie Griffitts, 
Margaret Neubig, 
Nancy Milroy, 
Amy Wallace, hist329.amywallaceumw.com
Amanda Halprin, www.amandahalprin.com

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10 Articles

Audrey Watters, “The Web We Need to Give Students”
Andrew Rikard, “Do I Own My Domain if You Grade It?”
David Morgen and Pete Rorabaugh, “Building Community and Critical Literacies with the Domain of One’s Own Incubator”
Kate Bowles, “For Now, Our Own”
WIRED, “Domain of One’s Own”
Jim Groom, “A Domain of One’s Own”
Richard V. Hurley, “A Place of One’s Own — Online”
Martha Burtis, “Making and Breaking Domain of One’s Own: Rethinking the Web in Higher Ed”
Alan Levine, “Domains: Own, Value, Care, Time”
Debra Schleef, “Who’s Afraid of Domain of One’s Own?”

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9 Significant Moments

2004 — All members of DTLT get domains and begin experimenting with web hosting
2005 — UMW faculty first experiment with blogging
2006 — UMW Faculty Academy panel on student and faculty blogging
2007 — UMW Blogs launches
2012 — UMW pilots Domain of One’s Own
2012 — UMW Domain of One’s Own featured in WIRED Magazine
2013 — UMW Domain of One’s Own launches campus-wide
2016 — Domain of One’s Own becomes part of the strategic plan at UMW
2016 — 2,422 active domains on Domain of One’s Own at UMW

Source: umwdtlt.com/an-infographic-of-ones-own

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8 Faculty/Staff Domains

Zach Whalen (English, Linguistics, and Communication): amillionbluepages.net
Jack Bales (Library): wrigleyivy.com
Susan Fernsebner (History and American Studies): taipingcivilwar.org
Parrish Waters (Biological Sciences): umwvisionandchange.com
Melina Patterson (Geography): cities.melinapatterson.net
Kris Shaffer (DTLT): ds106.pushpullfork.com
Jeff McClurken (History): mcclurken.org
Andréa Livi Smith (Historic Preservation): survey.andrealivismith.com

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7 Building Blocks

Source: umw.domains/modules

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6 DoOO Schools

These are just a small few of the schools with Domain initiatives:
University of OklahomaMichigan State University, Middlebury CollegeDavidson CollegeWhittier College, Muhlenberg College

Source: reclaimhosting.com

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5 Brilliant Quotes

Jeff McClurken, “Digital History and Undergraduate Digital Literacy”: “Increasingly I have become convinced that a key, but often overlooked, aspect of digital literacy is a willingness to experiment with a variety of online tools, and then to think critically and strategically about a project and to identify those tools that would be most useful to that project.”

Martha Burtis, “Coding, Serendipity, and Domain of One’s Own”
“As digital spaces increasingly become the platforms upon which we live our lives, we must teach students to understand that those platforms are coded spaces, built by humans with business goals, political opinions, and complex identities.”

Audrey Watters, Claim Your Domain and Own Your Online Presence
“What do we want students to do or be in a digital world? If nothing nothing else, they should have agency, autonomy, and critical awareness of what it means to live, work, and play in a digital world.”

Doug Belshaw, “Digital Literacy, Identity and a Domain of One’s Own”
“A world where one’s primary identity is found through the social people-farms of existing social networks is a problematic one. Educators and parents are in the privileged position of being able to help create a better future.”

Maha Bali, “Sharing/Ownership ≠ Empowerment”
“We cannot assume agency. And we cannot assume lack of it. We cannot assume minorities will manage without support, nor can we assume they are incapable.”

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4 Pedagogical Goals

  • Provide students with the tools and technologies to build out a digital space of their own
  • Help students appreciate how digital identity is formed
  • Provide students with curricular opportunities to use the web in meaningful ways
  • Push students to understand how the technologies that underpin the web work, and how that impacts their lives

Source: umwdtlt.com/an-infographic-of-ones-own

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3 Founders

Martha Burtis
Jim Groom
Tim Owens

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2 Reasons to Get a Domain

I, Jess, believe everyone should should be able carve out (and make decisions about) some small piece of the web. Having a domain is a way to own, or occupy, and to have an important kind of control over a space in the vast world that is the Internet.

I, Jesse, believe getting a domain is a very personal choice. It requires careful consideration of what it is to work on the web. Working in public is never without risk, but it means something very different when we are gay, women of color, undocumented, disabled, trans, students, teachers. The work is never as easy or as simple as buying a domain name or uploading an app to a shared server. I deeply respect the Domain of One’s Own project, because it has never made light of these things, and because it offers a space of possibility.

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And 1 Domain to Rule them All


Snowfall in rainbow colored sunlight

Image by Markus Spiske CC-0.