Technical answer: technically a domain is two things – 1. a domain name and 2. some shared hosting space on a server.
Human answer: your domain is your place on the web where you will explore your digital identity, web literacy, and reclaim your digital presence.
All of us identify ourselves to the world in lots of ways. The way that you dress, talk, and all of the ways that you present yourself says something about who you are to the world. It is normal for you to use different ways of identifying yourself in different contexts.
But what happens when we start to present ourselves to the world using digital tools? Digital identity is a complex idea because of the very reason that we present ourselves differently depending on context. Domain of One’s Own gives students, faculty, and staff a place to build a digital identity for themselves, classes, projects, trips, and just about any context that you can think of.
Students get 1gb of storage and a subdomain of knight.domains. Students may purchase a custom domain name if they so desire.
Like students, faculty and staff get 1gb of storage and a subdomain of knight.domains. Faculty and staff do have the option of requesting additional domains for large projects ex: they are an advisor for a student group that would like a domain.
Yes, but we need to talk with you and your group’s adviser first. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and mention that you are looking to get a domain on Knight Domains for your club or social group, and we will set up a meeting with you, your group’s adviser, and an employee at the Tech Bar. Your adviser will then get access to a second cPanel account on Knight Domains, and can get help from the Tech Bar on setting up applications like WordPress or Omeka. The adviser can have students author content for the site by making them accounts in WordPress or whichever application is installed on the domain.
Domains are open for anyone to claim. Some students will be asked to create something on a domain for a class or a program. (this is a technical detail but our current license does top out at around 500 domains.)
No. Just like all College technology resources Knight Domains is governed by our Computer and Network Appropriate Use policy. For instance the policy states “Each computer user must respect the rights of others. Users must apply the highest level of ethical conduct to their use of computing and networking facilities.” There are many nuances in the policy and we recommend that you review it when you sign up for a domain. In addition to this policy you may not use a domain to run a store or accept payments, but we do keep the e-commerce tools that are available on this platform available if you are interested and want to use Knight Domains as a sandbox to try them out.
Ownership is a complex philosophical construct that is never absolute. All ownership comes with limitations and responsibilities. It is true that the limitations and responsibilities of Knight Domains are different than buying a domain outside of the College’s resources. However, the technology that Knight Domains is built on is foundational to the web and will be encountered in a wide array of hosting partners outside of Knight Domains. It is hoped that Knight Domains can be used as an educational tool to build skills that will easily transfer after graduation or other association with the college.
Domain of One’s own started in 2012 at University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg VA. Since its inception some of the founders of the project have started “Reclaim Hosting” a company dedicated to bringing the DoOO vision to more schools across the world. DoOO is a global initiative and schools around the world have signed on. There are slight differences in every project – no two schools approach DoOO exactly the same.
In 1929 Virginia Woolf published an extended essay called a ‘Room of One’s Own’ where she made the argument that a woman of her time needed two things to be able to write fiction: money and a room of her own. University of Mary Washington called on this text in naming the domains project to highlight the need for everyone to have their own space to be able to work.
Audrey Watters writes “Intellectual productivity on the Web looks a bit different, no doubt, than it did at Woolf’s writing desk. But there remains this notion, deeply embedded in Domain of One’s Own, that it is important to have one’s own space in order to develop one’s ideas and one’s craft. It’s important that learners have control over their work — their content and their data.”
Reclaim Hosting is our hosting partner for the project. They chose this word because a big part of Domain of One’s Own is centered around reclaiming your digital identity through building digital literacies and skills.
Today’s web is filled with various platforms that many people use to express themselves. These platforms are easy to use and often you only need to sign up for an account to use them. However, these tools are free because they harvest data for advertising and try to influence you. In using these tools you are not the producer or the customer – you are the product. And while these tools are very easy to use, you don’t learn any real technical skills that can be transferred outside of their business model.
When those who work with DoOO talk about “reclaiming” your digital identity they are talking about each person gaining skills and learning about how the underlying nature of the web works (building web literacy) so that they can choose how and where their data lives on the web on their terms.