What is Domain of One’s Own?

What is Domain of One’s Own?

And what is Domain of One’s Own at St. Norbert College?

Well, let’s start with the first question – the title of this post – What is Domain of One’s Own?

Domain of One’s Own (sometimes abbreviated as DoOO) is a global education initiative that empowers students, staff, and faculty at institutions of higher learning to take responsibility for a little piece of the internet that they can call their own. This entails registering a domain name and working as an administrator in a bit of shared hosting space. It is all at once a very simple idea and a complex one.

You may be thinking – “Working as an administrator on shared hosting space! That sounds too technical!”. Well, is not as hard as you may think but it does upset the idea of “user friendly”. DoOO is not as simple as signing up for some free service but your space will never be subjected to someone else’s advertising and all that you learn in building that space can be used to move your content if you ever decide to change names or hosting partners.

Some of the other colleges and universities around the globe who support a domains project are: University of Mary Washington, University of Oklahoma, Middlebury College, University of Coventry, Emerson College, and many others.

This idea of ownership is at the center of DoOO. At University of Mary Washington, where DoOO was started, this is tied to Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own” where Woolf argues that a woman needs a room of her own and money if she is to write fiction. Domain of One’s Own gives people a space on the public internet that they can call their own – how does this relate? 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.

But what is DoOO at St. Norbert College?

Well, we are just getting started with domains here at St. Norbert. In Fall of 2017 and Spring of 2018 we ran several pilot projects by issuing coupon codes to students, faculty, and staff who were involved in those projects; these included several classes and our own Tech Bar. These coupon codes only gave hosting and domain registration for one year and were not centrally managed in any way. If you were issued one of these coupon codes and your one year of hosting is coming due you have two options – you can choose to pay for additional years of hosting yourself or you can choose to transfer to our new centralized offering Knight Domains

In Summer of 2018 we set up a centralized DoOO offering at the college and we call it Knight Domains. With this new offering anyone with an SNC email can sign up for domain hosting and a subdomain name for free. While anyone can sign up we are not advocating that everyone does, just yet. Deciding to have a public voice and sorting out the nuances of public discourse is something that should not be taken lightly. As we build a campus culture that considers these nuances consultation, collaboration, deliberation, and support around them are being offering by specific classes, programs, departments, and at our Tech Bar.

This site is currently dedicated to materials for and reflections from those getting started with owning their own domain. This site will change and grow over time but for now if you have questions about the site or would like to suggest changes please contact Autumm Caines or Taylor Jadin.


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