In August 2013 (Whois.com officially says August 28, 2013), 18-year-old Meredith sat in her first college class at Mary Washington. I was introduced to a thing called a domain name. She was asked to register a domain name as part of a class and was asked to write weekly reflections on the readings. And she created her first blog on meredithfierro.com.
Little did that version of Meredith know how much the blog would be used throughout those 10 years. From class assignments to professional development, that blog has stuck around. It’s become an archive of projects, milestones, fun, and reflection.
So fast forward to 2023, and I’m still looking through Where I’ve Been (can you tell Reclaim Open is still on the brain?). I wanted to take some time to document my blog/projects documents from UMW, at Reclaim, and what I’ve been up to personally (that’s more recent).
When I stepped into my freshman seminar, I did not really know what it would entail. Little did I know, I would start carving out her little home on the web. After using the domain name for most of my classes, I started thinking through how to use the domain name and found that WordPress was quickly becoming a solid tool in my toolkit. From subdomains for each class to categories on a single WordPress site, I realized how powerful a blog could be.
Then, I got my job as a student tutor at the Digital Knowledge Center, where WordPress, Omeka, Scalar, and Media projects, became the additional tools to work with. I began tutoring students and helping them gain the expertise to carve out their space on the web.
My website became a portfolio of sorts, where I could document my DKC projects and continue working on my class projects. I used it to work through my internship at Reclaim during my senior year at UMW, and my capstone course, to create a video about Domain of One’s Own for incoming students.
After I graduated and joined the Reclaim Hosting team, I was encouraged to continue blogging! I do wish I really stuck to that, I have a backlog of projects I want to blog. From longer-term projects to short and sweet articles on how to complete a specific task, the blog turned into a notebook.
Within the next 10 years, I do want this blog to turn into more of a blog to continue the notetaking, to document the Flex Courses, and Workshops, among other accomplishments at Reclaim. I do have a few in the docket to start with!
While this blog is a way to document my projects, it’s inadvertently becoming a place where I can document my travels as well! I used my domain name to blog about my semester abroad in London and my travels in Europe.
At Reclaim, the travels continued! I’ve been on team trips to New York City, Nashville, and San Diego– conference trips to Galway, Bristol, Atlanta and more recently New Orleans– and Reclaim specific (Domains and Reclaim Open) conferences to Oklahoma City, Durham, and while close to home, Fredericksburg. I’m so grateful for all the chances to travel!
And this blog has stuck around with me throughout the last 10 years of my early adulthood. I moved to a new city for college, and stuck around after graduating. I’ve moved around a few times in Fredericksburg, not only my home, but my office space!
I even managed to find my person and my pup– so freaking excited to get married in a couple of months!
And through all of those changes the blog shaped an archive of my life, work, works in progress, among other things and I’m so grateful to be introduced to the world of the WWW back 10 years ago. It seems like so long ago, but it’s only just begun!