I grew up with a love for cooking. I enjoyed sitting in the kitchen watching my mother cook for our family and she would often show me various techniques, recipes, and let me help here and there with odd jobs. I'm sure it's not news to anyone that even those of us with a love for spending time in the kitchen often fall into the trap of going through a drive through just to "take care" of the meal that needs to happen tonight. Life gets busy. Also who doesn't enjoy a night out at a restaurant? Fact of the matter is I love food whether it's a steak being served to me at a high end restaurant or chicken nuggets at McDonalds, but there's something about a home-cooked meal that's satisfying in a very different way.
Someone recently asked me about the difference between something like Squarespace or Weebly and Reclaim Hosting and my mind was immediately drawn to the idea of cooking. It would be foolish for me to ever pretend that Squarespace wasn't appealing or even appropriate for certain needs. Some folks truly need to get a website up as fast as possible in the same way that sometimes you need to get dinner on the table in 20 minutes before soccer practice. Building out your digital identity is something that takes time, practice, and continued iteration and improvement. A great cook tastes everything they make, often several times throughout the process and no one makes a perfect meal their first time in the kitchen. But to me what's important is that you're not alone and without guidance.
With Reclaim Hosting I feel like we have the opportunity to teach people about how the web works in a way where they feel supported to experiment and learn. We're giving students transferrable life-long skills with open source tools. When folks approach their space with a curiosity and commitment to learning something new and tasting the power of their own space they're often rewarded with a deeper understanding of what it means to be on the web. Not everyone is ready for that kind of commitment and I think that's ok too. These are different audiences with different sets of needs. I think Reclaim Hosting is the perfect fit for educators, students, and institutions precisely because they are the audience that is ready to learn, ready to cook for themselves. Giving them a Big Mac would be a disservice to them. I'd rather spend that time hanging out with them in a kitchen and showing them what's really possible.