What Can I Do (and not do) with my Domain?

One of the more frequent questions we receive from instructors concerns what is or is not a permitted use of a Berg Builds domain. I understand the necessity of the question, though my preference is imagine the positive, creative, helpful, and amazing things folks might create, rather than catalog the very few things that are out of bounds. Still, part of a thriving online community is a clear understanding and willing adherence to the standards of that community. So here is a quick explainer with some links.

In truth, there are very few restrictions on Berg Builds, itself. And that is by design. I will outline the particular restricted uses the Digital Learning team has articulated first.

The restricted uses of Berg Builds domains, not otherwise covered below are:

  1. Folks cannot run or maintain an email server.
  2. Folks cannot monetize their domains. This includes incorporation of services that track and/or provide digital advertising. Folks cannot, similarly, attach e-commerce shopping carts or accept payment for services through their Berg Builds domains.
  3. Avoid the use of Muhlenberg’s officially trademarked visually identity materials.

That’s it! Three things. Otherwise, the sky is the limit!

If anyone wishes to run an email server, or to engage in electronic commerce, that’s great! It means they’ve outgrown their Berg Builds domain and that they are ready to forge ahead, truly with a domain of their own. The advice from The Hive is to make an appointment with me (Tim Clarke), bring your credit card, and we’ll work together to migrate your domain or get you set up on your own. Folks working incrementally toward building an e-commerce site are heartily encouraged to build everything on their Berg Builds domain, up to the point where they begin accepting payments. Prototyping is great, and an excellent use of Berg Builds. But in order to best protect their interests and those of Muhlenberg, please encourage folks to stop short of actually performing electronic transactions via any Berg Builds site.

Next, it is helpful to acknowledge that Reclaim Hosting and Muhlenberg College also establish some terms of use that apply broadly to Electronic Communication at Muhlenberg College, and specifically to the services provided by Reclaim Hosting. I’ve included links to these below. Finally, it’s important to stipulate that each individual piece of software that comprises a site on a Berg Builds domain likely provides its own Public License, End User License Agreement (EULA), and perhaps Terms of Service and/or a Privacy Policy, as well. Here is a link to the WordPress General Public License (GPL), as one example: https://wordpress.org/about/license/ .

Muhlenberg College Policy

Muhlenberg College provides its Electronic Communications and IT Policy here: https://www.muhlenberg.edu/offices/oit/about/policies_procedures/electronic.html . This policy covers a lot of territory, but it specifically addresses the prohibitions against harassing, racist, biased, hateful, and discriminatory language and acts transmitted through use of the College’s electronic infrastructure.

Reclaim Hosting Terms

Reclaim Hosting provides these Terms of Service (https://reclaimhosting.com/terms-of-service/) but most of these apply to the relationship between Reclaim Hosting and Muhlenberg College. Additionally, should anyone be interested, the boilerplate contractual language of various Service Level Agreements and Incident Response Plans is made available for all to review at https://reclaimhosting.com/contracts/.

If you have any questions about, please reach out to Tim Clarke. It’s worth repeating that the emphasis is always on what we can do, what is possible, and how folks in The Hive are available and eager to help.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *