Just a quick note before the holidays welcoming our two newest college program members: The Volante at the University of South Dakota and The Cardinal Courier at St. John Fisher College.

Steve Boerner, adviser to The Cardinal Courier, was good enough to send me his thoughts on switching to TownNews.com:

Installation and launch of the new website went well ... (Project Manager) Susan Allard and the rest of the setup team were terrific and always ready to help. To me the big concern with a project such as this is communication -- getting questions answered, clear instructions, and documentation -- and this is where the system really worked. Last-minute changes went through without a hitch.

Really appreciate the videos and other training materials online. I watched the key videos over one weekend and was able to train our senior editors in an hour how to post stories and update the site. I'm planning to spend more time over the holiday break to really familiarize myself with the Blox system itself, but expect to have no problems handling it. Compared to what we had before, BlOX is very straightforward and intuitive.

We're very excited about the ability to integrate social media into the site. That and the mobile version are two big reasons why we chose this system.

Great experience over all. I'm looking forward to working with the students on a fully professional system that allows them to focus on content and that will prepare them to work on this or similar systems after they graduate.

Thanks to Steve for the kind words! Our college program now has 40 college papers under contract, more than 30 of which have live BLOX sites. And we have some exciting launches planned for early 2012.

2011 was a great year for us, and we expect to have an even better 2012. Thanks to all of our members for their support -- and happy holidays from all of us at TownNews.com.