Earlier today, I flew to the College Media Advisers' Summer Advisers Workshop in St. Petersburg, Fla. It's the second year that TownNews.com will be a sponsor at the event, and quite a lot has changed since I got a chance to hang out with the CMA folks last summer.
TownNews.com's dedicated college program, which launched in April 2010, has really taken off. That second link is a blog post I wrote a couple months ago when the paper at Sacramento State launched its site using our BLOX Content Management System.
The State Hornet was the 16th college newspaper to go live with BLOX. That's up from the two live college newspaper sites that used BLOX at this time last year.
Perhaps even more impressive is the surge of interest we've seen recently. We're on course to double the number of college newspaper sites using BLOX this fall, thanks to strong interest this spring and summer. Part of that can be attributed to the cyclical nature of college media (i.e., lots of decisions happen at this time of year). But it's pretty clear that BLOX and TownNews.com have made a serious mark on college media.
I'm looking forward to seeing my friends at CMA -- which is one of the several excellent trade groups representing college media -- and sharing the success stories that college papers have had using BLOX. Some of those sites have won major awards, including Iowa State and Western Kentucky, which was named best affiliated website among four-year colleges and universities by the Society of Professional Journalists in May.
I'm also looking forward to meeting some new faces this week. Last year, I met Rebecca Walker from North Alabama, and the Florala launched its site using our BLOX Content Management System in November. Also in attendance last year was David Swartzlander, adviser to the paper at Doane College in Nebraska, which launched its site using BLOX in early 2011. Swartzlander, or 'Swartz', was named CMA president back in April, after previously serving as vice president.