JACC Web Watch 1

Thought that to get JACC schools to pay attention to other schools’ online publications I’d include a Web Watch feature here. The goal is to watch what schools are doing online and to point out unusual efforts.

Most schools still sport the last issue of the school year from last spring. Looks like Cerritos, Citrus and Cypress were the first schools out of the chutes with publications, at least online.

Cerritos talonmarks.com is still introducing a new visually-oriented layout that shows the flexibility of College Publisher. Aside from the new look, the site already sports blogs and podcasts and will include videos. Talonmarks.com has partnered with its radio and film programs to get additional student content for the publication, but it is early in the school year. The new visual design was student generated and required a custom template from College Publisher. It requires newspaper students to think about the online presentation as they gather content for the print publication.

Citrus Clarion Online had some interesting program promotion on its site for most of the summer, but has rolled out the first issue complete with a podcast of the president’s opening remarks. Citrus experimented with podcasts at the end of last school year, too. And MySpace figures prominently in the news as the school year opens.

Cypress College’s Cychron is one of those publications that tries to rotate content in and out and not think “publication date,” so it is sometime hard to tell if there is up-to-date content until you actually open the story. What can you say? Anytime you’ve got someone with flaming pink hair to include in a photo its going to stand out.

Speaking of photos standing out, even though they’re from last semester, LA Valley Star Online has an outstanding photo on its front page. Trouble is, it is not formatted properly to fit the template of the online site. I also like the photographer on Sacramento’s e.press. While there take a look at the photo essay for some more nice images.

Some schools —Merced, Reedley, Mira Costa, San Diego and Taft— still use the pdf-of-the-issue format that are okay for archival purposes, but not are very online-reading-friendly. And I won’t even list the half dozen or so publications that either have disappeared or haven’t been updated for a year or two.

The Pasadena Courier Online has an interesting followup story to campus newspaper thefts from last spring. Turns out nothing is going to be done because the school would end up sueing itself. Interesting twist concerning that the governor has on his desk an anti-newspaper-theft bill we hope he will sign. If he does, it theoretically applies to college papers, too.

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