Town and Gown - the university's been here since...

I’ve been spending a lot of time reading The Washington Post‘s higher education site over the last few weeks.

It is a well-laid out informative heavy package. A couple of things I like about it:

  1. It links out to other higher education media web sites, including the “competition”:
  1. It has multiple reporters who specialize in certain segments of higher education coverage who blog colour commentary to their print stories. Web and print are complementarily – they cannot stand alone.
  • The recent posts from Jenna Johnson (Campus Overload) and Daniel de Vise (College Inc.)  are good examples of how a professional print report can build connectivity to stories and their reputation as experts by writing a blog.
  • Johnson’s post about Georgetown students knowing their universities founding date of 1789 connects readers to the behind-the-scenes of the story.  This connectivity is crucial to the future of successful print products. She talks about her surprise at how every student she meant at Georgetown knew the founding date of their institution. Turns out a local bar is named 1789.
  • de Vise’s post about the behind the scenes lobbying for better reputation rankings on the U.S. News & World Report survey brings to light a what is really happening in the administrative offices of American universities.
  1. Integration with the web. The Wash Post makes an attempt to integrate with Twitter by including a live-feed box with its own hashtag #wphighered. A good effort, but – being unsupervised – has already fallen victim to spammers.

In short, *The Washington Post *is doing higher education in the Internet age right.