Drupal may be grabbing headlines by becoming the CMS of the White House, but WordPress is bound to be the CMS of a future President thanks to a deal it signed with CoPress.
CoPress, the brainchild of former University of Oregon editor Daniel Bachhuber, aims to build a vertical of college papers within the CMS market, with managed hosting and training.
(The original Oregon Duck mascot image was trademarked by The Walt Disney Co. Can you kids guess who it is?)
Bachhuber told Poynter Online that 21 colleges have already signed up, including the papers of Central Michigan, Michigan State, and Cal State Fullerton.
Papers now have a choice between rolling their own solution, joining CoPress, or working with the College Media Network, whose College Publisher is given away free in exchange for banner ad space.
This means free is battling open source directly within the college paper market. In addition to comparing features, CoPress is also arguing against CMN's latest upgrade, and pointing out that it is building a community around contemporaries rather than delivering a top-down solution.
My own career in college journalism seems a world away from all this. During my freshman year at Rice the paper was actually set with hot type from a Linotype. They later switched to a photo-typesetting solution in which formatted type was printed and then glued to a piece of cardboard with pink plastic cut-outs showing where photos would go.
Before that, I broke away from my high school newspaper to create an opinion-based start-up, which leads to the real challenge facing college journalists in today's online world, namely competing in their markets with every entrepreneur on campus.
If your start-up costs are nearly nothing what is the benefit of being the "official" college paper Web site?