Online Edition ranked third most successful college paper

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“The Houstonian” was recently ranked by College Publisher, Inc., as one of the most successful college papers in the nation. The paper was ranked No. 3, just under the No. 2 ranked “The Nicholls Worth” of Nicholls State University and the No. 1 ranked “The Harbus” of Harvard Business School. The ranking came from about 220 college newspapers across the country published online by College Publisher, Inc.Their Web site states, “College Publisher is a dynamic technology company that has developed an innovative, easy-to-use publishing solution for student newspapers. Currently, we partner with more than 200 schools nationwide, comprising by far the largest network of online student newspapers in the country.”Since it is all done by the same company, there is a definite resemblance with “The Houstonian’s” online edition at www.houstonianonline.com and the rest of the 200 plus schools. But why, or how, did they rank us as the No. 3 school paper?”We took the number of subscribers and divided it by the number of students enrolled in the school,” said Laura Kauderer, College Publisher spokeswoman. The small article attached to the list of ranked schools explains further: “One clear way to measure success is to consider the number of subscribers to your online edition as a percentage of your school’s enrollment.”College Publisher came up with 91 percent for “The Houstonian,” meaning the paper’s online edition has a subscriber base equal to 91 percent of the enrollment, which is close to 13,000.Indeed, almost 11,000 e-mail accounts were registered for “The Houstonian Online” over one year ago on Jan. 23, 2001. After obtaining the e-mail accounts of 10,853 SHSU students and faculty, College Publisher, working in cooperation with “The Houstonian,” did start to occasionally send periodic “news updates” to the SHSU body. It was not until this semester, however, that the results really started to show.According to College Publisher’s statistics on “The Houstonian,” last year’s total page impressions, or “hits,” was 8,984. In 2002, the tally so far is 26,778.The two days with the most hits so far have been Jan. 24 and Jan. 29, with each accumulating between 2,000 and 3,000 hits. The most widely read articles so far have been the “Former student sues Chi Omega sorority,” “Professors + Students = Love” and “Richardson fired as department chair/Alumni protest.” The keeping of stats on the most widely read stories is a luxury “The Houstonian’s” print edition does not have.Writer’s note: It is somewhat difficult to know what people want to read about. And for us journalists, it’s a never-ending dilemma. The online edition does, however, give us some insight into what people want.We are always looking out for stories to cover, hoping people will read. But the best way to be able to read what you want to read in a newspaper is, simply, to let us know. Whether it’s a news story, entertainment story, sports or even just a topic on something, letting us know will often times get it in the paper.