my.hsj.org – A good option to look at when you move online

As the print news business struggles to stay afloat and redefine itself in a multimedia world, the business of information is flourishing online. This industry shift, coupled with the current economic picture, makes it a good time for high schools to ramp up their online efforts. Online news sites are inexpensive and easy to maintain, and they offer high school news staffs a chance to provide up-to-the-minute news coverage in a variety of multi-media packages.

Going online is easy, and there are a number of ways to go about it — from using a district template to buying a domain name and designing the site from the ground up. One option that will appeal to web novices, as well as schools with small budgets, is my.hsj.org. Sponsored by the American Society of Newspaper Editors, my.hsj.org is a free web hosting service that uses a simple interface for uploading information. Students and advisers do not need knowledge of HTML or CSS to create their site. While it might feel a bit restrictive to those with more online experience, my.hsj.org is a good option for schools eager to get online but that lack the resources or expertise to do so.

Options available with my.hsj.org include:
– Customizable logos and background designs
– Multimedia galleries for photos, podcasts and video
– Reader interactivity through a Letter to the Editor feature and Comment fields after each story
– Sharing options through Facebook, Digg, StumbleUpon and other social news sites
– Potential ad revenue through Google Ad Sense
– Adviser vetting option — information, including comments, will not be posted without adviser approval

For more information, visit: my.hsj.org

Aaron Manfull

Aaron is in his 20th year of advising student media. He is currently the Director of Student Media at Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, Missouri. He is the Journalism Education Association Digital Media Chair and co-Director of Media Now. He created The Next 26 and is a former Dow Jones News Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year. He is one of the authors of the textbook "Student Journalism and Media Literacy." You can find him on Twitter and Instragram @manfull and on Snapchat as aaronmanfull. He's a proud father. A transplanted Iowan. And an avid Hawkeye Fan.

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