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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Guiding Light

At this point last year we here at MSU were making the transition from our old website to our new website.  And at the same time we were making a transition in our publications, having made a decision that while we would still produce media guides, the documents would be available, primarily, to the public electronically.

Probably not that big a deal to most of you, but to our coaches and to some members of the media, this was a lightning bolt (yeah, I know, everything's relative).  Although the industry had been headed this way for some time, the tipping point for us was a budgetary one.  We needed funding to build a new departmental website and the cost of producing publications was continuing to rise.  There was that and then there's fact that the information-gathering habits of recruited student-athletes (and the public, in general) had changed.  Unquestionably, kids nowadays are more apt to take a look at msumavericks.com then at a publication.  And the information on the website is similar to the information available in a media guide.  It's just packaged and accessed differently.

The other thing that came along during this time was the development of high speed color copiers which can print with a resolution such that the layman would have a tough time differentiating between publications done in this fashion compared to ones done on a traditional printing press. And the beauty of the technology - called print on demand - is that there isn't a minimum number.  You can print one or one hundred.  It meant that our coaches, student-athletes, parents, alumni, etc., can still get our publications, but without the cost borne by us.  As Scott Nelsen told Shane Frederick of the Free Press last year (I'm paraphrasing a bit here), in response to his question about us discontinuing the media guides..."Not much has changed really.  We're still doing the media guides.  The difference is how we're distributing them."

So we pulled the trigger on everything - the new website launched last October, we discontinued printing media guides in mass quantities and went ahead with print on demand.  In the event you want to look at the media guides that are available for this year (with more to come), be sure to check out the page located here.

It's great to be a Maverick!

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