Over the past year, the adoption of our public notice platform for publishers has grown considerably, requiring an increased focus on delivering the best possible experience at scale for our customers.
After careful consideration, Column has decided to end our service of providing free public notice websites for press associations, effective for all partners no later than May 31, 2024.
As part of this decision, the engineering and support resources allocated to our press association service will instead be reallocated to our public notice software platform, which helps publishers and their customers complete the public notice process. Nothing will change for our newspaper partners who use our full public notice software.
Note: If you are a member of a state association using Column to just upload to your association’s site, this announcement does not immediately impact your ability to continue uploading notices. Each association will run a transition position with their membership between now and 5/31/24.
This year, we have introduced a suite of new features for newspapers using our full public notice software such as our automated affidavit service, dynamic notice templates and reporting dashboards. With the refocusing of our development resources, we look forward to our publishing partners — which span all 50 states — enjoying even more cutting-edge offerings early next year.
We are proud to have served a large number of state press associations with a modern public notice website these past five years. We appreciate the vital role these websites play in the legislative process and believe it is critically important that all states continue to innovate and migrate toward a similar interface over time. Because of this, we highly recommend the Illinois Press Association (IPA) as the best alternative provider of public notice website hosting. IPA has invested decades of work in setting a standard for online access to public notices and is currently the organization serving the highest number of other state associations.
We will work with each of our association partners on a responsible transition to a new provider. With the 2024 state legislative sessions around the corner, we are offering two off-boarding timelines for our partners to consider — transition by the end of the year or no later than May 31, 2024.
For Column, our focus is shifting exclusively to building best-in-class software for newspapers and their customers to transact public notices. We will also assist our newspaper partners in directing their notice uploads to new website providers for their respective associations.
We are mindful that our partnerships with press associations have, at times, fueled confusion and misinformation about Column and our product offerings. We are optimistic that this difficult decision will provide greater clarity to the role Column plays within the publishing industry in the months to come.
I’d like to extend our deepest gratitude to all our Partner Program associations. Thank you for believing in our work and improving the status quo. We look forward to supporting the critical legislative advocacy work you do on behalf of our newspaper partners across the country.
If you are generally interested in seeing what our full public notice platform has to offer, find time for a quick call by visiting www.column.us/schedule-demo.
Jake Seaton is founder and CEOof Column.
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