BIG NEWS: Higher Ed Live & EDUniverse Merge

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Today marks an historic milestone for Higher Ed Live as I’m excited to announce that we are merging with EDUniverse, mStoner’s network for brand, web, tech and marketing professionals. The merger brings together our industry’s best in rich media with the best of crowdsourced collaboration and content, all with the goal of building Higher Ed Live/EDUniverse into an even more useful platform for the higher education industry.

When I first launched Higher Ed Live in September 2010, I always envisioned this project being more than just my own weekly web show. Over the past two years we’ve expanded into a full fledged network, delivering three unique live weekly web show offerings, live streaming from conferences nationwide, hosting in-person tweetups, and bringing a wide breadth of content thanks to a select group of guest bloggers.

As we turned two this September, however, I reflected back on our growth and realized there was still so much more to be done. Our industry is at an exciting, but complicated, crossroads, and access to high quality professional development and industry commentary is more valuable than ever. And while I knew the need was never stronger, I also found myself in a place professionally where I was feeling stretched incredibly thin. Juggling a demanding job while pursuing my MBA and running Higher Ed Live was finally taking its toll, and I knew if Higher Ed Live was going to reach new heights, it wouldn’t happen if I was trying to accomplish it alone.

Enter EDUniverse.

Not only will this new partnership mean the merger of Higher Ed Live’s rich live weekly content with EDUniverse’s platform for community-driven content, but it will also ensure both are given the best support possible, as mStoner will be taking over day-to-day operations and providing a deep backend knowledge that I simply wasn’t able to provide alone before.

What else does this partnership mean for you?

Well, for starters, you’re going to have to tune into tonight’s Higher Ed Live at 7pm ET to find out. Joining me on the program will be fellow host Ed Cabellon, as well as Michael Stoner, and Mallory Wood. We’ll be shedding light on what’s to come, including potential new programming, new hosts, new in-person events, partnerships, and more. It really is an exciting time for the network and I hope you can join us for this kickoff program to both celebrate and look ahead.

On a personal level, this merger will also provide me a chance to take a step back. While I will continue to play a key role as a strategic advisor to the network, I will no longer be exclusively hosting Higher Ed Live. While I’ve loved the opportunity to host more than 100 shows for the network, I truly believe the best thing we can do as a network is diversify the opinions, and therefore, the hosts of our programming as well. I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy this opportunity, and want to extend the chance to host these important dialogues to other talented individuals in our industry.

It’s important to note that on the surface not much will change for awhile. Higher Ed Live will continue to operate as its own independent website, as will EDUniverse. Over the next year we’ll be exploring how best to bring these two platforms together in a manner that best serves our industry. We’ll continue to keep you all updated with that process as it unfolds, and welcome your feedback in how best we can accomplish this task.

While Higher Ed Live has been my passion project for the last couple years, I have been truly lucky to have found great partners in this effort. As I both look back on our beginnings, and ahead to what’s to come, I’d like to thank those that played a role in bringing us to where we are today, especially, my beautiful wife Jillian Odell, Ashley Hennigan, Eric Stoller, Ed Cabellon, Michael Staton, Tony Zanders, Nikki Thayer, Joel Goodman, Eric Olson, and our sponsors Inigral, OmniUpdate, SCVNGR, Welcome to College and Zinch. Most importantly, I’d like to thank all of you who have tuned in each week and contributed to the conversation, whether through tweets, questions, emails or comments.

Finally, I’d like to extend a sincere and heartfelt thank you to the mStoner team, with special thanks to Michael Stoner and Mallory Wood, for agreeing to partner with me on this merger. This network has meant the world to me and thanks to this partnership I have never been more confident of our future.

I simply can’t wait to see what the next chapter holds for Higher Ed Live.

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