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Elgin-focused BocaJump website goes ‘on hiatus’

Updated: February 8, 2013 6:06AM

ELGIN — BocaJump, the website that intended to be a one-stop information shop for all things Elgin, temporarily ceased operation Jan. 1.

“We’re on hiatus as we evaluate our options. Thanks for 2½ years (so far),” reads the message at the top of the BocaJump homepage.

One of the site’s postings notes it “is dedicated to being the single source for information and news about Elgin dining, entertainment, sports, recreation and leisure, education, government, the Gail Borden Library, the Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce, local businesses, neighborhoods, not for profit groups, religious and faith-based organizations and just about anything else uniquely Elgin.”

The site sent freelance reporters to cover and live blog from Elgin City Council meetings, and did occasional reporting on city matters. It also offered columns of all sorts, including from former Courier-News Managing Editor Mike Bailey, who also had management duties and who last posted a piece to BocaJump in August.

The principal behind the startup, which launched in June 2010, was the late Steve Munson. Munson, 56, was an Elgin businessman, software developer, co-founder of Everyware Inc. and an advocate for downtown Elgin. He died in late September 2011 after being diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer that June.

According to a posting on the site, BocaJump “had a business plan and strategy for a 12-month period which included free classified advertising, expanded news coverage, push notifications, contests, promotions and a variety of site improvements. Because Steve did most of the programming and site development, all of those plans were put on hold.”

That post also claims that since the site launched, more than “150,000 BocaJumpers have viewed more than 750,000 pages.”

Munson’s wife, former city council member and former state representative Ruth Munson, assumed ownership of the virtual publication. Neither Munson nor Bailey responded to questions sent to them electronically regarding the hiatus.

BocaJump had been receiving $2,500 per month in advertising fees from the city of Elgin. The posting states that “because we are not posting any new stories after Jan. 1, we will not accept any advertising.”

The name BocaJump refers to a newspaper practice established by the Boca Raton (Fla.) News in the early 1990s in which the paper would not “jump” parts of stories to inside pages. Rather, it would run photos and/or truncated stories on the cover then offer full stories inside the paper. The publication went out of business in 2009.

The Elgin BocaJump site said the name was picked because, “it represents a jump from the past to the future; all the really cool names were already taken.”

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