Two million MBC users!
Those of you who were around at the end of last year's school term might remember a blog post I made when My Big Campus reached 1,000,000 (one million) users. We celebrated that milestone with a lot of high-fives and a fantastic outdoor cookout. It felt just amazing to be part of that excitement.
Sooner than we could have imagined, we reached another milestone. On Monday morning, November 12, I got an email from MBC Admin Jeffrey Smith, which said simply "Current Total Users: 2000001."
Let's think about that for a minute. My Big Campus launched in February 2010, and we reached our first million users in June, 2012. We added another million in less than six months. My Big Campus is growing fast, and we have you, our students, teachers, and school staff, to thank for that.
Much of that tremendous growth has come from school districts using the Lightspeed Systems web filter and other Lightspeed products. But a large number of these new users are from individual schools and teachers using the "Freemium" version of My Big Campus. Although there were limits on what "Freemium" users could do in the past, we decided it would be better for the whole K-12 community if we removed the distinction between "Integrated" and "Freemium" users and opened up MBC to everyone. All of the features of My Big Campus (except for filter-dependent unblocking of Library resources) are available to "Freemium" users, including SIS imports and hosted websites.
Why is MBC free? I asked Merleen Johnson, the head of our Community Engagement department, to tell us how Lightspeed Systems could deliver something as valuable as My Big Campus at no cost.
"Quality software and quality cloud services are not cheap," Merleen said. "We do not charge for My Big Campus because we believe its integration with our web filter will stop the overblocking problem most educators experience. We do charge districts for our other solutions, including the Lightspeed Systems Collaborative Filter and Mobile Device Management."
Merleen points out that most K-12 schools already have funds in their budget for web filtering and network management, and they can implement My Big Campus, along with the Lightspeed Systems Collaborative Filter and Mobile Manager, for about the same cost they're currently paying for other filtering solutions.
Our user counts bear that out. It's a win for us -- adding a million users in less than six months, and it's a win for schools as well -- the award-winning power and vesatility of My Big Campus is free for everyone, from small private and charter schools, to the very biggest school districts.
From everyone at My Big Campus and Lightspeed systems to you, our loyal My Big Campus users: Thanks for spreading the word to your colleagues. I'm eager to see what our next million users will look like.