USC and the College of Charleston are the latest in a growing list of schools to have quietly let their yearbooks quietly die.
The reasoning has been simple: No one's buying them. And everyone is calling social networking sites like Facebook he culprit. The Post and Courier points out that last year the College of Charleston sold only some 50 or so copies of its yearbook, The Comet. So few copies sold could hardly justify the cost to print them.
There's several counter arguments to doing the discontinuation: The books are a matter of historical record, demand increases as alumni forget their college years, other schools that have better yearbook marketing (such as Clemson) have strong yearbook programs.
So while it may not make sense to print them, it may well be worth doing an electronic version. The historic record would be preserved and copies could be printed in future years should demand change.
Do we really have any faith that MySpace, Facebook, or even Classmates.com have any real interest in history over profit?
Head over to The Post and Courier for more on the discontinuation.
On a side note, high school yearbooks seem to still be doing well as the smaller school sizes help increase student interest.