Derrick: Mainstreet launches into legal notices

Column illustration
Mainstreet launched a partnership with tech company Column on Friday. (Illustration courtesy of Column)

You may have noticed a new addition to Mainstreet’s print edition and website in recent weeks: legal notices. 

For those who are not familiar with legal notices, they are the announcements that private and public entities are required to make about certain actions, which can range from adoption and divorce notices to public meeting notices and government action. 

Mainstreet’s entrance into this space is another major step forward in our development—and one a long time coming. The Florida Legislature has set a very specific set of criteria for publishing legal notices, so it was a monthslong process for Mainstreet to qualify. 

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Those steps included an audit conducted by the Circulation Verification Council, which confirmed our print and digital traffic numbers. Thanks to you, our readers, we far surpassed the minimum requirement of 10% market penetration to publish legal notices. 

Other requirements include having a home delivery component, the disclosures you’ll find alongside notices, and posting each notice to the statewide repository,

These last few weeks have been what you might call a “soft launch” as we have worked out the details and published our first notices after receiving our certification in October. On Friday, we launched in earnest with a brand-new technology tool on our website, brought to you in partnership with a tech partner called Column. 

Column is the leading industry innovator for public notices, helping to bring what is traditionally an antiquated, tedious process into the 21st century. 

Here’s how it works: Look for the “Legals” tab in the blue navigation bar on this page. That tab includes two options, one to browse notices and one to place a notice. The first option allows you to peruse what others have already published—either by using the search box or by scrolling down through notices listed in reverse chronological order. 

The second option opens a page that enables self-serve legal notice publishing in minutes. You first select a notice type and publication dates, then copy and paste or upload your notice. A field on the right side of the page will automatically preview what the notice will look like and calculate the cost. 

After you select how you want to receive your affidavit, then review and confirm the notice, you pay for it and you’re done. It will populate to the website and print in the newspaper on the designated dates. 

This means reducing or eliminating the long email chains, phone tag, and payment issues that can accompany the typical placement process. Other communities around the country have found Column simplifies and streamlines the legal notice process—saving individuals, businesses and local governments time and money. 

We are pleased to be the first newspaper in Alachua County to partner with Column. We are also excited to announce that the City of Gainesville plans to start placing some legal notices in Mainstreet in the coming weeks. Look for those in the paper and online to keep up with important developments from your local government. 

This is simply the latest way that Mainstreet is seeking to innovate and become the go-to source of news and information in Alachua County and North Central Florida. 

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