Palo Alto Online

Posted: Friday, January 16, 2004

Palo Alto Online helps celebrate 10 years of online publishing

Ten years may seem like a long time, but in terms of computers and the Internet, it really isn’t. It was a time before the Pentium or Power PC processors, before 14.4 kbps modems, before Google or Yahoo or eBay, and before Netscape or Internet Explorer.

First Palo Alto Weekly Home Page, January 19, 1994.
(Click for larger version or follow this link to see the actual page.)
On January 19, 1994, the Palo Alto Weekly ventured onto the Internet’s World Wide Web making history as the first newspaper in the world to publish its entire editorial content to this new medium. Announcing that the postings “may be a little rough around the edges until February” the Weekly made a commitment to “posting both weekly editions to the network from now on.”

January 2004

Weekly Web site marks 10th anniversary
Timeline of our
online publishing.

September 1996

Weekly launches Palo Alto Online

February 1994

Palo Alto Weekly launches Internet project
How to get on the Internet

With the help and resources of Palo Alto-based Internet Distribution Services, then a start-up Internet consulting firm, the Weekly was able to post each edition of the paper online in a timely and informative manner.

The online presence of the Weekly remained basically unchanged until 1996.

In September 1996, the Weekly announced “a major expansion of its online publishing activities” when it unveiled Palo Alto Online, touted as “a focal point for local information”.

"Palo Alto Online took our concept of what a community newspaper is all about and extends it to the World Wide Web," said Palo Alto Weekly publisher Bill Johnson in 1996.

In addition to content created for Palo Alto Online, it carried (and still carries) featured electronic links to the Web sites of local organization, the complete online archive of the Palo Alto Weekly, and news and information from the local area.

First Palo Alto Online Home Page, September 25, 1996.

(Click for larger version.)

Palo Alto Online has grown to become the home for the mid-Peninsula’s largest online local home guide, the news, online archives and classifieds of its three sister newspapers (the Palo Alto Weekly, the Mountain View Voice and The Almanac), MovieScreener where you can search and read movie reviews, Pizazz (an section where you can find local offers from businesses), and a local restaurant review search.

One of the newest features to Palo Alto Online is the Master Community Calendar where organizations can list calendar events. Searchable by date and/or event, the Master Community Calendar allows people to schedule events either in the near term or as a “Save the date” event for the future.

From humble beginnings, the online presence of the Palo Alto Weekly through Palo Alto Online continues to grow. In 2002, Palo Alto Online won Second Place for Best Web Site for weekly newspapers from the California Newspaper Publishers Association and topped over 1.2 million page views to the home page for 2003 and receiving well over 150,000 unique users per month.

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