20th Anniversary -- Getting with the Program
The Weekly’s been online since 1997, and continues to innovate with features like Local Jukebox. An electronic Monterey County awaits you.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
In 1997, the Weekly became the first local media outlet to launch a website. We knew we had to embrace the cyberfuture, but converting our vision into computer code was humbling.
We liked to call it a work in progress that was ahead of its time, but the truth is, it was a bit of a mess. Our mascot Birddog sent custom alerts via e-mail. If this great idea had only been adequately supported by the power of our web server (can anyone say Google News Alerts?), we’d be posting this article from aboard our private jet on the way to a spa outing in Iceland.
But we were on the right track. Our first website had free online classifieds, event listings and local advertising banners, even though most of us were still on dial-up connections. You can view those first attempts at http://tinyurl.com/4sfh7z.
When the heady days of Internet utopia arrived, 20-something new media executives predicted the demise of print media and a world with razor-thin computer monitors that would be as light to carry around as a newspaper. We attended exciting seminars, hopeful we’d figure out the cool new media sister to our still-growing print product.
We continued to innovate. You can see our website transition over time, though it doesn’t render perfectly due to the way archive.org functions: http://tinyurl.com/3qlsya
Fast-forward to 2007, when Version 3.0 of our website was launched. It was nearly a year behind schedule due to the challenges of writing code, our web team’s ever-evolving ambitions and the arrival of my second child, but the result speaks for itself.
We may not work in a building full of geeks riding unicycles down hallways, but since about 2000 we’ve done all our programming locally– on-site at our Seaside offices. Despite the rise of the Internet, the Weekly’s print edition continues to be a popular, easily circulated force in our community. But to stand still is to be left behind. So we are continuously looking for new ways to fuse print and online components. Some things worth knowing about our website follow. The Weekly is your paper, and we want your feedback about www.montereycountyweekly.com. Check out the site and let us know what you think.Extensive Local Events Calendar
Features include a speedy search, song samples for many musical acts coming to town and videos. With one click, e-mail an event listing to a friend you’d like to notify or invite, or add an event directly to your iCal or Outlook calendar.The Daily Buzz
Takes you directly to events going on in our community and the world under the new title: Monterey County Now.Friendly Food Finder
The Weekly’s crack team of reviewers built the most comprehensive database of local restaurants and wines available. Easily browse or compare restaurants by city or cuisine, view menus, watch slideshows or even book a reservation. Explore Monterey County’s rich wine region by appellation or varietal with a quick search.Music, Movies and More…
Our Local Jukebox contains more than 135 local musicians’ songs for listening. In our club section, you can see schedules for live performances. Watch trailers of movies now showing, read reviews or search more than 3,000 past reviews for rental ideas. To hear memorable local bands over the past 20 years, go to: www.montereycountyweekly.com/20/bandsFree Archive Search
Information wants to be free. Our new global search allows searching through years of our archives, movies and restaurants– filtering quickly by year or subject. On the news page, click one button for a Quick Search of ongoing local topics.Free Classifieds, Live Real Estate and Fun-to-Search Personals
The Internet has improved the efficiency and immediacy of classifieds and, with the Weekly’s online classifieds, you get to run your ad both online and in print, focusing specifically on Monterey County (and not the whole world, or even Santa Cruz). Browse through more than 4,000 classifieds online, updated 24/7. Many categories are free and you can have your ad run in the Weekly with a click of a button.
Looking for a place to live? Our Real Estate Rentals and Houses For Sale sections update 24/7.Post Real-Time Comments
Our Letters section in print is one of the most-read sections. Online, the Comment section takes on a life of its own. Join in and post your reaction to a story in the Weekly, or to other online comments.Hyper-Local
In this age of mega-corporations, lots of our readers and web visitors dig that we’re local. Local classifieds, local events, local advertisers, from a locally owned and operated media company. Our online efforts are a reflection of our print effort– by and for Monterey County. Our company isn’t driven by bean counters in Denver or Virginia, but by a group of people who live and work in Monterey County. Heck, you might even meet our publisher on the field when he’s coaching a peewee soccer team in P.G. (they may have a losing record this year, but the kids are sure having fun).Newshound
Our newshound can upload a news stream, sniffing from Internet sources all over the world, tracking any piece of news that’s reporting on Monterey County. And you get to vote on the news, up-and-down, Digg-style. If you haven’t done it yet, try it.Customer Service
Have a question or want assistance getting around our website, need the helping hand of a human? Call me at 394-5656 extension 119.
NEW AND EXCITING (or soon to come)
We don’t want to give away all our juicy secrets, but here are a couple of projects we’re committing to delivering before Santa makes his annual trek:RSS Feeds
Um, as any self-respecting news junkie or netizen would know, we should have had feeds back in 2004, and we don’t have any good excuses for pushing this one off the top of the to-do list. But come to think of it, we do have some cool pictures of our chief programmer’s newborn son. Click on the RSS button at the bottom of a site to subscribe.Newsletter
Coming soon: a concise digest e-mailed to you outlining what to look forward to on the web this week and in the Weekly, plus coupons and special deals.Community Resources, Connections & Conversations
Connect with local, like-minded folks in the community who share your interests.Make Us Your Home Page
With today’s buzz, today’s calendar, today’s classifieds and today’s comments, make Monterey County Weekly online a place to experience the Now. www.montereycountyweekly.com.