VilaWeb (formerly known as La Infopista) was incorporated in May 1995, designed originally as a local directory which aimed to bring together, in Catalan language, all of the websites which were being managed in our country or which made reference to it. It was formed by a group of journalists who had already been working with the traditional media for many years, and who were consequently seeking the way to integrate the tradition of journalism into that fledgling invention.
One year later its birth (May 1995), La Infopista, directory of Internet in Catalan language, turned into VilaWeb and extended its offer of services till to become a complete online system.
In June 1996 we decided to start up local editions of the newspaper, editions which now operate in more than 90 towns and cities covering all of the country and also the cities of Los Angeles, Mexico, Melbourne, and New York (cities which have an active Catalan community and which are also interesting in their own right). We want to emphasise in this respect that our project is absolutely open to globality and has no intention whatsoever to close itself in its own country. It simply prioritises the presentation of information in function of the parameters which we consider most appropriate to our public.
Today VilaWeb is already the third electronic newspaper based in Barcelona and the only Internet-born media to be among the top ten newspapers in the whole Spanish State. The statistics of the Office of Justification of Diffusion (OJD), which in Spain is the body which monitors the sales figures of the newspapers for publicity purposes, give us a leading circulation in Catalonia, with close to 400.000 users a month.
Since 1997, we have been working on the complete remodelling of VilaWeb and, at the same time, to create several major areas: news, the web directory Nosaltres.Com (which was our origin) and, also, we started up several thematic channels (sports, computing, economy, music, telecommunications, and Cap de 7mana), which aim to create this same feeling of proximity which we have generated with the local editions, but now centred on hobbies or interests (since we understand that proximity is determined not only by geography, and much less so in Internet, which, by definition, is aterritorial). Also, we have implemented a large list of forums a nd a big chat room. VilaWeb has a cooperation agreement with other mass media, institutions and associations in order to organize debates. This sessions have welcomed mayors, ministers, footballers, writers, singers, judges, actors and in general all kinds of public figures. These people voluntarily participate in a virtual press conference where the 'journalists' are the users of VilaWeb themselves. They have the right to ask questions, accepting a series of rules of debate laid down by our editorial board. The results tend to be striking. We conduct this press conference in collaboration with a traditional newspaper, La Vanguardia, and a radio station, COM Ràdio. On 1999, we have created the first Romance language WAP service, called VilaWeb Mòbils, and we launched a huge project called Colles (Internet clubs) on the first quarter of 2000.
Of course, everyday from the VilaWeb front page a service of news is offered, generally with URLs that list informative sources and allow to the users to enlarge their knowledge of the facts. These news can arrive from all over the world, but naturally those of their own country are the most important. We also provide the users with the main articles selected from newspapers from over the world and with special dossiers from Nosaltres.Com on important issues, both local and global. And we continue working...
+ more on VilaWeb concept here
Born with 120 pages connected (May 1995), today Nosaltres.Com has more than 20.000 URLs organised in the following directory:
# Computers and Internet
Newspapers, current events...
# Culture and language
Art, Catalan language, literature...
Banking, companies, institutions...
# Government and politics
Political parties, local and regional councils...
# Individual homepages
# Science and teaching
Scientific institutions, colleges and schools...
Health, traditions, groups and societies...
FC Barcelona, Valencia CF, basketball...
# Virtual Tourism