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26 Oct 2014 Shetland Daily is the Shetland news portal for local, regional and national news about the Shetland Islands. The Shetland news, brought to you by Shetland Daily, is provided by a wide range of media sources.
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Some history about www.shetland-news.co.uk
 

'The Shetland News' online
- November 1995 to April 2011 -

In the Beginning
Over 15 years ago, in late 1995, while sitting in the back of a relatively small boat in rough seas off Noss, Graeme Storey had the idea of launching the old weekly, printed newspaper 'The Shetland News' (1885 - 1963) as an Internet-only, daily news service. It would become the first such news service in the UK, and only the tenth such news service in Europe.

Chatting with his fellow boat occupant, the plan was initially developed on the way back to the shelter of Lerwick harbour, a new company was soon formed (Zetnews Ltd), and The Shetland News was seen in cyberspace for the first time on Thursday, 23rd November 1995. It was an immediate hit with many thousands of Internet-surfing Shetlanders, living far and wide across the globe, eager for news from back home.

ZetNet Services Ltd kindly provided the fledgling online venture with some web space to get going, and by 1st January 1996 The Shetland News was feeling confident enough to establish its own, permanent home at this domain name (www.shetland-news.co.uk)

Through many interesting periods, some turbulent and some quiet (Zetnews Ltd was dissolved in 2000), The Shetland News always lived at www.shetland-news.co.uk, designed, re-designed and IT managed by Graeme Storey (trading as Force 10) and under his personal guardianship, and ownership, until early 2011.

2003 re-launch
A brand new, bespoke website in March 2003, along with new writers and an official re-launch, heralded a recent golden age for The Shetland News online, with readers and website traffic growing steadily year by year.

Of course, the IT requirements steadily increased too, and as demands for more facilities and features emerged at various times over the years, Force 10 added ticker-tape headline displays, click-counters, a new search facility, updated graphics and page designs regularly, and ensured that the archives were kept under control on a regular monthly basis.

Bespoke Design
Special software often had to be written by Force 10, or adapted, as the needs of The Shetland News were unique. All templates, graphics, buttons, lines and design elements were always uniquely created too, because a well made bespoke website can better stand out from the crowd of template-driven websites on the Internet and, for example, is often more easily browsed by people with mobile devices. The bespoke approach also allowed Force 10 to incorporate features that could not be found anywhere else - giving the website a more personalised touch that enabled it to better preserve some of the desirable aspects of its illustrious heritage from The Shetland News in its old, printed form.

Along the way, the online Shetland Marine News was also specially designed and set up by Force 10, focussing on the maritime issues of the day as they affected Shetland and it, too, proved successful, albeit to a more limited market.

Dependable Hardware
In October 2008, both websites, along with their ever-expanding archives, were moved to Force 10's own state-of-the-art, high-speed, dedicated web and email server in Leeds, a very complicated operation that was planned for months in advance, with duplicate websites running alongside each other for a while, and yet the move seemed to go wholly unnoticed by the general public. The move had to be made, due to the demands proving too much for the previous web-space provider to handle, there was simply too much traffic too many readers!

The Force 10 server, (currently running around 50 commercial websites in April 2011 - most designed and managed by Force 10) offers very advanced, secure and high-speed facilities, and allows high numbers of people to access it simultaneously. In fact, the Force 10 server has always behaved absolutely faultlessly, no matter what level of demand has ever been placed on it by The Shetland News website (and all the other websites running at the same time), and the IT measures, put in place and constantly monitored and managed by Force 10, have always ensured a reliable and dependable service for readers and advertisers alike.

Advantage was fully taken of the new facilities and speed when an opt-in newsletter facility was setup by Force 10 in November 2008 and this boosted readership figures even more. Each time a newsletter was sent out the server was hit by around 1000 visitors within 20 to 30 minutes but this was always well within its traffic capabilities.

Counting Success
By the end of 2010, The Shetland News website, along with its archives, was occupying around 2.9 Gigabytes of storage space (with over 40,000 files in over 1,500 folders), and was generating web traffic of over 600 Gigabytes per month. To put some human figures to the story, during 2010 there were just over 2 million visitors to www.shetland-news.co.uk with over 206,000 visitors in December alone.

2011 Events
In early March 2011, the journalists who had been providing stories for this website decided to leave, setting up a competing news website, which put things into an unexpected state of 'limbo'.

However, that is not the end of the story.

2011 - A New Beginning, a New Concept and a New Name - 'Shetland Daily'
Launched
at the same web address of www.shetland-news.co.uk on 1st May 2011 as a comprehensive news portal with a new name - to avoid local confusion and to better reflect the service provided - Shetland Daily brings you news feeds from at least a dozen different local, regional and national media sources, conveniently gathered in one place. Because the news feeds are updated automatically, you can be sure you will always be able to browse the latest Shetland-related stories as they appear on the Internet. The idea of a one-stop-news-service has already met with considerable positive comment.

Shetland Daily welcomes any offers of Articles, Reviews, Sports Reports, Pictures, etc. for publication. Additional sections of the website will be built and developed as required. You may Contact Shetland Daily HERE

26 April 2011
Personal Thanks

To end this short history lesson on a very positive note, I would like to personally thank the many tens of thousands of people who have visited this website over so many years, and who have contributed to my sense of satisfaction at being able to help provide a professional, and reliable service in the great and honourable tradition of the original, printed paper, The Shetland News. I also greatly appreciate the many kind words I have received, during the last 15 years, regarding the various versions of The Shetland News websites that have been here until recently.

It is because of demand from you, the readers, that we have launched this Shetland news portal, and we thank you for your encouragement. We are also very grateful to the news providers and the advertisers, all of whom should see clear benefit from being part of the new Shetland Daily venture, now part of the Scottish company News Online Ltd

Thank you all

Graeme Storey
News Online Ltd

 

 
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