It was exactly at this time in the year 2000 that we started to set up the company, register names and copyrights and generally do the necessary groundwork, before launnching aour first edition about Andalucia.
We then produced a mock up of our proposed printed version on the desk printer to see if the idea of a marbella web directory was acceptable to advertisers.
Everyone we talked to thought it was an excellent idea. "A Printed Portal distributed free! What a fantastic way to promote Andalusia, the Costa del Sol and everyone's website too!"
Despite the fact that advertisers are cautious with new publications, not just because they might go out of business after collecting money, but because it can damage the advertisers' image, we still had enough advertisers' support to permit the first edition to be launched in May.
I still remember the emotion brought about by the many faxes and emails we received from people all over the Costa, especially Marbella, when the publication came out, congratulating us on the launching of this most welcome concept and wishing us every future success. This does not happen very often, I can tell you.
We have come a long way since. Our recent website is now a well designed and fully blown Portal. It is the fifth time we replace it to meet the changing and more demanding market conditions. I think we have got it right this time, although updating the information is a massive job. .
The quality of our printed "Portazine¬©" and the design of each page and advert have never been better. We have even introduced a new, modern logo, although I must confess, I am still attached to the first original globe of the world and three colours text design.
We have even got as far as launching a second edition in Sheffield, just to prove that it works there too.
It has taken us a lot of time, dedication and will power to get this far with the object of providing a good service to advertisers as well as readers and users. Our objective has always been to serve the community and represent it the way it wishes to be seen.
It is unfortunate that the growing number of aggressive competition, both printed and online, in an attempt to simulate our concept to entice business, have somewhat fogged our concept and purpose in the eyes of advertisers. Nevertheless, what is important is that they cannot fob our readers, they certainly like what we do and are keen readers of Web Express Guide both in print as well as online, that is what counts on the long term.
We choose the occasion of our 5th birthday to reassure everyone that it is our full intention to persevere with our mission and get even better at it. Starting with this edition, as you will notice, we have increased the number of pages.