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Saturday, 31 March 2007

Dave Gilbert has worked on online news delivery for 13 years. Now, he's leaving the fold. In this BBC article, he reminisces on the way it all started, in 1994.

The first web page I ever saw was a site detailing the paintings in the Louvre. A friend thought I might be interested in seeing what she described as a "deluxe computer messaging system accessible via the telephone network".

He recalls colleagues thinking it was all a "cranky fad". "The shrewdest comments came from the newspaper advertising executives who wondered where the revenue would come from."

"It's a question some are still asking."

In the early days there were only four journalists managing the output, working graveyard shifts next to the obituaries department.

. . .

Today, Telegraph journalists consider the web as an integral part of their job and work in a modern news hub serving both platforms.

In the comments, Andrea from West Yorkshire recalls similar, small groups of journalists handling the Web site. "Unfortunately, the intense production methods led to severe RSI... and for me, that was that!"

Chris of Chester says "Technical experience is worth nothing in the web world, because the web of 1994 - or even 2000 - is of no greater relevence today than the manual typewriter."

"BBC News has consistently been at the front of the online news world, for quality, content and design. I honestly believe this is the best designed site on the Internet today," says Matt Dovey of Skegness.

Dominic Collard of London says "I think you'll find that the first, and still the best, UK newspaper website was from the Guardian."

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