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The brave new world of The-Signal.com

By Leon Worden
Wednesday, June 17, 1998

Y
our hometown newspaper just went high-tech.

Now, when your kid's picture makes the front page of The Signal, your relatives on the other side of the country can see it the same day. Now, when you're away on business or vacation, you can see what's going on in Santa Clarita without missing a beat.

For the last week and a half, The Signal has been published "live" on the Internet. Probably the most common remark from visitors to The Signal's Web site over the last two years has been, "Where's the news?" Now it's there, seven days a week.

The-Signal.com has been completely overhauled so that by noon each day, you can read the major local stories from the main section of the paper, sports and business. You'll see all of The Signal's regular and guest columnists, as well as the lead stories from your favorite sections of the paper — including LifeStyle, Vitality and Escape.

All the "old" features are still there, too, like "Tell It," the classifieds and the guestbook, along with a current five-day local weather forecast and a link to the Community Calendar maintained by Carmen Sarro at the city.

"The-Signal.com" is all you really need to remember. Netscape and Explorer should find it without those annoying http's and www's. But if you're linking your own site to The Signal's — and please do — the full address is http://www.the-signal.com.

The Signal has come a long way since the first single-sheet edition hit the streets of Newhall on Feb. 7, 1919. The-Signal.com is now the only source for current online news designed specifically for the Santa Clarita Valley, and the folks who run the paper are taking it seriously.

It's a totally free service, available to anyone in the world with Web access. And those numbers are continuing to explode. Soon there won't be many people who aren't plugged in and turned on. The technological revolution of the 1990s has forever changed the way we get information.

Putting computers in classrooms has done more than just increase the number of resources available for school kids. It has altered the way they see the world. The universe is at their fingertips, and there is no turning back. Tomorrow, most kids in school today will get their information by signing on for a few minutes, scanning the headlines and moving on.

The Signal will be there, ready and waiting with everything that's going on around town. The-Signal.com is expected to quickly become the most heavily trafficked Web site in the Santa Clarita Valley. If there's one thing universally accepted in the Internet community, it's that you can have the prettiest site in the world, but what keeps 'em coming back is updating it all the time. Certainly no one in this valley can provide "fresh content" every day like The Signal.

That's why The-Signal.com is a great place to advertise your product or service. "There's the catch!" you say. Well, if The-Signal.com is to be free to the user, it must exist on advertising revenue alone. It's a win-win-win situation: the end user wins by getting free information, the advertiser wins by getting exposure to thousands of potential customers every day, and The Signal wins by positioning itself to provide news in the way most people will get it in the coming century.

Watch for exciting changes and additions in the weeks and months ahead. Check it out daily and place your ad by calling the advertising department at 259-1234 or send e-mail to Lworden@the-signal.com. Your ad can (and should) link to your existing site, or we can create and host one for you.

It's a brave new world, and The-Signal.com is ready for it.

* * *

There will always be those who yearn for the older, slower days. If you're one, you'll want to come to the Saugus Train Station tonight at 7:30, when living history characters will be on hand to provide a snapshot of life on the ranch of Thomas F. Mitchell, the 19th-century founder of modern-day Canyon Country.

* * *

Those with an artistic flair should visit the Barnes and Noble book store on Valencia Boulevard, where the SCV Artists Association is displaying multi-media works by local artists through June 29.

    Leon Worden is The Signal's special sections editor.

    ©1999 LEON WORDEN — ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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