Sharenews.com is back!

Next week, Share will mark its 31st anniversary. Thirty one years of serving our community in this city. But, that’s next week.

This week, we are proud to announce the re-launch of our website, sharenews.com.

It’s been a while now since we have had a web presence. But, there was a reason for that. We wanted to ensure that, when we did return to the Internet, it would be a website of which our readers (and viewers) can be extremely proud.

We believe we have done just that. Of course, you will have to judge for yourself. So, check it out.

Actually, our plan was to launch the site next week to coincide with our anniversary. Over the past week we were still tweaking it to ensure that everything was working properly when a funny thing happened. When we began to do live tests, just an hour or so at a time, to see how the site would look and function, we noticed that we were getting hits. People were actually visiting our unfinished site. So, we took it down. Then we received a couple of calls from folks inquiring what had happened. We had to explain that it was not ready and we were just testing it.

When we put it up again, there were even more hits. It reached the point where we decided that we had to leave it up while we continued to work on it.

That was just over a week ago. Without any promotion, not even word of mouth, the hits keep on coming – and increasing each day. So far, we have received over 1,100 hits.

We can’t wait to see what happens now that we have actually launched.

We have always felt the need to do more than we have been able to do with the newspaper. Now, with sharenews.com, the sky’s the limit. We will be able to post stories and other items of interest daily instead of weekly, for example. You won’t have to wait a week to know what’s happening in our community – and beyond.

You will also be able to respond immediately, if you wish, to any article on the site. Every week, there will be a new poll of something of interest and you will be able to have your say. A poll we posted last weekend asked whether viewers agreed with the Minister of Immigration who said immigrants to Canada should be able to speak one of the two official languages – English or French – before being able to acquire citizenship. We received a number of responses and the result (although unscientific) was a clear ‘No!’ with a vote of 61% to 31% against. You have spoken.

There will be more of these polls and we hope you will take advantage of them.

We will also have blogs on our website to which you can respond; an archive that you can access; a photo gallery of events in our community and videos, together with our usual coverage of local news and sports and, of course, advertising. Where would we be without our advertisers? And everything will be accessible in a clean and easy to navigate format.

This website also provides us a global audience. Many of the issues that concern us here in Toronto also concern people around the world. The fact that we have already had visits from people in over 200 cities shows that there is interest in what we say and do here in our city. It is an amazing opportunity.

We encourage you to visit the site and to share it with your friends. Among those who have already visited are people in Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti and across Canada, the United States and Europe.

We can make a difference.

After 31 years of publishing Share, we are excited about this new venture. And, for all of you who have made this journey with us over those years we thank you and commit ourselves to continue to provide the same diligent, honest, thoughtful and careful reporting you have come to expect from us.

Finally, let us know what you think, what you like (or don’t like) and what you would like to see. Click here to send us your feedback.

Were it not for your support over the years we would not be able to take this next step. Let us take it together.

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