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The Scotsman Publications Ltd (TSPL) is made up of three newspapers - The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday and the Evening News as well as a number of free titles, The Herald & Post and Motor Market Weekly and its online operation, Scotsman.com.
The Scotsman’s website first appeared in July 1996, thanks to the enthusiastic backing of the late Bob Campbell, then assistant editor of the paper.
Originally, the plan had been to put a weekly version of the Scotsman online. However, the then MD, Warwick Brindle, decided that we should offer a daily service. It was a fairly basic set-up. The three to four best news, business, sport, features and opinion pieces were electronically transferred to an internet café and they put the stories online.
After about ten months, the service was taken entirely in-house as the scale of demand became obvious. The site grew gradually, with more stories and pictures being added.
Over the next couple of years, the Scotsman site was considerably expanded. By the end of 1999, it had become Scotland’s first comprehensive online newspaper. Its sister titles, the Evening News and Scotland on Sunday, then also went online.
The next major change in the evolution of Scotsman.com came on 10 August 2000, when it was relaunched as a portal. This featured ten channels as well as the three online titles. The Scotsman newspaper online was moved to www.thescotsman.co.uk, and www.scotsman.com became the homepage of the portal. In the first month of its existence the portal got 1.4 million page impressions.
In October 2001, after Scotsman.com had been reintegrated into TSPL, the site evolved further by adopting a looser, network structure and focusing heavily on news. The introduction of a dedicated news channel followed on from the success of microsites that had been built to cover the US presidential election, the UK general election and the Afghan conflict. We also built and run the official joint Edinburgh festivals website with great success.
Scotsman.com’s traffic is audited by ABCe (the Audited Bureau of Circulation’s electronic arm). In January 2006 (ABCe audit report - PDF) its pages were looked at 20.7 million times by more than 2.8 million unique users. In September 2003 it won the Newspaper Society's prestigious Best Daily Newspaper on the Internet award for the second year running.