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BACK IN THE mid-1990s, when The Free Lance-Star first went on the Web, we didn't really know what direction our online business was going to take.
Our earliest efforts, which eventually became Fredericksburg.com, grew slowly as we learned what a great opportunity we had to deliver news straight to someone's computer screen. Our audience got bigger as more people found their way to the Web.
We even helped some of those early readers get online--for a while, we sold dial-up Internet access, and more than once some of us went to people's homes or offices to get their computers connected.
Getting people connected, in fact, is our goal at The Free Lance-Star and Fred
Our company's vision is to be the indispensable information source for our community, and that means we have to constantly evaluate the job we're doing to make sure we've got the right people, products and resources in place to get you the information you need, when and where you need it.
We've made some investments and changes this year, for instance, to redesign Fredericksburg.com. We're removing a lot of clutter from the site. We're focusing the main news section on the latest news and posts from our own staff members as well as members of our community. And we've created a design that will adapt itself to the size of your screen so you get the same information on your PC, tablet device or smartphone.
We've also worked with a local mobile design company called Deedod to create a site especially for tablet devices such as iPads, Google Nexuses and Kindle Fires. The new site, Free
As we create these new products and try to maintain the quality of all of our products, however, we need to make sure we're running a healthy business. We employ more than 330 local people to put our products together every day. We are a locally owned, locally run, multimedia organization. That's rare in the news business these days, and we intend to keep it that way.