Sun.ONE Launched March 1 (fwd)

Date: Sun Mar 05 1995 - 00:48:12 PST

Hi, folks. I'm passing this along as an example of something good a
publisher is doing in Florida with regard to providing _both_ plain text
and graphical information. If you're in Florida and can afford to call
this BBS, so much the better.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 2 Mar 1995 17:59:59 -0800
From: Steve Outing <>
Subject: Sun.ONE Launched March 1

I'm a little backed up (serious understatement) with email, so this may
already be old news, though I don't recall seeing the release yet on these
lists. I apologize in advance if this is a repeat message for you. This is from
Rob Oglesby, new media director, The Gainesville (Fla.) Sun. --Steve


Gainesville Sun, University of Florida
Roll Out Electronic Newspaper March 1

   GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 1) - The Gainesville Sun and the Interactive
Media Laboratory at the University of Florida College of Journalism and
Communications will open their Sun.ONE online news and entertainment service
Wednesday to the public.

    The experimental bulletin board service is accessible at (904) 846-2000.
It offers both a plain text interface, as well as a graphical interface so
that anyone with a modem equipped computer can access the system. In addition
to the BBS access, a developmental site is on the World Wide Web at

    Sun Publisher John Fitzwater said, "The Gainesville market has one of the
highest ratios of computers and modems per household in America. This makes
Gainesville an ideal market to launch such an endeavor. We are very excited
about the potential."

   Sun.ONE, an electronic companion to The Gainesville Sun, part of The New
York Times Regional Newspaper Group, will contain an array of local, state,
national and international news selected and edited by students from a broad
budget of stories provided by The Sun and three wire services. The Sun is
also providing classified and display advertising to the Sun.ONE project.

    Sun.ONE initially will be available to all callers for up to 30 minutes a
day at no charge. Supporting memberships allowing 3 hours use per day will be
sold on-line for as little as $5.95 a month plus tax.

     Former journalism Dean Ralph Lowenstein proposed the project to
Fitzwater in early 1994. Lowenstein said he believes Sun.ONE is the first
online news joint venture between a university and a daily newspaper.

    Terry Hynes, the new dean of journalism at the UF, said, "We believe
that, together with The Sun, we can become a pathfinder for the newspaper
industry through Sun.ONE. We see this project as breaking new ground in
interactive communication."

   Selected stories from the next day's print edition of The Gainesville Sun
will appear on Sun.ONE the evening before, as will news from the Associated
Press, The New York Times News Service and Scripps Howard News Service. Final
story selection, editing and headline writing is being performed by
journalism students at the UF.

    "Sun.ONE is an exciting extension of our ability to provide this
community with quality and useful information in a readily available manner,"
said Jim Osteen, The Sun's executive editor.

 The Sun.ONE project is being headed by Prof. David E. Carlson at the UF and
Rob Oglesby, director of new media at The Gainesville Sun. Oglesby said he
was pleased with the cooperative effort among participants. "From information
providers such as the wire services to the many individuals at the newspaper,
the Times Co. and the university who lent their support to this project, we
owe a debt of gratitude," he said. "Without them, this would not have been

     A survey of Sun newspaper subscribers conducted by the UF last spring
concluded there are more than 30,000 PC-equipped households in the market
area. Of those, 17,500 have modems. A more recent market survey commissioned
by The Sun showed 27 percent of the county's households were "very likely" or
"somewhat likely" to subscribe to Sun.ONE.

    "The penetration of PCs and modems is growing significantly and as it
does, so too does the potential for new newspaper products delivered to those
computers," Carlson said. "We at UF are excited about the opportunity for
students to learn this emerging area of journalism."

     "I am encouraged by early signs of interest in the advertising
community," said David Minnich, The Sun's advertising director. The Sun has
already pre-sold several display advertising screens. First Union Bank of
Alachua County is sponsoring the duplication of Sun.ONE software disks that
will be distributed free to IBM-compatible PC owners who want a graphical
interface to the text-based service. Software is under development by at
least two companies to provide a graphical interface to Sun.ONE for Macintosh

   Sun.ONE is a bulletin board system running on The Major BBS software
manufactured by Galacticomm Inc. The graphical version of Sun.ONE is
supported by RIPterm version 1.54 freeware manufactured by Telegrafix
Communications Inc. It is downloadable through Sun.ONE.

Two Pentium-chip Dell computers, one of them for backup and development, are
the platform for Sun.ONE, which will launch with 48 lines on March 1.

In addition to news and display advertising, Sun.ONE offers a searchable
classified advertising database, electronic mail services among system
members, teleconferencing or "chat" capabilities and forums for posting
comments about a variety of topics.

For Lowenstein, who left his 18-year deanship last August to devote more
time to the electronic newspaper project, Sun.ONE realizes a 25-year vision.
"Is the timing right? I strongly believe so. Because of the advance in
inexpensive computers, we can launch this project with little risk, while
learning whether it is an acceptable way to deliver news and advertising.
Gainesville is the right place at the right time to initiate this innovative

General and technical information:
David Carlson, University of Florida
voice: 904-846-0171

General information:
Rob Oglesby, The Gainesville Sun
voice: 904-374-5037

Advertising information:
David Minnich, advertising director, The Gainesville Sun, 904-374-5015
Harold Griner, advertising account executive, The Gainesville Sun,

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