WASHINGTON – After nearly 15 years, the oldest name in independent news on the Internet is being retired.
On New Year’s Day 2012, “America’s Independent News Network” got a new name, a new look and a whole new attitude as WND replaces the familiar WorldNetDaily logo.
“About the only thing that remains is the mission and the founding commitment to independent investigative reporting that is second to none in exposing fraud, waste, abuse and corruption in government and other powerful institutions in need of watchdogging,” says Joseph Farah, founder and CEO. “We’ll definitely maintain the same fiercely independent commitment to the truth – maybe even step it up a notch or two.”
The redesign has been in the works for a solid year, says Farah, “because the older and deeper the website, the harder it is to reinvent it.”
“We’ve actually been shifting away from the WorldNetDaily name for many years,” explained Farah. “It was used in only a few places before Jan. 1, including the top of the page. But we are all much more comfortable with WND shorthand than the old longer nameplate.”
Farah said the change was a marketing decision based on the ease of remembering a three-letter site amid the increasing noise and clutter of an Internet with hundreds of millions of competing sites. WND has been using WND.com as its primary domain for more than a decade.
“WND is becoming the corporate identity now,” he said. “Few people remember what CNN stands for any more. But there was a day that the company touted its original name – Cable News Network. Times change and so do corporate identities and logos.”
The redesigned site is more than just skin deep. In addition to the visual redesign, it incorporates a brand-new content management system, a new search engine and database and new editorial features.
“Keep in mind, there have been a few changes in the Internet world since we first launched WorldNetDaily,” said Farah. “There was no Google back then. There were no apps. There were no blogs – the word had not been invented. There was hardly any broadband available to consumers. There was no video. There was no Amazon. To give you an idea of how long ago it was and what a different world we lived in, MSNBC.com was the largest news site and Fox News was just getting started.”
WorldNetDaily came online in May 1997 as the first independent online news agency. WND remains today the largest, among the top 500 websites in the U.S. and the top 2,500 in the world. It also ranks among the very top news sources on the Internet in the categories of unique visitors, page impressions and time spent per user. Based on consumer voting, it was ranked the most popular website in the world for 100 straight weeks by the European-based Global 100 website.