What was to become the Intown network began in late 1994 by Geelong locals, David Stonehouse and Gary Watts. We began in our back rooms building a very basic technology site on our 3 and 486 computers using little more than notepad and a slow dial up modem and Windows 3.1 and tinkering with html code. This led to building a few simple websites for customers who wanted to join the emerging wonder called the internet.
Things were very basic, there were no digital cameras, the browser could display 256 colours and there was no rich media, video or interactivity. The fanciest option was a flashing gif. Sites we take for granted today like Google, Ebay, Facebook and even Internet Explorer were years away.
© Copyright BBC Television
Our original technology gained momentum so we relaunched and re-branded it as Gizmo Highway. One day we woke up to an enormous spike in hits as to our surprize BBC Television’s ‘Click Online’ program featured our site (watch the episode) on one of their episodes. This brought Gizmo Highway to a brand new audience and gave us some confidence for our next projects.
During 1998 we started to build a ‘Whats on In Geelong Guide’ and became the first website about Geelong. We soon learnt that the site could be expanded to include tourism information, events and other stories about our region. By early 1999 www.intown.com.au was launched as a fairly basic site but soon grew to become the region’s premier tourist and entertainment guide, it wasn’t long before we were attracting tens of thousands of visitors a month and getting our name out into the community.
1999 saw Intown design interactive touch screen and a website for the Ford Discovery Centre. Websites for Geelong Supercats, a relationship that lasts over a decade, and websites for Geelong’s biggest events New Year on the Pier and the Pako Festa. We were not only able to build a stand alone website for our customers but had a perfect mechanism with Intown to help promote their site with ads and editorial support.
Intown grew from strength to strength and David and Gary went to work on expanding the suite of products. Within Cooee was the next website to be launched and focused on Australian travel. Wokme soon followed and became our first Asian themed site bringing the rich tastes and aromas of Asian cooking to our suite.
2006 we lauched a series of blogs, the most popular was the beer blog Hoppsy. The random travel site Tripandom followed along with a transport blog called Transeum.
Intown Entertainment purchased a Las Vegas travel website in late 2008, bringing the glitter of the popular US gaming city to the suite. After several trips to Las Vegas the site has been expanded and visitors are steadily growing.
2011 saw the Intown network enter the social network with our suite of sites joining both Twitter and Facebook. This has given us the ability to interact directly with our visitors in real time. We could now do live event updates and bring our stories to a brand new audience.
The highlight of 2011 was the launch of the Geelong region’s first smart phone app. Intown launched its Geelong tourism app, featuring events, and highlights of our region on three platforms Apple IOS, Google Android and Blackberry. See Geelong Advertiser Article.
2012 saw upgrades to the Intown Smartphone app and the launch of a web based version for Windows and other platforms. Over 1000 copies of the app were downloaded in the first month after launch.
2014 Intown launches Youtube and Instagram feeds. Twitter and Facebook receive strong growth.
2014 saw the 10,000th photograph added to Intown. The site features close to 1000 pages about our region and has over 250 galleries. The Intown Cat is launched as our mascot and we become a sponsor of the All Ford Day, Australia’s biggest Ford vehicle event.
2015 saw David and Gary launch the region’s first Apple iTunes Book. The Intown Geelong Yearbook took a look back at some of the wonderful events and other highlights that Intown featured from the Geelong region during the year. The book features over 40 pages of photographs capturing some magnificent moments.
2015 Intown continues long standing support of St Joseph’s Football & Netball Club with the launch of a brand new website.