AboutMalta.com is the world’s first Malta-related website. It was founded by Maltese native Grazio Falzon, who wrote the following text about how it came to be.
How did GRAZIO’S MALTA VIRTWALI come to be?
In the late 1980’s I discovered the Internet for the first time. I was professor of Romance Languages at Pacific University, Oregon, USA,. At that time, my interest in the Net was researching academic material related to my courses
In 1993, my family and I moved to Maryland. Here my incipient interest in the Internet became a passionate hobby. I remember my frustration trying to find something–anything– about Malta.
I decided to start a site about Malta myself. With the help of an American friend I had met online I published an embryonic ‘page’ which I called: MERHBA – WELCOME TO MALTA. The material generated an amazing response. Encouraged, I decided to learn HTML and web design and to keep expanding this nascent site.
My new goal was to establish a comprehensive, user-friendly site. It was an exciting and empowering time! I was inundated with email from visitors who knew of or had visited Malta. Those first months I never heard from native Maltese. A few years later, Malta came aboard the Web.
Overnight, a variety of Malta sites mushroomed.
It’s absolutely amazing the interest our native island has generated!
Later I heard from Pierre Mizzi of Logix Communications, Malta. He suggested I rename my siteGrazio’s Malta Virtwali (modified logo): GRAZIO’S MALTA VIRTWALI. Hesitantly, I agreed. Pierre created the attractive original logo. Later I modified it a bit.
GMV rapidly became an enormous and intensive commitment. I obsessively added new material and links. The daily flood of email became (and still is) a tidal wave! I receive thousands of complimentary email. Only once did I receive an anonymous nasty and vulgar comment from a Maltese, based in Malta.
I never imagined the eventual popularity of that cyber-baby ‘conceived’ in Westminster, Maryland. I’m grateful to several wonderful people from different countries who helped me enhance the website. GMV is now listed in many search engines and mentioned in hundreds of sites.
By 1999 I was nearly burned out keeping the website up to date. GMV had grown into a Melitosaurus! It was too much of a job for one Maltese ‘exiled’ to the the American Midwest. Much as I enjoyed the many fascinating people I have met virtually, I was tempted to pull the plug on the website. There seemed to be a veritable ‘festa’ of Malta sites .
Coincidentally, Toni Sant and Martin Debattista of MaltaMedia contacted me with an offer to redesign my website. I accepted. My gut feeling was that GMV now had the expertise and manpower to morph into an even more comprehensive and up-to-date website.
South Bend, Indiana, USA
January 28, 2000