Originally, our goal was to build a Channel Tunnel between Hungary and the US. ...Ya know,
pick and shovel, keyboard and mouse…
Then we figured, Well, why not a tunnel under all seven seas?
Come take a peek.
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Come and see the thousand faces of Hungary and the Hungarian culture.
March 19, 2009
Since its launch in March 2007, Puszta.com has attracted numerous readers from all over the world, and has won a coveted spot in the list of multilingual online magazines of the Hungarian countryside.
From concept to launch
Puszta.com was conceived among a group of talented young entrepreneurs who wanted to surround themselves with creativity and passion. We explored the travel websites – the field we first were going into – and found some that were very useful, but also found there were a couple of things missing: a multilingual website focusing specifically on the countryside, and a Hungarian e-zine with a clean, positive, encouraging voice. In 2006, there seemed to be a lot of copy/paste websites focusing on tourism, and especially on accommodations, however, one thing seemed to be widespread: even if they had foreign language pages, those were written for a Hungarian audience, and then translated into another language by a Hungarian. The quality of the foreign language texts was downright discouraging.
About six months down the road from our first steps, we realized that we needed to adjust our approach, but knew we wanted to keep focusing on the puszta, the countryside. And yes, we knew that we will be investing into the poorer, more neglected side of the country. But there was also a driving force within our team: we should do what’s right and what comes naturally – use our knowledge and skills to draw attention to and develop the region we live in. And throughout financial difficulties and hardships, we stayed on that track, because we knew that if we truly love what we do, and follow that passion, the success will follow.
We had a name, a concept, the domain name and hosting, a Webmaster and a couple of programmers; we designed the Puszta.com website, and started working on content. We attended tourism and regional development meetings, fairs and conferences, and started introducing people to the website's name. One of the most common reaction to it was somewhere between surprise and disbelief: who would think of associating ‘puszta’ with ‘.com’?
Although we launched the site in late 2006, early 2007, we mark Puszta.com’s birthday as March 19, 2007, when we created a Google Analytics account for it. We had a handful of articles, a growing accommodations database, and zero readers. What now?
The learning curve
Our team of reckless dreamers came from various backgrounds, none of which had to do much with online publishing. But we were all ready to fully invest ourselves in the work, and to do whatever it takes to create something unique in its kind, something outstanding, something gratifying, something useful. Not only for us and our readers, but for the whole region we cover.
Although we had people assigned to various tasks, some of our best ideas for layout, design, content, and marketing came from brainstorming sessions in the main office hub, or from lively lunchroom chatters. We worked together on themes, content editing, and securing freelance translators/writers. Most of us had a “pet column”, and one of our colleagues is still at the head of the Recipes column (Hungarian, English, and German) she launched in 2006.
We also had two interns, a PR/marketing major from a Hungarian university, and an International Business major from Arizona, USA. In a sense, we all were (and still are) interns, continually learning the trade, and applying new knowledge to improving various aspects of the e-zine. And of course, readers and business- and media partners are also all members of our editorial staff: Puszta.com is a group effort, and we strive to turn it into a great community.
As a result of our persistence and dedication, Puszta.com has generated around 400,000 pageviews to day, from some 8,000 cities of the world. Just imagine what would that look like if we had received any financial support for it.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST
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