SOLLER WEB – Made in Soller

Soller Web – ‘Made in Soller’
Photographs by Rachel Fox

The Soller Web story began over ten years ago with the relocation of a group of families to the Soller Valley .  They arrived with their ideas, businesses and children to make a new life in the Tramuntana.  A web designer here, a writer there, a photographer over there.  What they all had in common was frustration with the lack of information available to them. They wanted to know about events, concerts, special occasions, which restaurant was great for a five star meal … or alternatively for a snack with the kids, which hotel would be good for their friends to stay at, but back then they struggled to find it. The local papers were useful up to a point but the Soller Valley grapevine seemed to work on whispers which meant that you had to hear from someone ‘in the know’ before you were updated.  The frustration of finding out about an event after it happened began the groundswell that has resulted in Sollerweb.
Tracey Ivell is the Website Designer and co owner with me – Shirley Roberts -of Sollerweb. Tracey is from the IT corporate design world of major PLC’s back in the UK .  Her relocation to Biniaraix snuggled in the mountains of the Tramuntana was the start of the brand that is now Sollerweb.  Tracey worked with businesses in Majorca designing sites and giving IT training and support.  As she developed her knowledge of the island she bought up various domain names she might have a use for as her future plans crystallised.  A busy life bringing up her twin girls and keeping the home fires burning for a commuting husband allowed little time for empire building. The name ‘SollerWeb’ sat in the part of Tracey’s brain marked – ‘great name’ need to activate soon.’

Rachel Fox is a name that Bulletin readers are familiar with as she is the Photographer of Soller. Her pictures are published every Tuesday in the ‘Spotlight on Soller’ page.  Rachel is the skilled lady of a multiplicity of lenses.  She has held exhibitions of her landscape and portrait works and is rarely to be found without a camera in her hand.  Rachel had a previous life in Majorca and taught biology to a generation of children in two International Schools here.  These days she is developing her own business niche market from her home base in Soller while continuing to take pictures on behalf of Sollerweb and the Bulletin. A busy family life together with many business ideas floating in her brain sums up Rachel Fox.

Anja Wester is a Sky Diver with over 3000 jumps to her credit; she is also Soller Web’s latest employee.  Anja’s adventure loving and sailing family gave her a thirst for excitement and high adrenaline rush from their home base in Stuttgart .  Training in computers and Photoshop applications was left behind while she travelled the world on an adventure all her own.  She taught sky diving in Arizona and had the best time before sailing most of the world to finally put her roots down with her husband and three children in Soller.  A little retraining on the creative side of the computer and she was good to go to join another big adventure called SollerWeb and translate it all into German.

Shirley Roberts – that’s me!  My story is one of relocating to the Soller Valley as a part of a three generational family move.  I was ready to change direction from an ultra busy life in London to – you’ve guessed it – the same in Majorca .  I have written weekly articles for the best part of seven years for the Daily Bulletin and for my alter ego ‘Soller Shirley’.  The Face book Page of ‘Soller Shirley’ started four years ago and was the beginning of bridging the information gap in the Soller Valley .  More and more people read the blogs and asked many questions.  There was such a thirst for detailed answers from people who really knew the area about what made it tick.  This readership development happened at the same time as the unprecedented growth in new English speaking families arriving in the Soller Valley .  The time had come for the writing and information stream to match up with state of the art website development.
SollerWeb is the product of the expertise of two people who live and belong to the Soller Valley .  We have lived here long enough to have the beginnings of understanding the culture, the people and the way things work.  We remain excited by the events and sometimes overwhelmed by how much is going on here.  Concerts, Art, Fine Dining and culture in all its forms is thriving and deserves the wider audience that good information exchange can bring.  Sollerweb started its life in March 2014  and incorporates the ‘Soller Shirley’ stories which are updated many times each day. This section tells stories of the Valley as they happen and gives information on events and occasions. Posters for events and photographs are uploaded here and on to the calendar section of SollerWeb constantly and make this part of the site as vibrant and current as it possibly can be which keep people coming back again and again.
With Tracey Ivell at the website helm constant development is the buzz word and since the launch in March we have had three phases.  In June the Tramuntana Section of the site was added with its link to the stories of the people of the Soller Valley .  The story list currently stand at 170 and is added to weekly.  This section also saw Sollerweb link with Amazon to bring books and Art of the Tramuntana direct to your door.

Last week the Residents section of the site was launched giving seven more areas of choice for people contemplating moving here and those wanting general information.  Add to that the Special Offers for residents and the Classified Advertising section and the door of Sollerweb was opened to businesses outside the Valley to offer their services to our readers.

To be the information source for the Soller Valley and its villages meant developing relationships with many people from the Town Hall to the bar in the street that are having a music night.  There is no doubt they wondered at first if we were another website company with a good idea who would quickly run out of steam.  This is a very common complaint about websites and the truth is that any site is only ever as good as the last entry on it.  Sollerweb is very glad to say that we enjoy great co operation now from the Town Hall and many of the event organisers of the Soller Valley .  Indeed a testimonial   came in last week from the Classical Music Festival of Soller who credited the regular publicity that we gave the series this year as a serious contributor to their bumper success this season.

Sollerweb is a very exciting place to be right now.  We love being at the heart of events and the gossip of the Valley and letting you know about it.  Our readership survey in the analytics of our site shows that so many of you are following our stories from all around the world and this is very gratifying for us.  Indeed the compliment we hear most often is from people who have homes here but don’t live here all the time.

 They tell us that they feel so connected with the Soller Valley while they are away by checking in each day on the site to see what the Soller Valley is up to.
Sollerweb was born here in the Soller Valley and has a wonderful story to tell as the site grows into all we have got planned for 2015.  Give us a wave if you see our Soller Web car with its sunshine logo as we drive all over the island.  And please – check us out on – you will be very glad you did.

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