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BRAMA Press Releases

January, 1999
For Immediate Release:

Greetings and Happy New Year to all!

BRAMA - Gateway Ukraine, acclaimed as one of the leading Internet web portals with focus on Ukraine and Ukrainians throughout the world, would like to highlight some of its 1998 achievements and present some of its plans for 1999 and beyond. BRAMA’s 1998 milestones fall into several distinct areas – Alliances and Clients, Content, Functionality, and Event Staging.

Alliances and Clients

Throughout 1998 BRAMA welcomed new organizations to its site providing them with the choice of either basic or virtual hosting. Included in these were: businesses such as Dream Company (a computer programming company based in Kyiv), Eastern Economist (an English-language news agency in Ukraine), Surma - The Ukrainian Shop, ToolExpo (an exhibition firm focusing on worldwide manufacturers and marketers of tools), UBN -- Ukrainian Broadcasting Network (a satellite television, radio, and web-broadcasting media service based in New Jersey); community and arts organizations such as The Ukrainian American Professional and Businesspersons Association of New York and New Jersey -- UAPBA NY/NJ, The Ukrainian Heritage Festival in Yonkers, NY, Mayana Art Gallery and The Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus.

Content

In addition to new client organization webpages, BRAMA has added more content to our already large resource arranged by Subject/Category. Heading the list in the "News" section are BRAMA’s Community Press page and BRAMA/UBN’s Calendar of Events page. Since their introduction both have been proven to be very popular giving Ukrainian communities throughout the world the capablity to draw attention to events and issues of importance to both their respective constituencies and wider audiences.

Additions to our "Travel" section included photo collections of Odessa, Ivano-Frankivsk, and Lviv along with a wonderful and entertaining travel essay. BRAMA was fortunate to obtain permission to publish Leonid Sonnevytsky’s a History of Ukraine, providing readers a concise and neat outline of Ukraine’s History. A "Sports" page was programmed just in time for the Olympics’ fans and we added a section on Current Social Issues which at this time focuses on the trafficking problems in women. Another popular new page is "Political Parties in Ukraine," to which other media organizations such as CNN linked during last March’s elections. An "Education" section was also added which has proven to be a super resource for students. And last, was the arrival of the Christmas Traditions page thanks to content provided by The Ukrainian Museum in New York, Surma, and The Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus.

Functionality

BRAMA has added new functionality over this past year in three key areas: viewer/reader participation/discussion, multimedia, and e-commerce. Web-based bulletin boards provide viewers/readers with excellent forums for the exchange of useful information with respect to particular subjects. In this regard our "Travel" Bulletin Board has met with great success.

But the two hottest changes BRAMA has implemented are audio capablity and its e-commerce "shopping cart". The Realtm server has made it possible for UBN to transmit summaries of its offerings available over the Internet (check the New Year's speech by President Kuchma). In addition, The Shevchenko Scientific Society of America was able to offer some of its presentations to a wider audience (such as former Ambassador Scherbak’s speech at the organization’s 125th anniversary celebration) as well as musical ensembles such as Cheres and The Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus offering samples of its work. Our shopping cart allows readers/viewers to buy CDs , books and other products over the web charging purchases directly to their credit card.

Event Staging

With respect to news and events in 1998, we were pleased to be able to support humanitarian efforts for the flood victims of western Ukraine by providing reports direct from Ukraine, the official Government of Ukraine appeal for aid, and a verified list of places where people could donate the needed items or contribute financially to disaster relief efforts. In addition, in July BRAMA organized and presented a conference at Hunter College in New York City focusing on the tragic trafficking of Ukrainian women problem, giving visiting law enforcement and social welfare officials from Ukraine an opportunity to make presentations in this regard.

Future Plans

Our plans for 1999 include further development along similar lines. We anticipate enhancements to our infrastructure such as database and video functionality, more interactive programming for our users, and of course, even more informative content.

About BRAMA

On the Internet at http://www.brama.com, BRAMA - Gateway Ukraine has thorough, complete, and searchable offerings in the realm of News, Arts & Culture, Business, Computing/Cyrillic Software, Education, Issues, Fun/Humor, Law, Travel, the Government of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Diaspora, as well as Ukraine itself.

Along with providing broad information and software, the site is host to many organizations and individuals, including businesses situated in Ukraine, government agencies of Ukraine, Ukrainian-oriented artists, professional organizations, museums, institutes, libraries, theatre, music and dance companies, all this with regularly updated select links to other Ukraine/Ukrainian-related resources. Viewership to the site grows at an average of 11% per month (or over 320% per year!).

Finally, the site presents as much as possible its offerings (almost equally and in parallel) in two languages - English and Ukrainian, an attribute which no other website of its kind can claim.

BRAMA is grateful to all of its readers and clients, and hopes to serve them as well, if not better, in 1999 and into the next century.

* * * * *

For Immediate Release
July 1, 1998

Dear BRAMA Clients and Friends!

We are very pleased to announce that BRAMA - Gateway Ukraine experienced a major growth spurt in the wee hours of this morning at 2am, July 1, 1998. BRAMA is now Bigger and Faster than ever, having upgraded from a Sparc I server with 100 MB capacity to a spanking new >>> Sun Sparc II dedicated server (2 gigabytes!) with fiber optic T1 and T3 connectivity <<<.

Our new server supports the latest in technological offerings on the Internet for your webpages. We can now offer you the ability to do Realvideo© and Realaudio© transmission, create bulletin boards for your membership, database capability, shopping carts for your sale items, and much more. Best of all, BRAMA can now offer you Virtual Domain Hosting!

www.yourname.com

This option gives you the freedom to maintain your own website with FTP access without having to use BRAMA staff as your intermediary.

We are also very excited about recent developments on the BRAMA website, most notably the addition of the BRAMA/UBN (Ukrainian Broadcasting Network) Calendar of Community Events:

http://www.brama.com/calendar/

This page has been very well received by the greater Ukrainian community as it's the first and only up-to-date accurate and complete resource that is accessible 24 hours a day anywhere in the world! Announce your new exhibition, upcoming lecture, festival, dance, or any other Ukrainian community event by using the form link found at the top of the page. As an added bonus, at this time UBN will announce any submitted community event in the NY/NJ area on it's morning radio program, "This Morning With Us." Look and listen for more future developments at both UBN and BRAMA.

Another terrific new development at BRAMA is the growth of ©UkraiNewstand where we provide easy access to news from and about Ukraine & Ukrainians in English, Ukrainian and Russian, radio broadcasts from Ukraine, and Ukraine's weather reports for the meteorologist in you. And now, ©UkraiNewstand accepts Community Press Releases formatted in your word processor! Your press release will remain on ©UkraiNewstand for up to one month (longer if the article warrants special attention):

http://www.brama.com/news/

Detailed instructions for submitting your press release will be posted to the website shortly, but those of you who have already sent in your latest press releases know that you can simply save your Word document with an HTML extension and send it to us as a web-ready page. If you don't have the ability to convert your Word document into HTML, send us your release in document form as an e-mail attachment and we'll convert it for you. And - you can incorporate your photos into the documents too! Please remember to always date the document at the top and sign your release with an e-mail address and/or URL. Filenames should be a combination of your name plus the date (e.g., "ukrmus062998.html" or shortened to "um062998.html" if you're on an older PC system). This service is _not_ limited to BRAMA clients, so spread the word -- add BRAMA's ©UkraiNewstand to your list of media organizations and let your news reach out to the world!

All in all, since BRAMA's beginnings on May 3, 1997, this website has consistently been a leader in creative development and service to the global Ukrainian community on the Internet, as well as an important resource gaining wide recognition among non-Ukrainian business, news, and other organizations. As always, we are grateful to you, our clients and friends, for your continued support and enthusiasm in building a Ukrainian presence on the WWW with BRAMA.

Hanya Krill
webmaster@brama.com

Myron Smorodsky
myroslaw@smorodsky.com

Max Pyziur
pyz@brama.com

* * * * *

January 5, 1998
For immediate release

BRAMA - Gateway Ukraine located at http://www.brama.com/ is pleased to announce the successful completion of its first eight months of operation and an auspicious beginning in the New Year. Launched on May 4, 1997 as the product of a merger of two other websites, Infomeister-Ukrainian and Ukrainian Law, BRAMA (gate, gateway in Ukrainian), in keeping with its origins, continues to be the vanguard among Ukraine/Ukrainian-related sites.

Focusing on Ukraine and Ukrainians throughout the world, BRAMA has thorough, complete, and searchable offerings in the realm of Arts & Culture, Business, Computing/Cyrillic Software, Fun/Humor, Law, News, Travel, the Government of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Diaspora, as well as Ukraine itself.

Along with providing broad information and software, the site is host to many organizations and individuals, including businesses situated in Ukraine, government agencies of Ukraine, and Ukrainian-oriented artists, professional organizations, museums, institutes, libraries, theatre, music and dance companies, all this with with select links to other resources.

BRAMA provides neat, uncluttered, almost image-free designs on most of it's pages making them swift-loading and easily navigable -- important characteristics for both advertisers and readers.

Finally, the site presents as much as possible its offerings (almost equally and in parallel) in two languages - English and Ukrainian, an attribute which no other website can claim.

Some of the achievements in these first months of operation include:

  • the debut of the complete 19,000 volume library catalog of the Shevchenko Society of America (located in NYC), a collection devoted to all aspects of Ukrainica. This collection has proven to be more popular than was initially expected with individuals accessing this information from all parts of the world.
  • Solid growth in viewership attritutable to the high substantive quality of BRAMA's content, increasing interest in Ukraine and Ukrainians, and the growth of the Internet, the Web in particular.
  • Offering a unique view of Ukraine's economy by presenting timely business news as well as showcasing potential investment opportunities.

Going forward, BRAMA's focus will be (as it has in the past) two-fold:
1. to foster economic development with and within Ukraine, and
2. to participate in the acquaintance, re-acquaintance, and evolution of Ukrainian culture throughout the world in both traditional and untraditional settings.

BRAMA is grateful to all it's readers and loyal clients, and hopes to serve them as well, if not better, in 1998.

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