This paper describes a research project on virtual presence, which strives to populate the Web. The Web is extended by a new layer that shows users on Web pages while they are present at virtual locations. The document first describes the requirements for a large-scale distributed system that fits to the Web. The requirements lead to design decisions, which build upon a publicly available messaging infrastructure. The paper presents a feature rich implementation and describes our experience with real users. It finally shows what virtual presence means for virtual communities.