The welovesaipan.com site is the brainchild of entrepreneur Walt Goodridge. A recently arrived resident, Walt was disappointed with the dearth of positive information on Saipan and was determined to do something about it.
"Before coming to Saipan in Feb 2006, I did a little of my own research on the internet, and found that there was not much information in the glowingly positive tone and terms that a good friend of mine used when he first told me about Saipan," Walt explains. "And, as I met more people whose life paths carried them here, I discovered that their perceptions of life here on Saipan were being skewed by one site in particular which was excessively negative. So I decided to do something about it."
Walt reserved the WeLoveSaipan.com domain name, and then recruited the assistance of Angelo Villagomez "TheSaipanBlogger", who runs Saipan's most popular blog to help him publicize it.
They shared visions, ideas and talents, and launched the site on Dec 6, 2006, with the express purpose of countering the negative image that new people were getting of their little island paradise. Angelo mentioned it on his blog and came up with the idea of creating a button that other bloggers could easily put on their sites linking to welovesaipan.com. Walt mentioned it in his weekly Saipan Tribune article. The two listed it on various search engines and directories. They set up a link program which allowed others to find and link to them, thus increasing the site's ranking. In an amazingly short time, they began to see their efforts rewarded.
If you did a search for "saipan" on the day they launched, you'd have had to scroll through 16 pages of listings to find welovesipan.com at position 155. Even though no strangers to web tricks and accomplishments, the two were in for a surpise. Within a few weeks they were at position 120, then 100, then 50!
"Even we were amazed to see how quickly we were moving up the search results," Angelo concedes. "Our network grew, more bloggers added links to us, we got encouragement and support from senators, congresswomen, attorneys, even an assistant attorney general with a blog chimed in! Within 4 months the site hit top ten!
At about the same time, Angelo and a few other members suggested they host a "meet up" to build a sense of community and give people an opportunity to get to know each other.
The first blogger meetup for the WeLoveSaipan Network was held on January 30, 2006, and has been going and growing steadily ever since. It was a great collaboration: Walt's vision for a new brand image for Saipan, and Angelo's vision of increased internet presence for CNMI residents combined to fuel the amazing growth of the We Love Saipan Network! Forget what you've heard. Welcome to the new Saipan! ###
VISION: It was a great collaboration, Walt's vision for a new brand image for Saipan, and Angelo's vision of increased internet presence for CNMI residents combined to fuel the amazing growth of the We Love Saipan Network!
FOUNDER: Walt F.J. Goodridge
PARTNER: Angelo Villagomez and the BeautifyCNMI family
DOMAIN RESERVED: Nov 3, 2006
LAUNCH DATE:December 6, 2006
DAILY VISITS: Currently 30-50 people per day
SIZE OF NETWORK: Approximately 100 bloggers that we know about
•Link to us. The We Love Saipan Network is comprised of real people whose websites/blogs show life in the CNMI with an emphasis on what we love about being here. And if you have a blog or website, please help us by linking to us. (You don't have to be a resident of Saipan or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands [CNMI] to link to us!)
• Come see for yourself! Get free quotes for accommodations (home/hotel/apartment), car rental and activities for a Saipan vacation at SaipanBookings.com
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