THE ORIGIN STORY!
Here is the origin story and facts for media release. Writers, editors and publishers, please
feel free to publish and share the information.
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!
FACT SHEETWe now have a PR5 ranking
We hit the top ten spot in searches for "saipan" on April 4, 2007
First Blogger meetup was January 30, 2006; now every final Wednesday of the month
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
SHORT TERM GOALS: To secure and maintain our top ten position
To grow the online network to at least 200 members, increase the attendance
at the weekly meetups
• Send us your testimonial. If you're a proud CNMI resident, the "We Love Saipan" Network wants your story.
Please email us your
"Why I Love Saipan" testimonial!