Archive for February, 2010

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The Shaun White “Bump”

Up until this past summer, I was using the free WordPress.com blog hosting solution for this blog at ericinparkcity.wordpress.com. I decided to move to a self-hosted option at www.ericinparkcity.com, in order to test out more options that are available in the WordPress.org package as well as to see what SEO options would be available on one platform versus the other. I’ve posted about organic search before, but this past week saw some wild results that I’d like to share.

I don’t check stats on my old blog very often, but when I looked last week, I saw a huge spike in traffic:

Ericinparkcity.wordpress.com stats graphTo cut to the chase, the Olympics Men’s Halfpipe event took place on February 17, and Shaun White won the Gold medal. How does that explain this spike? Well, last winter I wrote a post about the Silverton private halfpipe that Shaun was training on, and while it got a few views then, it was indexed nicely by Google. Indexed to the point where, according to Google’s webmaster tools, last week when searching for “shaun white private half pipe” my post showed in position 7 and when searching for “shaun white half pipe” the post was in position 8. Side note – after the competition, many major publications posted stories on this so my post is no longer on the first page of SERP (search engine results page).

I need to really look into why I wasn’t able to transfer this traffic to my new blog. However, this is such a classic case of the long tail of search that I had to write it up, as it clearly demonstrates that it’s hugely important to  create, publish and continue to create content online, because you never know when it might be of interest. Simply put, now is the time to “Publish or Perish!”

Rate the coverage of the Winter Olympics

Now that the Winter Olympics are over halfway over, I thought it would be interesting to see you think about the TV coverage so far. Please feel free to leave a comment if just voting isn’t enough for you!

Ski Resorts Online – Websites, Blogs, Social Networks and More

My Ski Resorts on Twitter post has been up for a bit over a year now and it’s become apparent to me that the list is already falling behind the times (even with regular updates). It’s not just Twitter now, but Facebook, YouTube, blogs and any number of other networks that resorts are using to engage with their customers online.

So, I decided to bite the bullet and I’ve put together a much more robust document, “Ski Resort Online – A Fairly Definitive List” to track as many of the different points of online presence for ski resorts as I could. I created it in Google Docs (let me know if you want to help edit) and here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

To view this document in full, visit  Ski Resorts Online – A Fairly Definitive List. And, if you see any resorts or accounts that I’ve missed, please let me know in the comments below – this is definitely a work in progress!

Blogging the Olympic Games?

While browsing through some tweets from the USOC Communications Twitter feed the other day, I came upon the International Olympic Committee’s Blogging Guidelines for the 2010 Vancouver Games and while I give them kudos for coming up with such a document, I have to say that I think this document was produced almost completely with the intention of protecting the Olympic sponsors and media outlets than trying to leverage the power of social media.

Happily, the IOC acknowledges that blogging is “a form of personal expression” and at they do permit (some) blogging by Accredited Persons at the Games. Now, to my understanding, anyone that participates in the Games, and gets any sort of credential, from athletes, to coaches, to volunteers is considered an Accredited Person – this is certainly a number that reaches into the tens of thousands. I’m sure more than a few of these people already have a blog and I know for a fact that there are many of them ‘micro-blogging‘ on Twitter or Facebook. I am sure that there will be more than a few Accredited Person who will post photos of themselves inside the venues and most likely of the events that are taking place in these places…what will the reaction of the IOC and VANOC be?

What gets me is how odd, and in some ways, nonsensical some of the restrictions are. Check this one out, according to the document the words “Olympic”, “Olympics” or similar can’t be used in a domain name (I get that), but could be used in a URL , but “only during the period during which these Guidelines are applicable”. So, go ahead and name your Olympic experience blog – MySitesName/myOlympicExperience but then it has to change after March 3, 2010?! Really, really odd and it doesn’t seem to further any goal, unless the IOC’s sole goal is to completely lock down any SEO for these words, and even they can’t do that completely.

In any case, it’s good to see this as a starting place and I’ve been interested to find the NBC has setup a page on their NBCOlympics.com site where they’re tracking a good number of American Olympians’ tweets.  Twitter itself hasn’t been left behind either as they’ve expanded their Verified account listings to include a special Verified Olympians list. I’m looking forward to a bunch of fun social media coming out of the games over the next few weeks!

Do what you love…

I just spent a half hour watching this great video, “Lemonade”, about taking full advantage of the hand that life deals to you:

It’s not the best time to be in practically any industry, but I feel like this is what I’ve been doing for most of my career and in particular now, (ie the subtitle of this blog, “don’t forget it’s all about fun”) – what about you?!

Hat tip to Seth Godin for posting about Lemonade.

1st Half Awards

One half done, one to go – first half awards

1st Half AwardsI’m not sure where the time went, but we’re into February and a bit over half-way through the 2009-10 Winter Season…wow, where did the time go! I’ve written before about how working at a ski resort is like working at a school, so I suppose we just went through our mid-terms (hope I passed). But, I figure that I can bring in another analogy and like the sportswriters love to do, hand out some “first half of the season awards”:

  • 1st half MVP – Snowmakers, because without their hard work there wouldn’t have been any good skiing and riding until perhaps January.
  • Rookie – This one goes to our intern because she’s kicking butt and without her we’d have been really struggling on a number of different projects.
  • Biggest surprise – The sudden imploding of Intrawest has got to be the biggest surprise surprise of the first half of the winter to me.
  • Biggest Comeback – Mother Nature with her great work during the second half of January in bringing some wonderful snow during Sundance.
  • Most rapid growth – Social Media usage by ski resorts, which has gone from just a few last season to pretty much each and every one this season.

Any other “awards” that you think I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments!

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