Saturday, August 4, 2007

Do North & South Dakota Actually Exist?

I'm just about a week shy of my 2 month anniversary of blogging and I've passed a few big milestones. I passed the 1,000 unique visitors mark to my blog this past week, which I was pretty impressed with. And I've had over 6,000 hits to my blog, not bad considering I just talk about cat doors, and diving! I have now had visitors from 55 different countries, 9 Alaskan Provinces, and 48 states. I finally got a couple hits from Alaska last week which I'd been waiting for, 1 in Fairbanks and 1 in Anchorage.

I just can't seem to get any visitors from North or South Dakota. Does anyone still live in either of them? Are they even still states or did they close them down for lack of interest? If anyone does actually still live in North or South Dakota, can you please visit my blog so I can have visitors from all 50 states? If I don't get any hits from those states in the next month, I say we officially declare them non-states for lack of interest. We could just extend Montana, after all I really can't see any valid reason to have speed limits in North or South Dakota if no one lives there anyway. That would put the United States back to 48 states, which would mean all the flags would have to be redone. So in order to avoid that, I propose turning the Upper Penninsula of Michigan into it's own state, since they seem to be more like their own country anyway, that would bring the tally back up to 49. And then I say that the U.S. should grant the Northern Mariana Islands statehood if they really intend on pushing through with all these reforms and takeovers anyway. After all, if New Hampshire gets to be a state, is it really that much of a stretch to think we should be a state as well? But the real reason for giving the CNMI statehood is just so they don't have to throw away all those flags and remove a star. And besides if there is no one left in North or South Dakota anyway, I can vouch for the fact that there are at least a few of us left in the CNMI. I finally got a couple hits in Alaska last week, which I'd been waiting for, one in Fairbanks and one in Anchorage.

I think the whole Best Saipan Blog contest was good for getting me exposure from a lot of different places. Even though Angelo took the links to all of us in the contest off his blog, my hits seemed to soar everytime he did one of his attack blogs against me. Everyone who read it wanted to find out just who Angelo was talking about evidently, so I guess that kind of backfired on him. And by the way, even though he has conceded the contest, I'm still waiting to see our links restored on his blog.

Then one of the other places I've been waiting to get hits from was Russia. My friend Elly Stoilova has recently started a blog about Saipan but written in Russian, it's called Saipanovka. In Russia when a place has "ovka" on the end of the name, it means small or quaint village, so it's really quite appropriate that Elly added ovka to Saipan for the name of her blog. She put a link to my blog on her blog earlier this week, and since then I've had 7 hits from Russia and 1 from Kazakhstan. Very cool that we can network like this with each other and expand our audiences to places we never would have reached otherwise. There is power in having blogs linked to other blogs, linked to other blogs and various webpages. And that's kind of where the whole discussion is heading next Wednesday night at Oleai. So far I've heard from about 15 people who plan on coming, which is a very good start.

More dive pics tomorrow, I promise. Yes I did dive the Grotto today, and yes I did see a couple Halgerda guahan on the rope rock once again. I think I've learned something about the egg ribbons which I'll share tomorrow. Happy weekend everybody!

It's Over!!!

It's time to celebrate for all those of you who are fans of Harry's World, you have made my blog Saipan's Best Blog! Angelo would be quick to point out that doesn't necessarily mean I have the most popular blog since he still gets more hits a day than I do. That's ok I can live with that distinction. Knowing that over 40% of the respondants in the poll voted for me let me know that I'm on the right track. You are obviously enjoying the dive pictures and stories, and the fact that I talk about my animals and the cat door occasionally hasn't scared too many of you off. I can't thank all of you enough, and I find your votes a real inspiration. I have to admit, I did have a lot of fun with the contest, especially putting Angelo's head through the cat door. But something tells me there will be plenty of other opportunities to have fun at Angelo's expense. I'm blown away by all the places I got votes from and just hope you continue to read and enjoy Harry's World!

I still have a lot to learn about blogging, and I admit I don't know most of the fancy tricks that Angelo or Jeff use, but in time I'm sure I'll either convince them to tell me how to do it, or I'll manage to figure them out on my own. For example, I can't show you the final results of the poll with the voting map on my blog, but I can send you here and you'll be able to see it. Minor inconvenience.

I think that blogging is not just something you can have a lot of fun with, but I believe it is also a very powerful tool for getting information out to people you never would have reached any other way. That has me very excited for the possibilities of using this free technology to help promote the CNMI to the rest of the world, and to build a one stop information portal for everything you ever wanted to know about Saipan, Tinian or Rota. This is no small undertaking, and frankly it's way too big for only a couple laid back dive bums like Mike Tripp and I to tackle on our own. But I believe there are enough others out there who believe in the potential of this, or who want to get started that we are going to make a huge difference and impact, and I believe you will start seeing tangible results from it inside a year.

I have already seen results in my less than 2 months of blogging. I am having my pictures published in 2 books on nudibranchs now, I have had 2 people contact me about diving on Saipan after reading my blog, and I am going to have some pictures and a little story about diving in Saipan published in the August 12th edition of Stars & Stripes newspaper, the military newspaper. Now I managed to accomplish all that without even trying, it was never my intent to do any of that. Can you imagine what we can do if we all come together, share our ideas, thoughts and dreams and work on this project together? We will become the real marketing force for our islands and we will present them as we see them.

I've already been contacted by someone who read my first blog entry about this concept, and he wants to start a blog as well to talk about his passion of diving here in Saipan, so I'm meeting him before our meeting next Wednesday to help him set up a blog and get started. Are you ready to make your contribution and be a part of this exciting development? If you are, I invite you to join us at Oleai Beach Bar & Grill Wednesday, August 8th at 6:30 pm as there are a few of us who believe it's time to take matters into our own hands and come up with a marketing strategy for Saipan that hasn't ever been tried yet. I've already been contacted by about a dozen people who are excited about what this could mean for our islands and who plan on being there. If you have any thoughts or ideas at all, I encourage you to come share them. If you just want to sit and listen and see what it's all about, that's fine too. Angelo will be there, and we'll even let him have a chair, he won't have to just stick his head through a cat door!