Somebody’s got to do it, so it may as well be me — along with talented videographer Chris Stanley.
We’re filming in the South of France until September 22. Expect return phone calls and responses to emails to be delayed. We’re working! And to be honest, those refreshing glasses of rosé from Provence make most things in life seem a little less urgent. Mais oui?
After leaving Provence, we’ll head to another city with a French name, but far from Europe, which will become apparent when we board the American Queen in St. Louis for a back-to-back saiilng on this home slice of true-blue Americana.
I can’t wait for my first experience on a paddle wheeler — and my first time on the Mississippi.
But what’s in all of this for you, dear reader? After all, we’re sipping rosé in Provence. Not you. Even so, what you may enjoy is a new series of Avid Cruiser videos that will be coming your way.
When we finish this gig, we’ll be able to bring you videos showing you what the Cote d’Azur and Var Provence offer cruise passengers as well as what you can expect from a cruise on the American Queen. Hopefully, you’ll find the videos helpful in planning your dream cruise vacations – and we, not you, will bear the brunt of the hangover. Did I mention the rosé yet?
By the way, did you know that Avid Cruiser’s Youtube channel is approaching 1 million views? We also publish our videos on Blip.tv, where Avid Cruiser’s Blip Channel has a half-a-million views. That’s 1.5 million views total, fewer views admittedly than my poor gun-slinging hero Clint Eastwood received when he fumbled badly for Romney last week.
Speaking of numbers . . .
Avid Cruiser’s Impressive Growth
I looked at the metrics last week for Avid Cruiser. Boy I was impressed — and gratified. Thanks to loyal avid cruisers like you, page views increased by 77 percent from August 30, 2011 to August 30, 2012.
More than 1.5 million pages were clicked on by avid and aspiring cruisers in the past 12 months.
In fact, every metric tilted up: more pages per visit viewed, more time spent on the site, etc.
One other metric that I was particularly happy with was our continuing climb up Alexa. Not long ago, Avid Cruiser resided well above 2 million on Alexa.com, which ranks websites based on their global popularity. Unlike a savings account, larger numbers are not as good as smaller ones on Alexa. In the world of Alexa, the site with the highest combination of visitors and pageviews is ranked #1. That’s Facebook, as you might guess. I wonder which site is at the end of the internet?
Avid Cruiser’s rank of 375,934 isn’t bad at all, particularly given that the number continues to trend in the right direction.
And that’s only part of the story. Avid Cruiser is widely syndicated. What that means is that each post on Avid Cruiser also appears somewhere else — on usatoday.com, on leading travel agent websites and in places that sometimes surprise even us.
Our RSS feed gets more than half-a-million views annually.
When all of this is tallied, we’re talking millions of articles, photos and videos viewed each year on Avid Cruiser. Our goal is to always be the consumer advocate, providing you with the information you need to make informed cruise vacation decisions.
But wait! There’s more!
A lot of our visitors are also heading over to our sister sites, River Cruise Advisor, Stockholm Cruise Blog, Carrie Finley-Bajak’s Cruise Buzz, Aaron Saunders’ From the Deck Chair and Wallace Immen’s Voyages. Many thanks to them and to our guest contributors, Andrea Guthmann and Geoff Edwards, among them.
iPad iBook Giveaway
Still on the topic of numbers, you might be wondering how our new Carnival Breeze Cruise Review in iBook format is doing. Okay, truth is, you don’t care. But I do. A couple of week ago I posed the following:
We hope at least to make enough to buy a cup of coffee or perhaps lunch. Is the book worth $1.99? We certainly think so, but we’d like to hear your feedback, whether or not you decide to pony up 199 pennies.
God bless the dozen of you who thought the iBook was worth 200 pennies minus one. Granted, the proceeds would not buy me a cup of coffee in Copenhagen, where I am today and where a cup of Joe ranks among the world’s most expensive, but nonetheless, I’m thrilled with even the small uptake of our new iBook. I can tell you this: There are more to come.
Many thanks to the early adopters, and I hope they won’t be upset by the fact that I am going to give away 10 copies of the iPad version of our Carnival Breeze Review to those reading this post. Below are 10 promo codes for free copies of our iBook. This link shows you how to redeem the codes. The free iBooks will likely go fast, so if you try a code and it doesn’t work, you know it’s been used already. You can find the Carnival Breeze Review iBook here.
Ready, Set, Go! Here are the ten promotional codes.
To my American brothers and sisters, have a happy and safe Labor Day weekend, and to everyone else, thanks for supporting Avid Cruiser with your views, clicks and virtual cards and letters. Keep ‘em coming.