Reboot – Part 2

Aruba Beaches blog is celebrating 10 years of existence which is why a relaunch celebration. Following, I will outline what will be coming to this website in the coming weeks and months.

Reflection

This website will transition from opinion, newsy, real estate, weather related content to a more featured content, showcasing the best or quirkiest Aruba has to offer to most travelers. I will continue to feature “popular” content, but won’t shy away from featuring interesting, not so typical content that I feel deserves some attention. For instance, did you know that Aruba has a vineyard? I’m working on that piece.

Aruba grapes
Locally grown grapes for Aruba wines

The time between Reboot – Part 1 and this post, I spent, for the most part, going through 10 years worth of data about what content readers accessed most and what was accessed least on this website. Additionally, I went through old comments and emails to help me get an overview.

After sifting through the data, I went on to see what is being offered content-wise elsewhere on the internet, in terms of Aruba tourism, including social media, which helps me carve out a niche this website can operate within.

Past content

One of the reasons that prompted me to start writing was actually to challenge myself to improve my English both in writing and speech. If you didn’t know my native language, like most of autochthonous Arubans, is Papiamento. In case you are interested in learning more about this language, there is an article on Wikipedia about it.

It was around May 2007 I started writing about random tourist and beaches content but that subject matter dried up. I quickly learned that this topic was limited and decided to expand with “Beach” real estate and weather.

2007 became a busy storm season in the Atlantic basin with two particular storms threatening to move our way, namely storms Dean and Hurricane Felix with the former being the strongest of that year. Both storms grew and eventually became maximum Category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

I can vividly remember that both brought significant rain to Aruba, but left no casualties here. Elsewhere in the region, however, the storms did devastating damage sadly.

Eventually, the storms moved farther north of Aruba than they were projected. The rain and aftermath, plus questions from readers prompted me to post content about this subject. Some of these posts became viral, so much so that my pictures were “borrowed” by other websites and media outlets to showcase current events.

Future content

What’s in

Expect a broader scope beyond tourism alone. “Lifestyle”-ish content? It sounds a bit hipster but we’ll see.

A feature I would like to do is visit some high-quality grocery stores, as this might be handy for people wondering what to expect in our stores. Did you know there are many people who don’t know that Aruba has world-class supermarkets that offer fresh fruit/vegetable from North America, meats from South and North America, wines from all over the world, European cheese, all under one roof? Stay tuned.

Popular and relevant information about hotels and restaurants will continue to be featured as these are the “basics” for any Aruba traveler researching their vacation to this island. I won’t do hotel or restaurant reviews because that’s not my forte, plus that’s done fairly well elsewhere.

Lastly, I would like to give up and coming tourism startups some exposure as well.

What’s out

Real Estate is out as I do that separately on its own website.

Weather is out. The “shelve life” of weather posts is extremely short and they become irrelevant quickly. Sometimes people search about storms in Aruba and come across posts I wrote years ago and think those are current events.

Gone are the rants or other types of negative content. I’m sure there is plenty of that elsewhere on the internet. Speaking of rants, I welcome relevant feedback, positive or negative criticism, but trolls, insults and off-topic feedback will be denied.

A post shared by Gabriel (@arubabeaches) on

No more Aruba weather content. FYI, it does rain in Aruba sometimes.

Social Media

For the most part, I ignored social media when this website was launched in 2007. Fast forward a decade to present day and the juggernaut of social media is here to stay and I cannot ignore it anymore.

Take Facebook as an example. Around the time I started writing, Facebook had a reported user base of about 30 million people, whereas in 2011 – the year I went o the hiatus – it had nearly 850 million. Currently, Facebook has nearly 2 billion (!) users. Instagram existed only a few months in 2011 and was nowhere as big as it is today with its 700 million users.

Social media will be slowly incorporated into the content creation scope. Later, there will be social media specific content only. It will also serve a line of communication with you, the reader.

Our handle is @arubabeaches on all three major platforms. If you are interested you can Like or Follow below:

Contributors

You may have noticed that the voice in this and previous article is in the first person. I thought about this and going forward I will keep doing that as I find it a bit more dynamic and personal. I would like it here to be more conversational, a bit less formal.

This time around I will take a different attitude toward content creation. I’m planning to unveil a schedule, I’m thinking at first two articles a week and slowly increasing that to four articles a week. I also need to see what the best days and times for releasing content are.

I’m currently in talks with a contributor that and that will help me produce articles. Also, not too long ago I met a talented local video producer that is willing to make some great videos. I will make an announcement whenever all details are sorted out.

Sponsors

In order to offer consistency and to pay the costs involved with the production of content, equipment, contributors, it needs to be self-sustaining. I will start offering space for relevant sponsored content, moderately of course.

Throughout the years I have been contacted by several parties interested in advertising but I refused simply because there was no new content for years and didn’t feel comfortable with that for some reason.

Final

Finally, I would like to finish this post by sharing with you the top 5 most read posts in 2017, including some of my remarks. Thank you for reading this far.

  1. How Common Are Sharks In Aruba – I wrote this in 2010 and updated it later on. I have received some criticism for this article as some people seem to think I misrepresented or was hiding something, which I’m not. It certainly made me want to learn more and I will revisit this topic. After I do some further research I will rewrite that post. I will try to get an appointment with officials at Aruban Search & Rescue and Aruban Coast Guard.
  2. Direction and Admission Information to Natural Pool – This is article is one of the original ones, wrote back in 2007, and updated several times. It surprises me that it still read as much as it does. I will revisit this topic and will make a video.
  3. Mega-yacht Double Haven in Aruba – This one dates from 2009. People are fascinated by this yacht, as much as I was. Did you know that the whereabouts of this yacht has been kept up to date in the comment section? The last spot was about a month ago in San Diego, California.
  4. United States of America on Aruba – It was written in 2008. This post is a pretty unremarkable one honestly. It went unnoticed for almost 10 years until earlier this year. What happened? It is actually a bizarre story that I still don’t fully understand. Back in March 2017 someone apparently “borrowed” my picture featured in that post, that I took personally in 2008, to make some sort political claim or statement, I think in Arizona. When readers to that website called the author out that he used my picture, and that his claims were false, the author doubled down and said that I stole that picture and that I doctored it. The last time I touched that post and picture was the day I posted it. After he doubled down some of his readers called him out again, providing proof from Archive.org while other analyzed the EXIF information of my picture, showing him that the picture is really mine. Either way, I don’t really know how that story ended, but if you are interested to find out what happened you can read about it here, here and here.
  5. Palapas: Rules and Rights – Originally written in 2010, this controversial issue is still a thing in 2017. Officials are still trying to figure out what to do. I’m not sure I will touch this topic anymore.

Above picture: Sunset at Surfside Beach, I recently visited

Published by

Gabriel

Former Aruba tour guide, trying to provide value to Aruba travelers.

4 thoughts on “Reboot – Part 2”

  1. Gabriel,
    So glad your back. Can’t wait to read future posts.
    I would be interested to know what are things to do after dark.

    1. Are you making me go clubbin’ Vicki? Just kidding. Actually, there are many sound activities that one could undertake after dark. At the risk of depleting the topic, I might start an after dark series where I highlight each activity I think travelers might enjoy. It allows me to approach each topic at a micro level, this way creating more detail and value to our travelers. I appreciate this kind of feedback Vicki, keep them coming.

      1. You are a funny guy. I am aware of the bar scene, but was wondering if there are events like shows or culture happenings. Can’t wait for your after dark series.
        Keep up these great posts, love them
        Vicki

      2. There are indeed shows and cultural happenings organized in Aruba throughout the year.

        The simple fact that you are not aware of that suggests that perhaps most, if not all, small event organizers fail in certain extend to target their communication efforts appropriately in order to reach you and others like you that might be interested in such events.

        I mean the yearly festivals and concerts with big name artists have a big budgets to do promotion but the smaller cultural clearly don’t.

        Thank you again Vicki.

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