AA Rewards no more – how annoying!

I go to use my AA Card when buying petrol at BP and discover AA Rewards no longer exist. AA Rewards (which was simple to understand) has been replaced by AA Smartfuel (which is incomprehensible – to my way of doing things). What has been an enjoyable squirrelling away of points (since 1989) to pay my annual AA membership has been whisked away without so much as a by your leave. Sure I got the glossy AA Smartfuel guff and the new bright yellow membership card in the mail but it didn’t sink in.

OK here we go; AA issued a press release on 11 October 2011. Stink.

© Michael Jeans | +64 27 496 3802 | galleries | michael@michaeljeans.co.nz

Talking of mailboxes; Shakespeare Street, Leamington, NZ

Misplaced letterbox 59, Shakespeare Street, Leamington 3432, NZ 4/12/2010

It’s just a pity some folk find it necessary to disrupt the lives and peace of mind of their neighbours. OK, so in posting this I run the risk that someone will get a thrill because their handiwork has been noted and is on the Internet. Equally, I would hope a quiet word from one in the know along the lines that one’s free time might be more valuably spent could be a good outcome. It’s the small things.

Cambridge New Zealand Community Directory 2011

Cambridge Community Directory 2011

In the mailbox this morning. So, I guess this is launch day for the new online version. Now, I’m wondering – well, I have been for some time – the ability to login and store numbers? Facebook et al. capture? OK, social networking interactivity (the site looks naked without any share buttons) and something I know even less about – the capture of numbers to your mobile address book – is this built in or is there an app? – am I talking through a hole in my head? And while I’m imagining a bright shiny new future how about wifi for the CBD – unrelated but related – just saying. Oh and also unrelated but related how about this then?

Google stats. – yeah well!!

Idle curiosity, on my part, as michaeljeans.co.nz lurches toward 50,000 page views in 19 months. Here are the page rankings (Google) of selected Cambridge NZ related and / or based websites (a stab in the dark guestimation – there are somewhere between 500 – 1,000 ‘Cambridge NZ’ websites – probably closer to the lower number).

  • ew.govt.nz | Google PR 6 | Google index 7210 | Age 11/5/2000
  • waipadc.govt.nz | Google PR 5 | Google index 2110 | Age 1/3/2000
  • cambridge.co.nz | Google PR 5 | Google index 180 | Age 6/12/1998
  • stpeters.school.nz | Google PR 5 | Google index 243 | Age 28/11/2000
  • quoteunquotenz.blogspot.com | Google PR 5 | Google index 269 | Age n/a (at least 10 I think)
  • cambridgemuseum.org.nz | Google PR 4 | Google index 349 | Age 12/12/2002
  • shoof.co.nz | Google PR 4 | Google index 157 | Age 20/5/2000
  • michaeljeans.co.nz | Google PR 2 | Google index 839 | Age 30/8/2000
  • accommodationcambridge.co.nz | Google PR 2 | Google index 109 | Age n/a (3 – 4 I think?)
  • yourcambridgenews.com | Google PR 2 | Google Index 7 | Age n/a (< 2)
  • quemagazine.co.nz | Google PR 2 | Google Index 8 | Age n/a (< 1)
  • cambridgerealestate.net.nz | Google PR 1 | Google index 283 | Age 28/2/1989

Tracking Google stats., for a variety of reasons, is both frustrating and, well, more frustrating – I’ve been following Cambridge’s internet profile for some time – but what it really, really means I truly have few ideas.

That Environment Waikato‘s site is the most SOE friendly is of no surprise. No surprise, also, for one of the lowest ranking; Your Cambridge News which is almost completely PDF based and essentially invisible to Google. Que‘s site while most probably well engineered does not feature enough unique material to rank. But then I can’t explain Cambridge Real Estate at all as Google Alerts delivers listings almost daily, from this site, depending upon the configuration used.

Looks like WordPress.COM does SOE better than Google’s own Blogspot platform as Stephen’s blog has a much higher profile than mine.

Cambridge Museum publishes its visitor figures; the most recent being for March 2010 (3491 visitors with 41,226 page views) – michaeljeans.co.nz for the same period (1500 and 2500) – so no comparison really. But, and this is the bit I fail to grasp fully, in this admittedly biased and skewed ‘sample’ I come in 3rd in terms of page indexing – though it is page indexing I am looking for.

My mission (obsession?) to put Cambridge NZ stories (OK, so most of my stories are photographs) on the web stands at: Cambridge (485), Lake Karapiro (109), Leamington (197) not to mention other Cambridge catchment related material (800+ pages). In early 2010 I’ve temporarily eased off Cambridge (as I work on other projects). BTW my website also has a significant Taranaki focus and a recent spike in traffic is related to the recent women’s surfing tour – something I have had absolutely nothing to do with – and photographs I published 15 months ago. If you are interested the most popular list down the right hand side of my site gives you a quick snapshot of what is currently popular here.

So what am I saying? I’m saying the slog – and it has at times been a huge slog – to provide variety and depth to the Cambridge ‘stories’ permanently available on the web is evolving – but slowly. My score ‘Could do better’.

BTW my website costs are approximately $1300 a year – (breakdown: website including domain name $50 pa, image server $170 pa, video server $100 pa, broadband $960 pa (250GB). Content: priceless :) I dare not think!!

Everything is hosted in California.

If anyone has any thoughts I would love to hear.

Notes Google PR 0 = not good, 10 = best. SOE = Search Engine Optimised / Optimisation. For the purposes of this discussion I am completely ignoring website linking – which I currently do not pursue.