Thursday, September 30, 2004

Searching for Celebration

I created and this blog as a result of my own search for information about our fair town. My first media exposure had been the infamous Wall Street Journal article, "No Cause for Celebration," which lambasted the original school fiasco. That was long before I seriously considered moving here, and I don't have children anyway, so I filed it somewhere in the back of my mind.

After our initial visit in October, 2002, I suddenly had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge of what would soon be my home town. I started off with the usual books and did a lot of Googling, but most of the websites I ran across were either outdated or authored by people who didn't seem to have much knowledge beyond the stereotypes. The one refreshing exception was With its unique and ever-changing photographs and its lively discussion forum, I got a picture of the "real" Celebration.

Now that my website has been around for a while, it's getting more well known and finding its way into search engines, which of course boosts the visitor count. Google, Yahoo, and their counterparts account for a majority of my "hits." So what exactly are people looking for when they hit my site? What search terms do they associate with Celebration? Of course, the most obvious is "Celebration FL" or "Celebration Florida," but what else are they curious about?

Since it's the end of the month, I'll share some of my September statistics to give you an idea of what people want to know. I doubt you'll find them surprising, but what the heck:

1) Celebration Covenants (or Celebration FL Covenants, or any similar iteration). This was one of the biggest that I wanted to find myself, and unfortunately it was sorely lacking. Now, I've been able to add a link from my website to, which has them online in .PDF format. Hopefully that will help convince potential residents that the "Porch Police" won't burn an effigy of Mickey on their lawn if they dare to hang off-white curtains.

2) Celebration Church (or Churches, or sometimes the specific name of a church). Obviously, religion is a priority for people who are interested in Celebration, or those who live here and use my website as a reference.

3) Searches on specific villages, such as "Celebration East Village," "Celebration Lake Evalyn," "Celebration Artisan Park," or whatever. If the people conducting those searches are potential residents, they're better informed than I was! Originally, I had no idea that Celebration was actually made up of multiple villages, each with its own character, amenities, pros, and cons.

4) Celebration Apartments (or Rentals or Garage Apartments). If my website statistics are correct, there is a lot of interest in our town from potential renters. It's a shame to see our rental inventory being slashed by the conversion of the downtown apartments to condos. Oh well, at least we'll always have garage apartments. My site features a link to, so if people don't know about that little aspect of our town, hopefully it helps them find out.

5) Celebration Homes (or other phrases related to purchasing a home and/or finding a real estate agent). This one is no surprise, as it's just the sort of thing I was looking for when I was doing my own home search.

I get lots of visits from people searching for specific business names. They're a pretty wide variety, but inexplicably the one that gets the most hits is "Salon 720." There are also many visits from those who are searching for information about specfic events, such as the falling leaves or the holiday snow.

I don't think I've never noticed a search term that has linked Celebration with Disney. I find this odd, since people I speak with almost invariably think of it as "The Disney Town." Perhaps the audience for my website is a bit more savvy and has gotten beyond the Disney connection to search for more specific information about the town itself.

I don't know what, if anything, this all means, other than the fact that it appears I am achieving my purpose. Hopefully the people who enter those terms and pay a visit to my website find up-to-date, useful information. For me, the website and this blog are therapeutic for the times when I am stuck 1500 miles away and longing for home. They help me feel closer to my hometown and give me a forum to share my love for Celebration with others. What the's cheaper than therapy!

My email address for questions and comments is

My website is located at

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