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London, 28/05/2010 :: One month on: AshCloud.co.uk statistics and press coverage

Own This Domain's site AshCloud.co.uk has been at the forefront of helping out stranded passengers confused and unclear whether or not their flights will take off.

AshCloud.co.uk was created because OTD director Richard Harwood could not travel to Helsinki due to the cloud but, when searching for information on the BBC News website, NATS or other related sites, he discovered that it was all very UK-specific, particularly the links on offer - at the time, there didn't seem to be one site which included the status of individual airports and airport website links regardless of where in Europe they happened to be situated.

In addition, although other sources provided very good information about how to get out of the UK by train or ferry, no website seemed to provide any real details on how British travellers could try and get back in to the UK by rail or coach if they were stranded in Budapest, Vienna, or anywhere else in Europe.

This was one reason why the journal Innovations in Newspapers reported on April 18th, 2010;

"While newspapers are sleeping, and Europe is near to chaos, one website is launched with the speed and imagination needed to help more than 10 million people unable to return to their own countries.

This is the kind of information resources that stranded people need in situations like this.
As they say: This page displays a number of essential travel links for people wishing to get where they wish to. This site won’t win awards for its design but it is quick, the links are all here…hopefully some people may just find it useful.

What you need is speed and imagination. And think not in your regular deadlines and routines but in your readers."

SOURCE:
http://www.innovationsinnewspapers.com/index.php/2010/04/18/the-ashcloud-website-speed-and-imagination-is-what-newspapers-need/
BY JUAN ANTONIO GINER, PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER OF INNOVATION INTERNATIONAL MEDIA CONSULTING GROUP, LONDON

Own This Domain was the first to create a Google Ad Campaign on the search term "ash cloud". We allowed our ad to stay online for 24hours in order to spread the word. During these first 24hours, the ad received 1.2million impressions and generated over 2,000 clicks. Traffic to AshCloud.co.uk during the initial 24hours was 4,500 visitors from 138 countries. This traffic clearly came partly from Google and Google partners such as CNN, New York Times, and BBC (the latter from those viewing the BBC site from outside of the UK), in addition to Twitter, Facebook and newspaper websites who began to share and circulate the website url in comments throughout the web.

One other motivation for Richard Harwood to create AshCloud.co.uk was after he watched the news and saw a single mother stranded in Germany not having a clue how she was going to be able to afford to stay extra nights in a hotel. OTD used LateRooms.com as it's hotel partner and later added Hotels.com, Expedia.co.uk, and Premier Inn.

AshCloud.co.uk was never brought online in order to make a profit - the hotel affiliates were only a way to offer up to 70% off hotel rooms and attempt to break even on the cost of Google Ads and server costs. We always knew that most visitors would primarily be looking for ash concentration charts, airport websites, NATS and CAA links - and therefore Own This Domain achieved its goal. OTD was keen to do this for the sole purpose of helping travellers as well as giving itself the opportunity to take part in a unique domain name and web experiment.

During the recent escalation in ash cloud activity, AshCloud.co.uk has seen even greater amounts of traffic - this time not due to any paid ads but, instead, thanks to search engine rankings mainly at yahoo.com and bing.com. Yahoo, in particular, ranked AshCloud.co.uk at result No.1 out of 107 million for the term ash cloud which generated 12,750 visitors in the 24 hour period May 17th-18th, 2010.

Finally, we are happy to note the continuing high number of repeat visitors to AshCloud.co.uk - with a return visitor rate of 10.85%.

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