So declared our main news splash on Thursday, announcing the birth of two new regional editions of HuffPost, in Alberta and British Columbia. As other major media organizations across the country lay off staff and shutter their presses, HuffPost's expansion west is good news -- great news -- for readers who are rapidly running out of sources of local news and opinion. It's also another indicator of HuffPost's rising and growing importance in the Canadian media. HuffPost Canada was the first international brand birthed by its U.S. mother company, AOL -- its quick success encouraged launches of sites in the UK, France, and most recently, Spain.
HuffPost Canada now receives some 3.4 million unique visitors per month -- that's a 117% growth in traffic since we launched in May. In February, we also launched HuffPost Quebec, which is growing more rapidly even than the Anglo site -- up 156%, with close to 300,000 uniques per month.
Among all these numbers, we discovered that a good third of our readers live in Western Canada -- and we were receiving more of these visitors to our site than any of our national newspaper competitors (e.g. National Post and the Globe). So: Ping!
So as of this week, those readers will now receive their own, bespoke editions, tailored to their interests and issues -- with all the fun and spiciness of the national edition mixed in. A big welcome to Western editors Pablo Fernandez (in Alberta -- don't mess with this guy, he's a reservist with the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps!), and Andree Lau in British Columbia -- and all their new hardworking troops. You can read Arianna's announcement of the Alberta launch here and B.C. here. I'd also like to give a shout-out to all my new friends and contributors I met out West this week, at our launch events in Calgary and Vancouver. You can see photos of the events here. Was I serious about you blogging for us? Yes I was. Email me at Danielle.Crittenden@huffingtonpost.com.
This past week also saw the finale of the 2012 Summer Olympics -- our Style section offered an original wrap up. Meanwhile, there was international condemnation of the sentencing of the girls' band Pussy Riot in Russia, including right here on our own blog rail by NDP MPs Charlie Angus and Andrew Cash. I'd not realized that Charlie and Tom are both former punk rockers, and in the 1980s were in a band called L'etranger (named after, I'm assuming, that famous rocker, Albert Camus). Shove off Justin Trudeau and Patrick Brazeau -- Charlie and Andrew are the way coolest MPs on the Hill.
And it's starting to feel a lot like Christmas -- which is a parent's way of saying it's Back to School time. Our Lifestyle section is rolling out helpful articles on the topic, such as tips for the new kids. I need advice on how to a contrive a sympathetic and sorrowful look on my face when my kids and I bump into the stacks of school supplies at the mall. My impulse is to shout, "YES!" So far, the only consolation I've been able to offer my rising fifth grader is, "Look, it's only seven more years until you graduate, then only four more years of college after that ... which amounts to, I guess, 11 more years of school, or the length of your entire lifetime to date, plus one year."
I didn't mention the subsequent years of school debt. Why give her another reason to hate math?