What Do They Want From You?

Recently a friend said they could tell that the parent company had finally started to cool on social media. The impression was that they had begun to realize the effort and time-in-motion might not have been worth it. When Campbell Brown told publishers in Australia that Mark Zuckerberg didn’t care about their traffic, that should have been a good signal too.

This is a good read with an important lesson. The short version is that when Facebook went down people went looking for news on their own. The two lessons: make is easy for them, and, they had better find something worthwhile when they get there.

Years ago a consultant asked, “What do they want from you?” We gave big important answers: accuracy, credibility, yadda, yadda, yadda. The answer was, “They want you to protect them.” Wow. Think about that…..every day. Expand the definition beyond severe weather and you get, “They want you to look out for them.” That plays on all days. “How does it feel outside.” “What happens over the next couple of hours.” “Help me grease the skids and get through my day.” And don’t waste my time with bad looking current temperature maps not designed for the phone and automated notifications that the sun has set.

We have something that no other weather provider has (with the exception of the National Weather Service). Local boots on the ground that can take care of them, but we’re not providing the user experience that makes them choose us first. I guess that is okay. Maybe Facebook will go down for 45 minutes again sometime next year.


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Curious TWC? Apple?

I get a fair amount of use out of the native Apple News app on my iPhone.

Just notice this. If you tap on the date or the blank space at the top of the app The Weather Channel logo appears. Not a link, just the logo. Doesn’t go anywhere, and disappears after a few seconds.

I’ve never seen any weather information in the Apple News app. Don’t see any now.


Any ideas?

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The Sky

A very nice couple came up to me the other day and said, “We appreciate the sky so much more since you arrived. Thanks for teaching us.”

Thanks to you for teaching your users.

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In the wake of the repeated snow storms across the northeast the question came up the other day about forecasting snow totals. One camp suggested a range. Another suggested that snow total forecasts too far out are a problem.

How do we answer the users who say, “Just…..tell…..me what it is going to do, give me a number!” But, we’re also being increasingly told that users understand and accept an explanation of the uncertainty in a forecast.

It reminds me of a day years ago when Mom and Dad were visiting. Dad was having a terrible allergy attack and Mom became obsessed with knowing what was in the air. Wouldn’t rest until she knew. Eventually she found out…but nothing changed. Still watery eyes, still a sinus headache. But, she had an answer and that made her feel better.

So, how much snow? Maybe in the moment you are in the answer is, “Right here, right now, four inches right there. Maybe a bit more or a bit less. We’ll keep an eye out for changes and let you know.”

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Worn Out Highlighter

The radio personality Glenn Beck used to have a sound effect of a roll of duct tape. He would use it to wrap up his head to keep it from exploding when he was describing something that was blowing his mind. It made me laugh every time.

(SFX: duct tape) I’m reading Hooked and I’ve never highlighted a book more. And I’m only 20% in.

Go read it. Oh, and here is this…


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It Felt Like A Spa Vacation

Strip everything away and it comes down to this. Advertisers need eyeballs. Yes, we protect people. Yes, we add value to their day. But, it is all spelled out in The Attention Merchants, we aggregate a large audience and sell access to it.

We wandered off into Facebook because they aggregated a larger audience and now they control the access.

This is a really interesting article. And here is one of the money quotes. Glance at the quote then read the article. It is not very long, I have a minute. (Tapping foot…)

Users want access to us. They want to ask questions and they enjoy it when we share part of our lives. It looks like a Danish TV station is going to take a step forward in taking back control.

We get control. We get the eyeballs. We monetize the audience. The longer we wait the harder it becomes.

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I For One Welcome Our New Robot Overlords

Got a direct message on Facebook from The Weather Channel…ice storm in my market.

Still not a note from a human…but they’re getting more lifelike.

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