Riding Down The Golden Escalator

Some years ago I read “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. One of the things I remember often from the book is the author’s tale of finally hitting bottom and saying, “when things get to a point where you just can’t stand them anymore, you do something.”

The American Meteorological Society has apparently hit a similar point on “social mediarology” and put out an excellent document of best practices. Authored by very smart people, including Digital Meteorologist contributor, the legendary Nate Johnson, the well thought out piece hits a fatal flaw at the very beginning of the guidelines, through no fault of its own.


Thanks to the Facebook News Feed algorithm posts are “leaked” out to users over a period of minutes, hours and days and our data is the definition of time-sensitive.

At the dawn of cable TV would stations have accepted terms that said the cable system would only distribute newscasts to 2-3% of subscribers (the percentage of page followers Facebook allows to see your post)? If weathercasts, with time-sensitive information we uploaded through a satellite provider only 6-12 hours after a broadcast, would that be a public service?

Facebook recently hired former broadcast journalist Campbell Brown to be Head of News Partnerships. Ms. Brown is excited to, “be working directly with our partners to help them understand how Facebook can expand the reach of their journalism.” Time will tell if Facebook will be “listening” or “telling”. Odds are they will be telling us how we can fit into their restrictive model. They haven’t listened so far, I’ve asked.

The parallels to politics are stunning. For all the varied reasons Donald Trump won the White House the base reason is that enough people had decided they just couldn’t stand the current system anymore. Former president Barak Obama said one of his greatest regrets looking back on eight years in the White House was that the partisan deadlock might have only gotten worse. Time will tell but it would sure be nice if he had actually gotten to the point where he couldn’t stand it anymore.

Go read the AMS document, it is worthwhile. Then consider the time-sensitive information you post on social media.

I’m mulling over a ride down the golden escalator with an announcement.



About Kevin Selle

Chief Meteorologist, KFDX-TV. Co-host, WeatherBrains.
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2 Responses to Riding Down The Golden Escalator

  1. All great points but also don’t forget to pay attention to the quality of the time-sensitive product you are putting out there. Attempts to build trust and be quickly eroded with simple typos. Case in point, the title on the ABC News video in your last link.

  2. Kevin Selle says:

    Thanks, Tony! Wrong link. I had one for video of Trump coming down the escalator. Fixing! #copypastefail

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