This crossed my field of view this morning. Short, take a minute to read it.
The Facebook weather information is not new to most of us, or this blog. The general points of the post are correct, with some key problems.
In the early days of the web our industry ceded responsibility of digital development to a few template companies. It wrongly assumed it could port the television product to digital and we would keep our positions in the marketplace. We underestimated the competition and fell behind. The template nature of the digital products restricted experimentation, and worse, creativity. Who knew, right? It was (and is) the wild west out there.
Next we ran full steam into social media. It kind of makes sense. Meteorologists love technology, we weren’t getting to share our information through the template distribution sources we were given, naturally we moved to a place where we could and there was a huge audience. One of the problems is that weather information is by nature time sensitive. With Facebook leaking our products out to users over a period of hours and days that is in direct conflict with our information. And then Facebook gave us our own pages but restricted distribution to only 2-3% of our users. Causing further problems we taught our users that social media was a good place for weather information, giving rise to the crushing “social mediarologist” cacophony of misinformation we deal with today. And, we conflated news with weather. The news folks need social media, it drives a lot of traffic. Weather is different.
The blog post (hoping you read it) suggests we can take some steps to right the ship but it falls dramatically short. Local meteorologists still have value but time is running out.