Startling images and videos taken by mobile phones then broadcast to the internet within seconds of an event are a sign of these social networking times. News services not only welcome contributions from the public they are willing to pay for them. Gone are the days of film crews and reporters sitting around waiting for news to break, the extended social network is out there, in force on every street corner ready to capture the moment.
Even the BBC and CNN now routinely interview people via Skype, a) because itâ€™s fast and cheap and, b) because we have grown accustomed to the less than brilliant quality of Flash and You Tube and donâ€™t mind the less non-HD images on our TV screens. The combination of social networks, always-at-hand technology and accepting mediocre quality, as long as itâ€™s fast, is a sign of the times. Oh, and I mustnâ€™t forget the fantastic always connected capabilities our telecoms industry provides.
There seems to be an app for everything as well, so I guess it was only a matter of time that some bright spark put all this together to come up with a â€˜people-powered app.â€™ This brilliant concept is used to pull together weather information from people actually out in the weather, collate it and then send the info to those about to go out into the weather, presumably.
Now, I would have thought that the myriad of weather apps already available were doing a pretty good job, but as they say, itâ€™s not like being there. The name of this breakthrough product that capitalizes on the Twitterer in all of us is â€˜Weddarâ€™. Yes, folks, itâ€™s the word â€˜weatherâ€™ just like a rapper would pronounce it. But thatâ€™s not the clever part. People get to define the weather by how it â€˜feelsâ€™ and not in terms of temperature, humidity and wind factor.
Itâ€™s dead simple. Budding â€˜weddarmenâ€™ and â€˜weddarwomenâ€™ can choose from nine different weather report selections that take the form of color-coded clouds â€” think Perfect, Hot, Good or Hell, and four optional modifiers so users can specify whether itâ€™s cloudy, rainy, windy or snowy. Even children can handle this. By using the phoneâ€™s location, the information is fed directly to a map and those that want to know what its like outside or at somebodyâ€™s elseâ€™s location can check visually.
If enough people start using â€˜Weddarâ€™ the meteorological service, like the news, may be threatened. Who cares about barometric pressures when at a glance you can see itâ€™s â€˜Greatâ€™ outside. What more do you need to know?
I’ve been using a weather site, Metcheck, for a long time now: http://www.metcheck.com It started out as a collaborative project where the contributors are quite meteo-savvy and are rated against the actual outcome so the cream rises. Not sure of the amateur/pro status these days – they may have gone to the Dark Side. It nonetheless provides far better predictions than any mainstream source I’ve tried (BBC, ITV, weatherchannel, weather.com…)
Of course Wedder promises to be that much more immediate and folksy. The equivalent of the “less than brilliant quality” video clips.