Article first published as Weather Gets Social! on Technorati
You may love the weather today and hate the weather tomorrow. Either way we are always compelled to share our perception. Weather has always been one of the most social of topics. Everyone has their own way for predicting the weather, and of course, an opinion about what lies ahead. However, our ideal source of information is no longer limited to traditional news channels. People are curious, and want to know what the rest of the world is thinking…and especially during weather-related events. Everyone is equally keen to learn from local accounts and individual experiences.
Metwit is a real-time collective weather source. A great place to explore and discover real-time weather conditions, from real people. People tag, tweet or post weather conditions and the information is immediately displayed on Google maps via text and amusing icons.
Metwit is being developed during a three-month start-up acceleration program by SeedStartup, a member of the Techstars network. The iPhone application and the beta website are live. The smart platform also offers features that are as ever-changing as the weather. The passionate developers are committed to innovation, continuously enhancing Metwit. Users are able to personalize their expression of the weather through new icon sets. Icons are created by professional artists and amateur illustrators so that everyone can personalize their weather experience. The result, a collection of jovial and witty icons that will definitely reflect your weather personality.
Today, even traditional weather forecasters are looking for original sources. A local perspective of weather is critical during severe weather occasions and Metwit is becoming the go-to place for “original” accounts of all things weather related. Through local content, forecasters are able to create a better narrative and more precise recommendations.
When weather stories are co-created, they also become considerably more effective within social media. For instance, when breaking weather news occurs, people immediately turn to traditional channels, but alongside is another trusted source…each other.
Social weather can fill a need for real-time, no-nonsense information…
Example: During a crisis, people want to help, not feel helpless. During the Tōhoku earthquake and Tsunami in March 2011, Twitter became one of the most important real-time destinations for those needing to stay in touch with people in Japan. Worldwide, Twitter personally connected people wanting to understand the events with those experiencing the catastrophic weather in real-time.
The collective process of Metwit naturally creates opportunities for making weather more reliable, more relevant and more exciting. Metwit was designed for helping those active in outdoor sports and activities. The idea was to create a place where climbers can understand current conditions, prepare for a day of climbing and also to connect with other climbers. The ability to understand specific and important weather conditions as it relates to climbing is essential to this sport, and only other climbers can define these conditions. For instance, climbers can pinpoint the best location according to those already on site.
Metwit will also act as a connector of like-minded enthusiasts. Users will be able to select activities that interest them. Metwit will then enable users to view others with similar interests, sharing vantage points and interesting information about specific locations. The developers continue the idea of co-creation through crowd-sourced design challenges as they look for creative new icons. The team will consistently use social media tools to help Metwit become a fun and useful resource.
Misery loves company…
Metwit is perfect for those who are feeling blue about the weather. Metwit users share your misery and often, with the help of others, can cheer-you-up with funny thoughts. Weather updates and photos have always been attention-grabbing. So, your spring-break vacation images are even more fun to share with those back home.
“Love complaining about the weather? Try Metwit” Michele Ruini Co-Founder, Metwit
Brand’s new role…Enable a Cycle-Of-Courtesy
Metwit weather updates are also becoming a resource for brands. Rather than inactive messages that have little value, brands will be able to offer social weather as a service, connecting with people through the advantages of one of the most social topics…weather. Metwit extends brand experiences by creating mobile occasions. Brands are able to actively involve people through weather related content and current conditions.
Don’t forget your umbrella…
How often do you wish that you knew a storm was on the way? Hyper-local weather is ideal for travelers. Metwit helps you prepare for the weather conditions where you’re headed. Now Airlines can use Metwit to create weather alerts that are informative, visual and fun!
Note| I have been fortunate to spend some time helping these clever developers with strategy and positioning in recent weeks. Honestly, I believe that Metwit is now, and will continue to be, one of the most imaginative and useful social platforms available.