One of my focus areas in the early parts of this year has been to extract some of my side projects, such as Serious Business and Charleston Weather, out from under jaredwsmith.com so that I could give them some room to breathe and take on lives of their own. This process has largely been completed for Serious Business, as I was able to move it to a Tumblr site (which has worked well so far). Establishing Serious Business with its own branded site and Twitter account have been useful in forming a stable audience.
Now that Serious Business is done, it’s time to give my weather efforts the same treatment. The work on that started very, very early this morning, culminating in a somewhat buggy rough draft of the beginnings of a brand new Charleston Weather site at charlestonwx.com. It’s very simple and straightforward at the moment, showing only current conditions. Over the next few weeks I’ll be pulling forecasts and advisories. Also, weather blogs written here at jaredwsmith.com will be extracted and migrated over to a dedicated Charleston Weather blog (with copies retained at jaredwsmith.com for posterity).
I’m leaning towards retaining the spartan appearance of the charlestonwx.com homepage. The goal I’ve had with all of my forays into weather is to provide the pertinent information as quickly and clearly as possible; I think the design — while it certainly will see many tweaks as time goes on — is a good framework to start with. I’m currently using the Weather Underground API to bring the data in; this is a short-term solution while I examine more real-time alternatives.
Some additional changes will be made even outside of the website proper; the Charleston Weather Twitter/Identi.ca feeds will become a bit more automated with hourly conditions updates. I’m also working on bringing in real-time advisory reporting (including watches and warnings). The effects will be two-fold: It’ll make the Twitter accounts a bit more useful, and it will relieve some of the stress on me to manually update them a lot. I’m going to have dramatically less time to do that in the next few months as my day job is amping up (I’m going to set some personal records for slow days on Twitter soon), so I want to make sure that the high level of service people have come to expect from @chswx is maintained.
Thanks to everyone who’s kept an eye on my weatherblogging and tweeting efforts — I’m looking forward to further growth and improvement to these services.