In Brief

For a limited time only: source code available on Github

I’ve made the source code available for the moment as I transition the site to a new codebase. Rest assured there is nothing remotely special about it beyond how I present the data (and slice up the Weather Underground feed, before their API was solid).

Big changes are coming for this site soon thanks in no small part to help from my @chswx data partners at Weather Data. I’m very excited, to say the least.

Technology Weather

My weather experiment on FriendFeed

The latest foray into my meteorologically-themed social media exploration is the Charleston Weather FriendFeed group, designed with some automated aggregation of Charleston weather-related tweets in mind, but also designed as a point for folks to share their weather stories and reports. It seems like a strange, nearly too-narrowly focused topic for a FriendFeed group, but I see it as an important proof of concept stemming from some goals we set for Charleston news reporting in March.

You may remember the Charleston news hashtag summit-of-sorts. The meeting brought together media members, active Lowcountry bloggers, and concerned Twitter citizens. We hashed out a series of tags that would classify tweets accordingly. There are tags for news (#chsnews), breaking stories (#chsbrkg), and the like. The goal of using these — and really, any hashtag — is to bring related content together so people can filter their streams accordingly. These tags have met with moderate adoption; I’ve personally seen some tags more than others. One of them, #chswx, is one focus of my FriendFeed group.

Site News Weather

New beginnings for

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 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


Video: Hyperlocal Reporting at IBC ’08

I’ve got yet another Independent Bloggers’ Conference video! This video is the talk I gave that gives a more overall look at Charleston Weather, along with some nuggets about how I think it fits into the current media landscape.

Apologies for the audio — it’s further proof I need to invest in a better camera. :)

Charleston Weather: Hyperlocal Reporting With Multimedia at Ind. Bloggers’ Conference Greensboro from Jared Smith on Vimeo.
Shows Speaking

My Demo of Charleston Weather at the Independent Bloggers’ Conference

I had a wonderful time at ConvergeSouth and the impromptu but rabidly successful (at least in my mind) Independent Bloggers’ Conference this weekend. I’ll have a full recap post in the next day or so after I drive back from Greensboro, but here’s my demonstration of Charleston Weather from Saturday’s sessions, which was a fun and loose workshop with really cool questions from the crowd and a couple mishaps (because when you DO IT LIVE, sometimes things go wrong). Many thanks to Patrick for taping in high definition (and boo on iMovie for weirding it out a bit; this upload will be replaced by something a bit better soon).

Charleston Weather Demo at the Independent Bloggers’ Conference, Greensboro, NC from Jared Smith on Vimeo.
News Personal

Taking this show on the road

This promises to be an exciting week — I’ll be going to my first-ever ConvergeSouth conference in Greensboro, NC on Thursday. I’ll be with a ton of my fellow bloggers as well as my good friend Patrick O’Keefe, who I will finally get to meet “in real life” after I’ve worked with him and chatted with him over the Internets for several years. I haven’t yet pinpointed what I’m going to do from the schedule yet — one of the many trip preparation things I need to be doing.

Saturday was supposed to be BlogHer Greensboro, which Patrick and I were also going to attend, but they pulled out. Thanks to the power of FriendFeed, a couple folks named Kelby Carr and Dave Slusher, and Converge’s organizer Sue Polinsky, the lost Saturday was reclaimed with some fresh new independent sessions.

I’m extremely stoked for the Saturday sessions, as I’ll be talking about what I do to make Charleston Weather, my streamed severe weather show, tick. I’m also excited to be able to talk about the broader implications for something like Charleston Weather as it relates to hyperlocalism in media, which is a topic that’s getting more and more attention as news outlets race to become more specialized and serve a narrower segment extremely well. That afternoon, I’ll be leading a hands-on session to show just how easy it is to put together a reasonably professional-looking live presentation using mostly free software and (not necessarily just a weather show). It’s going to be quite a bit of fun.

Patrick will also be leading some talks, so be sure to check those out. He’s on at 10:30am, and I’m on at 11:15am.

I absolutely cannot wait — this is going to be quite a good time. I’m planning on filing some video updates throughout on Serious Business, as well — keep an eye out for those.

Shows Weather

Tonight’s Hanna Briefing

Tonight’s briefing started with a recap of Gustav and its impacts in Louisiana. We then moved along to Hanna; the 5PM track continues to take the storm in at the GA/SC border and up the gut of SC, and could potentially bring hurricane force winds to Charleston by Friday. Also, I took a quick look at Ike and yet another area under investigation out in the Atlantic, Invest 99.

I’ll have a full post with the next full advisory at 11PM.

Shows Weather

Gustav and Hanna Briefing

Here’s tonight’s Serious Business/Charleston Weather show concerning Gustav and Hanna. I’ll have a lot more on Hanna as the week goes on as it has a decent chance of causing some inclement weather in Charleston by the end of the week.

Shows Weather

Tonight’s Fay Briefing

Serious Business proper was preempted somewhat tonight by a briefing on Charleston Weather for Tropical Storm Fay. I’m planning on doing a few more videos as the storm gets closer; the interactive sessions on Ustream could be potentially useful as we continue to learn more about what Fay is going to do. Blog posts about Fay will continue and be tagged appropriately.

I recorded tonight’s briefing, and it’s now available online (though it may be outdated by tomorrow morning).

Shows Weather

Is 96 close to depression status? (Updated)

Note: This is an archived post about Invest 96 in July 2008. For current information about Invest 96 in the 2010 tropical season, please see Weather Underground.

Good ol’ Invest 96 is starting to tighten up and begin to show good convection around a reformed center, which means it’s pretty likely a depression could be getting its act together there in short order (say, within the next day or so). I just wrapped a quick webcast about 96’s current state and its future. (Excuse the technical difficulties; I need a camera operator!)

Update – The Hurricane Center just released this little ditty on 96 (more here):


As they say…”More at 11…”