In Brief

I need to up my game

From my 2011 blog statistics, as packaged festively by Jetpack on

Some visitors came search, mostly for stupidity.

Guess I better blog smarter in 2012.


BarCamp Charlotte

I went up to Charlotte, NC on Saturday to take part in BarCamp Charlotte 2. I got a great deal of value out of the presentations, and it was really important for me to see a BarCamp in action — important as we prepare for the inaugural BarCamp Charleston on Saturday.

I was only able to attend the afternoon sessions, but fortunately I was able to see how Charlotte’s interpretation of BarCamp works. I even tried to pitch a session talking about what I’ve done with my weather projects, and while there was some interest, it didn’t quite pass muster. But that’s alright — I know I wouldn’t have been able to match the quality of the sessions I attended, which were incredibly well-thought-out and creative. I attended a session called “45 Questions in 45 Minutes,” which aimed for 45 questions about the web answered in a strict one-minute time limit (though people found loopholes later on :) ). I got to see a great demo of HTML5 — and from that, confidence that I can start to use HTML 5 now. Finally, I attended a panel about the future of journalism (a topic near and dear to this journalism major’s heart), during which I got to mention the #CHS Hashtag Summit, which likely sparked a Charlotte news hashtagging movement as well.

It was also great to connect and re-connect with a lot of my Charlotte Twitter friends. I think that’s the part of these events I enjoy most — connecting with all the people in “real life” that I interact with daily on Twitter. I also got to meet a whole lot of new people as well — always a plus.

The event seemed to go very well (at least for the few hours I was there), and I look forward to making the trip for BarCamp Charlotte 3.

Events In Brief

Another smashing success

Social Media Club Charleston’s happy hour networking event last night was a smashing success. About 50-60 people (very rough headcount) showed up to put faces to names, make contacts, and learn from each other over tacos and beer. Those who saw me could probably see the near-permanent grin on my face over the turnout (Eugene has photographic proof of said grin and more shots of the event); it’s pretty exciting to be part of a group that has such energy and, so far, great momentum for potentially making a real difference for business, journalism, and education in Charleston. Local media was very supportive of our event, and barring a last-minute change, you’ll see a story on Live 5 News at 6 tonight about SMC Charleston, including an interview with yours truly. Many thanks to everybody who came out to support us — it was great to see so many new faces! As always, it’s great working with the SMC Charleston leadership group, headed up by Jeff Webster, Nick Tompkins, Lyn Mettler, Heather Solos, and Chad Norman. Look for more information on our next event soon.

In Brief Weather

Recapping last night’s severe weather

I’ve done up a quick recap of last night’s severe weather over on the Charleston Weather blog. The storm report map was sourced from the Iowa Environmental Mesonet website. They’re very progressive (geotagged storm reports using the Google Maps API, a Jabber room that relays products directly from LDM, etc.) and ridiculously useful in a pinch. I like ’em a lot, and might need them again tomorrow.

In Brief Personal

Back on the set and covering all bets

Hope everyone is having a great Easter holiday. I’m trying to get back in the swing of things after a week out in Salt Lake City for training. Check out my Flickr photos from the trip, and check out places I visited on Brightkite. Expect the blog to slowly regain steam in the next couple days as I attempt to reestablish a routine; have some stuff about mainstream vs. niche and other passively related items percolating in the brain. For now, though, it’s time to dine — Easter dinner, that is.

In Brief Shows

Serious Business Recap: Super Bowl and Hooters…CRAYONS?

The Serious Business Super Bowl Pre-Pre-Pregame Show was a fun one, where we talked a bit about football and a lot more about the availability of crayons at Hooters. Seriously. It’s amazing what happens in Serious Business. Of course, we have video. :)


1/14 Serious Business Recap

Transparency of many different types — whether it be the authenticity type, the Saran Wrap type, or the Windows 7 Aero window border glassy type — was interwoven all throughout the show tonight. It proved to be a pervasive theme, to say the least. Also, our first call-in over Skype! There’s still some kinks to work out, but they’ll get there. Overall a good stepping stone. Video after the jump.


NFL Week 1 in a nutshell

In case you haven’t heard, all indications are that Tom Brady is done for the year. Last year, the Patriots talked about playing through the adversity of Spygate, etc — but they had all their players remain reasonably intact. The rush of air you feel? The rest of the AFC East breathing a sigh of relief. While the Belichick-era Patriots are resilient, losing their superstar quarterback may be too much. The Patriots are definitely more mortal now, and the division is completely up for grabs now.

Meanwhile, I watched my Chargers and the Panthers tangle to the last second, when a Jake Delhomme miracle throw was caught by Dante Rosario for a game-winning touchdown with no time left. Incredible! I hate seeing the Chargers lose, but losing to the Panthers is the only team I can accept them losing to. The Panthers haven’t looked this good in years. Having Steve Smith out may not necessarily be a bad thing for Delhomme; he spread the ball out to everybody. Delhomme always seems to lean on Smith when he’s in the game. The playcalling was very well-balanced (though going for it on fourth-and-1 on their second drive of the game was foolish), and the defense was as strong as ever.

This game is a gut-check for the Chargers, who need to strongly rethink their policy of leaving players out completely in preseason. Everybody was shaking off rust, and the regular season just isn’t the time for that. One silver lining: Philip Rivers looks as sharp as ever. His mobility was all there — it’s uncanny considering that less than seven months ago he had his ACL reconstructed. The Chargers will bounce back and will be fine; they needed this game to get a few things in check.

Looks to be a fun and wild year ahead; I’m really glad football’s back, especially after such a dismal baseball season.


Hanna: A non-event so far


Computer models and forecast tracks aside, so far, Hanna’s been quite a beneficial rainmaker for Charleston, and not much else. I’ve seen some fairly heavy showers come through at times, but the winds have definitely been nothing like what was expected. The winds were actually stronger earlier today; in the last few hours, while the rain has definitely gotten harder and more steady, the wind has just not been where it’s been expected. This could change as the center passes closer at 8:00 (the buoy reports do indicate stronger winds — but nowhere near 70 MPH, either), but by every measure, we should have been in tropical storm force winds by now. This simply has not happened. We’ve gotten much-needed rain — we’re down 8″ here in Charleston — and none of the problems that usually come with it (save for downtown flooding, but that’s not avoidable).

I do suspect things will kick up a bit as the center approaches — judging from the buoy reports I’ve been looking at, we could see 25-35 MPH sustained winds at times — but I think predictions of hurricane conditions in Charleston are far overblown at this point. Everything I’ve seen just does not sustain that.

My faithful Charleston weather watchers and I will continue to keep an eye out in the Charleston Weather broadcast, but it looks like we need to pay much closer attention to Ike and let this glorified late summer nor’easter do its thing. :)


Charleston’s final words on Fay, plus two new storms

Fay, Fay, Fay. During these storm cycles I write so much about a storm that I honestly get sick and tired of the name and hope to never hear it again for another six years. (Typically, that’s the case.) While we’re writing the last chapter on Fay here in Charleston, it’ll be around our friends on the Gulf Coast for quite a while it looks like, as it treks toward a record fourth Florida landfall enroute to stalling out and continuing to dump tons and tons of rain on an area that’s had enough.

Yesterday brought the Lowcountry a tornado watch. While most of the tornadic activity was concentrated in Georgia, where there was a steady stream of warnings, there was a short-lived rotation in Hampton and Jasper counties prompting a warning. There weren’t any reports of such weather in Charleston, though.

Rain’s the story here, as it is in most other places (but certainly not to the degree that it is in Florida, where they’re getting it in feet). NWS record-keeping indicates a new record for rainfall downtown yesterday, with 2.16″ of rain. The College of Charleston weather station indicates 2.03″ of rain, most of which came down in a squall between 11am and noon.

We’re still contending with some scattered showers from Fay, but since it’s actually starting to move away a little bit, this should actually come to an end by tonight. In fact, I’ve seen some sun for the first time in a few days…it’s a nice change.

As Fay leaves Charleston, there’s two more items of interest in the Atlantic. Invest 94 has been on the radar for about a week as having potential for development, but it hasn’t gotten it together. A look at the models and its position shows that it’s going to maintain a fairly southerly track, so I don’t anticipate this one would be much of an issue for us here at home. Invest 95 may be something to watch as time goes on, at least track-wise: It’s at a latitude that seems to foreshadow some threat to the U.S. in the next couple of weeks, though there’s some significant divergence toward the end on where it’d end up. A strike against 95 is that its satellite presentation, or near-lack thereof. It’s got a little bit of convection, but the circulation is not well defined and it would have a long way to go before it became anything significant. It’s still worth peeking at every now and again, though, as conditions are generally favorable for slow growth…and it is still the peak of hurricane season, after all.