It’s a good thing that we have weather, that hearty support of flagging conversations across all climates and cultures. A world without weather would be a sad place indeed, devoid of all but the most meaningful conversations. Consequently, high tech gadgets don’t make weather go away. They just make it that much easier to talk about the weather.
For instance, I know at this very instant that it is 24 degrees Fahrenheit outside right now (or at least it is outside the WBZ newsroom just down the street from me) because I installed a little app called Weatherbug on my desktop after reading an article over at SFGate.com: Weatherbug may rain on Weather.com’s parade. I think the Weatherbug folks have got the mix right with the interface: you get a realtime updated temperature display on the bottom corner of your desktop, and the forecast is exactly one click away. When it comes to weather, you always want to see pretty much the same thing. I feel like I’m wading around more than I need to with sites like AccuWeather or Weather.com. This way I’m in, I’m out, and I’m off (wearing the right coat). Weatherbug has a nifty business model, too. You can buy one of their weather stations at a good price (okay, it’s still $12,000) and then you become part of their network of information providers. The network gets smarter, which brings in the crowds, which brings in the advertisers, and everybody is happy. Using your customers as both providers and consumers (think Ebay) is the ultimate leveraged web play.