Weather: One of the Many Reasons that I Love Twitter

If you know me, I’m one of those fanatical social media geeks. The friends that I grew up with never miss a chance to make fun of me for working in an industry (Internet marketing) that they could never even begin to understand. One of my favorite social platforms is Twitter. I also just so happen to be fanatical about weather, especially in the winter months. Don’t believe me, just ask my wife and daughters. They call me Wendell the Weatherman. Wendall the Weatherman

I grew up loving snow and picked up skiing when I was in middle school so that I could have a reason to be outside during the winter months. So, I’m what some would label a ‘snow lover’ and I am ok with that, because if it wasn’t for snow, I wouldn’t be living in the Northeast anymore (there I said it).

Because of my love of snow, I have always been ‘that guy‘ that is following the weather and trying to be the first to report it to my friends. By the way, my friends has evolved greatly over my lifetime. When I was in high school I would talk about the weather to my friends in person, but now I report it on every personal social media platform that I own. I know those that follow me on social media and that are reading this post are shaking your heads and saying “he’s not lying.”

I started by following radio, television and newspaper weather reports because, hey that was all that we had back in the pre-internet stone ages (1980 and 90’s). Then came the Internet and now I’m going to the big meteorology sites like the Weather Channel and AccuWeather to get the scoop on the next winter storm. I also check out the local media forecasts, which here in Lancaster is WGAL and Fox43. I learned quickly that the more local the forecaster, the more precise the forecast. Don’t believe me, when is the last time that the Weather Channel got the local forecast even remotely correct?

So enough rambling, that brings me to today. I have finally found a weather resource that is officially my go to. That forecaster is Millersville University Weather Information Center and specifically the Twitter account for E. Horst, MU WIC. The twitter handle is @MUweather. Thanks to @MUweather I don’t have to search out any other forecasters and scratch my head and ask myself if I can count on them or will they be way out in left field.

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 11.12.05 PM

The @MUweather forecasts are spot on, but even more importantly, I would have never known about this resource unless they were on Twitter. If this was just a simple website with a few people sharing their forecasts on social media, sure I might have checked out the site a couple of times, but I would have eventually forgot about it and I wouldn’t be able to count on them like I do now. I would be forced to continue relying on the bigger local media sites who have mobile apps that use push notifications that I used almost exclusively for weather. Now I simply turn on notifications on my iPhone Twitter app and I am notified, on my iPhone, the moment that @MUweather publishes a new tweet. That means I’m completely up to date on the latest forecasts. Forecasts that I can count on and be happy that I don’t have to look anywhere else.

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 11.14.34 PMAnother awesome resource that @MUweather uses is a Google+ Hangout that is owned by Lancaster Online, our local newspaper here in Lancaster. When a big storm or arctic cold front is moving in, the two get together and record a 10-20 minute video using Google+ Hangout where Eric talks about the upcoming weather event. The brilliance of this strategy is that they can then share this video on all the social platforms, and because it’s on YouTube, you can actually watch the recorded hangout video right on your Facebook news feed or Twitter stream. I know this because I watched one of their videos earlier last week on my Twitter stream while working.

So the moral to the story is that Millersville University Weather Information Center deserves a shout out for embracing social media platforms like Twitter and Google+  hangouts while aligning with and using local media as vehicle to report their weather forecasts. By doing this, they have ‘embraced their localness‘ (a phrase that I like to use). They now have a local audience (3,300+ followers on Twitter) that are looking to them to deliver not only the forecast, but a forecast that at least from my observation, has been as accurate as I’ve seen in Lancaster county minus the sensationalism that many forecasters now employ to get more RT’s, shares on Facebook, and website traffic with no regard to their audience. Speaking of sensationalist forecasts, Eric had a brilliant explanation of why this is happening, which I was hoping to share, but I cannot find the link. If I do find it, I will definitely update this post and share.

Advertisements

Who Will Win Super Bowl XLVIII? My Prediction…

I love sports.  I have had a personal goal to start writing more sports themed posts, especially predictions for seasons, games, etc.  What better time to start than the biggest game in the entire American sports world, the NFL Super Bowl?

Disclaimer: I am a Steelers fan. Most Steelers fans do not like the Seahawks because their fans were the biggest cry babies after Super Bowl XL when the Steelers beat the Seahawks 21-10.  All of this said, for whatever reason I chose to root for the Seahawks this season.  Maybe it was their no name status and the passion of their fans.  Maybe it was the unexpected success of Russell Wilson and that he is a good guy. Maybe it was because I have always hated the 49er’s. The Seahawks were the only team that stood in the 49er’s way from back-to-back Super Bowl.  Whatever it was, I will be rooting for the Seahawks in today’s game.

So who do I predict is going to win the Super Bowl?  I think it’s going to be the Denver Broncos. Why? John Elway. I was never an Elway fan growing up. I remember AFC Playoff games when John went up against the Steelers. Being a die hard Steelers fan, I could NEVER root for John. When you look at the current Denver Broncos team, John showed that he understands how to win in the NFL by doing several things.

John Elway – Denver Broncos Executive V.P. of Football Operations

The first thing John did was to make a commitment to scrap the Tim Tebow project (even though most fans were not happy about this decision).  He also went out and secured a great head coach. If you have been watching the NFL like I have since early 2000, you cannot deny that John Fox is one of the best.  Lastly, he grabbed one of the greatest NFL quarterbacks when the Colts decided that they were going to go in a different direction.  Think about what John did as Executive Vice President of the Denver Broncos.  Funny thing as I write this, ESPN is showing a piece that backs up exactly what I am writing.

In closing, I really hope that the Seahawks prove me wrong. I think there is a chance that they might, especially if Percy Harvin, who is the biggest X-factor in today’s game, has a big day. I do question if Mr. Wilson is ready for this game. Big Ben said he didn’t remember the first half of his first Super Bowl experience.

My prediction is Seattle 23 Denver 28

Male Volunteers needed for Junior Achievement of Central PA Young Men’s Futures Symposium

The Young Men’s Futures Symposium will take place December 16, 2013 at Millersville University.  The Symposium is a full-day event for male sophomore/junior high school students who are considered to be in the academic middle of their class. The entire day is designed to open opportunities, encourage dreams, and build confidence within these young men through speakers, group activities, and networking with professionals like you.

 2011 Junior Achievement of Central PA Young Men's Futures SymposiumWe are currently looking for men to become involved in this day as a Symposium Facilitators & Symposium Mentors.  It doesn’t matter what your profession, you are welcome and encouraged to sign up to help.  In high school many of us were interested in professions that we might have never come close to actually doing.

Symposium Facilitators work with the 6, tenth and eleventh grade students at their table throughout the Symposium to guide and direct the activities and programs for the day. Facilitators are usually the first new contact the students make at the Symposium since the young men are seated at a table with students from every high school in Lancaster County.  Time Commitment 7:30 am – 2:00 pm   Mandatory training for all volunteers November 25th @ Scantron, Inc. in Columbia.  (details provided in attached link)

Symposium Mentors meet with 2 tenth and/or eleventh grade students during the Mentoring Luncheon portion of the Symposium to guide, encourage and inspire the young men to achieve their goals. Note: It is not necessarily our goal to match mentors with students according to the students’ career interests, as there is much value in learning about other career opportunities not previously considered.  Time commitment 11:45-12:45     Mandatory training for all volunteers November 25th @ Scantron, Inc. in Columbia.  (details provided in attached link)

To volunteer at the symposium simply click on this link:  :  http://form.jotform.us/form/32515217175147

YMCP 2011

This is a photo of me and Isiah Talton at the 2011 Junior Achievement of Central PA Young Men’s Future Symposium.  I had the pleasure to meet and have lunch with Isiah, who was a Junior at Lancaster Catholic High School at the time.  A great young man who is getting ready to graduate from high school this year.

My Take On The PSU Scandal

I have seen enough of the Freeh Report to be sickened, so I want to share my take and leave it at that. Whatever the powers that be (Law Enforcement, NCAA, etc) decide the punishment should be for the University, I am ok with it. What happened is beyond comprehension and I am not even going to attempt to say what the consequences should be. That is what we pay these powers that be to determine.

With that said, to both PSU fans and PSU haters alike, please remember that the consequences of these actions have affected so many young lives in a negative way, so the only thing that should matter to you is that these victims can be comforted in seeing justice carried out. Stop worrying about your beloved PSU and stop delighting in this because you hate PSU.

This is beyond what some of you think it should be, which is typical of selfish America.  It seems like it always comes down to how it affects YOU and you rarely or never think of the people that are actually directly affected by the actions, especially in this case.  Some of the Facebook posts I have read and the commentary on ESPN I have seen today are embarrassing.  Get a clue folks.

Staying Busy

It has been some time since I have paid any attention to this blog.  The primary reason for that absence has been my involvement with Social Needia.  If you haven’t visited the Social Needia website or you are not familiar with Social Needia, it is a volunteer project committed to helping nonprofit organizations develop and maintain a digital content marketing strategy. 

The project was started a year ago by myself and two of my former coworkers at my previous employer Nxtbook Media.  I recently felt an uneasy weight from my involvement in the project, which can happen when you do something of this magnitude, so I spoke to Eric and Adam and we came to an agreement that going forward I would be a contributor to the site and the project.

So my first thought is, now I can take a deep breath, relax a little bit and clear my mind and see what direction that I would like 2012 to take me in.  Needless to say that didn’t last long, if you know me it is very hard for me to sit still.  Within days of talking to Eric and Adam about my involvement in Social Needia, I was on the phone with my buddy Geoff Burke from Lewistown deciding that we would go ahead and be the event planners/organizers of the 6th Annual Rec N Ball Classic 3 on 3 basketball tournament that I founded back in 2007.   We have agreed that after this year, we would like to find somebody to take over the tournament and hopefully keep it going strong after we are no longer involved in the planning.  Right now that event is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, July 28th.

To add salt to my self inflicted wound, not even a day later, I agreed to help one of my former coworkers, Micah Miller, whom I worked with at Paradox Labs, promote his new website Band Age at this years Launch Music Conference & Festival to be held in Lancaster City the weekend of April 26th through the 29th.  I will be handling all the social media activity at the festival along with enjoying the bands and activities that this awesome event provides to their participants.  We will have a booth at the event, so please look for us. I am really looking forward to attending again.

To add to all of those busy activities, I am also going to start writing content for Tower Marketing’s (my employer) blog.  We have made it a priority to create a content marketing plan so that we can tell clients that we practice what we preach and I am going to be instrumental in that.  I already maintain all of the current Tower social media accounts.

So to finish up, I guess this would be a good time to hopefully create some activity on all of these projects websites and social media accounts.  Feel free to check them out and ‘Like’ ‘Follow’ ect, we appreciate it.

Social Needia

Website

Facebook

Twitter @socialneedia

LinkedIn

Rec N Ball

Website (not completed)

Facebook

Twitter @recnball

YouTube

BandAge

Website

Facebook

Twitter @thebandage

YouTube

Story of Dewey Bozella Highly Recommended

I have been moved many times by stories of heroism, courage, perseverance, and the list goes on.   I have seen many videos, movies, documentaries, and powerful true stories that have made me rethink my life and appreciate what I have been given.

But the story of Dewey Bozella is hands down my favorite.

Rather than write a bunch of thoughts about this incredible story, if you are reading this, I would ask that you please take five minutes and watch the video below from beginning to end.  If you have seen it already, please watch it again.  It is truly remarkable and I hope it touches others lives like it did mine.  You will thank me.

Without further ado, here is the story of Dewey Bozella, the 2011 recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award given at this years ESPN ESPY awards.  Be sure to check out the video of his acceptance speech directly below the story.

“Never let fear determine who you are, and never let where you’ve been determine where you are going”  Dewey Bozella during the acceptance speech at the 2011 ESPN ESPY Awards