Future Plans For Firsthand Weather In 2015

I announced earlier today that Firsthand Weather is going to stop relying on Facebook’s services as heavily in 2015 as we have in the last four and a half years. Facebook has been a great way for Firsthand Weather to get its articles and updates out to its many viewers in the past, but over the last year, Facebook has continued to limit a Facebook page’s outreach unless a certain amount of money is paid per post. Due to new policy changes that will be implemented in January 2015 by Facebook, I have decided that it is best to start moving away from Facebook by taking small steps to ensure that the Firsthand Weather viewers get the same experience that they have gotten in the past from this site.

I have never been opposed to paying Facebook money to promote the Firsthand Weather articles and updates, but paying thousands of dollars each month is just not a viable option for the site. I feel that we can use any money that is made through Firsthand Weather or donated to the site to offer additional services that we have not developed yet. Right now, the majority of Firsthand Weather’s traffic is driven by Facebook, but my goal in 2015 is to start taking steps to give the Firsthand Weather viewers other services (for free) that are created by Firsthand Weather and not Facebook.

Plans For The Short-Term: 

Over the next few months, I continue to plan posting updates to Facebook and to use that as a way to promote the Firsthand Weather articles and updates. The most immediate change that you will begin to notice is that a lot of the shorter updates that I have been posting on Facebook will now be posted on the site, although I’ll share the link to the site from Facebook every time I add new updates. In other words, you’ll have to use the Firsthand Weather website more often to get the updates.

With that said, Facebook is still an important tool, and it is important that you continue to visit our Facebook page on a daily basis as you have been doing. In the immediate future, Facebook will continue to be a way for me to announce upcoming articles and updates. Again, the biggest and only difference you’ll notice is that more updates will be posted on the site but announced through Facebook.

The best way to continue to get my updates through Facebook is to hover your mouse over the liked button on the Facebook page and make sure that the “Get Notifications” button has a checkmark by it. Every time an update is posted on Facebook by Firsthand Weather, you’ll get a notification.

It is still VERY important that you continue to share the Firsthand Weather articles on Facebook as you have been doing. That is still a great way to get people onto the site. Your friends are likely to see our articles when you share them.

Signup For The Newsletter:

I can’t stress how important it is that you sign up for the Firsthand Weather newsletter. I haven’t sent out a newsletter since early this year, so if you haven’t been getting them, then that’s the reason. There are multiple reasons to sign up for the newsletter.

Once a week, I’ll be sending out a newsletter that will detail what to expect for the upcoming week. That will be something that will only be available to my subscribers and will not be posted on the site. I’ve decided to open up 10,000 slots and nearly 7,000 of those are already taken. I will continue to make new slots available, but it gets quite expensive per month the more subscribers that are signed up.

Another big reason to sign up for the newsletter is that you will have exclusive access to early versions of the mobile app and new applications that will be made available on the Firsthand Weather website. If you don’t have a smartphone, you will still be able to test out our cool websites products that will be coming out in 2015. A lot of these new features will replace Facebook, and you will be given new ways to interact with each other on the site and get the Firsthand Weather updates.

I can assure you that your email address is not sold to ANYONE, and that I don’t spam you with a bunch of newsletters a week. The biggest reason to sign up for the newsletter is to make sure you’re always connected to Firsthand Weather. What if Facebook decided to randomly shut down our Facebook page? Then you would have a way to get direct updates without needing Facebook.

To sign up for the newsletter, please click HERE. You will get a confirmation email, and be sure to check your spam box if it isn’t in your main inbox.

Plans For The Long-Term:

The ultimate goal is to only use Facebook as a tool, and not to rely on it as heavily as we have in the past. My intentions are not to abandon Facebook completely, especially since it continues to be the number one way Firsthand Weather gets traffic to the site (by far).

Firsthand Weather is in the process of building a mobile app and also website applications that will be ways for me to get updates out to the public. The site still has A LOT of money to raise and work to get this mobile app launched. I’ll have more details on that regarding some neat fundraisers that we’re going to try to do to get this project built and launched. By the way, the app will be completely free for you to use. 🙂

Completing these huge projects will be ways for you to hugely benefit from the services and forecasts that Firsthand Weather has provided in the past. This is also going to allow us to expand our coverage in 2015 and beyond. You will really begin to notice this in 2015.

What YOU Can Do:

Please continue to manually go to the Firsthand Weather Facebook page to check for the updates. More importantly, get into the habit of checking the Firsthand Weather website on a daily basis. Most likely, I will announce the times for future articles on the Facebook page and the site. That will give you a great way of knowing when to come onto the site. Be sure to like and follow Firsthand Weather on Instagram and Twitter as those are additional ways to get quick and easy updates.

I want to thank each and every one of you that continues to support Firsthand Weather and tell everyone about the site. I truly mean it when I say that it’s because of you that this site has grown so much. If you weren’t telling people about Firsthand Weather, then there is no way that we could have grown in 2014 like we have. I will continue to make sure that Firsthand Weather continues to grow and offer additional services in the future that you can greatly benefit from.

  • CAE56

    Excellent move. I don’t use Facebook.

  • Stan S

    Good – I don’t use facebook at all.

  • Lairenia

    I don’t use Facebook, either. Would it be possible to post everything on this site that goes on Facebook? I glanced at your page there, and there seem to be much more frequent updates to that page. I’d surely like to see all of that material here.

  • Joepf1

    FYI: I realize that, in the big picture, social media may be an important traffic driver for you but I have never used Facebook to access your site. I found you from reading Joe Bastardi’s info and have been checking Firsthand every since. I have found your information to be very reliable.

  • Cyndi

    I love fb but yea it has become almost impossible for us admins to get our pages out to our readers and followers. Even when get all notifications is checked off. It is just crazy. I do love your forecasts and the way you explain everything so anyone can grasp it though and will continue to follow you Which ever way you choose to run FHW. Thanks for all your hard work. Also we live in the heart of tornado alley not far from O.U and would love to see you do some storm/tornado forecasts in the upcoming spring and all of tornado season.