In a recent piece in Medium.com, James Spann, host of Weatherbrains writes, "Is there any hope for TV Meterologists?"
Spann is a TV meterologist (or weatherman) who works for the ABC affiliate in Birmingham, Alabama ABC33/40. He has been a working meterologist since 1978.
Spann's concern is that in an age of instant online (and on phone) weather information, the age of the traditional TV weatherman is coing to an end.
This may in fact be the case.
Spann goes on to lay out his impressive history in the TV weather business, but the most interesting point he makes is when he writes:
"Yes, the old TV model is dying in the new digital world. But, for those willing to work really hard, long hours across multiple platforms, there is much opportunity and great hope."
Even though Spann is 59 years old (not old by my book, by the way), he has embraced the new tech and tried to marry weather to it.
Last week, I was talking about the marriage of social media and video - and we are launching new lessons all this month and next about how the barriers to entry have been erased. The techn for live streaming is simple and the web allows an instant audience for free.
Spann, very much practicing what he preaches, has launched something he calls WeatherBrains, a weekly show all about weather. He does this with Google Hangouts.
What I like about this - and what I find impressive about Hangouts, is that is is not just live streaming (although that is pretty good), but it also allows live multiple streams - which is even more interesting. And, of course, it does not cost anything.
Here's a very basic TheVJ.com rule - if you are going to all the effor of creating your own content (and you expect or would like an audience), it has to be interesting.
Spann has all the raw material you need:
He has the tech. He has the background in TV. He has the knowledge about his topic, weather. And he has the contacts and friends to loop into his 'shows'. (I suppose we call them shows - although it is an entirely new format).
Watching WeatherBrains is work. I mean hard work. This 'show' (there are many- this one is number 534!) runs a mind numbing 1:52:00 - that would be one hour and 52 minutes.
Well, the man certainly loves his weather.
And that's fine....
It could use some serious producing and writing and structure.
James, if you are going to go to all the trouble of doing these live shows (and I admit I have not watched anywhere near all 535 of them - or maybe there are even more!), you have to make them interesting.
OK. You don't HAVE to make them interesting - but you should!
This is why we spend so much time on what we call 'storytelling'.
This is like having a printing press and just putting a bunch of 'writing' on the printed page.
It's a book, but who wants to read it?
James, you've got the gear. You've got the talent. What you need here is to present it in a way that people who have spent their lives watching TV and movies can 'get into'.
Tell me a story.
Tell me lots of stories.
Show me stuff.
And concentrate on the writing.