Although many of us currently use online services for our weather reports, some still like to watch the television for their weather news. The Weather Channel is the main go-to channel for weather, offering weather reports whenever you’re in need of them. It recently started to integrate Twitter into the televised reports, searching Twitter for locals talking about the weather. It also has a special site where you can find weather-related tweets for your own city.
The press release has some more about what they’ve been up to:
ATLANTA and SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The Weather Channel Companies (TWCC) and Twitter today announced the launch of The Weather Channel Social, an integration of local, weather-related Tweets across TWCC’s television, Web and mobile platforms. Now consumers will be able to see real-time Tweets about local weather displayed alongside forecasts on weather.com, through The Weather Channel on mobile, and on television. This unique integration was made possible by Wiredset’s Trendrr social curation and conversation analysis technology.
As part of The Weather Channel Social launch, TWCC has also created 220 custom local Twitter feeds for cities with populations of 100,000 and above. These handles provide consumers localized forecasts every three hours. Consumers can access feeds for their location by clicking the “Follow the Forecast” link from local forecast pages on weather.com or can enter their city/ state or ZIP code from www.weather.com/social.
The Weather Channel Social site uses a geographic search for tweets with weather-related terms. So, there’s some noise in the signal–if your last name is Snow, for example, you might see yourself on the site.
The company’s new weather feeds are a very interesting way of integrating an API usefully into its site and television feed. It’s not the first network to make use of Twitter on live television, of course. For example, G4 TV’s Attack of the Show airs comments from its Twitter feed live during broadcasts. However, this is the first time I’ve seen it used when regarding such a commonly tweeted about topic in a simple, intuitive manner.
I’d love to see this sort of thing spread to more news shows and show websites, such as CNN or BBC. If integrated well, this can lead to a new level of user interaction, and possibly can help make television a more relevant news source again.