Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A New Look.

When I designed this blog last year, man was it dull. Primarily due to the limited creation and editing one could do within a Blogger page. It really caused me to think hard about maintaining any kind of presence on the web. It was never really easy for a guy like me to even want to share things on his own dedicated web page.

It became more about work and less about fun. So, this page never really went anywhere.

I renewed my interest recently and found many changes done to Blogger that would make things easier to load and more flexible in designing a page. So, I decided to give it another shot and completely redesigned the look and the function of the blog to make it look more like a web site.

My goal was to make it a "One Stop Shop" of sorts to my friends, colleagues, and fellow chasers to see what's going on with the weather, If I happen to be out chasing that day, and to give those interested a chance to ride along as we drive to the next storm intercept.

In addition to the visual and organizational changes of the site, I'm going to be experimenting with a few new additional technical abilities for the 2012 chase season.

The first is that I've added additional follow capabilities. ChaserTV offers a great display feature called "iMap" on one display iMap allows you to view radar images of storms and other weather related data overlayed on my present location which is displayed as a vehicle icon. Clicking on the icon will bring up a window displaying my live streaming video from my vehicle if I happen to be streaming.

iMap also gives you the opportunity to receive "revenue" dependent on viewing activity. So, you'll see a small ad at the lower portion of the screen while watching my coverage. If I receive enough viewing hours, I receive a small payment. The way I see it, If it pays for a tank or two of gas during the season? why not. I'm not holding my breath though. This is a hobby for me, not an income stream.

The second is I'm working on the ability to add audio to my live video stream. Most chasers don't do this because it's a pain in the ass to maintain and everyone gets to hear everything that goes on in the vehicle during the chase. But I can also see it alleviating the sometimes live video that has no narration, excitement, and tension because you're looking at silent video.

Even if it's the drone of the road noise while we're on the road, People find it much more interesting to hear as well as see what's going on. Yes, you may hear me say some not very nice things about the idiot driving next to me or, swearing because I just missed the f**king turnoff. If it offends you? well, turn down the volume or change the channel.

Hey! it's an experiment. If it works? great. if it don't well, it gets put away until it can or it never sees the light of day again.

The third and the one I find most interesting is the ability to live text chat while on the road. What I'm going to do is incorporate this with live streaming so I can answer your questions verbally after you type them in the chat window over there on the right hand side of the screen. No, I won't be typing out text responses while driving so, this seems like a good compromise. Again, an experiment. Maybe it works, maybe it don't. Costs us nothing to find out...

By the way, none of this is earth shattering technology. Many chasers have been using this in the field for years. The way it's being used by each chaser is what makes it unique. Who knows, maybe I'll come up with an idea for using this technology in another way. Time will tell...

And last but not least, This web site will also work with your mobile smart phone. So please, stop by regularly!

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