We're still working diligently behind the scenes to tighten up the design of our website following our rapid June launch which is sort of like detailing a car. Lots of small adjustments, but overall things are starting to look tighter. We should also have an update on onboarding extra members for group accounts very soon!
Right now I want to focus on what to expect from our newsletters this coming season so that everyone understands how we will distribute content going forward.
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There Will Be Two Newsletters, Both Focused on Weather
We will be offering two newsletters; a Daily Weather Update that will be free to everyone, and Storm Updates that will only be available to paying subscribers. I'm going to detail what to expect with both.
Daily Weather Updates: This newsletter will be sent by email to all subscribers, both free and paid, and also will be viewable on our website by everyone. This newsletter will be sent out generally between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. the evening prior covering weather across the Northeast and Quebec for the next day. There will also be a general discussion of notable weather in the longer-range. Once the season starts we will rarely send out email newsletters focused on non-weather, rather we will include a summary of other recent articles at the bottom of these daily updates. We may choose to skip a Saturday newsletter and instead issue a weekend sneak peek on Thursday with Friday evening's Daily Weather Update covering both Saturday and Sunday.
Storm Updates: This newsletter will only be sent to paying subscribers and it will contain our custom storm tracking, snowfall forecasts, wind hold forecasts, and precipitation type forecasts among other things. If you want to start planning to hunt the next storm for the right place, the deepest snow, and avoid wind holds, or if you just enjoy the suspense of storms, then this is probably why you are here. We will issue Skiology Storm Watches in this newsletter to all subscribers, both free and paid, but once it turns into a likely storm with notable impacts we will switch to daily updates tracking each storm. Note, at times there may be two storms to track and we will probably separate the two. These updates will be sent at various times of a given day depending on developments.
We may consider adding another free newsletter covering news, trip reports, and other things as the full content picture takes shape. We don't wish to overwhelm our subscribers with emails is all, and weather is our primary product. We also of course reserve the right to reduce what we offer for free.
The Role of Social Media in Distribution
We will post a link to every story published on our site to our Facebook and Instagram feeds in order to give everyone one more opportunity to catch our weather updates and other articles, and to make non-subscribers aware of their availability. Basically instead of reading the long-form content on Facebook as it has been to date, you will just follow a link from Facebook and Instagram back to our site to read.
We plan to continue to use our Facebook Page for short-form updates, and this will be the only place those are published. This might be some nowcasting with an approaching storm with a radar update or talk about precipitation types and changeovers as they are happening. This will also include brief summaries and comments regarding articles from other resources that we will share. I will also continue to entertain on occasion, so a meme or two should be expected. We will embed our Facebook feed on the homepage of our website so that visitors to our site can be notified of the short-form content available on Facebook.
Our Facebook Group, will continue to primarily serve the needs of the members. Although we will be officially disassociating the group from the business soon and transferring full control to one of our moderators, this season we will continue to share weather updates back to the group in order to aid in transition. We will stop sharing posts back to the group when the majority or the group members feel this is not necessary, or if we feel it is no longer necessary.
Unfortunately I will no longer be able to answer most questions about active weather on social media. I need to limit the time I spend communicating and focus on the paying subscribers who can ask questions on every article that appears on our website. Answers to active weather questions is now a perk of paid subscriptions and offered exclusively on our website.
We Have Big Plans Beyond Newsletters
While our our custom forecasting will always be a component of our offering, Skiology must become an app with a deterministic weather forecast for each mountain in the long-term. This may or may not happen this coming season, but it will eventually. I believe the instant gratification market for deterministic forecasts is probably 4 times larger than the market for reading 1,000 word storm updates with a bunch of graphics and so we're going to aim for it, do the best job we possibly can, and grow. Stay tuned!