WTF Blog Clutter: How’s the Weather on Your Blog?

Filed as Guides on August 9, 2008 7:26 pm

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Let’s talk weather with our ongoing series on WTF Blog Design Clutter.

Honestly, do you need a weather report on your blog?

Before you answer, ask yourself if it important to someone who lives 3,000 miles away that it’s a pleasantly cloudy day in your neck of the planet? Does it help them understand what you blog about or why?

If you are blogging the weather, then temperatures, humidity, and general weather status reports are appropriate and helpful. If you are a financial adviser, you better display the weather report for the stock markets you cover as that can impact commodities, and skip the rainy forecast in Montana where you call home.

If you are blogging about a region, then a weather report of current and past and future conditions is helpful for those within your area as well as traveling to the area.

The concept of “weather small talk” isn’t important in the online social world today as it is when chatting with neighbors or people in a social gathering face to face. “Whew! It’s been a hot one, hasn’t it?” doesn’t apply when you are chatting on your blog with someone who lives on the other side of the planet where it is winter right now.

Yet, many new bloggers love the weather gadgets and widgets and add them to their blog. So who uses them? Honestly?

You do.

You check out your blog on a regular basis and you see the weather report. It’s important to you – and only you. Not your readers. They are there for YOU not the weather where you are – unless you are blogging about the weather where you are.

Weather widgets come and go in popularity when weather impacts lives. The heavy hurricane season of 2005 created a huge demand for weather widgets for bloggers, especially those blogging in hurricane prone target areas. The WunderBlogs of Weatherunderground grew dramatically from only a few to hundreds of bloggers reporting on the weather in their area, giving first hand perspectives on the path of the storms.

If that’s your blog’s focus, make the weather maps and reports prominent. If it is isn’t, is it just fun clutter? If your readers aren’t using it, and really don’t care, maybe it’s time for something better in its spot? If you need the weather report, why not add it to your browser or desktop so you can access it any time.

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  1. By david posted on August 9, 2008 at 11:43 pm
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    Good points — but my primary blog is indeed a community/town blog, so I do feature a weather widget on my site for the locals to get a quick fix (and link).

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  2. By Jonathan Bailey posted on August 10, 2008 at 12:50 pm
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    I’ve included a weather widget on only one blog I’ve built. I constructed a fishing blog for a client that was dedicated one town south of New Orleans. It made sense then as the target market was people getting ready to head out there to fish and weather plays a big role in fishing (or so I’m told).

    I would not even consider it for any other blog though.

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  3. By Mary McLean posted on August 11, 2008 at 1:59 am
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    I think integrating unnecessary widgets not only irritates our visitors but also reduces our website page load response. Integrating a weather widget in our normal blogs where they are not necessary is a complete waste as you said. They may be integrated in weather or time related blogs which might be useful.

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