How are we doing? Mid-2024 poll

Which of these best describes your judgment of how Stormtrack has been the past 6-8 months?

  • Great! I don't think there's much more I could expect of it.

  • It's been okay. Maybe 2 or 3 things could be better

  • It's been a bit "meh"

  • Not so great...I haven't felt much desire to visit the site.

  • Honestly, Jeff...wtf have you done to this place? It was fine before, but now it just kinda sucks


Results are only viewable after voting.

Jeff Duda

site owner, PhD
Staff member
Site owner
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Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Messages
3,765
Location
Denver, CO
It has now been around 8 months since I took over ownership of Stormtrack. While not exactly a common milestone, I feel it has been long enough for all regular/active users to have had enough time on the site to provide an evaluation of my performance as the manager of the site and the purveyor of new/updated features and/or quality service (if you feel that adjective is appropriate). Some new users have also likely now had time to spin up and get going on the site and can likely offer some feedback as well. So here is your chance to let me know what you think of how I, Jeff (you can include the rest of the staff as well), have with Stormtrack and what kinds of changes or improvements you would like me to make or look into). If you have specific or detailed comments, you can respond via a post on this thread or PM me if you'd prefer to respond privately. If you don't have particular comments at this time, you can opt to respond to the poll question instead.

I acknowledge that I had announced a feature or two that kinda fell flat for various reasons. We, the staff, are still looking to implement new or improved features in the near-future. We are kind of on pause during the active part of the chase season, however.

For those who are willing to be honest and provide feedback, even if harsh, negative, constructive, or otherwise (e.g., telling me to go f**k myself, which is allowed...I am far from being above criticism), I thank you in advance and will do so again after the responses have rolled in.

I hope everyone is having an enjoyable 2024 so far, a great chase season, and I hope the remainder of 2024 goes swimmingly for you all. Let's also hope the active May period persists into June and expands north and east so that the Northern Plains and upper Midwest chasers can get their turn in with some great chases!
 
It has now been around 8 months since I took over ownership of Stormtrack. While not exactly a common milestone, I feel it has been long enough for all regular/active users to have had enough time on the site to provide an evaluation of my performance as the manager of the site and the purveyor of new/updated features and/or quality service (if you feel that adjective is appropriate). Some new users have also likely now had time to spin up and get going on the site and can likely offer some feedback as well. So here is your chance to let me know what you think of how I, Jeff (you can include the rest of the staff as well), have with Stormtrack and what kinds of changes or improvements you would like me to make or look into). If you have specific or detailed comments, you can respond via a post on this thread or PM me if you'd prefer to respond privately. If you don't have particular comments at this time, you can opt to respond to the poll question instead.

I acknowledge that I had announced a feature or two that kinda fell flat for various reasons. We, the staff, are still looking to implement new or improved features in the near-future. We are kind of on pause during the active part of the chase season, however.

For those who are willing to be honest and provide feedback, even if harsh, negative, constructive, or otherwise (e.g., telling me to go f**k myself, which is allowed...I am far from being above criticism), I thank you in advance and will do so again after the responses have rolled in.

I hope everyone is having an enjoyable 2024 so far, a great chase season, and I hope the remainder of 2024 goes swimmingly for you all. Let's also hope the active May period persists into June and expands north and east so that the Northern Plains and upper Midwest chasers can get their turn in with some great chases!
The default site setting for viewing the forum is excellent. Much better than the prior format.

Also, getting emails notifications when a new thread starts or post added to an existing thread works flawlessly now. It had intermittent issues for years prior. This is important b/c it allows one to respond or chime-in in a timely manner.
 
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The level of activity and participation in ST is the best it has been in years!
IMHO, this a good thing. Perhaps some people are getting tired of main social media sites with all their biases, signal to noise ratio, and other shenanigans. Way too often now, you can't post *anything* w/o getting some weird or caustic reply or comment no matter how neutral or factual the content is! :rolleyes: A scale-back to more basic and focused social media may be gaining traction.
 
I've only been here a few years, but from what I can tell, this past spring has shown a big jump in participation. I try to chime in when I think I can add something of value to the forecast threads, but there are much more knowledgeable individuals than myself that usually have the bases covered. I have a few ideas for threads that I intend to post once the convective activity starts to wind down in hopes that we can keep the engagement level up year round. I don't know that you can do much else on your end Jeff aside from bringing in new features.... you've done a fine job as is, and a huge service to the website by stepping up and taking over. My only suggestion would be to figure out a way to keep people coming back during the inactive periods, which is easier said than done. In the end though, it's up to all of us as members to keep the momentum going.
 
I am happy to see certain changes. I think you have struck a nice balance of letting people speak freely in threads and also keeping things on the rails when needed. The old stricter rules in reports and events threads I think intimated or limited people and helped some move to social media where they could add off topic replies with no reprisal. I am not advocating no rules and I like a bit of discipline in the event and report threads, but not too much. Certainly some of the posts in certain threads toe the line of being bears cage banter, but overall this freedom also lets people use the site as they will and seems to have brough back activity and community. We are all good enough at filtering extra chatter at this point that I think freedom to speak and participate is better than too strict.

I agree that off season activity may die way down. Maybe we can all help balance that and keep some momentum to talk about winter events, fall colors, auroras, earth science, whateve else etc. to fill the time in the appropriate parts of the forum.

I think offering some kind of unique info or coverage that is not elsewhere, perhaps talk of model biases in depth, or presentations in areas where members have deep knowledge, could be a way to differentiate from social media which is low on substance but strong on up to date news and chatter. I think we have a wide range of deep knowledge here about weather, and a lot of other disciplines that could be interesting talk or even help come up with features for the community.

Overall very happy to see stormtrack surviving. Thanks for everything so far!
 
I am happy to see certain changes. I think you have struck a nice balance of letting people speak freely in threads and also keeping things on the rails when needed. The old stricter rules in reports and events threads I think intimated or limited people and helped some move to social media where they could add off topic replies with no reprisal. I am not advocating no rules and I like a bit of discipline in the event and report threads, but not too much. Certainly some of the posts in certain threads toe the line of being bears cage banter, but overall this freedom also lets people use the site as they will and seems to have brough back activity and community. We are all good enough at filtering extra chatter at this point that I think freedom to speak and participate is better than too strict.

I agree that off season activity may die way down. Maybe we can all help balance that and keep some momentum to talk about winter events, fall colors, auroras, earth science, whateve else etc. to fill the time in the appropriate parts of the forum.

I think offering some kind of unique info or coverage that is not elsewhere, perhaps talk of model biases in depth, or presentations in areas where members have deep knowledge, could be a way to differentiate from social media which is low on substance but strong on up to date news and chatter. I think we have a wide range of deep knowledge here about weather, and a lot of other disciplines that could be interesting talk or even help come up with features for the community.

Overall very happy to see stormtrack surviving. Thanks for everything so far!

Agree with pretty much all of this. Loosening, slightly, the rules for discussion means people like myself who are learning and listening can also chime in with thoughts and comments, which makes us better at reading the models and data.

Perhaps during the off-season we can kick start some historical event discussions?
 
I agree with everything above and I've been more than happy to spend spring here talking about setups and chases and honestly t's been kind of refreshing to not only talk about the successes, but the failures as well. It has proved to be an oasis from social media and a place I can still be engaged without all the crap that comes along with Twitter (X)/FB, etc. It's also comforting to see others post here without a perceived "agenda" of growing a following and I give kudos to the members who chose to participate here this season. It's been a lot of fun for me.

In general, the forum is functioning well, the balance of discussion is great and I even posted in TA (even if my "forecasts"/targets are completely
wrong😝) which is something I'd never do in the past. Even after chasing for many years I've learned a lot along the way this spring thanks to this board.

My hope is we continue to grow with a good balance of folks from academia/careers in weather and those with experience, passion/enthusiasm or just getting started. There are so many branches to chasing/weather these days and hopefully we can find a way to create conversation year-round that all can feel comfortable participating in.
 
Overall, it’s been fun stepping back into the ST forum scene after a decade or more of absence, mainly for pre-chase discussions, post-storm observation summaries and occasional other related topics. Glad those discussions are still ongoing! I’ve rather enjoyed getting back to the process of sharing longer-form writing while on the road and even on days when not, merely to keep the forecast juices flowing. There's also no pressure to follow up on every thread, which there are indeed many. It’s not too invasive and still has the spirit of the listserv-style era I and many others started participating back in the mid-late 1990’s. I do find that while on chase I’m not using the forum as much as say I may have used it and others [CFDG] in 2005, mainly because I access it by a laptop, not a smart phone browser/app. I also don’t feel the need to update in a real-time or with a stream of "now" images so typical to platforms like Twitter/X, etc, mainly because I must sign in via a phone and that process tends to distract from “the chase” unless there’s ample down time. If there was a straightforward, free flowing “social” feed mainly for photos and quick reports that interlinked to NWS offices without the bombardment of #hashtag-exclaims! and cryptic pettiness that comes along with mainstream social media, I’d be more inclined to use ST while mobile. For now, it’s a convenient means to check in on occasional, see and or participate what may/or may not be happening in the realm of “storm chasing culture” and have some good discussions now that I've abandoned most SM sans YouTube. If any other ideas percolate, will share them here. Keep up the great work, Jeff!
 
I think the site has improved from last year. forums have gotten better. Honestly, i was going to leave the site after last seasons Target Events had dropped to what i believe a serious low..check it. Sure there were Target Reports..and i appreciate those also..especially the pics. What i like the most this season is the number of old and new chaser Target Event setups..discussions..targets. I basically just troll them and learn and debate with what i think and believe. I usually dont post because i am not that good or cant add to setups that others here are more experienced or educated with. I just hope this years trend continues on the Target Area forums.
 
Glad to see ST's revival. I deactivated my FB account, and I can only handle X in doses with the drama and people spewing model data output (particularly "doomsday" or "wishcasting" scenarios) without adding much context to it. I enjoy reading the long form forecast discussions and target reports.

I think message forums have become a lost form of communication with the advent of social media. You just don't get the value of the discussions like you do on a forum.
 
ST Merch? (T-shirts?, Stickers?) I think something like this might assist you in the revenue? plus annual designs could be used for gatherings or chase seasons. that's just IMO. otherwise, I think this site gets along very well since I've been a member here.
 
As an admin I should probably recuse myself from commenting, but I do want to say I am so happy to see that the volume and quality of conversation has picked up this season, and I hope we can continue it in the off-season as well. Kudos to Jeff for driving improvements, creating a great community vibe, and contributing valuable technical/meteorological information and commentary!
 
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