Beware of the Ides of…Twitter?

The famous phrase “Beware of the Ides of March” dates back to Roman history and the assassination of leader Julius Caesar, at the hands of his senators. But beware of the ides of Twitter? What could that possibly mean?

Frankly, it doesn’t mean much, but it speaks to the nature of weather reporting and analysis on the popular social media network. There are many true professionals using Twitter to spread their knowledge and expertise on weather in the social media world. However, there are plenty of others self-described as “weather junkies” or “enthusiasts” that may not have the knowledge you’re looking for.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to say that the internet has a funny way of allowing people to hide their true identities, or credentials. Even with meteorologists, those who don’t have a degree or training in the field can easily hide behind a generic twitter handle that uses a regional-type weather name, like “NE Weather Authority” or “CNJ Weather Express”. This is not to say that all those accounts are not reputable, but something to be wary of.

Here are some tips on how to know who in the weather world to follow:

  • Look for Verified Users
    • That little blue check mark on Twitter is worth a lot more than many people realize. While few may have it (I don’t even have one yet), they are the upper echelon of conversation contributors from the weather enterprise. Many national weather personalities bear this mark, and are a great follow to understand the big weather picture in our country.
  • Remember Who You Know
    • Sometimes the best place to start when looking for weather people on Twitter is with who you know. Do you have friends or colleagues who are professional meteorologists? Maybe there’s one TV station you rely on for the forecast? You can’t go wrong with starting with who you know.
  • Local News Knows First
    • Do you have a favorite local TV station you tune in to for the evening or morning news? Well, nine times out of ten that station has at least one certified meteorologist on staff. Your station more than likely will encourage viewers to follow their personalities and anchors, including their meteorologist. And of course, if you want the best in your local weather, that station will make sure they deliver.
  • Consider their Twitter Bio
    • One Twitter tool that has been often overlooked in my opinion is the bio. While short, it can tell a lot about a person with just a few words. For example, my bio for @AlexHerbstWX tells how I am an aspiring broadcast meteorologist, do freelance forecasting for Spot On Weather, and graduated from Plymouth State University. Take a few seconds a read someone’s bio for their credentials before following.

Do you have other tips for finding strong weather contributors on Twitter? Comment below with your ideas. Don’t forget to follow @AlexHerbstWX for the latest weather news from yours truly – a strong and knowledgeable weather source.

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