On Monday (7/15/2013), we had just 35 or so subscribers. On the very next day, Tuesday, we suddenly had 842 hits to the ACEMWIN-HURR-L page, and a total of 171 subscribers to the list! That's a jump of about 140 new subscribers...IN JUST ONE DAY!
[UPDATE: As of 7/25, the web site has seen nearly 2000 hits since the beginning of the month, and membership has reached to OVER 400 subscribers, now. The attention has waned drastically since the first few initially frantic days, down to an average increase now of about 10-15 new subscribers per day, with larger increases seen during periods of tropical activity. Can't complain.]
This, after NOAA listed us on a government web page of "alternate" informational weather bulletin sources across the US. Why? Recently NOAA/NWS sent out a notice (see here) that the free weather bulletin services offered by GovDelivery would soon cease as of July 31st.
It all started on July 10th. What called our attention to all the ballyhoo was quite a number of sudden odd hits from NOAA to the ACEMWIN-HURR-L list. (The ACEMWIN-HURR-L listgroup offers up a number of various types of NHC-issued hurricane bulletins, and offers users the power to customize WHICH hurricane bulletins they want to receive through the list. The list iteslf gets the bulletins from the server owned and run by the Alachua County EMWIN Project, which provides weather alerts to local area users for free as a public service.) That's when they put us on their list (see here). They must have been researching our listgroup, at first - which explains why all the suddenly noticed hits in the IP logs. Right after that they obviously added us to their list. Next thing you know, IP logs began showing HUNDREDS of people looking us up from all over the United States as well as across the globe. Especially attention grabbing were the hits from the US Department of State, and the Dept. of Homeland Security. Gotta make us feel proud. And of course even more hits come from people from all walks of life. We also can't help but notice all the subscriptions from entities from all those various islands in the Atlantic, too. Very interesting.
Makes yuh feel so good to see that. This kind of stuff just keeps happening with us. Other notable moments to make us proud came when Bradford County Emergency Management came to us with a request to send Bradford-related storm bulletins to their Facebook page, which was soon followed by Gulf County EM with the same request. On top of that, we're serving severe weather bulletins to the pagers, cellphones, and emails of many local and surrounding area users. We're also sending same to numerous different email listgroups, Facebook, and Twitter pages.
It makes you feel really proud. You work so hard to put something together so that it can be helpful in service to the public. You put your own money into it; your own blood, and sweat, and sometimes, yes, even tears. You ask for no money or attention or awards in return, and you get...THIS. This is proof that what we're trying to do is truly meaningful...that what we're doing is important. This kind of attention just makes it all worthwhile and it's *better* than receiving some silly piece of paper or a plaque of wood with your name on it.
This is wonderful. You work so hard. You're patient. Then it all WORKS...perfectly. And it helps people.
At the risk of sounding a little like the A-Team's Hannibal here (sigh)...I LOVE it when a plan comes together!
More information about the Alachua County EMWIN Project and all of the things that it now does, and what it can do for you, can be found at http://alachuaskywarn.org/emwin.