Sunday, 25 November 2012

Important Notice: Restructuring of the SAWDOS Blog

The SAWDIS/SAWDOS was established on the 8 October 2008 and has grown to one of the best and well known Weather and Disaster Information/Observation Services in the World thanks to the many roll players, the public, the media, organizations and SAWDOS Observers. I always stated and will continue to do so, that the success of the SAWDOS is attributed to those who contributed information, data, photos etc.

It has however become necessary to once again make certain drastic/dramatic changes to the SAWDOS blog. We live in a changing world and unfortunately or fortunately this also apply to the SAWDOS. Several reasons necessitate these changes and I am of the opinion that the reasons must be shared with our readers.

1. The blog format is a fairly old concept and is really time consuming to update. I tried to automate the updating of the blog but unfortunately it has it's limitations.

2. It is alleged that according to the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), that certain content in the SAWDOS blog is alleged to infringe upon the copyrights of others. This is a constant issue that prohibits the SAWDOS to keep the public informed of weather and disasters in South Africa as well as World Wide. Several local newspapers and other sources expressed their dissatisfaction with the fact that SAWDOS uplift articles from their newspapers and re-publish them on the SAWDOS Blog.

3. The founder of the SAWDOS recently received an invitation from the private sector as well as government for assistance relating to disaster risk management and the establishment of an early warning system for insurance companies relating to severe weather in South Africa early in the new year. Negotiations is currently underway and a final decision will be taken in this regard before the end of December 2012. If I do accept the invitations I will have less time available to update the blog.

4. The founder of the SAWDOS also received invitations from two overseas countries to assist in the developing of a Disaster Mitigation for Sustainable Livelihoods Program for a poverty stricken country. I have not taken a decision in this regard. If I do accept the invitations I will have less time available to update the blog.

5. Political intolerance also found it's way into the SAWDOS the past few weeks. As many already know I categorically stated that the SAWDOS is a nonprofit organization that provides a free weather and disaster observation service to people in South African and across the globe. The SAWDOS is not affiliated to any political party, organization, group, forum, movement or for that matter to any other weather or disaster organization in South Africa or abroad. The SAWDOS is non biased towards any race, color, gender, sexual orientation, creed, religion, national, ethnic or social origin. Nor do we endorse any political views of any political party, organization, group, forum, movement or for that matter any other weather or disaster organization in South Africa or abroad. I need to keep an watchful eye on what people tweet and write about as you do get those who enjoy political rhetoric.

6. The founder of the SAWDOS is currently busy with several science and technology projects which will benefit those in distress or experiencing an emergency or disaster situation. Hopefully these "inventions" will assist those in desperate need. These projects will hopefully also promote science and technology so desperately needed in South Africa and for that matter in Africa. I need to spend more time on these projects.

7. "Father Time" does not stand still and old age are creeping up on all of us, that's if you are fortunate enough. I spend and average of 6 hours a day updating the SAWDOS Blog. During severe weather and disaster events the hours can increase to up to 14 hours. I am sure that you will agree that sitting in front of a computer for 14 hours is not healthy and advisable.

8. Availability of free weather and disaster information in South Africa from Government or Semi-Government organizations are becoming more difficult by the day. O, yes it is available but at a fairly stiff price tag and even if you pay you not allowed to share the info or images with the general public. I am sure I do not have to mention the names of the organizations as they are well known and many posts can be found on this blog relating to these money making organizations.

In my opinion the above reasons makes it more and more difficult for me to keep the SAWDOS BLOG relevant, informative and of an educational nature. Many of our readers might have noticed that there was a lack and decline of content in the past month or two. If you look at the old SAWDIS blog you will clearly notice the difference. The SAWDIS Blog contained far more content than the current SAWDOS Blog. I believe that the SAWDOS Blog has come to the end of it's life expectancy in it's current format.

This does not mean it is the end of the road for the SAWDOS. By far not. The SAWDOS is still very much alive and active!! Even more so with the current severe weather we are experiencing in South Africa. Statistics has shown that there is an ever increasing amount of people following the SAWDOS Twitter tweets and joining the SAWDOS Facebook Group. Just in the past two months there were and 80% increase in membership which indicates that people do prefer Twitter and Facebook as a means to get the message out relating to severe weather and disasters.

Twitter and Facebook will in future be used as platforms to get the message out to the public relating to severe weather and disasters.

The SAWDOS Blog will only be used for storing and archive purposes of severe weather and disaster incidents. In the mean time and till the end of December 2012 only the following content will be posted on the SAWDOS Blog:

1. SA National Severe Weather Warnings by SAWS
2. SA Weather Satellite Images by Eumetsat and SAT24
3. GFS Medium Range Forecasts of Vertical Velocity and Precipitation by U.S. National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP)
4. Possible 24 hour rainfall for South Africa by
5. Photos: Weather and Disaster Observation - South Africa
6. Cyclone Warnings and Images by JTWC and CIMSS
7. Satellite Observations by NASA
8. SAWDOS Scientific Projects

It has become necessary to once again make certain changes to the SAWDOS Blog. All other content by all other roll players that has no copyright issues will be published on the SAWDOS Facebook Group Pages.

However SAWDOS Twitter and SAWDOS Facebook Group will remain unchanged.

I trust that these changes will not be to disruptive. I am looking forward to a new weather and disaster observation service on Twitter and Facebook that will hopefully be more informative and technologically driven to provide a better service to our readers and observers.

Please feel free to follow SAWDOS on Twitter at: @SAWDOS1 and join the SAWDOS Facebook Group at:

As we progress I will point out changes and new features to the benefit of all our readers and observers.

J. Terblanche
Founder: SAWDOS
Mossel Bay
25 November 2012

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