Author Topic: Our wxforum WU community - turning the page  (Read 6471 times)

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Offline saratogaWX

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Re: Our wxforum WU community - turning the page
« Reply #75 on: May 23, 2019, 06:00:47 PM »
Regrettably, the deluge of negative/hostile/shaming posts has caused both our WU reps to cease visiting and responding to items posted here.  I had a long video conference with Todd yesterday, and they have decided to focus on work instead of trying to respond to all the stuff happening here in this and other topics in the Wunderground board.

To the folks who posted about specific problems, I suggest you use the official reporting mechanism for that at https://www.wunderground.com/about/contact-us .  Todd says the support staff (combined with Weather.com support) fields hundreds of tickets a day at this time.

To the folks who continued to rage about all their issues with WU, thinking that anger/humiliation/force was going to engender support, or to those who would "maybe punish the blighters for letting it get in to such a sorry state", or to shame them into response, I say you got your feelings heard loud and clear .. so much so that you've choked off the productive communication avenue.

Todd and Tim will not be following the postings here anymore, and I really can't blame them for withdrawing.

If I find more information about WU's plans/projects, I'll share them in this forum. 

I am genuinely embarrassed by the behavior of a few that has caused this to happen.

Regrets,
Ken 
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Offline nincehelser

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Re: Our wxforum WU community - turning the page
« Reply #76 on: May 23, 2019, 06:16:26 PM »
As one of my industry contacts put it, "The forums are soul-crushing".

Offline lightmaster

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Re: Our wxforum WU community - turning the page
« Reply #77 on: May 23, 2019, 06:30:03 PM »
Most responses, mine included, have been far from anything resembling constructive criticism. As such and since it's unlikely anything good will ever come of this thread, and WU has said they won't be reading them anyway, I vote that this thread be locked again.

Offline CW2274

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Re: Our wxforum WU community - turning the page
« Reply #78 on: May 23, 2019, 07:08:04 PM »
Yeah, well, you reap what you sow. This product has been so dysfunctional for so long it's very difficult not to incite the reactions that are being lobbied, right or wrong. If the WU team has "quit" here, so be it, frankly I don't really see what else there is to complain about, I think we've covered all the bases.  Actions speak louder than words and it's abundantly clear the hierarchy has little to no interest on bring this site back to any semblance of usefulness, and the natives are well past being restless. I truly feel sorry for the folks that have to saddle the burden with the negativity, but it's evident we're well past the peaches and creme, and if they can't stand the heat, get outta the IBM kitchen.
I could throw in a few more sayings, but will leave it at that...well almost...2 cents.

Offline konz

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Re: Our wxforum WU community - turning the page
« Reply #79 on: May 23, 2019, 07:15:50 PM »
I offered constructive criticism and sometimes not so constructive criticisms.  Not sure how that affects the work that still needs to be done, don't know how they ever expected to follow a free-form list of "requests" from thousands of potential of users.  It was a hot mess of miscommunication from the get go.  Nothing well-defined, nothing documented, no user documentation, duplicated posts here and there, just put it out and we'll fix it as we go?  "Get her!  That was your plan?"  SMH.  I have no sympathy...probably better this way.

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Offline konz

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Re: Our wxforum WU community - turning the page
« Reply #80 on: May 23, 2019, 07:20:58 PM »
Old IT Proverb: If you don't set user expectations, they will create their own.

Offline SoMDWx

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Re: Our wxforum WU community - turning the page
« Reply #81 on: May 23, 2019, 08:04:26 PM »
"I am genuinely embarrassed by the behavior of a few that has caused this to happen."

If WU left this forum over a few disgruntled individuals, then they have much bigger issues than this.....I , among the "few" here , have seen repeated attempts to make WU be a viable force again in the PWS business. Instead, things just got so out of hand that many have come to the conclusion that things were not going to get better and in such, voiced their anger, frustration, and discontentment....

It would be really super if they could go back to the way they used to work...... :?

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Offline galfert

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Re: Our wxforum WU community - turning the page
« Reply #82 on: May 23, 2019, 10:21:26 PM »
I knew it. I discussed this possible outcome and predicted this in a PM with another member yesterday. I'm not going to say who that other person was and they can step forward and back me up if they want.

If you want to know how I feel right now it is a feeling of damned if you do and damned if you don't. This is in regards to venting.

But seriously WU really should have acted with a bit more professionalism. The minute services went down without warning they needed to have communicated if it was deliberate or an unexpected outage. They did not do this for 2 days before the natives got restless. There is no excuse for that. What did they expect was going to happen with people's reactions with no communication? Then things go wild and they still say nothing.

The fact that they have pulled out and are using Ken as a messenger just a sign of weakness and cowardice and incompetence because they can't show their face. If they were to come back they fear egg and rotten tomatoes would be thrown at them.

But if they came here and apologized and gave us the new game plan, then I as a honerable and respectful person would treat them with respect. I've always given WU the benefit of the doubt. I understand that sometimes you have setbacks. I get the IT stuff they are doing as I myself am in the industry. I know how hard it can be to pickup the pieces of undocumented code of long gone employees. But you still have to do a better job communicating and there is no excuse for that. The storm they created is just that, they created it by staying quiet.

I too am saddened that WU has pulled out. Because I want to be informed. Now we won't know what's going on. We also won't be able to provide feedback. So is this the beginning of the end for WU? Because this is a big change.

Ken is in a difficult position. In some respects I'm sure he too was very upset with his website scripts breaking and his users not being able to enjoy the hard work he put into his weather website software. At the same time he was trying to be the moderator and glue and to keep the community whole and functional and listening and talking to his users and to WU. Of course you want WU to be happy and stick around and help and listen to us. At the same time though this past weekend they really did a lot of wrong. It is never right to just lash out with hate and uncivilized words. I didn't see anything too terrible. I just saw frustrated people wondering with despair.

I don't know how to end this already long post. I'm bewildered. Should we be the ones apologizing to WU? Or maybe they should apologize to us? Maybe both. They don't need to necessarily apologize for the state of their service that they are working hard at wrangling, rather they should apologize for sending the wrong message to us by not having communicated when things went down, because those are the actions that created the anger because it felt like they did not care to tell us what they were planning and had deliberately done.

Oh so I found the ending I needed. We didn't turn turn around and curse them out first. They deserted us first and with their actions made us feel unimportant and expendable.


« Last Edit: May 24, 2019, 09:04:54 AM by galfert »
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Offline catdon

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Re: Our wxforum WU community - turning the page
« Reply #83 on: May 23, 2019, 10:47:19 PM »
So many wu users who were  not  members of this forum before, were steered  here when they were  trying to figure out what was going on and with no information from wu, did a Google search and landed here. Some simple messages on WU about any problems they were having would probably  have been enough. Why they never communicate anything thru their website  baffles me.
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Offline WSWeather

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Re: Our wxforum WU community - turning the page
« Reply #84 on: May 23, 2019, 11:12:22 PM »
Some simple messages on WU about any problems they were having would probably  have been enough. Why they never communicate anything thru their website  baffles me.

There was a time in the not-so-distant past that there was someone manning the PWS contact email address and she would respond to queries in a businesslike, prompt fashion.  She also authored a blog where those of us who are part of the network could keep up on what was going on at WU.  She left when TWC took over and then the whole blog system was nuked, but the email address was still active but ignored.  Right now there are zero usable contact points for WU unless you barge into the API forum and try to get some attention there.

The primary problem is IBM does not consider us "customers"--we're the product--and they ironically act like they are doing us a favor.  This'll be in a textbook some day as a case study of how to blow up a business without really trying.  Not that it matters; we're just tiny little minnows in the "Watson" ocean.

WU not participating here won't change anything.

Offline waiukuweather

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Re: Our wxforum WU community - turning the page
« Reply #85 on: May 23, 2019, 11:24:44 PM »
Ken the guru he is has his scripts working again though via the WU API

Offline DoctorKnow

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Re: Our wxforum WU community - turning the page
« Reply #86 on: May 24, 2019, 09:00:13 AM »
I can't make my Atlas stop reporting to WUndergone! I even deleted the station and password and it's still going... Unreal...

The comments on this site about what has been going on are very mild and patient if I may say so. I think the Wundermap the way it was before all of this started was very good.

Offline 92merc

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Re: Our wxforum WU community - turning the page
« Reply #87 on: May 24, 2019, 09:20:37 AM »
Regrettably, the deluge of negative/hostile/shaming posts has caused both our WU reps to cease visiting and responding to items posted here.  (a bunch of stuff...)

Thanks for reaching out to them.  Personally, if they don't axe our access to the radar and those images, I'll probably keep sending them data.  The only other wish I have is that they can do something in their API to get back those almanac functions we lost.  Heck, I'd pay $10 a year just to get that.  I'm willing to throw them a bone.

I think the key is if I feel they are willing to work with us a bit, I'm willing to be patient to give them a year to re-design their site and the background processes.  I see it as having nothing to lose.  It doesn't cost me anything to post to their site.  I just need to feel I'm getting something in return.
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Offline rormeister

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Re: Our wxforum WU community - turning the page
« Reply #88 on: May 24, 2019, 09:43:45 AM »
With all due respect, I'm actually surprised the WU team even bothered to venture into the tar pit. Look back over a year ago when WU had a Trello board dedicated to tracking issues and actually displaying their progress in the queue. I don't recall any tension in the threads on that board. Yet, at the same time, much of the information from them was vague at best. Issues that were ongoing were marked as closed. Then, suddenly, just like Ken's announcement, they go "underground" again and remove the WU Trello board completely.

To be totally candid, their behavior was asking for trouble. Nothing stirs up a hornets nest better than poking an occasional stick in it. Poor communication is not what WU needs to quell the fire in the PWS community. The www.weatherunderground.com homepage gives the general public the perception that everything is running smoothly. Had we been receiving honest responses to our issues it may have been a different story. Vague "We're working on it" with no approximate timeline is simply unprofessional.

Luckily for me, I've run out of my last bag of popcorn. Visualize curtain dropping.

Offline CBXSteve

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Re: Our wxforum WU community - turning the page
« Reply #89 on: May 24, 2019, 10:19:19 AM »
But if they came here and apologized and gave us the new game plan, then I as a honerable and respectful person would treat them with respect. I've always given WU the benefit of the doubt.

I strongly suspect that they have been "playing" us the entire time, and that their presence on this forum was part of an overall strategy to appear to be well-meaning but lovable bumbling fools who simply couldn't keep WU running despite their best efforts. They don't want WU as part of their weather sector, but they do want the PWS input.  Furthermore, they don't want lawsuits from the PWS manufacturers which might have the effect of forcing them to make WU viable again. Them appearing to put forth effort but failing helps them on all fronts if those are their goals.

The fact that they appeared on this forum at all is vanishingly unusual. Most companies, and especially most big, successful, companies, bury their programmers so deep they need to pump air to them. They NEVER communicate with end users, but we are to believe that IBM decided to allow the efforts of their hothouse flower programmers to be exposed to this chaos?

No, it's all part of the plan.  Granted, part of the plan could have been to hire rookie and underfunded programmers who were doomed to fail, but no other explanation for this bizarre saga makes sense.

Disconnecting from this forum at some point was part of the plan too. Despair not, lest you increase their satisfaction at a job well done.

Offline 92merc

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Re: Our wxforum WU community - turning the page
« Reply #90 on: May 24, 2019, 10:38:43 AM »
Honestly, I don't think they had a plan.  Every "piece" I think they tried to clean up or alter, they didn't realize they'd screw up 3 other pieces.  They could fix one, but another popped up.  At a certain point I think they realized they'll never be able to fix all the issues.  Just decided they need to re-design the site like they wanted.  Fix what they can later, or decide it isn't worth fixing.
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Offline galfert

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Re: Our wxforum WU community - turning the page
« Reply #91 on: May 24, 2019, 11:07:06 AM »
I also don't believe that WU will not be reading this continued feedback. Sure their user accounts here may show that they haven't logged in in days. But there is nothing stopping them from having created new anonymous accounts. Curiosity is human nature. They didn't just walk away.

WU is acting immature and childish. Like reprimanding and a kid that doesn't want to play nice and then the kid runs away to their room...yet they then peek around the corner to see what they are missing. They are acting like its our fault that they left. They are the kid that wasn't acting right to begin with. We have every right to be upset and disappointed.

The bottom line is we still love them, well at least I do. I value WU and I want them to succeed in fixing their website. The potential is there, they had it at one point. They just need to get it back. If they want our support they've got it. Just communicate better, and when they screw up we'll understand if they've kept us in the loop.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2019, 03:50:14 PM by galfert »
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Offline nincehelser

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Re: Our wxforum WU community - turning the page
« Reply #92 on: May 24, 2019, 11:08:55 AM »
Yeah, they did walk away. 

They're just people trying to make a living.  They don't need the "experts" here.


Offline saratogaWX

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Re: Our wxforum WU community - turning the page
« Reply #93 on: May 24, 2019, 12:09:07 PM »
Amazing theories, however, I think the underlying reasons for the how this happened are simpler (and less conspiratorial) than have been mentioned.  I don't have any inside knowledge about this, but having worked in IT for years before retirement, this scenario is consistent with what I'd personally observed happening before:

1) WU sprang from a university project and was initially constructed by a small team of developers who used the available technologies to create the first instances on dedicated servers (likely some Windows/IIS/ASP given the .asp on the WXDailyHistory.asp page).
2) The then developers expanded the functionality of the site as more and more ingress stuff (PWS data, WebCams, NOAA Weather radio, etc) was added.  There was likely a second team to use the PWS data as part of weather models to refine the WU-based forecasts.
3) The site continued to expand use of JavaScript and added the WU-API for additional functionality and started offering the WU-API to developers for their own apps. 
4) The Weather Company buys Wunderground.  TWC has their own set of developers who'd been busy with weather.com and selling the api.weather.com services to companies as a commercial product.  The Weather Company is bought by IBM, and now we have 3 architectures (Watson, TWC, WU) to try an merge.  Upper management wants to streamline and mandates that the old WU architecture be unraveled and functionality ported to the TWC platform.   Likely, the original developers of the WU architecture/systems have left, and since the development of that was likely sketchily documented, the people to unravel how it all works have to use the code left to understand how it works, then come up with ways to make it work on a different architecture.
5) The change of WU feature set is a result of that unraveling process and the (likely) corporate mandate to deprecate the old architecture and spin down those servers while trying to keep as many features/functions active as are viable.

I've seen many times that when a company is acquired, the IT systems undergo a (usually painful) reworking as the acquiring company now has say of what should be used. 

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Offline Intheswamp

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Re: Our wxforum WU community - turning the page
« Reply #94 on: May 24, 2019, 12:53:10 PM »
Amazing theories, however, I think the underlying reasons for the how this happened are simpler (and less conspiratorial) than have been mentioned.

DRATS!!!!  #-o  Ken, the plot was just beginning to thicken.  What am I gonna tell those screenwriters in Hollowood that I'd talked into a mini-series drama for Antenna TV?   :roll:

 :grin:

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Offline Weatheroger

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Re: Our wxforum WU community - turning the page
« Reply #95 on: May 24, 2019, 01:16:48 PM »
I would have to agree with saratoga WX's analysis of the situation. I do not think there are any underlying conspiracy theories just internal corporate policies in play here.
My issue here has been the lack of civility here by a few players. There have been a few old timers and quite a few newbies flaming beyond reason here. It is if the “social media” mentality of key pounding without a second look as to what you are posting and the lack of etiquette has worked its way into the once high professionalism of this group.
There were discussions of free speech on a public forum being infringed. Is this a public forum, did you not need to join? Yes, there were rules to abide by and you agreed to them. If they were not enforced rigidly does that give one latitude to push it passed the boundaries without at least a wrist slap.
I certainly don’t fault the WU group from withdrawing. They are very aware of there issues and do not need to be constantly bombarded with “in your face” comments. It is a work in progress and based on Saratoga WX analysis I can understand why things have happened.
I, myself, am a passive weather observer. I have a low-cost array in my front yard. I observe it on a daily basis as do my neighbors. I do not have a weather cam. It reports to WU, Ambient Weather and PWS. I do not jealously guard my data. I have survived this change fairly unscathed. My station is up and reporting, on the map and in the correct place.
Will this post generate negative reprisals? We shall see?
« Last Edit: May 24, 2019, 01:18:29 PM by Weatheroger »
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Offline Intheswamp

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Re: Our wxforum WU community - turning the page
« Reply #96 on: May 24, 2019, 02:32:11 PM »
Ya know, I'm not an old-timer here on WXForum, but I've been here a few years.  I remember when a hot discussion was about which clamp to use to mount your rain gauge post...those could be really lively discussions.  Or the discussions of the antics we went through to keep birds from pooping in the gauge.  The we had the "Hubble Fix" for webcams...that was thinking "outside the box". ;)  Or maybe it'd just be some joking back and forth between members...or encouragement to someone getting their first station online.  Lots of helping and just general conversations happening.  Now it seems too many message threads have "WU" in the subject line.

Life use to be so simple.  I miss those days.  Kinda brings a tear to my eye like when Travis had to put down Old Yeller.  Or maybe that old heart-wrenching love song they used to play on a weekly TV show....goes something like "Where on where, are you tonight...".  Aw man, I'm gonna start blowing snot...gotta go.

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Offline 92merc

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Re: Our wxforum WU community - turning the page
« Reply #97 on: May 24, 2019, 02:45:38 PM »
Amazing theories, (stuff...)
Bingo!  Ken states it more elegantly than I.  But I can say the same thing happens in the state government IT area I work.  It's a story as old as time.  Well, as old as programmers anyway.
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Offline ocala

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Re: Our wxforum WU community - turning the page
« Reply #98 on: May 24, 2019, 02:55:47 PM »
I always used to read Jeff Masters blog on WU.
Then in the summer of 2012 he posted in his blog about how the site had out grown them and they were selling out to TWC. He promised how nothing would change and the new backing of TWC would make things even better.
I knew right then it was the beginning of the end. The original WU was successful because it was run by weather weenies like us. They gave a dam about the product. When corporations take over all that goes by the way side.
They weren't in it for the money. They were in it because of their passion.
I don't know if there will ever be another site like WU but their death started in 2012. What we see today is the continuing slow death of a once great organization.

Offline SoMDWx

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Re: Our wxforum WU community - turning the page
« Reply #99 on: May 24, 2019, 03:08:21 PM »
Ken's analysis is fairly accurate... bottom line is IBM/TWC/WU/etc. screwed up.....Plain and simple....
Jim Wyman
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