Tuesday, January 19, 2016

PANICOMETER Turns 10 Years Old!

I have no official log of the first time I used the PANICOMETER, but I think it turns 10 years old this year!  Here's the earliest blog post I can find with the coveted PANICOMETER: November 2006

We have upgraded the Panicometer a few times and occasionally adjust to fit a particular storm. For example, we cater it differently to an ice storm than a snow storm by adding the need for batteries and flashlights. Regardless, it's always been a fun way to show people how concerned we are about a storm. If I don't show it, people starts asking for it.

It even caused a controversy in recent years! There's a bread man in Paragould that snapped on Facebook because I had the Panicometer at "Buy Milk and Bread" and it made him work harder to keep the shelves full. I still don't understand why he was mad that he was selling more bread, but hopefully he doesn't hate me anymore. He did delete his status, so maybe we can be friends one day. :)

Over the past 2 years, it has gained popularity around the country through social media. Several markets are starting to use it. Some have made their own versions with different names and some have almost the exact same Panicometer as Region 8 News:

Colleagues have asked me if other markets using it bothers me... Honestly, I don't mind people copying the Panicometer. It's flattering and I have had PLENTY of graphic ideas given to me over the years from some great people in this business! I do get a little irritated when people try to take credit for the Panicometer, but that's my ego getting in the way of some fun. That's only happened twice in markets that are miles away... HOWEVER, The people that use it in their market owe me dinner at the NWA or AMS ... or at least a gas station hot dog if we run into each other storm chasing... Deal?

There are still some viewers that do not like the Panicometer. They say we are trying to hype the weather or cause a panic. That's the opposite of what we are trying to accomplish. We are trying to give people an idea of how bad the storm is going to be while having some fun. I'd say that most of the people understand that and look forward to seeing it on the news. We call it an "impact-based" graphic.

With that said, tune in tonight to see where the Panicometer is this week!

Have an awesome day!

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