WeatherTogether is a WordPress Multisite Network of personal weather blogs spanning the globe. As a worldwide network, our vision is to have a geographically, thematically, and stylistically diverse array of weather blogs that emphasize local weather observations and forecasts, feature in-depth forays into weather and other Earth Sciences, and above all, get people excited about the weather.
There are two main parts to the WeatherTogether network: the primary weathertogether.net site, and the many subdomains created by users who choose WeatherTogether as a blogging platform. Subdomains are in the form: yoursitename.weathertogether.net, and are visible through the site directory or the blog map on the home page.
Some of weathertogether.net’s more notable features include:
- A live chat available to all registered users;
- User-created weather model charts;
- A vast array of webcams from throughout the United States;
- A “Weather 101” section with pages explaining different weather and science phenomena;
- An interactive map to show the location of each current WeatherTogether blogger;
- Network-wide posts divided into “Daily Weather Reports” (for shorter, daily forecast blogs) and “Featured Blogs” (for longer, event-driven or research blogs);
- BuddyPress features such as user profiles, a site directory, an activity feed (with RSS) to track network-wide activity, and much more;
- Concise biographies of all bloggers on the site.
All subdomains consist of a personal weather blog and a link back to weathertogether.net in the footer. The appearance of subdomains varies based on the user’s personal customization options. In addition to blog posts, many subdomains host additional content on their site that is not found on the WeatherTogether network, such as separate pages containing other projects that the blogger has worked on.
WeatherTogether is a volunteer venture. Any revenue gained via advertisements or donations will be used to pay site expenses. Any additional revenue will be invested back into the organization to pursue new projects and improve the website.
Anyone can access and read public-facing content on WeatherTogether without becoming a registered member. In order to contribute and post content to WeatherTogether, free registration for a WeatherTogether membership is required. In order to register for a WeatherTogether membership, the following information is required:
- Email address
- Full Name
- Agreement to abide by these Community Guidelines
Potential members also have the option of creating a new subdomain in the form yoursitename.weathertogether.net. If a potential member elects to create a new site, they must specify a URL for the site, a site title, and a yes/no option to whether they’d like their site to appear in search engines and public listings around the network. We highly recommend they chose “yes” for this option, otherwise their posts will not be indexed by search engines or the WeatherTogether network and will be invisible to both, and they will not be displayed throughout the WeatherTogether network.
After a potential member has registered for a WeatherTogether account, the potential member will be required to validate the email address specified during registration to activate their WeatherTogether account in the system.
Once a potential member has validated their email address, they will become a registered, non-administrative user on weathertogether.net and an administrative user on their personal site (if they made one). Members agree to act in accordance as a non-administrative member of the WeatherTogether network and not to attempt to impersonate a member of the WeatherTogether network administrative team.
Registered users can login to the WeatherTogether network by visiting the home page and clicking the “Log In” link on the menu. Additionally, users who have created a subdomain can place a “log in” widget in the sidebar of their subdomain, allowing them to log in to the WeatherTogether network directly from their subdomain.
Users may only have one account, and those with multiple accounts risk getting all accounts banned.
RELATIONS BETWEEN MEMBERS
WeatherTogether is special because it brings together people from all walks of life with a shared passion for the weather. As a member of WeatherTogether, you have a responsibility to be respectful to your readers, co-bloggers, and administrators. Hate, intolerance, obscenity, and spam of any sort on the WeatherTogether network (both the home site and any subdomain) are not tolerated and will result in a permanent ban. When posting content, users pledge to abide by the rules outlined in these Community Guidelines.
On WeatherTogether, interactions and content should generally revolve around science and weather. The following avenues are areas in which WeatherTogether members can post content to and interact with other members on WeatherTogether:
- Blogs within the WeatherTogether network
- Live Chat
- Buddypress Activity Feed
Members wishing to report unacceptable interactions and/or content to the WeatherTogether administrative team can do so by clicking here.
When posting information to public sections of WeatherTogether, please be aware that the information posted is viewable by the public and cannot be made private. Please keep this in mind to ensure that the information posted is comfortable for public viewing.
WeatherTogether has a no-tolerance policy for plagiarizing. Users and bloggers must always put things in their own words and cite their sources. For bloggers, the citation for pictures should occur in the caption, which can be edited upon uploading the media to WeatherTogether.
With so many images on the world wide web, it difficult to know what images can be used and what cannot. Here are some tips to help make sure you are not committing intellectual property theft when using images:
- Always assume a photo is copyrighted unless you are certain it is not.
- You must always include a link back to the original source in your citation.
- Photos by public or state government institutions and agencies can always be used. This includes any image retrieved from a website with a “.gov” domain. Examples include NOAA or NASA (including the NWS), the United States Armed Forces, and state DOT cams.
- Photos from public universities are OK provided they are official university photos. Examples include the UW mesoscale modeling suite and images from the Space Science and Engineering Center as the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
- Photos on a commercial, for-profit site are prohibited unless you receive written permission. If you find a NOAA photo on a website (say, a GOES 16 image on The New York Times), you may use that image and give NOAA credit, but you also must credit The New York Times and include a link to the article where you found the image.
- Photos with a “Creative Commons” license are OK to use. This includes most things on Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Commons and some things on Flickr. For images on Wikipedia/in the Wikimedia Commons, you will want to look at the bottom right for the logo. On the bottom right of an image on Flickr, you will see text that either says “All Rights Reserved,” “Some Rights Reserved,” and “Public Domain.” “All Rights Reserved” images are off-limits, “Some Rights Reserved” images are usually Creative Commons and OK, but you must always click on the link to the text to see the specific license they have and whether it can be used on your blog or not. “Public Domain” images are always OK. All Creative Commons licenses give you the right to share the photo on a non-commercial site with proper credit, but some are more restrictive than others in other aspects. Click here to see the official Creative Commons licenses.
- Anything on social media and video hosting websites (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Vimeo, etc) can be embedded on your blog, as these sites own the content and embedding links back to the original source. However, if you choose to upload images on Facebook and Twitter to your blog, you must make sure that the original image (it doesn’t matter who shared it or retweeted it) comes from a source that you are allowed to use images from, like the NWS. Embedding a Weather Channel tweet in your blog is not copyright infringement, but downloading that photo and reuploading it on WeatherTogether is unless you have received written permission from the Weather Channel to use their image.
- If you own your own radar software (GR3 Analyst, WSV3, etc.), you may share your images in your blog, as these software manufacturers give the user permission to create and share their own images.
The first violation will result a warning and will require a revision of your post by an administrator. The second violation will result in a permanent ban. If you are unsure whether or not a picture can be used, please contact one of the WeatherTogether administrators. We are happy to help.
We understand that honest mistakes can happen when it comes to using the correct pictures. We will show more leniency in these scenarios and will provide guidance on how to avoid these mistakes in the future.
Subdomains are the distinguishing factor that sets WeatherTogether apart from other community weather websites. Subdomains are personal, user-created weather blogs and can be created by users during or after signup. If a member elects to create a new site, they must specify a URL for the site, a site title, and a yes/no option to whether they’d like their site to appear in search engines and public listings around the network. We highly recommend they chose “yes” for this option, otherwise their posts will not be indexed by search engines or the WeatherTogether network and will be invisible to both, and they will not be displayed throughout the WeatherTogether network.
Subdomains are highly customizable. After making a subdomain, users should familiarize themselves with the “Dashboard,” which can be accessed by hovering over your site name in the WordPress-branded ribbon at the very top of the webpage.
Under the “Appearance” tab in the WordPress Dashboard, users can choose from a variety of previously installed “Themes” to change the basic layout of their site, and can further customize their site using WordPress’ “Customize” tool. They can also extend the site’s functionality by adding Widgets to sidebars, creating Menus, choosing images to display in the Header and Background of their subdomain, and even writing their own CSS code to change the appearance of their subdomain.
We have a very hands-off approach to the content of people’s individual subdomains. You are not prohibited from blogging about specific topics other than weather, but your blogs should focus on weather and science in general. Recent “non-weather” blogs have ranged from Einstein’s theory of relativity to why blooming flowers give some of us hay fever.
Bloggers are expected to maintain a professional appearance in their subdomains by providing accurate reports, using proper grammar, and not using clickbait. Repeated posts that do not adhere to these standards could be justification for a ban. As noted above, hate, intolerance, obscenity, and spam on subdomains are not tolerated and will result in a permanent ban.
WeatherTogether also comes with a variety of preinstalled plugins that you can further use to customize your subdomain. Plugins are software created by the WordPress community that extend and expand the functionality of a WordPress website, and can be found under the “Plugins” tab in the Dashboard.
WeatherTogether comes with the following plugins installed for the entire network. Because they are network-activated, they are not found in the “Plugins” tab in the Dashboard.
- Amazon Web Services: Includes the Amazon Web Services PHP libraries, stores access keys, and allows other plugins to hook into it. This plugin is required by the WP Offload S3 Lite Plugin.
- WP Offload S3 Lite: Automatically uploads all uploaded media in the WeatherTogether network to the WeatherTogether Amazon Web Services S3 bucket.
- BackWPup: Allows for easy, network-wide backups of website databases and files.
- Buddypress: Adds community features to WordPress. On WeatherTogether, BuddyPress is not used directly as a social network, but it provides some nice features that run in the background that add some extra community functionality to the site.
- Jetpack: Jetpack is a powerful plugin that brings the functionality of WordPress.com sites to sites hosted on WordPress software, like WeatherTogether. Features include email subscription to posts, sharing of posts via social media, carousels to display pictures, and much more. Using Jetpack requires users to obtain a free WordPress.com account.
- Material Admin Theme: Enhances the look of the WeatherTogether dashboard.
- Network Posts Extended: Allows for all blogs capable of being indexed to be displayed over the WordPress Multisite Network.
- Require Featured Image: Requires posts to have a featured image before they are published.
- Simple Custom CSS: Allows users to add their own custom CSS to change the appearance of their site.
- TinyMCE Advanced: Enables advanced features and plugins in TinyMCE, the visual editor in WordPress.
- Unconfirmed: Allows super admins on a Multisite Network to manually activate unactivated users.
- WP dTree: Dynamic tree widgets that replaces the standard archives, categories, pages, and link widgets.
- WPBruiser: A anti-spam plugin that blocks spambots without captcha images.
The following plugins are not installed across the entire network and are only installed on weathertogether.net. As such, these are the plugins you will see under the plugins tab in your dashboard. YOU MUST OBTAIN EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM THE WEATHERTOGETHER ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM BEFORE ACTIVATING ANY ONE OF THESE PLUGINS. Failure to do so will result in a warning and a disabling of the plugin, a repeat offense will result in a permanent ban.
- Maps Marker Pro: A very comprehensive mapping plugin. Requires a professional license.
- Page Builder by SiteOrigin: A drag and drop, responsive page builder.
- Postman SMTP: Ensures that all email sent uses SMTP (secure mail transfer protocol) to reach its destination.
- RVM (Responsible Vector Maps) – Allows a user to create clickable maps.
- Simple Ajax Chat – powers the live chat on weathertogether.net.
- SiteOrigin Widgets Bundle – A collection of widgets created by the SiteOrigin team.
- WordPress Importer – Allows users to import posts, pages, custom fields, categories, tags, and more from a WordPress export file.
- Yoast SEO – A plugin with tools to aid in SEO (search engine optimization)
All WeatherTogether bloggers must be over the age of 13.
You agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless WeatherTogether, its affiliates, agents, employees, and licensors, from and against all claims and expenses, including, but not limited to: reasonable attorney fees arising out of, or related in any way to, your use of the site, violation of this Agreement, violation of any law or regulation, or violation of any proprietary or privacy right.
VIOLATION OF GUIDELINES
Any violation of these guidelines may result in either a warning from the WeatherTogether administrative team and/or an immediate, permanent termination of one’s WeatherTogether membership. WeatherTogether’s administrative team may block future re-registration attempts of members who are found to be within excessive violations of the above guidelines.
CONTROLLING LAW, JURISDICTION, AND INTERNATIONAL USE
This agreement is governed by and shall be construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Washington, U.S.A., without reference to its conflicts of law provisions. WeatherTogether makes no representation that the materials are appropriate and/or available for use outside the United States. If you access this site from outside the United States, you will be responsible for compliance with all local laws. You agree to comply with all laws and regulations applicable to your use of this site. You also agree to submit to the personal and exclusive jurisdiction of the state or federal courts located within King County, Washington, for any disputes with WeatherTogether arising out of your use of this site.
We are a community, and we want to make sure everybody has a say when making decisions. That being said, founder and CEO Charlie Phillips will always have the final word on any conflicts between users related to WeatherTogether.
This agreement constitutes the entire agreement between WeatherTogether and you with respect to this website, and it supersedes all prior or contemporaneous communications and proposals, whether electronic, oral, or written, between you and WeatherTogether. This agreement will be admissible in judicial or administrative proceedings. If for any reason a court of competent jurisdiction finds any provision of this agreement to be unenforceable, that provision shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to affect the intent of this agreement, and the remainder of this agreement shall continue in full force and effect. No waiver by either party of any breach or default hereunder shall be deemed to be a waiver of any preceding or subsequent breach or default.
We may revise this agreement at any time and you agree to be bound by the revised agreement. Any such modifications will become effective upon the date they are first posted to this site. It is your responsibility to return to this agreement from time to time to review the most current terms and conditions. WeatherTogether does not assume any obligation to notify you of changes to this agreement.
REPORTING COPYRIGHT VIOLATIONS
In accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, the text of which may be found on the U.S. Copyright Office website at http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf, WeatherTogether will respond expeditiously to claims of copyright infringement that are reported to WeatherTogether administrative team:
Notice for Claims of Intellectual Property Violations and Agent for Notice
If you believe that your work has been copied in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, or that your intellectual property rights have been otherwise violated, please provide the WeatherTogether administrative team for Notice with the following information (your “Notice”):
Note: If you are asserting infringement of an intellectual property right other than copyright, please specify the intellectual property right at issue (for example, ‘trademark’).
- A signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright or other intellectual property interest (an electronic signature at the bottom of an email message is sufficient);
- A description of the copyrighted work or other intellectual property that you claim has been infringed;
- A description of where the material that you claim is infringing is located on a WeatherTogether site, with enough detail that we may find it on the website (in most circumstances, we will need a URL);
- Your address, telephone number, and email address;
- A statement by you that you have a good faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the copyright or intellectual property owner, its agent, or the law;
- A statement by you, made under penalty of perjury, that the above information in your Notice is accurate and that you are the copyright or intellectual property owner or authorized to act on the copyright or intellectual property owner’s behalf.
In some circumstances, in order to notify the subscriber, account holder or host who provided the allegedly infringing content to which WeatherTogether has disabled access, WeatherTogether may forward a copy of a valid Notice including name and email address to the subscriber or account holder.
The WeatherTogether administrative team for Notice of claims of copyright or other intellectual property infringement can be reached via email by clicking here.