If you’ve visited The Weather Channel’s website lately, you’ve probably noticed the ridiculous headlines plastered across the homepage. A few examples: The Fox News-like “Are You AFRAID of The Weather?” the out of place “Cockroaches Have Homes Too” and the nicely vague “Would You Try THIS?” These headlines exist because they work.
Weather.com’s editor, Neil Katz, has turned the site into weird place, but he did so because he knows we’re all idiots. We love reading stupid articles, and the numbers back that up. Katz told BuzzFeed (Please note the irony of a BuzzFeed staffer asking someone about “ridiculous headlines”) that page views have doubled since last year and social sharing is up 900 percent. Nine hundred percent!
Katz understands that some people — you know, those with the smarts — won’t like the new Weather.com, but that won’t stop the crazy headlines from coming:
Look, there’s going to be a percentage of people who’ll say, ‘What happened to The Weather Channel I knew and loved?’ For that group, I’ll say that our fundamental forecasting tool is still the most accurate and best in class. We also restructured the site to bring more local weather to the front page. If you just want to focus on the weather, that’s fine! For the rest, I say, go on a ride with us and give us a few minutes and have a few clicks. If you don’t love it, well then we’re grateful you come for the forecast, but so far a vast majority seem to dig it.
America: Home of the brave, land of the morons.