Diditsnow.com is a new Snow report website, catering to the Australian and New Zealand market at the moment, with an interesting way of getting its updates.
I asked creator, Nathan Hawkins, a few questions on how it works and the reasons the industry needs it.
What’s it about? Why does the snow community need it?
Did it Snow is a unique site that aims to share the best and latest information on the current snow conditions. The unique bit is that in addition to official reports, the snow reports are also provided by other snow lovers, just like you! People can SMS a report to 0401 046 469 or email it to email@example.com and it will appear on the site immediately (just include the name of the resort somewhere in the message). Cool huh?!
How did the concept come about?
Being an addicted snowboarder who is trapped by geography ( I live in Newcastle, NSW) I was always visiting all the sites, watching the webcams, reading the official reports…every single day. I noticed that on the forums of the various Aussie snow portals that some of the most popular and active posts were those where people shared photos and comments about their day at, or their trip to, the snow. The forums especially lit up if someone posted a message that it had just started snowing. It hit me that that kind of excitement should be shared with everyone, so I set out to create diditsnow.com.
How does the technology work?
Well without giving too much away 😉 Did it Snow is really an advanced blog. It is coded mainly in php and is driven by a SQL database. We also have a backend partner who, in simple terms, links the incoming content from sms, email and online form, with our database, after it passes multiple levels of filtering to protect from spam and offensive irrelevant content, among other things. Is that nerdy enough?
As a snowboarder, what kind and quality of information will I see on the site?
We all know some of the ‘liberties’ taken in official snow reports sometimes… softening cover can mean all sorts of things! It reminds you of real estate ads sometimes.
So I think the value of Did it Snow will be accurate reports about current conditions, all delivered in real time. We’ll have the official reports too, but I’d prefer to read a first-hand, “average Joe”, view of conditions.
What sort of information do you want to see from your ‘Snow Reporters’?
I’m keen to know the current snow and weather conditions, as well as the best runs of the day and, annoyingly, how much fun they are having (while I’m stuck in my office). If it starts snowing I definitely want to hear about it!
Will you be targetting other countries with the service?
Absolutely. Global domination is in the plans. But for now we are concentrating on creating a unique service for Aussie and Kiwi snow lovers.
What new features can we expect to see in the near future/way ahead?
We are definitely trying to make MMS messaging happen. That way people can take a photo on their phone and send it to the site immediately. We are also working on our own network of unique snow cams. They’ll be unlike anything that already exists…but that’s all I can say for now.
Thanks Nathan, any parting words to Snowboard fans?
I live for the days where the sweet silence of fresh powder is deafening