Honolulu’s ‘Real Weather Girl’

When it comes to covering the weather, local television news outlets aren’t shy about emphasizing the appearance of their reporters over their meteorological data. This may be even more true in Hawaii, where the weather doesn’t change much.

The “Real Weather Girls” app for iPhone and iPad takes this concept to the next level.

Real Weather Girls” was launched last week, and today caught the notice of tech blogger Jason Chen at Gizmodo. I suppose any publicity is good publicity, but the headline said it all: “Real Weather Girls App Brings Weather for Lonely Creepsters.”

The women don’t talk about the weather, leaving the stats to the app. Instead, they talk about their lives, and what’s happening in their towns. The post whines, “You’ll find little pleasure in their vlog updates, unless you enjoy fully-clothed women talking about their day.”

I enjoyed the snark, but noticed that Honolulu was one of the first 12 cities to be covered. So I downloaded “Real Weather Girls.” For research purposes, you understand. And I’m happy to note that, at least in Honolulu’s case, our local host is more than just a pretty face.

The Aloha State is represented by renown artist Colleen Malia Wilcox of Maliko Designs. She’s known for designs inspired by surf and the ocean, creating acrylic-on-canvas paintings, jewelry, and custom surfboards. And in her first video diary entry for “Real Weather Girls,” she talks about how her design was selected for the official Vans Triple Crown of Surfing women’s competition.

Her second video explains how to measure surf heights by way of a sketch pad. And another entry takes us to her grandmother’s house where she searches for inspiration. But lest you be disappointed, not all of her videos are about art. Earlier this week, she introduced us to her friends, and the group took a boat out to the Kaneohe Bay sandbar to enjoy themselves in the usual Kaneohe sandbar way:

The latest update? Thinking ahead to Halloween, she and a friend explore local ghost stories, taking a night-time drive to Diamond Head Mortuary, and then checking out the haunted women’s restroom at Kahala Mall.

From JenniCam in the 1990s to today’s ominpresent online video geek girl iJustine, there’s no doubt that women’s video diaries draw an audience, even without doing anything particularly scandalous. And I think merging the concept with one of the most boring categories of iPhone apps is, quite possibly, brilliant.

And come winter, I suspect Colleen in Honolulu will probably be the most popular channel in “Real Weather Girls.”

The app is usually priced at $2.99, but is on sale this weekend for $0.99. Of course, if you want to keep up with Colleen’s life without paying, you can always check out her blog, fan Maliko Designs on Facebook, or encourage her to post more videos to YouTube.

2 Responses

  1. DeanM says:

    Thanks for the review and commentary, Ryan! Your thoughtful and balanced insight is much appreciated.

  2. Alex Cortez says:

    LOL, so you made the sacrifice (for the greater good) and downloaded the app. Sweet. But seriously, I just loaded it now that I read this, and I must say that it seems fairly legitimate, not just for ‘creepsters’.

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