Carlie Lawson – Online Video/Internet TV Buff With a Little Natural Hazards Know How Mixed In

Carlie Lawson has done much of the writing here on Jollyjo TV of late especially focusing on detailed reviews on online video/Internet TV sites. As such we are using this post to as a formal introduction to the woman who has seen and reviewed more media sites than anyone I know…


Meet Carlie Lawson

Carlie Lawson is a hazards consultant, freelance writer, and weather nerd living in Norman, OK, also known as the weather capital of the United States. She earned a B.A. in Film and Video Studies, and a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications in 1996 from University of Oklahoma.

She earned her Masters degree in Regional and City Planning with a specialization in Environmental Planning from the University of Oklahoma in 2001. She combines these diverse fields of study to conduct research in the areas of risk communication and hazards planning.

She is an online video/Internet TV guru…but Natural Hazards consulting pays the bills…

Her company, Natural Hazards Consulting, develops natural hazards readiness and response plans, business continuity plans, and environmental, hazards, and weather education products for municipalities and businesses. NHC also conducts research in Lawson’s leading areas of interest. These include:

· drought, wildfires, and hurricanes

· organizational learning in hazard mitigation

· risk communication

· renewable energy, and

· the Internet and the mobile Internet as hazards mitigation tools.

She has spent hours consuming online video/Internet TV…is she qualified or what?

Long hours in front of the computer during graduate school, sometimes all night, spurred Lawson’s interest in streaming and downloadable media. Her first discovery was the then-infant Movie Flix. At the time, all movies on the site were free. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, few online media sites existed. Each one discovered was like unearthing a pearl from an oyster. The online movies kept her company while analyzing data and writing her thesis. The habit of watching a movie while working continued into her professional life, her “Movies” bookmark folder now so lengthy it must be scrolled. It also spurred new thoughts on how best to communicate weather warnings and educate the public on how to handle dangerous weather situations.

“I’ve spent years watching online media blossom from the first sites of public domain films and B movies to user created content sites like YouTube and Every month seems to bring a new innovation, a new way to communicate.”

Lawson’s happy to share both her mega-list of movie sites and her love for weather, especially natural hazards, and hopes to infuse readers with excitement and interest in what the Internet and mobile Internet can do for both areas.

Carlie dreams of using the Internet to improve weather warning systems and educational awareness… 

“Cyberspace holds limitless promise for many areas, but especially entertainment and weather. It’s not just a matter of communicating a finished product. The Internet allows a worldwide workgroup to create a product together linearly (in real time) or non-linearly. It’s our choice.”

She says some of the most interesting prospects include real time creative collaborations in alternate reality worlds (ARWs), delivery of detailed weather warnings via the mobile Web, and long distance collaboration of hazards planners and affected populations to improve warning and education products. Lawson sees potential in using ARWs, the little sister of virtual reality, to conduct trainings, meetings, and research between far-flung colleagues. Using an ARW enables the participants to interact in a shared spaced with avatars representing each person. It also provides a 3-D development area with sound capabilities, so participants needn’t type messages back and forth. Text is supported though, and all activity is saved. Currently, most permanent ARWs are used as games and chat rooms, but the potential remains.

“Just last week, the FDIC sponsored a free virtual conference on fire fighting. It occurred entirely within a custom designed ARW,” she said. “Holding the conference in cyberspace enabled volunteer fire firefighters and those from small departments to attend, while a real world conference would have been cost prohibitive to them. They were able to receive the same training as full-time paid firefighters in major cities.”

Did I tell you she is an online video/internet TV buff?

On the entertainment side of things, sites like Hulu and Veoh provide audiences an opportunity to view on demand content of their choice, and movie and television studios an opportunity to earn more money from their products. But another benefit of those sites is they’re conducive to film maker/audience interaction, and have enabled independent film makers and film students to develop their projects with viewer feedback, Lawson explained. This helps the film makers build a product viewers connect with and enjoy without needing to wait until the film is completed to test it.

“A site like Veoh is an important tool for an independent film maker on a shoe string budget because they can shoot a reading of the scenes digitally, upload them, and conduct the audience testing. They can know before they shoot the whole film whether the average audience member hates the ending or can’t stand the way a central character is played.”

And for those who are looking for more utility than entertainment, there’s the mobile site which provides extensive hurricane forecasts, tracking, and evacuation information and maps. Since it’s designed using the .mobi extension, it can be read on any Internet capable cell phone. And because it’s available via cell phone, it’s accessible during power outages or travel.

“The evacuations site just went live in May. The developers haven’t said much yet about how they’ll test site utilization and effectiveness,” Lawson said. “I’m eager to see how residents on the East and Gulf coasts of the U.S. use the site during hurricane season and what difference it makes in their evacuation plans. I think a survey project may be in order.“

Carlie sees tremendous opportunity in cyberspace and touts net neutrality constantly… 

Indeed, there’s plenty on the Internet and mobile Internet to keep her busy. Something new seems to spring up everyday that she can’t wait to share with others.

“The potential of cyberspace is wide open. There’s no boundaries to its geography, and as long as we support net neutrality, no limits to the audience it can reach, “ she said. “I’m excited to be able to share every new wonder I stumble upon and I hope at least a little of my excitement becomes contagious.”


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  1. Carlie,

    I really liked a couple of your posts and then read your profile. It was suggested to me by a superstar IPTV-new media- social net thinker (Jeff Pulver) that i reach out to knowledgeable people on blog posts that I liked and make comments when the material was helpful. I think our service is something you would do a great job at testing and reviewing.

    Our business is focused on American IPTV for Expats, travelers and international clients who otherwise don’t have access to real time, place shifting hosting services from the USA. Its a monthly pay-for-access service (your own private cable feed) as the hosting and content expenses don’t allow a "free" model. I am not a PR pro but am looking for those who know the difference to test our service and perhaps spread the word for those who will find it invaluable.

    You have an open invite to do a DEMO (its a simple Sling-type experience) along with your colleagues.

    Best Regards, Marc at

  2. Hi Marc,

    I’d be happy to check out the service for readers. I’ll send a demo request via your on site contact form and I’ll include a link to this post so whoever gets it has the 411.

    All the best,