Lately, I’ve been live blogging more frequently at local events like Me in Media, Inside Stories and Lost in Translation?. On a few occasions, I’ve been asked for tips on how to successfully create a live blog, leading to this entry.
There are a few free online tools available to live bloggers as Nancy Messieh outlines in 3 Easy Methods to Live Blog. But I’ll focus exclusively on CoverItLive, which is the service I use when live blogging.
I like CoverItLive, because it’s (1) free, (2) highly customizable, (3) allows me to embed its code in my WordPress site, and (4) offers basic analytics.
I set up each Live Event in advance—ideally, a week or two before the event. Login to CoverItLive and select "Add New." Enter your event’s details, including date, time and title You can automatically publish tweets from a particular user and/or tweets with your event’s hashtag. Grab the code to place the Viewer Window in your site.
Click on any image in the slider to see the full-size screenshot.
Login to CoverItLive and select "Add New."
Enter your event’s details, including date, time and title
You can automatically publish tweets from a particular user and/or tweets with your event’s hashtag.
Grab the code to place the Viewer Window in your site.
CoverItLivealso enables you to add links, photos, videos and prewritten text like your panelists’ bios to a Media Library in advance. I love this feature because it means I don’t have to scramble during an event to find relevant information to publish.
At the Event
Login to CoverItLive to launch your event. Then, double-check your website to ensure that the Viewer Window is working properly. As always, it’s worthwhile to arrive early and work out any kinks, like Wi-Fi access, before any event gets underway.
Initially, I managed my live blog via CoverItLive’s console. But the downside is that you can’t engage with others who are live tweeting at the same event—remember, your live blog is accessible to those on your website and not those following the hashtag on Twitter.
To address this problem, I now set up each live blog to automatically publish any tweets from my Twitter feed. This allows me to continue engaging on Twitter with others who are at the event, while automatically feeding content directly to my live blog.
Regardless of which tool you use, try to have a couple of people who are sending content to the live blog—one can provide colour commentary while the other offers a blow-by-blow account of the event. I find it’s too difficult for one person to take on both roles, because it’s hard to provide analysis on top of accurately documenting what people are saying or doing.
Once your event comes to a close, remember to end it on CoverItLive. Now, you’ll have a great transcript of the whole thing on your website ready to be replayed at any time.