This should really be called, Liveblogging: Explained or how Miss604 does it – cause I’m sure there are numerous methods, but although I am no expert or professional, over the last year I’ve done a handful of live blogs at events and conferences. One question that always comes up is “how does it work?” so I suppose I’ll take a minute here to explain just how a live blog works.
Basically a live blog is someone posting content in real time on their blog. No you cannot see the text appear before your eyes as they’re typing, but if the reader refreshes periodically, more text will appear. This happens by the author creating a post, hitting publish, and then going back into the same post and editing/saving sporadically throughout the duration of the event.
Authors: Advertise days in advance so readers know to tune in.
Readers: Show up, refresh x repeat.
Authors: Publish Once + Edit/Save as necessary.
The first live blog I ever followed was probably Alanah’s, when she ran Vancouver Canucks Op Ed (predecessor to Canucks and Beyond). Alanah would live blog Canucks games, making time stamps based on the time left in the period or separating sections of the post by period. She would comment on the game, give stats, and provide a forum for other watchers, fans and readers to comment and discuss what was going on at ice level. Live blogging is just that much more fun when you know you have an audience and you leave comments wide open, getting a dialog going is a fantastic way to communicate your experience to the readers.
My first live blog was last August at Matthew Good‘s apartment when he had an intimate invite-only mini-concert for fans before leaving on a trip [Miss604]. I applied the same concept, I kept one browser window open displaying my site, opened up the comments and kept another browser open with my editor so I could type and publish on the fly. I used actual timestamps to make my place and shared quotes, jokes, the playlist and various other tidbits with the readers. I was also able to connect my camera to my laptop and have John take photos. I would then upload them to Flickr and include them in my post. Readers would then be able to see exactly why I was talking about, while it was happening. At that time Matt also asked me to read out some questions directed at him in the comments, and I would type out the answers for his fans.
Since then, I’ve blogged events while attending, such as Barcamp (which was actually the same weekend as the living room show) and Northern Voice. Those were not truly live blogs but more like… 15 minutes after the fact, recaps. The next true live blog was SuperHappyDevHouse, followed by DemoCamp01. I have also previously published a post entitled “Liveblogging, Is It Worth it?” in response to something I read on Seth Godin’s blog.
Itâ€™s definitely difficult to relay information on the go, itâ€™s basically rapid-fire note taking. I find that I type a lot of inside jokes when Iâ€™m liveblogging, things that could either be better explained with a post-mortem or left out entirely in a recap. What I find most valuable about liveblogging is the instant feedback and interaction with readers – Miss604
Most recently, this past weekend I found myself almost a year later, live blogging another private show of Matt Good’s. This time it was in Las Vegas [Miss604], and I had some more help with the photos [Flickr].
“i got to meet miss604 who liveblogged the event perfectly and gracefully and far better than i imagined. she took pictures and was later relived from that duty by the totally capable duane storey who had a sweet camera and was uploading them to flickr within minutes of taking the pics.” [Tony Pierce]
The best part is being able to provide some kind of portal for those who cannot attend these events. Even when I do not get any comments or interaction, I still get to archive a blog post about something I experienced. If I get to share that with thousands people live, or five several months later, it makes it all worthwhile.