It’s Kinda Like Regular Blogging, But It’s Live

Live blogging is the new thing for bloggers to do. It isn’t particularly useful unless you are actually blogging a live event, but if you are, it is an excellent way to generate some buzz around your blog. It is also an excellent way to draw new readers to your blog, and this is especially true if the event is very popular within your niche. The point is, live blogging is a really interesting concept if done correctly.

Most recently, blogs like CNET have dedicated resources to cover the WorldWide Developer’s Conference live. Other places like Engadget, Gizmodo, and Wired also participated by live blogging the conference.

There are several tools you can utilize to start live blogging today. That is what I will be discussing now.

Cover It Live

Cover It Live is a service which allows you to take any existing page and make it into a creative and unique live blogging experience for you and your readers. You sign up for an account (for free), and after filling in some information, you are able to setup a live blogging session.

It requires about a minute to setup your live blogging session—requiring a title, date, time, and time zone—and then you are provided with a small amount of code that can be placed where you want the viewer to see the live blogging take place. It can be placed pretty much anywhere that any normal content can be placed, but this area must support IFrames.

Additional features include the ability to add panelists and producers, allow people to be notified of when the live blogging session begins, have readers leave comments, insert polls, display advertisements, and share other forms of media like images, videos, and audio.

When all is said and done, you are left with a window which represents a chat room. This area is the place where you can, essentially, do your live blogging. There is no refreshing required by the readers, and this is one of the most important features of Cover It Live.

This is certainly one of the more simpler and effective ways to put on a live blogging event.

Check the bottom of this page to see what Cover It Live looks like.


SubEthaEdit, a tool I recently discussed here at Performancing, allows you to edit any document in real-time with collaborators. While, in itself, not being a complete solution for live blogging, it is an excellent tool to collaborate in a live blogging event.

Multiple users could join an editing session and write/edit the document together with ease. The process is easier than you would imagine, but once you see it in action, you quickly realize the true potential. However, as far as live blogging, this is where the tool ends on its usefulness. You could take the document and paste it to a server, and, truth be told, it is better than nothing at all.

SubEthaEdit is only useful for those of you working in a group of people covering the same event. It only solves part of the problem though, and, in many aspects, if you are willing to sacrifice control, Cover It Live might be the better solution.

WordPress, Drupal, and most other CMSs

For most of us, WordPress, Drupal, Blogger, Movable Type, and other various content management systems will be what we have to work with. While each of these systems should support Cover It Live, it might be in your best interest to cover an event by constantly editing a dedicated page/post within the CMS. It certainly isn’t the prettiest or most efficient way to handle this—it makes collaboration fairly difficult—but you work with what you are given; no one can doubt you for that.

Live Blogging on Performancing

I decided to create a live blogging session for Performancing with Cover It Live. Check back here around 1:00 PM EST. I don’t really have a topic, but I’ll try to make it somewhat interesting!

If you have any experience with live blogging, please let everyone know how it went. Any problems? Did it help drive traffic to your blog?

12 thoughts on “It’s Kinda Like Regular Blogging, But It’s Live

  1. If you go on your My Account page, there is a practice mode to just play around.

    Hope it works well for you!

  2. Thanks James. It was interesting to see in action.

    I should just sign up and give it a test run myself to see how it all works, including the stats and edit contents available once the live blog has finished.

    Are they the same stats that were available to you during the live blog, or are they a bit more in-depth? I also like the fact that the live session remains saved, allowing people to come back at any time, to wherever it was embedded, and see everything that was said. If they want to.

    Okay, just signed up to have a closer look.

  3. I thought it was fun. Would have been better if I actually had an event to blog about, but it has potential.

    I haven’t really investigated live blogging in-depth too far, but Cover It Live seems to be one of the few options that actually exist.

    I actually learned about it because Leo Laporte has started using it on This Week in Tech.

    By the way, Dave, if you are out there, you can edit the contents of the live blogging session after it has ended. If you visit the Cover It Live website and go to the “completed live blogs” or similar, there is an option to view statistics and edit the contents.

    Pretty cool stuff.

  4. Wow James, that was a cool way of showcasing live blogging. I’ve seen Mark from Mashable use Cover It Live before so it must be one of the better solutions out their. However, looks like there is still work to be done on the software.

  5. The live blogging session went well.

    There were a few quirks, but overall, I think it went quite well.

    You can check out the entire conversation above.

    I believe I might use this service again in the future. Pretty awesome stuff.

    Thanks to those of you who checked it out.

    EDIT: BTW, 127 people viewed the live blog.

  6. If you are using WordPress, I just came across a plugin which allows you to embed content from Google Docs.

    I have not tested this plugin. I am not sure of its functionality, and I am probably not going to install it because I have other solutions for creating/editing my blog posts; however, it might be something to look into if you are a Google Docs user.

    Inline Google Docs

  7. I’ll begin the live blogging session tomorrow around 1:00 PM. I’ll talk about something for a few hours. I’ll try and make it useful.

    Oh, and a few reasons why you might want to consider using your CMS (like WordPress) for live blogging is that Cover It Live has had some reliability issues in the past. If Cover It Live goes down, your live blogging session could be in jeopardy.

    Also, Cover It Live is likely to integrate pay-for services in the future. This is one way for the company to make money. It is something to keep in mind.

    It is mostly a question of convenience to your readers. If you don’t want them to have to reload the page, use Cover It Live. If you don’t mind, you might be better off just using your current method of posting content.

    Anyways, let me know what events you have blogged live. Let me know what you think about live blogging in general.

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