One of the wonderful side effects of the internet is enhanced connectivity over ever increasing distances. A great example of this is the newly setup wireless connection for NASA astronauts. One thing you’ll notice with the web is the constant push for information — now. Twitter was a big step forward in this area, as was live video streaming with sites like Ustream.tv.
Although it’s been around for awhile, over the last year or two live blogging is being used much more frequently. Live blogging is closely related to Twitter, except a small step further. We won’t get into the technology behind it but if you want to start live blogging, here’s how to do just that.
In case you’re wondering why you would want to live blog or what you would use live blogging for, just take a look at sites like Mac.AppStorm or other tech. blogs. With live blogging, you can provide live coverage (including pictures and video clips) of all sorts of events; for example, Mac.AppStorm’s Apple ‘Latest Creation’ Event Live Coverage today. Live blogging apps make it possible to view fresh data without page refreshing.
Another great example of the same technology being used in a slightly different manner, would be Google’s recent addition of live search results from Twitter.
Third Party Services
You aren’t going to want to try setting up your own live blogging system, especially if you’ll have thousands of viewers. A better way to get your own live blog going is by using a third party service, like ScribbleLive.
There are several services available for live blogging and there might be a plugin available for your favorite blogging platform; there’s one for WordPress.
Heading over to ScribbleLive, I’ve selected to create a new live event. They don’t make you register a new account, instead you’ll just sign in using one of the listed services you might already use. I’ve signed in via my Twitter account.
Create Your Event
Once you’re signed in, just fill out the details of your live event. In order to preserve server resources, ScribbleLive will close events that are inactive longer than 180 minutes. That shouldn’t be a problem though since it’s not live if it hasn’t been active for 3 hours!
A couple statistics options are available such as pubic or private live watchers and setting up your event with your Google Analytics ID.
The last bit you’ll be able to setup is the comments language filtering. It’s also nice that they give you a filtering option between completely blocking posts with filtered words or just replacing the words with asterisks.
Make sure to click “Configure Embed” if you want to customize your embed settings.
Embed Your Live Blog Event
If you selected the “Configure Embed” option, you’ll have the chance to customize the appearance of the embedded app. You’ll be able to preview the settings before saving them as well; that way you can get them just right before moving forward.
You’ll be able to manage your event from its live event page. Notice in the sidebar that you can follow someone’s tweets in order to have them pulled into the live blog; the same applies to search queries. Click the link in the sidebar, “Add to Your Site”, to grab the embed code for your site.All you’ll need to do is copy the embed code and publish it on your site where you would like the live feed to appear. After your event has finished, you might want to generate an HTML output of the event for people to look at who might’ve missed the live event.
If you didn’t setup your embed code earlier or it needs adjustments, just go back to this area and click the Setup button next to the embed code. I’ve embedded this testing live blog in a blank HTML page to show how it works.
ScribbleLive has tons of other options available to customize things like the sound played for those viewing the live blog when a new post arrives. They also offer a desktop notifier, sharing options and invite options to invite others to post to the live blog.
Live blogging using services like ScribbleLive is a great way to provide information to your site visitors that’s easy for you to publish and easy for them to view. Viewers won’t be constantly refreshing your pages and bogging down your server in order to view new posts.
Another great advantage to live blogging is the interactivity of it all. If you choose to allow comments, it gives visitors another reason to stay on your site and get a little more involved. There are countless ways web apps like ScribbleLive can be used and I’m definitely interested in your unique ideas! You can share your ideas on using these kinds of apps by leaving a comment below. Thanks!