by Clare Charlesworth | May 30, 2018
News & Updates
May 30, 2018
The Highly-Anticipated Events You Should Live Blog this Summer
From international sporting competitions to decisive elections, there are many highly anticipated events taking place this summer. Some of the events will be over in a flash, making a live blog’s ability to produce real-time updates an asset. Others, such as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, will take place over several weeks and are perhaps more suited to a ‘slow blog’, which offers updates on a topic over longer periods of time.
To help you keep track of everything going on this summer, we’ve compiled a list of diverse, live-blog-worthy events. If you’d prefer to see this list in a different format, click here to download it as an Excel calendar.
Arts & Culture
Comic-Con (19 – 22 July)
Held in San Diego but followed eagerly by many all over the world, Comic-Con aims to promote an appreciation of comics and pop culture. In recent years, the four-day event has seen attendance exceeding 130,000 and even holds the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest annual comic and pop culture festival.
Edinburgh Fringe Festival (3 – 27 August)
From jazz concerts to stand-up comedy to Rocky Horror performances, there’s no shortage of things to live blog about at the largest performing arts festival in the world.
Eurovision Young Musicians (18, 19 & 23 August)
Part of the Eurovision Family of Events, this music competition consists of performances by young musicians from 18 European countries. If you’re looking for a blueprint, the Eurovision Song Contest recently teamed up with Live Blog to produce an engaging live blog for fans all over the world.
Venice Film Festival (29 August – 8 September)
Established in 1932, this year’s Venice Film Festival will celebrate its 75th edition. Being one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world, many eagerly look forward to finding out who the winners of each category are.
FIFA World Cup (14 June – 15 July)
Every four years the FIFA World Cup takes place, captivating soccer fans all over the world. As is the case for many other sporting competitions taking place in the summer of 2018, Live Blog’s free sports theme is well-suited to covering the FIFA World Cup, with the theme including play-by-play commentary, scorecards and the production of statistics in both charts and percentages.
2018 Wimbledon Championships (2 – 15 July)
This prestigious tennis championship will take place over the course of two weeks at the beginning of July. The BBC has reported that for last year’s Championships it had 24.1 million stream requests via BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport – just one indication of the large demand for online access to coverage of the tennis matches.
Tour de France (7 – 29 July)
First organised in 1903, this multi-stage race takes its cyclists, and the many viewers who follow passionately from home, all over the French countryside.
Formula One, British Grand Prix (5 – 8 July)
This year will be Silverstone’s 70th anniversary as host of Formula One’s British Grand Prix. To celebrate this milestone, throughout the weekend, Silverstone will also have numerous concerts and other entertainment for racing fans to enjoy.
Athletics World Cup (14 – 15 July)
This year’s Athletics World Cup will be held in London and will see eight of the world’s best athletic nations competing against each other for the Athletics World Cup trophy and the $2 million prize that comes with it. While lasting only two days, the Athletics World Cup will consist of 34 track and field events with 102 individual medals also being up for grabs.
European Championships (2 – 12 August)
This will be the first ever European Championships: a multi-sporting event held in both Glasgow and Berlin over eleven days. Organisers expect there is a potential television audience of 1.03 billion people, with additional millions looking for other digital platforms to receive updates.
18th Asian Games (18 August – 2 September)
Also known as the Asiad, the Asian Games is the second largest multi-sport competition after the Olympics. Alongside more “typical” sports, this year’s competition will see eSports being played for the first time, with plans for it to become an official medal sport at the 19th Asian Games in 2022.
44th G7 Summit (8 – 9 June)
To be held in Canada this year, the G7 Summit brings together world leaders from France, Germany, Japan, Italy, the UK, the US and Canada to discuss important issues currently at play in the world.
US – North Korea Summit in Singapore (12 June)
President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, are set to meet in Singapore for a historic summit on 12 June. Since the details of this meeting seem to change every day, the summit is well suited to live blog coverage as they offer bloggers a simple, fast updating tool, and readers an easy-to-follow stream of information concerning an important event.
There are many elections scheduled to take place this summer, the speculated outcomes of which change almost daily. Due to the unpredictable nature of these elections and the ever-changing circumstances surrounding them, live blogs are an ideal match for coverage. Live blogs are able to offer readers real-time updates as the results become available through a wide range of multimedia, including different infographics showing the results of the elections.
For tips on how to successfully live blog an election, have a read of our blog post.
Some of the many elections taking place include:
- Colombia’s Presidential Election (With the first round on 27 May producing no clear majority, Colombia’s presidential election moves into a runoff with the second round taking place on 17 June.)
- Mexico’s General Election (1 July)
- Pakistan’s General Election (25 July)
- Sweden’s General Election (9 September)
- US 2018 Midterms (6 November)
While taking place in autumn, there’s no need to limit your live blog coverage of the US 2018 Midterms to just election night. Many news organisations have begun to use Live Blog as a slow blog, which allows for coverage of a specific topic over longer periods of time.
A conference might not be the first thing that springs to mind when considering what events might suit live blog coverage. However, there are many advantages that come with putting the two together. Covering a conference with a live blog can increase audience participation and social media coverage of your event, and by archiving your blog, you’ll have an easy-to-read, comprehensive document detailing the conference. To find out other ways in which live blogs can be used to cover conferences, be sure to read our post.
With so many different conferences taking place, we’ve whittled it down to a couple focusing on journalism and media that you might find particularly interesting:
The GEN Summit 2018 (30 May – 1 June)
This year’s Global Editors Network (GEN) summit will take place in Lisbon, Portugal, with the overall theme of this widely attended meeting being ‘Towards the Augmented Newsroom’. For a better understanding of the GEN summit, see our interview with GEN CEO, Bertrand Pecquerie.
World News Media Conference (6 – 8 June)
Featuring many different speakers, including prominent publishers, chief editors and CEOs of different media organisations, the World News Media Conference is held annually to discuss the sustainability of the media industry and media freedom. This year’s conference will be held in Estoril, Cascais, Portugal.
Global Media Forum (11 – 13 June)
‘Global inequalities’ is this year’s theme for Deutsche Welle’s Global Media Forum, an international media conference that brings together a wide range of fields including journalism, politics and academia to discuss pertinent issues facing journalism today.
World Science Festival (29 May – 3 June)
Bringing together both the general public and some of the brightest scientific minds, the 11th World Science Festival aims to make science more accessible by taking it out of the lab and placing it into ‘the streets, parks, museums, galleries and premier performing arts venues of New York City and beyond’.
NASA (Launch Window: 31 July – 19 August)
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is scheduled to be launched this summer. Travelling through the sun’s atmosphere, this will be the closest contact any spacecraft has made with a star.
What events are you planning on live blogging this summer? Let us know by using the hashtag #liveblogthissummer
Click here to download this list as an Excel calendar.
May 23, 2018
Case Study: Live Blogging the Path to Eurovision’s Winner
by Clare Charlesworth | May 23, 2018
With a legacy that spans over 60 years, the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) has united Europe (and somehow Australia) through passionate singing performances – producing a combined 1,500 songs from over 50 countries. Only growing more popular with time, 2016’s Eurovision saw over 200 million people watching at least part of one of the three shows, making it the largest non-sporting TV event in the world.
Eurovision 2018 took place from May 8 – 12 in Lisbon, Portugal, with the overall theme for the contest being “All Aboard!”. With their active international fanbase, the Eurovision site was sure to receive tens of thousands of hits all at once, with many eagerly seeking out highlights, behind-the-scenes content and a second screen experience. And what better way to keep their fans informed than with a live blog; allowing readers to receive continuous updates through text and a range of multimedia.
With a fan base so engaged and actively scouring the net for the latest Eurovision updates, the live blog was sure to receive tens of thousands of concurrent users. Eurovision needed a live blogging software that would be able to withstand the pressure of that many users at once and one that would allow the organisers to prepare the coverage well in advance as to keep up to date with the scheduled performances of the artists.
The Eurovision Song Contest digital team needed a live blog that was easy to manage so that they could both create new content and publish already prepared content saved as drafts and contributions. Contributors needed something fast and simple to give continuous updates, incorporate social media and different forms of multimedia (photo galleries, YouTube videos of performances). Additionally, it was important for the live blog to fit in with Eurovision’s overall branding and corporate identity.
In mid-April of 2018, the Eurovision Song Contest, through their representative, the Dutch digital tech agency Scrn, decided to use Live Blog as their live blogging platform for the popular song contest.
Well aware of the extraordinary interest surrounding the event, the Live Blog team made sure that Eurovision’s live blog would be able to withstand that many visitors at once. They completed several performance tests and upscaled Live Blog’s Cluster, making certain, in a small window of time, that Live Blog would excel in covering this immensely popular live event.
Live Blog adapted the look and feel of the ESC’s live blog by incorporating the fonts and colour-schemes associated with their corporate identity in a custom theme. This allowed for the live blog to fit seamlessly into the larger Eurovision branding.
Two weeks after joining Live Blog, Eurovision’s live blog was already in use by the Eurovision Song Contest digital team to create a second screen experience for Eurovision fans. The digital team used Live Blog to share highlights of events, behind-the-scenes sneak peeks at the rehearsal process, YouTube clips of different performances and photo galleries of the performers. They were also able to use Unicode icons, making their posts more engaging and social media friendly.
Social media was also easy to include in the live blog; the social media embeds were created by copying and pasting a URL, saving the digital team valuable time and effort.
Marko, a member of Sourcefabric’s system team, remarked on the fact that even with the high interest for Eurovision’s live blog, Live Blog’s Cluster worked smoothly for both readers and editors throughout the coverage of the event.
By using Sourcefabric’s live blogging tool, Eurovision was able to maintain an exciting live blog that was continuously visited by many throughout the song contest. Those working behind-the-scenes at Eurovision were happy with the collaboration.
Sietse Bakker, CEO of Scrn, the Eurovision Song Contest’s official digital agency, said
‘the tool gave us what we needed in a very short amount of time. While a lot of people use Twitter while watching the shows and Eurovision has a very active presence there, the live blogging tool provided us with an opportunity to be spontaneous on the website as well. All with little effort and without a glitch’.
What can Live Blog do for your next big event? Request a demo or get in touch with us to learn more: firstname.lastname@example.org
May 8, 2018
Featured Live Blog: dpa’s “Weird News & Other Offbeat Stories”
by Julia Vernersson | May 8, 2018
It has already been three years since Germany’s largest press agency, dpa, began their live blog “Weird News & Other Offbeat Stories”. Since, it has become the go-to place to discover Germany’s weirdest happenings and news. Live Blog users can syndicate this blog, complementing their own regional stories with other dpa-live content and making it all easily available to their subscribers. “Weird News & Other Offbeat Stories” is currently embedded in around two dozen customer websites, including Mitteldeutsche Zeitung and Radio Essen. We had a look behind the scenes of this popular blog by asking Süleyman Artiisik from dpa a few questions.
What makes this blog so special?
Every day in Germany and around the world a lot of strange things happen – ranging from the curious and bizarre to the adventurous. Then, there are topics that go viral on the net. We gather all of these in one place – on our blog. It is a “good mood blog”, there is nothing about death or serious injuries. The blog should bring a smile to the reader’s face.
What is the weirdest post you have published so far?
There are now more than 4,000 posts on the blog. It’s hard to say which one is the winner – there are quite a few candidates. For example, we recently posted one about a flying duck that was caught by a speed control camera in a 30 km/h zone in Switzerland, and one about a ten-year-old boy who called the police because he could not solve his homework.
How big is your blogging team?
Indirectly, this blog incorporates the dpa’s reporting and photography network. For the maintenance of the blog, we often use, among other things, the dpa text and photo service. We are also on various social networking sites and look for weird stories, videos and photos. For this, we use special social media monitoring tools. On a typical day, two people work two different shifts on the blog.
How does Sourcefabric’s Live Blog help you to run a good blog?
It is very useful. With the tool, we can embed all contributions from social networks via an embedding code directly into the blog – be it from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. This means we do not have to use external links. We also enjoy the possibility of freedom to design a post. A post doesn’t have to consist of only text and a photo or a video – we can combine anything we need.
What do you wish for the “Weird News & Other Offbeat Stories” blog in the future?
That customers feature this blog prominently on their websites. It’s no secret that readers spend more time on live blogs than reading regular articles. Live blogs also have a higher number of visitors, especially blogs that focus on entertainment and humour.