by Gideon Lehmann | June 25, 2018
News & Updates
June 25, 2018
7 Tips for Live Blogging Your Running Event
From personal experience, I know there’s nothing more exciting than being part of a large running event. From kids high-fiving runners to live music being performed at different points of the race and volunteers handing out water and snacks, there’s always something taking place.
As the organiser of a running event, you’ll want to capture these moments and be able to update your runners with important information. You’ll also need to keep spectators well-informed once the race begins. A live blog will allow you to publish all your updates in one place, ensuring that readers can easily keep up-to-date with the race.
To help you get started, we’ve prepared seven tips that will help you get the most out of live blogging your race day.
This video is made using InVideo.io
#1 Prepare coverage before your running event begins
By having content prepared before the race begins, you’ll have enough time during the event to focus on more pressing updates. Content to create beforehand could include:
- Posts detailing the runners’ profiles
- Interesting facts about the race and its history
- A list of things to see along the race course (monuments, buildings, bridges, etc.)
That way, even during some of the less exciting moments in the race, you’ll always have something to publish.
#2 Engage your readers
By introducing a social media hashtag, such as #LondonMarathon, before your running event takes place, you’ll be able to find relevant social media posts to include in your live blog. You can further increase reader engagement with your coverage by using Live Blog’s user commenting feature, which allows you to collect, moderate and publish your readers’ comments.
#3 Organise your live blog’s timeline
Giving your live coverage a clear structure will help your readers keep track of important updates and help latecomers to your coverage get quickly up to speed. Pinning a post will mean that it stays at the very top of your live blog’s timeline, ensuring that it is the first thing a reader sees. Highlighting posts that contain important pieces of information, such as who is leading at the halfway mark, allows for readers who are pressed for time to quickly scan through your live blog.
#4 Make your data stand out
To help you cover a wide variety of events, Live Blog has several post types available, including scorecards, play-by-play commentary and the presentation of statistics in charts and graphs. You don’t even have to be limited to the existing post types either, as it’s easy to create your own with Live Blog’s freetype feature.
When live blogging the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) World Championships in 2017, AthleticsAfrica created a custom post type that allowed them to display small medals next to the winners of a race, which helped to improve the look and feel of their page. The medal post type is now a permanent post type on Live Blog so others can also display the results of the race in this visually appealing way.
To show you just how easy it is to create a specific post type for your running event, I created a custom post type using Live Blog’s freetype feature (seen in the image below). I wanted to call attention to some of the important facts and figures of the running event, so I made a post type that would allow me to make certain parts of my text bold and larger.
#5 Involve your sponsors
Style your live blog according to your sponsors’ corporate identity and branding. This can be done by featuring their logo prominently on your blog and by including ads for their services in your coverage. You may also want to mention your sponsors in prepared posts that concern key moments in the race – perhaps in the lead up to announcing the winners, or if a new national or world record has been set.
#6 Share customised coverage
To reach a wider audience, consider sharing your live coverage with media partners and sponsors. With Live Blog’s output channels, you can customise the look and feel of your live blog for every outlet that you choose to share it with. This means that the same content can be shared on multiple channels, each with a different design.
#7 Turn your live coverage into a multimedia report
While during the race you’ll want the latest updates to come up first in the reader’s timeline, after the event ends you may want to change the default order so that the reader sees the oldest posts first. By doing so, the reader will be able to read the live blog as a multimedia report on the whole event.
June 18, 2018
Live Blogging Pro Tips: Adding Animated GIFs and Unicode Icons to your Live Blog
by Thomas Moran | June 18, 2018
We recently teamed up with the Eurovision Song Contest to help them create an entertaining live blog that provided music fans with updates and behind-the-scenes content throughout the competition. One way in which Eurovision kept their readers engaged with their live blog was by including animated GIFs and Unicode icons (⛵✈ ☂ ☕ ♫) in their coverage.
To help you enrich your live blog with Unicode icons and animated GIFs, and make your own coverage as eye-catching as Eurovision’s, we’ve created a screencast that shows you just how easy it is to include both in Live Blog.
June 12, 2018
Meet Live Blog 3.4
by Gideon Lehmann | June 12, 2018
Over the past few months, Live Blog has become increasingly popular as its features have grown more powerful. Recently powering the Eurovision Song Contest’s official live blog, Live Blog version 3.4 is filled with useful new features and improvements that make tools even easier to use, including:
- Enhancements to our advertisement management system based on configurable output channels. Ads can now be placed easily into a Live Blog’s timeline in a configurable frequency for both our Default and AMP themes. This means that you’ll be able to make more profit from advertisements with readers now engaging with ads on their phones.
- Updates to our text editor will result in a much smoother editing experience. When it comes to editing text that has been copied and pasted from external sources, our text editor will now remove the unwanted original formatting of the text. This will save you from having to fix the formatting in your post before publishing.
- Thinking about archiving or deleting several blogs at once? You’ll now be able to select several at a time and do so, rather than spending time adjusting the settings for each one individually.
- The user commenting feature is now available for the AMP output, so you’ll also be able to engage with your readers directly through their phones by incorporating their comments into your live blog. This increased user engagement won’t only benefit the content you produce but will also help to popularise your live blog in the long run.
- Our customisable Live Blog themes can meet any need. We’ve always made sure that our live blog themes are adjustable to fulfil the requirements and branding of different organisations. In version 3.4, we’ve introduced blocks that allow you to override certain components of your chosen Live Blog theme while still maintaining the desired elements, even when new updates become available.
We’ve also been hard at work increasing the test coverage of our software, inheriting the latest version of our mother project Superdesk with its improved UI and updating our API documentation to make sure it functions well with our new features.
We are already working on our next developments to Live Blog. Here are three things that are under way for future releases:
- Direct video upload
- Automated creation of AMP-compatible output channels
- Improvements in regards to data privacy and embeds
Be sure to contact us if you have any questions about the latest updates to Live Blog: email@example.com
June 6, 2018
Live Blogging the FIFA World Cup: a Game Plan
by Clare Charlesworth | June 06, 2018
From 14 June to 15 July, 32 international football teams will compete in the hopes of being this year’s FIFA World Cup champion. The World Cup is one of the most popular sporting events in the world, with a whopping 1 billion people watching the 2014 final between Argentina and Germany. But naturally, these viewers weren’t just watching on traditional media. An estimated 280 million people watched matches either on a mobile device or online over the course of the event. In FIFA’s words, it’s a clear sign that ‘more and more fans are embracing new technology for sports content’.
One of the technological platforms that many are turning to for online coverage are live blogs, which are an excellent fit for covering sporting events. Have an update on Neymar’s injury? Write a post and have it up on your live blog in seconds. Receiving insider updates from an account on twitter? Grab them and add them with a simple embed code.
Capitalising on the high demand for online coverage of the World Cup, however, can be a daunting task for you and your live blogging team. How best should you present your content so that it is both informative and engaging? How can you make sure that your live blog stands out from other online content on this hugely popular sporting event?
Here are a couple of pointers to help you make the most of your live blog coverage of the World Cup.
#1 Warm up before the match
Match days are sure to be hectic for your blogging team. Having a clear editorial structure in place will save you valuable time when your team begins publishing content. Depending on the scale of your live blogging operation, it might be helpful to manage the different editing privileges that members of your team have. Do you want member A of your team to be able to publish their updates as soon as they finish, but for member B’s posts to be read by an editor first? Establishing this editorial workflow before the match is imperative for staying on top of everything.
Even the most passionate of football fans will begrudgingly admit that not every game is particularly exciting all of the time. At different points in your live blog coverage, such as before the match begins, in the halftime break, or at some slower points in the game, you might struggle to find content and keep your readers engaged. Researching and drafting posts on players and past matches beforehand will mean that you always have enough content to publish throughout your coverage. Live Blog’s editorial workflow structure even allows for potential posts to be stored in your live blog’s contribution section until you are ready to publish.
#2 Provide a structured reading experience
With so many updates throughout the match, you may be worried about your live blog seeming chaotic at times. A football fan visiting your live blog mid-way through the match might struggle to find key moments of the game without having to read through less important posts first. Consider using a pinning feature to have the most relevant information, such as the score of the match, come up first in your live blog’s timeline. Ensure that other interesting updates, such as a commentary on a goal scored, can be distinguished by highlighting the post.
#3 Bring your coverage to life
It can become all too easy for readers to simply gloss over your content if it consists solely of text. Including visual posts, like images and videos of match highlights, will make your live blog’s timeline more dynamic. Additionally, keep an eye on different social media channels for relevant posts to include. With Live Blog, incorporating different forms of multimedia into coverage is simple and intuitive, saving time and effort in high-pressure situations.
Similarly, consider the different methods through which you could represent live data. Conveying complex figures about ball possessions just through text probably won’t resonate as much with readers as a graphic element might. Opt to include charts and percentages that represent the game’s statistics, such as corner kicks, fouls and bookings, visually.
Including a scorecard is an excellent way to represent the most important information about the match. As described in our tips on how to cover the Champions League, scorecards provide readers with the most up-to-date score of the game in an easily understandable manner. Live Blog’s scorecards are easy to update and can also provide more detailed information, such as who scored and in what minute of the game.
Additionally, engage your readers by including a user comment feature, which allows for editors to incorporate reader comments into your live blog’s timeline. By including this feature, you’ll be able to showcase different opinions on how the match is going while also increasing reader participation with your live blog.
#4 Monetise your live blog
Now that you know how to make your coverage of the World Cup more engaging, why not monetise your live blog by including ads from third-party providers or even ones you’ve made yourself? Get in touch with nearby businesses (a local brewery, for example) and ask them to sponsor your coverage in exchange for the inclusion of their ads in your live blog’s timeline.