by Todd Jatras | Mar 26, 2020
News & Updates
Tips and Tricks
March 26, 2020
How To Upload Videos to YouTube Directly from Live Blog
There are many reasons why you should be using videos in your live blogs, chief among them is providing readers with a fuller, visual perspective on the story at hand. Adding videos to your timeline also has an immediate impact on SEO efforts, as search engines tend to give a higher ranking to pages containing rich media, which in turn drives higher organic traffic and reader engagement. Our live blogging software gives you the option to do exactly that.
With that in mind, our recent release of Live Blog 3.6 included the ability to link your blog to a YouTube account and set it up to simultaneously upload videos there as you post them to your timeline.
Read on for a step-by-step guide to linking your Live Blog and YouTube accounts in five easy steps.
First, to set this up successfully, you will need to have administrative access for your Live Blog instance. You also need to have an active Google/YouTube account. Since Google own Youtube, you must have a Google account to set up Youtube. If you don’t already have an account, go to google.com and register for one, then sign in and go to https://console.developers.google.com/.
On the top left-hand side of this page (see below), pull down the “Select Project” menu and click “NEW PROJECT”. In the “Project name” field, give your project an easy-to-remember name like “LB YouTube”, then click the “CREATE” button.
On the Google console page, click “+ENABLE APIS AND SERVICES” (below), which takes you to the API Library page. Scroll down the page and select “YouTube API v3”, then click the “ENABLE” button.
Now go to Credentials under APIs & Services (see below), click the “+CREATE CREDENTIALS” menu at the top of the page and select “OAuth client ID”. For application type, select “web application”. In the “Authorized redirect URLs” field, enter the redirect URL for your Live Blog instance (example: https://demo.liveblog.pro/api/video_upload/oauth2callback) and click the “CREATE” button. Do not include a backslash on the end of the URL or you will receive an error message.
Now that you have YouTube credentials (Client ID and secret code), download the file containing them by clicking the “DOWNLOAD JSON” button on the top of the page or the arrow down icon. Finally, go to Live Blog (see below), choose any blog you’ve created there (see below) and click “ADD CONTENT HERE”, select “Video”, then click “UPDATE CREDENTIALS” and follow the directions to upload the JSON file you downloaded.
And there you have it. Now, when you post a video to your timeline by dropping it into the “Drag Video here” zone (above), it will be automatically uploaded to your YouTube account.
If you are not yet a Live Blog user and you’re looking for live blogging software to cover real-time news, you can try Live Blog for free here, no strings attached.
January 23, 2020
Live Blogging: Everything you need to know
by Greg Bruno | Jan 23, 2020
In today’s news cycle, there’s no time for down time: live blogs are one of the best ways to deliver information quickly. But what, exactly, is live blogging, and what are live blogs good for? Good questions; here are some answers.
What is a live blog, anyway?
A live blog, sometimes referred to as “live text,” is a blog post that provides a rolling textual coverage of an ongoing event supplemented with images, videos, and other digital material. According to The Guardian: “Live blogs provide commentary and analysis alongside breaking news rather than summarising the event after it is over. It’s a transparent format in which the writers are able to update and amend their commentaries in easily digestible paragraphs.”
Live blogging can be used for a wide variety of events and circumstances – such as sporting events, elections and conferences. Although live blogs are constantly evolving, news organisations use live blogs for a number of reasons: to reach wider audiences, to increase the transparency of the traditional news-making process, to increase content engagement, and even to generate new streams of revenue through blog syndication.
Live blogging through the ages
What started in the mid-2000s as a software tool for techies to broadcast technology conferences has since become an essential story format for journalists and other information providers to distribute digital coverage in chronological order.
Personalisation is a live blog’s comparative advantage. Unlike television, which must be watched in a linear way and in real time (although viewers can record it and watch it later), live blogs allow readers to start at any point in the story and reread, save, share, and digest information at their own pace.
Why live blogging?
Live blogs are widely read. In 2012, research by City University London found that live blogs get 300% more views and 233% more visitors than conventional online articles on the same subject. Live blogs also outperform online picture galleries, getting 219% more visitors. In 2013, the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism found that readers increasingly prefer live blogs to static content and believe live coverage to be more balanced and neutral. Additionally, 62% of survey takers said live blogs are the best format to consume news at work.
More recent data shows that audiences are spending less time reading full news stories and more time engaging with highlights and breaking news – everything from Steph Curry’s three-point buzzer beater to coverage of natural disasters. In fact, when big news breaks, studies show that readers actively seek out quality information through online search – before content is shared on social media. That’s one reason why having a live blog dedicated to breaking news coverage will boost your site’s profile online.
But the benefits are not limited to the immediate time during and after an event. It turns out that readers go back, again and again, to visit live blog timelines of events in the past. “Our experience is that live blogs drive lots of traffic to our site,” said Sybille Klormann, an editor at Zeit Online covering politics and economics. “We are often surprised at how many people visit these blogs, especially during elections, but also show a continued interest afterwards.”
Bottom line: “Live blogging can be a very valuable resource to your readers if done right,” says professional blogger Cameron Chapman. “If you take the time and keep focused throughout an event to provide useful information to your readers, they’ll often consider your blog the go-to place for event coverage in your industry. If it’s done poorly, though, all those blog posts will likely just be looked at as filler or fluff by your readers, and may even annoy some to the point they unsubscribe from your RSS feed.”
Proven use cases for live liveblogging
Live blogs can be used for covering a wide-array of news stories and banner events – such as breaking news, elections, esports, and live sports. But even the most niche topics can find an audience with a well-done live blog.
Aleks Vickovich, wealth and legal managing editor at Momentum Media in Australia, says one company publication, ifa (Independent Financial Adviser) used a live blog to cover two weeks of financial hearings in 2018. As a result, ifa saw its new traffic increase by 200%. For a publication with “an extremely niche audience of hard core fans,” Vickovich said the growth made possible with live blog was staggering. “We had something like 60,000 unique visits in the two-week period, which is about twice what we usually get in a month.”
Part of that success is because live blog content is becoming more visible in web searches. Why does this matter? Because when the text of a live blog post appears as native content to search engines, it raises the profile of that news organisation’s coverage in new web searches, and also helps with the site’s overall SEO (search engine optimisation).
How to live blog successfully
The Internet is full of tips on how to live blog properly, and it can be a challenge to cut through the digital noise. To help you make the most out of your live blogging activity, we’ve collated some of the best insights from across the industry:
Step #1 | Choose the right live blog software
First you need to pick a blogging platform that serves your needs. Sourcefabric’s Live Blog is a powerful, professional open-source live blogging tool created for journalists and bloggers on the go. It includes rich media posts – like image slideshows and video streams – as well as custom post types and scorecards for covering sporting events.
Additionally, Live Blog offers easy ways to monetise your coverage with tools to integrate native or remote ads into your live blog’s timeline. The platform also offers a mobile reporting app (Live Blog Reporter) that allows your live blog team to contribute directly from their mobile phones.
Step #2 | Plan your coverage BEFORE you start blogging
Once you’ve got your platform picked out, now you need to think deeply about your blogging strategy. Coming up with material ad hoc is not the best practice for maintaining a successful live blog. Even though events unfolding in real time often leave little to no opportunity to prepare, there will inevitably be in-between moments where not much is happening. During these times, it’s important for you to have relevant material prepared in advance, general knowledge on the topic you’re covering, and reliable contacts who can assist you.
Step #3 | Think in terms of editorial resources
Producing a good live blog requires people. Some practical questions to consider: is there enough staff available at that particular moment and are there reporters on the scene able to provide information, verify facts, as well as submit images and videos? If the answer is no, perhaps a live blog isn’t the correct format.
Step #4 | Build in communication and collaboration tools
Using established lines of communication is essential for a time-sensitive format like live blogging. If you have a team of more than one, how will you share information about the blog’s content? Whether it’s a tool like Slack or email, you’ll need a way to exchange ideas and content before it’s posted.
Step #5 | Experiment
Because news consumers have taken a much greater interest in live blogs, the go-to form of storytelling offers endless opportunities for innovating. New organisations use live blogging for boosting audience engagement, increasing transparency in the news-production process, and even to generate revenue. There’s really no end to how a live blog can be deployed.
Live Blog examples
For Live Blog tutorials, check out our YouTube channel or visit us at liveblog.pro.
January 20, 2020
Mobile Blogging with the Live Blog Reporter App
by Greg Bruno | Jan 20, 2020
In the modern media landscape, audiences expect news when it happens. Live blogs are one of the fastest ways to deliver it, and with our mobile blogging tool, updating readers has never been easier.
In this post (and in the video below) we’re going to demonstrate how to set up and use the Live Blog Reporter App, which gives your blog writers the ability to write and file from anywhere.
We recently tested the app at a pro-democracy protest in Prague to show you how convenient mobile live blogging can be.
1st Step: Install the Reporter App
The first step is to install the Reporter App on the mobile device you want to work from. Search for “Live Blog Reporter” in the iOS or Google Play app stores. Once you’ve got the app on your device, make sure you’re registered as a user and team member for the Live Blog you want to work on. And, if you need a Live Blog instance, visit liveblog.pro to try Live Blog for free.
Once your account is up and running, the next step is to log into the app. On the app’s home screen enter the URL of your Live Blog instance, your username, and your password. Now, locate the blog you want to work on from your organisation’s Blog List. You can only work on blog’s that are bolded; if a name is greyed out it means you don’t have access.
For this tutorial we’ll walk you through how to post images and videos shot from your device to your Live Blog timeline. We’re using images and videos that we took at a huge protest in Prague’s Letna Park in November 2019.
Step 2: Upload an image along with text
When you log into your Live Blog, you’ll be directed to the Editor pane by default. To post an image along with our text, click the “Image” icon on the app’s menu bar. Then select an image from your device’s gallery. Add a description and author information. Finally, save your work by clicking the “check mark” in the upper right-hand corner of the Editor window.
Step 3: Add additional elements
If you want to add additional elements to the post – whether it’s text, images, or videos – click the “plus” sign below the image you just upload.
Once you’re happy with your post, you can either save it as a “Draft” – a helpful option if you are in an area with weak Internet connectivity – “Submit” it for editorial approval based on your organisation’s workflow, or “Publish” it directly to your Live Blog’s timeline. To see your post in its published form, click the “Timeline” tab at the top of the app. Or visit your blog on the Web.
You can also “Delete,” “Unpublish” or “Edit” a post simply by clicking on it from the “Timeline” view within the App.
And there you have it. Live blogging on the go is as easy as it’s ever been with the Live Blog Reporter App. For more Live Blog tutorials, check out our YouTube channel or visit us at liveblog.pro.
January 9, 2020
TIPS AND TRICKS
Monetise Your Live Blog With Ads and Affiliate Deals
by Todd Jatras | Jan. 9, 2020
Today’s most successful news organisations rely on an ever-growing arsenal of digital tools to attract readers and keep them engaged. Live blogging has been around for a while, but is increasingly becoming a key component for news sites in the battle to retain and grow audiences. A blogging platform such as our Live Blog offers a dynamic, feature-rich format that is ideal for covering niche topics or using it to break news then update the story with real-time coverage as events unfold.
There are numerous ways that a well-designed blogging strategy can contribute to the overall health of a site’s news ecosystem, but today we will focus on boosting the bottom line by learning to monetise your blog via ads and affiliate deals.
As a cloud-based, open-source editorial tool that can be embedded in any website, Live Blog offers a host of features such as custom design themes, syndication tools, a mobile app and the ability to easily integrate rich multimedia formats and social media posts into an editorial timeline. Live Blog is highly flexible and scalable, and is used not only by some of the world’s leading news agencies, but also by smaller, independent publishers and even one-person operations. For stories that require frequent updating (elections, sports, conferences, and unexpected events such as natural catastrophes or political uprisings), you’d be hard-pressed to beat its live coverage capabilities. There are also great opportunities to make money from a live blog. You can demo Live Blog for free, and find detailed answers to any questions you may have in our helpdesk.
Complete Control Over Ads on Your Blog
Live Blog supports multiple types of advertising, giving you a great degree of control over what ads appear on your blog. Our advertising manager allows you to build your own native ads and place them within your blog as you see fit. Instead of being tied to third-party ad providers such as Google AdSense or Doubleclick, where you have little control over ads and their placement, these native ads are easy to archive, schedule and populate on a user’s various timelines. Of course, remote ads from those third-party providers can also be thrown into the mix by entering the ad’s code snippet. This gives you the best of both worlds when it comes to ads.
Live blogging also lends itself particularly well to specialised, niche topics, which opens many unique possibilities for native ad selling. To use one example, if one of your blogs is sports related, you could pitch the leagues you cover, sporting goods stores, apparel and equipment manufacturers or even radio and TV networks that broadcast relevant events. Advertisers crave highly targeted audiences and are willing to pay a premium to reach them. With Live Blog you are free to pursue an almost unlimited world of profit opportunity there. Of course, selling ads is a lot of work and requires constant relationship building and maintenance. But it’s a crucial option to have, and it’s also nice to have the option of third-party ads as a fall-back position as you get started.
Affiliate Marketing Pays Dividends
Affiliate marketing is another proven revenue generator, and is practically tailor-made for blogging. Whether your blog’s focus is electronics, fashion, music, books, or many other products, there is a great opportunity to embed affiliate links and promo codes in your product features and receive a commission when a reader clicks through and buys.
Amazon.com is without a doubt the biggest player, and their program lets you promote any of the more than 600 million items on their platform. Some companies have their own affiliate programs and can be approached individually, but the most common approach is to use an affiliate network. Awin and Webgains are two of the majors. They act as intermediaries, connecting companies and affiliates and can save you a lot of time finding the right brand partnerships.
One thing’s for certain, well-produced blogs that thoroughly cover niche topics attract dedicated readers who will keep returning in search of the latest news and reviews of the products they are passionate about. They are also the most likely to read a positive review and decide to purchase on the spot. So, be sure to set up and include affiliate links in your reviews to give your most loyal readers that option.
Combine the Two and Watch Your Revenues Grow
Done together, these two strategies should provide a significant boost for your blog’s bottom line. Of the two, it’s far easier to set up an affiliate program. It can basically be done in a day. And don’t forget, it should also be done retroactively, so all those stellar reviews you’ve already produced can be quickly linked to get the commissions rolling in. As far as advertising goes, this can be a fun-but-time-consuming pursuit, but a creative one that will definitely pay off with persistence and hard work.
October 22, 2019
Live Blogging a Cultural Event with Live Blog
by Todd Jatras | October 22, 2019
Live blogging is an excellent way to provide your readers with robust, real-time coverage of cultural events, making use of dynamic elements that give readers the sense that they are live, in-person, with the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the actual event.
Cultural events take place every day, in all corners of the world; day in, day out, there’s a full slate of festivals, sporting events, conferences, exhibitions, concerts, and more, drawing in the crowds. But there’s also a potentially large online audience, eager for the latest news, updates and experiences that give the feeling of actually being in attendance.
Whether it’s a mega-event like Burning Man or something more along the lines of a local art fair, one of the best ways to produce this kind of “experience” coverage, and assure that interested readers find it, is by blogging.
Traditional formats like the standard newspaper article fall short when it comes to conveying that sense of being there. A digital-native tool like our Live Blog, however, with its multimedia capabilities (photo galleries, video and social media post embeds) and flexibility opens up new dimensions to capture the richness of any experience.
To give you a sense of this, we set out to live blog an arts event ourselves. The Signal Festival is an annual showcase of light-based art and new media works held every autumn in Prague.
September 4, 2018
Live Blogging an American Football Game
by Clare Charlesworth | September 5, 2018
Live blogging American football games has become increasingly popular, with many regional news outlets live blogging the games throughout the season and several larger international outlets having a go at live blogging the Super Bowl to meet the growing demand for online coverage from an international audience.
Live blogs can be perfect for many different types of football fans who want to keep up to date; the varied post types, such as the play-by-play commentary feature, offer detailed information that could come in handy for fans who are into Fantasy Football, while the different ways of organising a live blog can be helpful for readers who might want to filter your blog so that they read only the game’s highlights. All of this, and much more, make live blogs an ideal medium for covering a football game. So put on your favourite team’s jersey and read on to learn more tips on how to make your live coverage of the next big game clear, entertaining and informative for your readers.
Obviously, keeping track of the score is paramount to covering any sporting event. Live Blog’s scorecard allows for the score to be clearly presented, and its additional features also allow for more detailed information on the score to be included. Many of your readers might appreciate the teams’ overall record so far in the season, and a breakdown of the score for each quarter – this information can be added in the ‘Halftime Results’ editor box and can be easily updated as the game progresses.
Clearly present the game’s score to your audience.
The scorecard feature also allows for a background image and images representing the different teams to be included. If your coverage has a sponsor and you’re looking for a way to showcase them on your blog, you may want to consider using the background image as a place to promote their product or brand.
Shake up your coverage
As we’ve banged on about in previous blog posts, a live blog solely consisting of text risks readers glossing over important information and, often, leaving for more dynamic coverage being offered elsewhere. Images, videos and social media posts can all help to break up large chunks of text and make your coverage more interesting.
Additionally, make the most of Live Blog’s custom post types when displaying game data. Reporting on the time of possession between the two teams just in text probably won’t make as much of an impact as displaying it in a chart or percentage might, using Live Blog’s Statistics in Charts and Statistics in Percentages post types, which can be found on our GitHub, ready to be copied and pasted into Live Blog’s Free Types Manager. Potential statistics to represent in visual form could include time of possession, number of 1st downs, passing yardage, yards per play and turnovers.
If you’d like for your live blog to provide readers with an extremely detailed account of the game, consider using Live Blog’s play-by-play commentary post type, which can also be found on our GitHub. With an easy template/form for you to fill out, consisting of the minute the action took place and a box for a textual description, readers can be kept well-informed on the intricacies of the game. The play-by-play commentary feature can be great to use if you think that some of your readers might be in a fantasy football league, as they’ll want a well-detailed breakdown of the game for their picks that week.
Additionally, if you wanted to report on a specific aspect of the game but couldn’t find an existing custom post type that met your needs exactly, you could create your own or adapt an existing one with some basic HTML knowledge and Live Blog’s Free Types Manager – perhaps something like a table that allowed your readers to more easily compare the teams’ major players and their stats.
Structure your live blog’s timeline
With the many different post types and creative ways of presenting information in Live Blog, you may be worried that key moments of the game, like touchdowns, field goals and safeties, might be missed by the reader. Structuring your feed will also be helpful to followers who might be reading your coverage after the game takes place, instead of following it live, as a way to become quickly informed on the game highlights.
With Live Blog’s Pin and Highlight features, you can organise your live feed so that important information is easily distinguishable. Pinning a post will ensure that it shows up first on your timeline, making it the first thing a reader sees. Posts that are highlighted will have their background colour changed, which might help readers to identify posts about change of possession or long yardage plays, for example. Readers can also choose to filter the timeline by highlighted posts – perfect for those who want to see only the most important moments of the game.
Readers can also choose the order in which they read your coverage with the ‘Editorial’, ‘Newest first’ and ‘Oldest first’ options. The ‘Oldest first’ option may be useful for those reading your blog post-game, as it will give them a comprehensive report on the game as it happened.
Facilitating a second screen experience with Live Blog’s AMP theme
For many live television events, ‘second screen experiences’ have become more and more common for viewers. A second screen experience consists of a person watching an event on TV while also using another device, usually their phone, to discuss or find out additional information about the event they are watching on TV.
Many of your readers will be using your live blog as a space to enjoy a second screen experience when simultaneously watching the game on TV. To make their second screen experience as enjoyable as possible, you may want to consider publishing your live blog under Live Blog’s AMP theme. Offering a much faster loading time on mobile devices than Live Blog’s Classic or Default SEO themes, the AMP theme is designed to offer an enhanced website and live blogging experience for those following your coverage on their phones.
For many, sharing opinions on the latest moment of the game and engaging with fellow fans is an important part of a second screen experience. Live Blog’s user commenting feature works in the AMP theme, meaning that users can engage with your coverage directly from their phones by submitting comments for you to include in your blog.
Both remote and native ads are also configurable in the AMP theme, meaning that readers can engage with your ads on their phones as well as laptops. If you need any help including your AMP-compatible live blog in your AMP page, have a read of our wiki or get in touch with us directly – we’re always happy to help.
This video is made using InVideo.io
July 4, 2018
Live Blogging Pro Tips: Using the Scorecard Feature
by Thomas Moran | July 2, 2018
Naturally, large football events, like the FIFA World Cup, Champions League and various national matches, see a high demand for online coverage. Covering a match with a live blog offers the opportunity to keep track of every moment, from possession to substitution and formation. But of course, the most pressing updates to keep on top of will be goals scored.
That’s where Live Blog’s Scorecard feature can help. Not only does it allow for key information on the score to be displayed in a visually appealing way, additional points, such as who scored and in what minute of the game, are also easy to include. And the Scorecard feature isn’t limited to just covering football matches either – it’s also a valuable tool for covering other sports such as ice hockey and basketball.
To help you get the most out of Live Blog’s Scorecard feature, we’ve made a short screencast:
If you’re looking for more tips on covering football matches, have a read of our guide on live blogging the FIFA World Cup.
June 25, 2018
7 Tips for Live Blogging Your Running Event
by Gideon Lehmann | June 25, 2018
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 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.