by Todd Jatras | December 17, 2019
News & Updates
December 19, 2019
Introducing Live Blog 3.7
With the release of version 3.7, Live Blog users now have greater control over the management of their content: how they track, syndicate, and even delete it. Ease of use and seamless integration with newsroom workflows has never been better with the industry’s leading live blogging platform.
Live Blog’s new tagging functionality allows editors to apply single or multiple tags to a blog post and filter content based on those tags. Creating syndication models and output channels with new this new feature makes it easier than ever to identify and share blogs between news organisations.
If you’ve ever hit the delete button and immediately regretted it, you need no longer worry about accidentally losing content. Deleted blogs will no longer vanish instantly, but will stay in the “trash” for three days by default.
Live Blog 3.7 also features a new Global Settings section where you can conveniently manage all Live Blog general configurations. We’ve implemented a new setting that allows you to adjust the default privacy status for YouTube video uploads, and that can be conveniently accessed here.
To see the full rundown of 3.7 features, as well as a complete list of bug fixes and performance improvements for this release, visit Live Blog on GitHub. If you have any questions about the latest updates to Live Blog, contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
October 9, 2019
Win More Readers with Custom Posts for Covering Sports
by Todd Jatras | October 8, 2019
All good journalism answers the 5 Ws: who, what, where, when and why. When it comes to covering sports, “how much?” or “how many?” is the other big question that preoccupies fans. Your live blog can cover all the bases: helping fans keep track of their favourite players on and off the field, along with the points they score in the game.
We recently enhanced Live Blog’s coverage options for sports with custom posts to report on football player transfers, as well as the score in tennis matches.
The two main transfer windows during the year for European football, at the start of the year and again in summer, are ideal times to start a live blog for player trades. You can also get creative and use Live Blog for a variety of other real-time updates on matches, players and league standings.
For tennis matches, we have a new custom post that highlights the players in the match as well as letting you update the score in real time.
And this is just a sampling of the creative options available for covering sports. Another possibility, if you cover the American sports leagues, would be to have a custom post type for the draft season in basketball or American football. (For the technical details of creating your own custom post types, see the documentation on our wiki.)
And for more tips on how to make the best use of Live Blog’s scorecard for any sporting event, you can read this blog post or watch this short video.
August 7, 2019
Key Features of the Live Blog Reporter Mobile App
by Todd Jatras | Aug 7, 2019
Today’s journalists are on the move more than ever and require as much flexibility as possible in publishing their coverage of live news events. That’s why we’ve updated our Live Blog Reporter app with new features designed to enhance the blogging experience, and for greater integration with newsroom workflows.
If you’re new to Live Blog, you’ll still need to set up your blogging presence on a computer, but after that quick process, most reporting tasks can be handled with ease from a mobile device.
Download the Live Blog Reporter App (newly updated for Android and iOS) onto any connected mobile device and you’ll be able to effortlessly manage, publish and edit all of your blogs while on the go.
Let’s have a look at the great new features:
Reporter now supports direct-to-YouTube video uploads, which will expedite the video-posting process, making videos shot in the field immediately accessible to your whole team.
Another cool feature: posts can be saved as offline drafts and published later, a useful option when working in areas with limited or no internet connectivity. Journalists’ posts can either be published directly or sent to editors for approval.
- App users can now access their Live Blog timeline to edit existing posts
- Users can pin and highlight posts directly in the app
- A new post type for coverage of sporting events (availability of this feature depends on the user’s subscription plan)
- A faster log-in process. In the past some users had to insert a specialised URL like dpa-api.liveblog.pro in order to log in. Now, after we updated to the new version, this -api was deprecated, and they just need to insert the instance name, i.e dpa.liveblog.pro
May 8, 2019
Ending the Endless Upload: Add Videos to Your Blog Up to 40% Faster with Live Blog 3.6
by Gregory Bruno | May 8, 2019
For many bloggers, video is the pièce de résistance. Competition for eyeballs online is fierce, and relevant video content is often the difference between clicks on your posts or on someone else’s. When slow upload speeds frustrate the proceedings, potential audiences go elsewhere.
Previous versions of Live Blog required users to toggle between metadata, processing steps, and cross-posting. But after much hard work, Live Blog version 3.6 has streamlined this process. With this beta release, direct video uploads to YouTube can now be managed directly from the Live Blog editor, meaning that seconds once lost to agonizingly-slow upload speeds can now be spent actually blogging.
“Videos are among the most popular pieces of content on our clients’ blogs, but until the rollout of 3.6, users needed to juggle two systems to get their videos published. No longer,” said Live Blog product manager Evgeny Deulin. “By enabling direct uploading to YouTube, Live Blog users will see their videos published and viewable faster than ever.”
We wanted to quantify just how much extra time this new feature would save bloggers. So, after creating a blog in our in-house testing platform, we hit start on the stopwatch and began uploading a 17 second, 34.5 MB snowboarding video of yours truly (which will remain forever hidden for vanity reasons). In our test it took about two minutes for the full video to process via the new beta uploader, and after attaching a quick headline and description, we were able to share it with colleagues in under three minutes (2:55).
We then compared this with the amount of time spent uploading, tagging, and publishing of the same video to YouTube (with the same stopwatch running), followed by embedding to our Live Blog demo instance. From start to finish, that two-step process took more than five minutes (5:17) to complete. Bottom line: when it comes to publishing videos on your blog, Live Blog 3.6 can slash upload times by more than 40%.
Version 3.6 comes with several additional bug fixes and performance improvements; you can see the full changelog and list of fixes here. We have also prepared a how-to guide on how to connect a Live Blog instance to your YouTube account.
January 15, 2019
Introducing Live Blog 3.5
by Anna Rohleder | January 15, 2019
Building on the usability and performance improvements that made Live Blog version 3.4 even more flexible and easy to use, we have added great new features for collaboration and managing content, as well as ads, in version 3.5.
New features include:
- Post Flagging – indicates a post being edited which makes others aware of who is working on those posts
- Default SEO Theme and AMP Theme now supports more than two levels of nesting/inheritance.
- A new repository of custom post types: https://github.com/liveblog/custom-post-types
- Improved blog notifications when new posts are created by team members
- Team subscription allows a new maximum number of themes
- Better image handling, especially for image galleries
- Easier social sharing, including Facebook and AMP-compatible tweets
- Unpublished posts are easier to find and manage
- Improved display of ads, across a variety of themes
Be sure to contact us if you have any questions about the latest updates to Live Blog: email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
June 28, 2017
4 Features to Cover Sports Like a Champion with Live Blog
by Anthony Covalciuc | Jun 28, 2017
The 2017 Champions League tournament is well underway, and as it nears its June 3rd finale, it’s time to ask yourself: do I have the necessary tool in order to provide football supporters with all the updates, images, and analysis that they crave? Not to worry if you feel unprepared, Live Blog is here to help.
Not only is the Champions League one of the most prestigious tournaments across the globe, but in recent years it has become the most watched annual sporting event in the entire world (the 2016 final had more than 300 million viewers). Supporters want the latest information fast, and Live Blog allows editors to supplement conventional live coverage and deliver text, images, video and social media content in real time, ensuring maximum engagement.
The latest Live Blog release comes fully-equipped with new tools and features to boost your live blogging efforts and enrich the experience for your followers.
Scorecards – Visualize Your Live Data
Live blogging about a sports event requires presenting data in a comprehensive and meaningful way. The most important pieces of information in this regard are the current score of the game and the final result. Use the Scorecards tool to inform your viewers who scored a goal and in what minute. You can also use this tool to divide teams into “Home” and “Away”.
Custom Post Types – Provide Real-Time Statistics of the Match
As we’ve mentioned in a previous post about election coverage, the free-types management tool provides creative freedom over how to present information relevant to your coverage. When you cover the Champions League or another sporting event, statistics such as possession, corner kicks, fouls, bookings, and shots can all be illustrated however you and your editors decide. Enhanced, real-time stats illustrated with graphs, charts, and graphics make games more interactive while increasing the audience’s connection to their team.
It’s important to note that custom post types must be configured as part of an initial effort. If you have the skills or people in place, great, you are ready to go! Otherwise, you can enlist the help of Sourcefabric’s development team and we will get the post types you want up and running in no time. Also in the works is a set or package of custom types available to all Live Blog users on Github.
User Comments – Engage Your Fan Base
Football supporters love to be part of the action, so make certain that they are able to participate and offer their own insights with the User Comments feature. Viewers who also share streams, highlights, or social media directly from their game-watching experience help your blog to gain popularity and increase exposure.
Native and Remote Ads – Monetise Your Coverage
The ability to include advertising in your live blogging software – either from a third-party provider or ones you have made yourself – increases revenue for your organisation. Football supporters are an engaged audience who are loyal to their club. Additionally, their love of the game and for an organisation is handed down from generation to generation. Advertisements during your broadcasts can include sponsorships or in-house products and services that will bring in money for your organisation. You can consider supplemental ads for merchandise or even to purchase tickets to the next match, enticing your viewers to take the next steps to support their club and bringing you more revenue in the process.
June 28, 2017
3 New Features Raising the Bar for Live Blogging
by Gideon Lehmann | Jun 28, 2017
Back in 2016, Sourcefabric was awarded a grant from the Google Digital News Initiative Innovation Fund (DNI) which enabled us to begin work on a special project, the Live Coverage Ecosystem (LCE). This project allows news organizations to syndicate and subscribe to one another’s breaking news as it unfolds in real time. Our live blogging software, Live Blog, is the foundation of the LCE project, and our major partners include Germany’s dpa and the Spanish news agency EFE.
The LCE project is divided into milestones, and we are happy to announce that we recently achieved milestone 2 of the project. With this accomplishment, we are pleased to introduce a number of useful new features for our live blogging tool – on top of its already competitive price, user-friendly interface, and useful blogging tools developed during milestone 1. These new features will become available in the upcoming releases for Live Blog, namely version 3.3 this summer.
Image-Posting Made Faster, Simpler, and More Accessible
Live Blog 3.3 will facilitate better integration of images for news agency feeds in a variety of ways. Editors can now drag and drop image feeds from an external source into their blog, adding speed and ease to the whole process. Check out the GIF below!
Additionally, we have made it possible for agencies and blog editors to access a repository of images related to an event via their ecosystem. The ability to syndicate content within your ecosystem is possible for both input and output. The more content you have access to, the more revenue streams become available. Simply flag or mark specific content, and this will become accessible to other relevant ecosystems in your marketplace.
New and Improved Advertising Interface
Also for Live Blog 3.3, we will have an additional interface exclusively reserved for managing your advertisements up and running. This used to be part of Live Blog’s editorial features, but we’ve separated it so that you can more efficiently manage both content and advertisements. The benefits don’t stop there, however. You can build and design collections of ads and program them to automatically be displayed at a fixed frequency while you blog, for example after every 10 posts. This makes certain that your ads are displayed at the right moments while saving you time and effort.
The new advertising interface also enables your blog to adapt to multiple outputs, meaning that the look and feel of the blog can meet the design of a certain sponsor and brand its appearance accordingly.
Blog Analytics – Track Unique Visits to Your Blog
Another great feature in Live Blog is our comprehensive statistics feature, Blog Analytics. This is a statistics endpoint tool which we developed due to the demands of our partners, and one which connects to the platform’s API. When you and other news organisations share and embed blogs as well as other types of media, Blog Analytics track how well they perform. It does this by counting and allowing you to monitor all of the unique visits which you receive while live blogging.
Blog analytics comes equipped with a configurator that you can synchronize with Google Analytics. Simply enter your Google Analytics code into the configurator and use it to learn more specific details about your audience. This is especially beneficial when you incorporate your findings with the Native and Remote Ads tool. When you combine these tools, you can monetise your coverage by using the information obtained and using it to help you develop advertisements and create sponsorships that suit your audience.