One of the best parts of the blogosphere is that, without needing to be submitted for editing, data and opinions can be almost instantaneously shared around the globe. A limitation of traditional blogging is the readers’ need to refresh the page to get the latest content. A website called CoverItLive.com is out the change that. It provides free live-blogging software.
The website provides a form of a chat window that can be embedded into a blog and as the writer updates the site it automatically updates the live blog. The software also allows readers to submit comments and the writer can moderate a debate or a discussion among his readers.
Possibly the best use of this technology is in conjunction with sporting events. Over this past weekend, I had the opportunity to particpate as a reader in a live blog about the Super Bowl [some of the language may be PG-13] on profootballtalk.com. The main contributor to the website, Mike Florio, was in the press area in the stadium during the game. He kept a live blog about his experience, giving his readers a view that has become available only to the privileged few.
Also this weekend, I hosted a live blog and encouraged a few of my friends on campus to contribute so that I could get a feel of what it is like to live blog on the other end.
My experiences were both very positive. The hosting window is very simple with a pane showing reader-submitted comments, one showing the window that is made public and one with very clear organized menus of settings and user statistics. The only complaint I can make about the interface is that there was no way to make hitting ‘enter’ post directly, but you must click ‘submit’ to make a comment go live.
As a reader, the process is very straight-forward and clean. I got zero negative feedback from the people submitting comments to my blog. Having participated in a few fairly large live blogs, I noticed that it sometimes seems that your comments get swallowed up because the host selects comments and the more readers submitting makes it harder to sift through them all. However, that would be expected with any large group.
Some possible uses for this technology would be:
- Blogging about televised sporting events
- Giving play-by-play for games not all readers can watch
- Commenting on an election as the poll results come in
Overall, the use of CoverItLive technology is very positive.