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02.01.2009 11:28 am

Blogging Goes Live

SUMMARY

Blogging over the past number of years has experienced a surge in popularity--giving rise to a new form of communication where anyone can publish their life stories, personal experiences or discuss specific topics of interest like politics, sports or technology. Today there are more than a hundred million blogs online and hundreds of new ones are posted every second. Recently blogging has been given a twist--it's going live.  “Live Blogging” as the name implies means that users can blog on the latest happenings on the spot through mobile phones, PDAs or laptops. The idea was highly popularized by a start-up called Twitter where anyone can post messages about ‘what are they doing’ thereby giving friends and family real-time updates.  Today, bloggers are covering live events like keynotes, press conferences, meetings and sporting events on the go--in real time.


THE PLAY

Over the past few years, blogs have become a phenomenon on the Internet and the blogging community is growing at a staggering rate. Passionate bloggers write (text, images, and videos) about their topics of interest and readers provide feedback by leaving commments on the site. Because mobile phones and PDAs are highly portable, very accessible and have computer-like functionality bloggers are now beginning to share their experiences with their friends or families on the move.  Services like Twitter, Jaiku, Dodgeball and Playtxt are pioneering the concept of "Live Blogging".  However, there are some limitiation on these services--for the most part they limit user posts to 160 characters or so for each message.  This basically turns these in small feeds providing quick updates. But, just because they are short does not mean small events are being covered.  Today, bloggers are live blogging on the spot about anything from the Oscars to Apple’s new product announcements to speeches of US presidential candidates.



A start-up called CoveritLive gives you an easy way to blog events where your commentary will be streamed live to your web page/blog as they happen. Readers viewing the commentary can also ask questions, post comments or participate in polls you create. While blogging, you can also add pictures and videos in real-time where you can 'drag and drop' text, images and videos into the applications interface and linked with ease. There is also an online Media Library and Showprep tool where you can load up your media to prepare/build up a collection of items beforehand so they are ready when you need them during the live event. Latecomers or loyal readers who missed viewing the event live can also read the entire blog later on under the Instant Replay section.

Not everyone thinks live blogging is good, especially organizers or broadcasters concerned about losing their advertising audience. For instance, last year a reporter was kicked out of a NCAA sporting event for live blogging.  New rules now allow it in limited form: reporters can post three times per quarter durning an American football game, five times per half in basketball and once per inning in baseball. However, many still feel that live blogs are an efficient, easy to follow and versatile way of publishing/reporting. Live blogging can be a useful tool for internal communication--i.e. one could use it to give realtime updates during company events or departmental workshops.

Blogs are increasingly being trusted and are on par with mainstream media.  Updates are given by a passionate group of citizen reportersare--unfiltered and direct. Covering the events/news live as they happen is just an introduction of what is to come.


Bob Rattivarakorn
Trends Research Analyst
RarePlay

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