A great movie once said “if you build it, they will come”; while we’d like to say the same thing applies to reporting and liveblogs, the truth is that one had to be build well in order to be successful.
New York Daily News intern Erik Zerkel has compiled a list of things that you can do to both prepare and carry out your liveblog successfully. Erik used his experience liveblogging (primarily with sports events) to give people a primer of what some good practices are.
A liveblog’s success depends on not only successful reporting, but executing the marketing, research and formatting of the liveblog. While we won’t re-post the entire thing here, Erik had some great points:
Before your event goes live, consider recruiting some personalities to help the conversation along: “Think of it like a bar, who are you more likely to walk up to? A [guy] talking to himself in the corner of the bar? Or a group of three or four friends laughing it up, counterpointing each other? It doesn’t hurt that the more voices you have, the easier it is to keep conversation rolling.”
Be aware of niche markets, and advertise your liveblog appropriately: “Spread your blog around social media, but don’t stop there. Find message boards, or other areas on the web where people organize around your event. For example if you’re live blogging a Monday night football game between Pittsburgh and New England find message boards dedicated to both teams, to football in general, to the NFL, etc and market your blog,” Zerkel said. “Chances are the sites are HTML based, so you may be able to embed your blog right on the site, making it easier for people with a vested interest in your topic to follow along and contribute.”
It’s also worth considering the template of your blog embed, and how it may look when attached to a page. We have a video tutorial explaining more here.
Keep reminding your audience that your liveblog is happening, even if your event is live: “Now that your event is live, people can actually participate, but with so much on the Internet, people need to be reminded. Trace your steps, and bump your posts, tweets…etc. This puts people in the here and now, and gets them to your blog.”
Use a LiveArticle to separate basic information from commentary: “This allows viewers to easily understand not only what has happened thus far, but also to understand the current direction of your commentary.
“Think of this as the spine of your live blog, focus on what is crucial to supporting your story, and then regularly update to be as thorough as possible. Photos, videos, and other multimedia should be injected in this live article as well! Draw in attention.”
As we’ve said before, making a liveblog successful involves more than just solid reporting; making sure it is visible, advertised correctly and structured with readers in mind works wonders for getting them to come back. Like a certain kid’s cartoon told us, knowing is half the battle.
As always, if you have any questions about the implementation of your company’s liveblog, don’t hesitate to contact email@example.com.