Although I’m not a big fan of live blogging – I would rather write an article right after the presentation — I do admire the team behind CoveritLive. They’re making blogging more mainstream by building bridges between traditional media and new media. Its easy UI, good functionality, and no-nonsense approach make it easy to convince people to get some live blogging 2.0 going on. The Liverpool Daily Post for example, showed its readers how a typical day in the editor’s room looks by live blogging for 17 hours. These English journalists are pioneers, but they’re certainly not the only ones exploring the new frontiers.
Belgium newspaper La Libre used CoveritLive to keep worried tennis fans up to date during the Justine Henin retirement announcement. American regional television stations have warned their viewers for tornadoes and wildfires and collected eye witness accounts from across the disaster area. These news media only had to place a widget on their site. After that it was just a matter of doing what they’re payed for: report. Users can browse to the site and look up the widget. That’s more accessible than, for example, a Twitter feed as it doesn’t look too abstract for less-experienced Internet users.
Lowering the barriers of live blogging
With its growing popularity, CoveritLive has found the resources to add some new features that improve its accessibility.
- Users can now add their own logo to the widget and adjust color, fonts and whatnot so that the CoveritLive screen blends in with the rest of the site.
- CoveritLive has added dedicated media servers, attached a one GB outgoing pipe and improved the compression technology of the pictures so that users can live post pictures without too much hassle.
- There’s a new support center which will help less-experienced web users to set up and run a live blog
- Every self respecting hip Web 2.0 service adds an iPhone client, so does CoveritLive.
There’s an advantage for journalists
Apart from its accessibility, another reason for the success of CoveritLive is that it simply fulfills a need of journalists: live reporting without any hassle. They don’t need blogging software for writing editorial pieces, as they can just use the existing content management systems. But those programs weren’t build for quick reporting. So that’s why they now embrace a technology that most of them have maligned for quite some time.