Friday, March 14, 2008

[TIPS] New features in CoverItLive

WOW! How VERY cool this is for live blogging. CoverItLive just announced their newest features, and as you'll see below, these will make live blogging easier and better. Can't wait to give this a try.
As I said before, this one application moves us LIGHT YEARS ahead in terms of instant publishing. I'd LOVE to see someone do a study on the variuos ways this is being used. But, while I'm waiting, for those of you who don't know this application, let me give the short version of what it is.
This site allows you to place a LIVE CHAT session right on your blog page. So, rather than your blog post being just YOUR thoughts, it's a record of a conversation, monitored by you. While the conversation is going on you can add a quick poll, a video, an image, or even an audio file. And, you can prep your playing field with audio clips  and images, etc that will be right there handy for you. So, imagine you're going to watch an event that your friends cannot attend. You set up this live blog application in your blog and, at the appointed hour, it goes live, allowing you to fill your real-time readers in on what is going on at the event. If the speaker says something funny you can play your audio clip (for your readers) of a crowd laughing. If the speaker asks a rhetorical question, you can quickly add a poll to find out how your readers feel about. You can upload an image of the speaker (with permission, of course), and.. SO much more.
SO many ways to use this with your students. I DO hope that you'll investigate this one.
Here's what the CoverItLive 'press release' had to say about their new features:
 New Features:

Quick Launch:  If you are covering breaking news or just need to start live blogging ASAP, Quick Launch (in the My Account section) lets you launch a live blog immediately.  Just paste the Viewer Window on your blog and start.

Panelist/Producer (multi-authored live blogging):  A much requested feature, "Can I have more than one author on my live blog?".  Now, it's as simple as sending an email to your Panelists (people who will ONLY write commentary) or Producers (people who can do everything you can do including approve reader comments and launch multimedia).  Very useful for live blogs with big readership or for running a Q&A session.

'Always Allow' Reader Comments:  Another popular request was to allow some reader comments to automatically publish without moderation.  Great for trusted readers or new readers who have great insights to share with everyone else.  This takes some of the burden off the writer of the live blog.  A maximum of 10 readers can be classified as 'Always Allow' per live blog (because more than that, and the live blog will become unwatchable for all of the disjointed commentary).

Standby Mode:  Instead of launching several different live blogs to cover multi-day or long events, users can now put their live blog into Standby Mode.  This lets them take long breaks and disconnect, then come back any time within 48 hours to continue.  While in Standby, their readers can catch up on what has happened so far.  A great feature for conference attendees or 'all day sports' live blogs.  When you combine this feature with the new Panelist feature, round the clock coverage becomes simple.  Standby Mode will also automatically activate if a user has been disconnected for 30 consecutive minutes.

Edit Completed Live Blogs:  Great for fixing typos or deleting unwanted entries.  Go to My Account/Completed Live Blogs and clean up your completed live blog.  All changes are immediately published in your Instant Replay.

Download Completed Live Blogs:  For those who would rather store their live blogs locally, go to My Account/Completed Live Blogs and download your live blog for posting on your site.

Syndication:  Although CoveritLive live blogs could always be syndicated to other sites and blogs, we have never really talked about this feature.  If you have other sites willing to 'carry' your live blog, simply give them the embed code (the code you paste on your site) to paste on theirs.  This lets them keep their readers on their own site while opening up your live blog to a wider audience.  Imagine sharing live blogs across a blog network or across multiple newspaper sites.

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