Yesterday was Patriots’ Day in the United States. It was a day that was, for so many, about doing nothing more than crossing a finish line.
Until it wasn’t.
All it took was a moment for people across North America and the world to stop what they were doing and turn their attention to Boston; for yesterday to become a day that sports reporters scrapped routine copy for capturing, filtering and reporting breaking news; for reporters and editors alike to think on their feet and make decisions in real-time. That moment was at 04:09:51 of the 117th Boston Marathon, to be exact, when the first explosion occurred at the finish line of the race.
As we all know, the new reality of breaking news is that journalists tell their readers what they know, as they discover it, in real-time. After all, “if journalism is the first draft of history, live blogging is the first draft of journalism,” as Andrew Sparrow wrote for The Guardian, after liveblogging the entirety of the United Kingdom general election in 2010.
And that type of real-time reporting is what so many newsrooms did yesterday, in the aftermath of the explosions in Boston. Read the rest of this entry »
Video can be a really useful way to help tell your stories in real-time—but not when you bog your readers down with too much of it, wasting precious minutes of their time with content that doesn’t tell them what they need to know.
Reelsurfer is a free online tool that allows you to create shortened clips of videos that already exist online (i.e. they have a URL). Vimeo, YouTube, you name it – if the video is on a page, you can grab an excerpt (with some exceptions – see below). Reelsurfer then allows you to share this shortened version of the video on your social media channels. It also provides an iframe for the clip.
You know what that means: we can embed these shortened video highlights right into a ScribbleLive event.
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Are you an expert in a topic or have an opportunity to chat to someone who is? Why not use a live event to document that exchange while engaging your audience? It’s also a great opportunity to use your existing content (photos, videos, white papers, etc.) on the topic and promote your social properties.
Choose a date and set up a Q&A or live discussion, promote it through your regular channels (email, social, etc.). Set up email notifications for your event, allowing those who sign up to receive email notifications once the event goes live. They can also submit questions ahead of time through comments or a custom email we provide you with. Read the rest of this entry »
While ScribbleLive is a great platform for numerous news agencies, it doesn’t just thrive in the newsroom. Numerous schools have found uses for our platform, and have used us to train the next generation of journalists to produce news in real time. Below we’ve put together a list of 10 ways that schools can use ScribbleLive, and how teachers can implement it into their schedules.
1. Cover a live event from multiple angles…
Part of what makes ScribbleLive great is the ability to report from just about anywhere. Students can use laptops, smartphones, voice mail numbers, SMS messages and e-mail to send in updates to your event, never leaving them out in the cold.
Ryerson University has done a great job of letting their students cover a variety of events, doing daily coverage from the newsroom of their fourth-year masthead class. Students are liveblogging different things going on during the week at their campus, leaving no stone unturned.
2. … and when you’re done, craft an article!
With our LiveArticle system, students can create a full-featured article with the updates that they’ve contributed to the liveblog, as well as normal text entry. We also support powerful, intuitive text formatting that can make crafting the perfect article easy.
Why move into another publishing environment when you can use ScribbleLive to click and drag in posts that you’ve already made for easy emphasis? LiveArticle also supports block quotes, headings and a slideshow tool that will take the stress of working with images and throw it into the garbage can.
3. Report on campus sports with flair
Campus sports can be a high-speed, high-pressure environment. With ScribbleLive, you can send all kinds of media updates (pictures, video and audio clips) straight from a smartphone using one of our apps, giving readers a window into a game they can’t make.
Pinning an updating post to the top of your event allows you to change the scoring summary of the game as it happens, letting the post refresh itself in the reader’s view. This means you only have to edit the post once, and let ScribbleLive do the rest – less things to worry about means more time students can focus on the game. The Daily Californian has been using ScribbleLive to cover their school’s football games with photos, analysis and other coverage.
4. Conduct an interview in-person, or remotely
Using our Q&A interface, student can take questions from an audience without having to worry about losing important posts to a flood of incoming comments. It also lets you time your questions for the most logical reading flow, benefiting your reader. Throwing the “blockquote” HTML tag around text will cause that it to gain special formatting that will allow it to stand out, as well.
Students can conduct these interviews with a subject sitting on a computer sitting in the same room as they are, or by having a second student transcribe the conversation. The subject can also type out their own answers to questions by giving them their own account, or simply auto-approving their comments – the latter allows them to participate from the front end without having to learn the ScribbleLive platform. The Ryersonian did an interview with Colleen Carney, the head of the Ryerson Sleep and Depression Lab, using this technique.
5. Leverage what people are saying about your campus on Twitter
Twitter is quickly becoming the lifeline of campuses everywhere, allowing for students to instantly vocalize what they’re doing, seeing and thinking about. By monitoring hashtags with our Social Search feature, student reporters will be able to react to news happening, leverage tweets to fill in gaps in their own reporting, and import pictures that may have been posted from smartphones.
This can also be automated, giving your event an edge in terms of up-to-the-second reporting — following celebrities or figures important to an event can also pay dividends when it comes time for them to post something relevant to your story. Filters can also be applied in order to only bring in things useful, and leave the rest out.
6. Expand your audience with a Facebook Fan Page embed
Facebook can be a powerful marketing tool for your student publication, as sharing articles is a great way to drive traffic to your website. That being said, why not have your liveblogs live on your fan page, as well?
Embedding your event in your fan page allows for another spot for your readers to consume your content, and they won’t even have to log into an account to do it. The blog otherwise functions as any other embed would.
7. Share your content with the Syndication Marketplace
A large part of students’ post-education aspirations revolve around getting published in bigger venues. With ScribbleLive’s Syndication Marketplace, schools and clients alike have listed events for others to syndicate into their own, allowing good content to be spread around and partnerships to be formed.
Listing your event on the marketplace allows your school’s content to reach a wider audience, and could possibly result in some partnerships between larger outlets. If your class is producing some exclusive content that no one else may be covering, listing it in the Marketplace couldn’t be simpler.
8. Simplify the process of getting your content on the web
Any administrator can sympathize with the confusion of getting a new site up and running; determining administrators and making sure that users can do what they need to can be a harrowing experience. In an education setting, this can be especially difficult when layers of bureaucracy may stand between students and getting their work published.
With ScribbleLive, the platform is managed completely from ScribbleLive.com. There is nothing to install on school servers, and classes can post events to existing web sites using an embed code similar to YouTube, Google Map, or any other embeddable object.
9. Keep your school or publication’s branding strong with a white label
If you’ve already got a site for your student publication or your class’ work, why not expand on that with a white label? Our technology creates a page from your already-existing site, letting liveblogs look more naturalized in their home environment. The white label also allows you to take advantage of our Search Engine Optimization tools, which move your content higher in Google page rankings and drive more traffic to your web site.
Donated accounts receive a white label template for free, but ScribbleLive will need to work with the site’s developer to get it up and running. Once completed, you’ll be left with a functioning archive for your events, and new events will create their own URLs and pages for easy sharing.
Elephant Student Media’s white label is a great example of a page that’s simple and allows people to find their content easily.
10. Embed documents, spreadsheets and more for class communication
Events can also be used as communication tools between teachers and students when embedded into internal communication pages or syllabus sites. As any iFrame embed code can be rendered in a ScribbleLive post, there is a potential to take documents hosted on Google Documents, Calendars, Google Maps and leverage them.
This can be used during live events, as well – many a ScribbleLive event has featured a live video feed that lets users watch something unfold while real-time updates stream underneath. You can check out a blog post we’ve wrote that highlights some ways you can use embedding.
Wrapping it up
Naturally, ScribbleLive wants to make integrating our platform into your classroom as simple as possible; we’ve made documents available online for teachers to draw inspiration from, and provide the support they need to make sure that students adapt as smoothly as possible.
As always, feel free to reach out to us if you’re interested in a donation for your journalism school or student publication, and we’ll set you off on your way to liveblogging greatness.
We’re a day away from the world’s most exciting sports event: the Olympics. The 2012 Olympic summer games will take place in London, England: the city has been preparing for the monumental event for years and allocating budget of £9.3bn. Over 10,000 athletes will be making their way to the UK to participate in the games.
It all kicks off this Friday, July 27, 2012 at 4pm ET with the opening ceremonies. Directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Danny Boyle, the $42 million ceremony should not be missed.
We have been keeping a close eye on the excitement leading up to the games and are pleased to offer you our olympic liveblogging guide, listing organizations around the world who will be covering the events in real time.
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How is content consumed? How interactive is it becoming? How is the user experience changing? These are the topics discussed at yesterday’s Digital Media Summit.
The Digital Media Summit – a social media and interactive marketing conference — was held here in Toronto this week. I had the pleasure of attending the first day of the two-day conference, which included speakers from ComScore, CEA, Marketwire, Microsoft, NHL and LinkedIn, among others.
The day started out somewhat problematically. Many attendees, including myself, had trouble accessing the WiFi in the main hall. This was kind of a buzzkill. Many speakers touched on the importance of good internet connectivity and I hope someone from the Fairmont Royal York Hotel was taking notes!
The presentations ranged from the very informative and forward-thinking to very simplistic explanations of basic social media platforms such as LinkedIn. I wish some speakers had delved in deeper instead of just explaining the importance of social and digital media (this was the Digital Media Summit, after all).
That being said, some very interesting and relevant information was presented by some speakers. Here are some highlights: Read the rest of this entry »