We talk often about reporting news in real time on this blog. Live-tweeting, live-blogging, live-streaming — the whole shebang. We’ve talked about ScribbleLive and CoverItLive as options for breaking things quickly via a live blog to your readers. But don’t forget about Liveblog Pro.
The UK-based company launched in beta about a year ago, but I didn’t hear about it until Digital First Media’s Digital Transformation Editor Steve Buttry mentioned it in passing during a post about the pros and cons of live-tweeting versus live-blogging Monday, the topic of which several industry professionals passionately discussed via Twitter recently (spoiler alert: Buttry says they’re both vital; neither is superior).
Anyway, using the Liveblog Pro software doesn’t require any knowledge of code and was created specifically for journalists. In a nutshell, Liveblog Pro ”allows publishers to cover a wide range of content — from events, to developing news stories, to Q&A sessions.” It was even used by Columbia Journalism Review on election night in 2012.
Now, for the part you really care about: what does it offer, and what does it cost?
LiveBlog Pro’s features are pretty standard for a platform of this nature: your blog’s comments go straight to Twitter if you so choose, blog posts are mobile-friendly and unlimited, you can upload images as you wish (always a helpful tool in the field) and more. Everyone starts out with a free trial, and the lowest monthly package costs about $16 for those small publishers with 1,000 readers or less. Still, the plans are pretty reasonable given the necessity for real-time blogging in today’s news cycle, and the free-for-all that social media creates for the media.
Seriously, go back and read Buttry’s analysis of live-blogging versus live-tweeting — it’ll at least cause you to think hard about your newsroom’s multimedia breaking news strategy, if not push you to buy a monthly live-blogging service immediately, especially with the 2014 Winter Olympics and elections coming up soon.
Which live-blogging tool do you find most effective?