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Posts Tagged ‘coveritlive’

3 Free Alternatives to CoveritLive

If you use the free version of CoveritLive to live blog news and events, you may want to stop reading now. The company has made some drastic changes to its plan models, essentially eliminating the free version of CoveritLive.

Now, the only unpaid option is just the trial mode, which includes a measly 25 clicks per month. For $10 a month, you get “Starter” access with 250 clicks and the “Lite” plan, at $49 a month, provides 2,500 clicks.

CiL is a favorite tool in many newsrooms so the price change may have negative impacts on already tight budgets. Some may not be able to afford to pay for liveblogging software and are now looking for other options. The first alternative that jumps to mind is ScribbleLive, a platform used by tons of newsrooms. It is, however, quite expensive and not that affordable.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many free alternatives to CoveritLive out there but we scoured the web to find you some options. Read more

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How To Bring Live Tweets To Readers Not On Twitter

Featuring live tweets on news websites is a great way of bringing readers who may not use Twitter into the conversations that are happening there.

Large news sites often use custom code to accomplish the task. Smaller sites tend to use Twitter’s own widget, which I find slow and inadequate for the task. Fortunately, there is a solution that uses a tool that many of us are already familiar with: CoveritLive.

CoveritLive is not just for live blogging. The service is able to pull in the live tweets from individual users, lists, search terms and hashtags. It does it well and in real time. While using the service might be bulkier than dropping in some JavaScript, I find it to be well worth it. Here’s how to do it.

1. Go To CoveritLive And Create A New Event

If you do not know how to use CoveritLive, a some great tutorials are available here.

2. Select The Twitter Feeds And Hashtags You Want To Track

At the next screen you will be presented with embed code. Scroll down to the box labeled “Additional Options.” Select “Add Twitter Feeds.” Type in the usernames, lists, hashtags and search terms you would like to include (you can always add more later). Press save.

3. Copy Your Embed Code Into Your Favorite Content Management System Or Blogging Platform

4. Activate Your Live Event

This can be done either by pressing “Launch Your Live Event Now!” or by heading to the “Upcoming Events” page. No tweets will pulled in unless your event is live.

5. Select “Newest Entries on Top”

6. Edit Twitter Feeds (optional)
Go to the “Twitter & Video” tab, and hit “Show/Edit Twitter Feeds.” You can modify the feeds that you added earlier this way.

7. Remember To End Your Live Event When You’re Done
Do this by going to Tools -> “End Live Event.” If you forget to end your live event, you will get a ton of nagging e-mails reminding you to do so!

To see this in action, click here.

Tips to integrate hashtags into daily news coverage

I may be dating myself here, but I remember when Twitter didn’t automatically link @usernames and when #hashtag was a workaround to make disjointed streams of updates easier to find in their clunky search engine.

Well, Twitter has done a good job of integrating those ideas of its users to make the service what it is today. Why shouldn’t news organizations do the same and take the best ideas from their readers and viewers? One great way to gather their feedback and ideas is to integrate hashtags into your coverage. Here’s a few tips on doing that:

1. Have a standard hashtag for your news organization’s daily coverage. It could be #nyt or #cnntv or it could #[city]news or whatever it is (shorter is better) that is easy to remember and relatively easy for Twitter users to identify. Make sure it’s not already in use by someone else — unless they’re talking about your content. Don’t re-invent the wheel: If your community is already using a hashtag to link to your work, latch on and adopt it! Refer to this often in on air, in print and online so people start to associate that hashtag with your brand and your content. Encourage readers to use this tag when they mention your stories or when they have reaction to, questions about or tips for your coverage. Ask your reporters and staff to include the tag on their updates. That way, there is one stream of information you can send readers to for on-going updates without having to follow dozens or more accounts. The top news should make it there, and user story suggestions get that tag. Read more