My First Experience With Live Blogging

Web Strategy Summit 2009
Image by mastermaq via Flickr

I recently attended the Web Strategy Summit in Calgary, Alberta.  I was really excited to hear the keynote speakers which included Avinash Kaushik, Patrick Lor and Jeremiah Owyang and I wanted to share their thoughts with everyone. I wanted to understand live blogging.  I’ve heard of people live blogging at other events, but I’ve never done it before.

I thought Twitter would be the best tool for live blogging, so I downloaded a plugin for WordPress called LiveBlog. LiveBlog lets you integrate with Twitter and post your tweets in your WordPress blog as a liveblog with timestamps.  So only was I going to share my experience with those in the Twittersphere, but with those who read my blog.

Here are my observations about my experience with live blogging with Twitter:

  • Because I was forced to only enter 140 characters at a time, I had to be succinct and pull key points.
  • Some may think that live blogging would negatively impact your experience and that you would not get as much from the conference as your attention is in two places.  I found that quite the opposite.  I now have a detailed account of key points from the presenters that I can reflect on and reference.  I think my experience was made richer and I was providing a service to those who couldn’t attend the conference.
  • During the course of my live blogging, I had 36 new people follow me on Twitter.  It may be a coincidence or may be because I was very active by posting many tweets.  Granted, not all of these new followers will result blog subscribers or even offering information I find interesting, but the correlation is interesting – increased activity = increased followers.
  • May 5th saw the second highest visits to my blog since I started tracking at the beginning of March.  Live blogging is a great mechanism for raising awareness of your blog.
  • The wireless was very poor in the conference rooms and I was forced to live blog using TwitterBerry on my phone.  This proved a bit difficult, but I was able to keep up with the speakers.  What this really hit home for me was the broadcasting power that Twitter has.  I wasn’t bound by the restrictions of Internet access, I could report on the summit no matter what the circumstances.  What about natural disasters or historic events, live broadcasting power is in the hands of the people.

Overall, I had a positive experience with live blogging and will do it again when I attend another conference.  Check out all my live blog posts from the Web Strategy Summit.

What are your experiences with live blogging?  What tools do you use?  Please share your comments.

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  • Karine Joly

    Something you should know re: number of visits to your blog on May 5th is that one of your posts was featured in the HEE newsletter. According to the newsletter stats, it generated 36 clicks to your website. Now, I have no idea where your usual traffic stands, but thought you should know to factor that in your analysis.

    As far as the live blogging via twitter is concerned, I understand it might be a great way to take notes – or get quick updates while following you on Twitter. However, I still think that a nice rewritten blog post is a better medium to share that knowledge with your blog readers. Just my personal opinion.

  • Mike McCready

    That would make a lot of sense as the majority of the traffic was recorded as direct traffic. If the traffic was from an e-mail newsletter, then it would not come from a referrer. That goes to show that analytical numbers without context can be very misleading. Thanks for providing some context to my traffic for May 5th.

    I also agree that a rewritten blog summarizing the presentations and providing my take-aways is much better than live blogging via Twitter. I think the benefit of Twitter or live blogging is it provides an opportunity for people to follow a presentation as it happens.

    Thanks for the comments. BTW, I don’t know if I’ve subscribed to your newsletter, is there a link of your site to sign-up? Also, could I get a copy of the HEE newsletter that featured one of my posts?

  • Karine Joly

    I saw you’ve signed up for HEE. You should get the newsletter from now on.

    Here’s a link to the May 5 newsletter.