It is possible to prepare for the unexpected! Knowing what to do before a liveblog can help you to get a new event up and running in minutes.
Here are 5 things to do before your liveblog begins!
|Create a Stream
|Use the Platform
|Promote the Event
1. Set up a stream
A stream is a container of content that you can set up in Live. You'll be able to configure the stream's behavior, create posts, and display this stream in a variety of visualizations.
Each new event will require its own stream.
Give it a try!
Create a test stream to get familiar with how it works. You can always delete it later!
There are 2 ways to initiate a new stream:
- From your Dashboard, hover over the Create tab and select a stream type
- Click one of the stream type icons on your Dashboard
This will take you to the stream's Basic Setup page. This is the page that lets you configure your stream's behavior.
10 tips for configuring your liveblog:
1. Describe your event.
- TITLE - This is the only mandatory step. Give a specific and unique title to make the liveblog easy to find later.
- DESCRIPTION - This is optional. It is only visible to your audience if you (a) publish using a WhiteLabel or (b) if you set up email alerts by scheduling a stream.
2. Keep your content organized.
- CATEGORIES - Add category tags to the liveblog (eg. sports, politics, energy summit) to make it easy to find your stream in the 'Manage > All Content' section of the platform.
3. Select a time zone
- A time zone is required if you schedule an open and/or close time.
4. Consider your liveblog's language.
- LANGUAGE - This will be automatically set to your account's default language; however, if you're doing special coverage in another language, you have the ability to change the language of the stream for your viewers.
Note: This language setting affects the stream's instructions and time notifications, not the content itself.
5. Consider the timeframe of your blog.
- SCHEDULE TIME - Determine the timeframe of your liveblog by setting an open and close time for the stream.
- OPEN - An open/live stream lets you publish content freely. Open it NOW if you'd like to start creating content right away.
- CLOSE - Once closed, you will not be able to publish new content, and your content will flip so that the oldest/first post is at the top of the stream. If left on AUTOCLOSE, the stream will close automatically after 3 hours of inactivity.
- STREAM START TIME - Generate a countdown widget to (a) let your readers know that a scheduled event is about to happen, and (b) collect email addresses if the user's consent to provide their email addresses. Note: The countdown begins 24 hours before the scheduled start time.
6. Get comments from your audience to tailor your content.
- COMMENTING - Incorporate questions and feedback from your audience as part of your coverage by activating Commenting and Moderation within the Advanced Features section of your stream's Setup.
6. Measure likes.
- LIKES - Generate a heart icon underneath each post. This can be enabled in the "More Options" tab under Advanced Features.
7. Archive your liveblog.
- OLDEST TO NEWEST ON CLOSE - This default setting flips your liveblog content once the stream has closed, allowing new readers to experience your content in chronological order. This is also found in the "More Options" tab.
8. Alert viewers of new posts.
- NOTIFICATION SOUND - Your audience will hear a sound each time a new post is published, keeping them tuned in to your coverage. Individual users can turn the volume off on the front-end of the stream.
9. Keep poll results visible.
- PRIVATE POLLING - By default, poll results are visible to your audience. You can disable this feature by turning on Private Polling.
10. Use in-stream ads to monetize your liveblog.
IN-STREAM ADS - Monetize your liveblog, or advertise your own services/events, by placing an ad code into the in-stream ads field. You can also determine how many posts should appear between each advertisement (frequency).
In a rush?
The only required field is the TITLE. Once you've added that, feel free to click Finish to jump into Content Studio.
2. Determine how you will publish
For live blogging, a chronological display helps your audience to follow the flow of information and easily identify the most current information.
Live offers a variety of publishing options:
Need help from our awesome Implementation Team? Speak to your Customer Success Manager for more information about publishing options.
A WhiteLabel is a customized microsite.
If your account has a dedicated WhiteLabel (microsite), you can easily attach the stream to the WhiteLabel.
- From within the stream, navigate to Setup > Template > WhiteLabel
- Select the WhiteLabel from the list
- Click the circle so a green checkmark appears
- Paste the Permalink in a new tab to view the liveblog
Using our API lets you take the data from an Live stream and create your own customized visualization.
Your stream will have a unique Event ID that will be needed to create API calls.
- Navigate to Settings > API to generate an API token
- Review the list of REST API Operations
- Visit our developer's site for more information about specific calls
The Embed style is a vertical visualization that can be customized with CSS and published on your digital property using an embed code.
- Click Templates > Embed (From with the stream, go to Setup > Templates > Embed)
- Click Default to generate the embed code. This will be a script code. Clicking Old Code will reveal the iframe version of this code.
- Copy this code and paste it in your digital property.
Customize the code!
To customize the code and make it fit with your branding, click Create New. Once saved, you'll select this customized template from the list, instead of clicking 'Default'.
Note: Only Administrators and Developers have permission to create custom templates.
3. Invite writers to your stream
If you'll be the only person creating content, you can skip this step.
For those working as a team to prepare and create content, you can invite writers during the stream setup process or later on - once everything has been set up.
- Click Invite Writers. (From within the stream, go to Users > Invite)
- Select your colleague's name from the list of names on the left. Note: If your colleague's name is not on the list, your Account Administrator will need to invite the user to the platform first.
- Modify the generic message and click Send Email.
Regular or Guest blogger?
Regular users will need to be added to the account by an Administrator. Click here to learn how to add users to your account.
A freelancer can be added to the event as a GUEST WRITER. Click here to learn more about Guest Writers.
4. Get familiar with the Live platform
Covering live events is an exciting fast-moving experience, which requires writers to think and react quickly. Understanding your options for content before the event will arm your team with the tools needed to create a compelling live story.
5. Promote Your Event (if it's planned....)
You can't predict or promote a breaking news event before it happens, but if you'll be covering a planned event (e.g. election, award show, conference, product launch, or award show), you'll need to promote it.
This promotion can take the form of...
- Pre-Event Stories - Use long-form storytelling to give background information before an event (e.g. road to the Superbowl, candidate profile, behind the scenes preparation).
- User Engagement Events - Live your audience to get them excited about the upcoming event (e.g. giving advice to players, asking questions in advance, submitting predictions). These could be displayed on a pinboard.
- Social Media Posts - Let your social media followers (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc) know that they should visit the live event. Invite them to Live right away, and give them something to look forward to.