My First Live Blogging Experience


Audrey Schroder is a social media marketing strategist for electronic cigarette company Vapor4Life. Tweet her at @audreyschroder.

Image used by permission.

Last month I was asked to be an “official live blogger” for SocialMedia.org’s fourth BlogWell Chicago conference. 

Talk about an exciting opportunity! I never “live blogged” before, so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect.

I was to cover three sessions: US Bank, Humana, and Moen. Each presentation had special tables reserved for the live bloggers. They were in the back of the rooms near power outlets. It was nice to not have to worry where to plug in my laptop and phone!

After reading the instructions a few times, and making sure all my devices were powered up, I was ready to get started.

Before each new idea we were to record the time in minute increments. I began by trying to type everything the speaker was saying. This is no easy task. Then I remembered my job was to capture the highlights. It was a little nerve-racking in that I wanted to be sure I was getting everything the speaker was saying and all the facts correct.

The first session went by very fast. It lasted half an hour, but felt like 10 minutes. I realized that live blogging is a lot like live tweeting. You record what someone is saying, attribute it to them and publish it. Live tweeting is definitely easier, since you can do it without having to get down every single point the speaker makes.

It gets easier

Once the Q & A finished up, I had some time to proofread my work and get it published. It was pretty intense, but when I was through it felt pretty good to have completed my first live blog post! 

Getting that first one out of the way made the next two sessions much easier. If you’re interested in live blogging, consider it during the next conference or event you attend.

A few tips

  1. Before the event, make sure you get the correct spelling of the speakers you’ll be covering, their job title, and name of the company or organization they’re representing.
     
  2. Arrive early enough to grab a seat near a power outlet.
     
  3. Save your work in an offline Word document. You’ll want this backup in case something happens with the wifi.
     
  4. Remember you’re not a court reporter. You can’t record everything a speaker says. Try to get the key points from the discussion.
  5. Before publishing, proofread your post looking out for common typos like numbers, facts, figures, and names.

Technology

Cameron Chapman brings up several important points in her Complete Guide To Live Blogging. She has a section on choosing your technology. The type of event you’re covering may influence the device you choose to live blog on. She encourages the live blogger to answer several questions related to the event including the environment, type of seating, and batteries/power. 

Be respectful of others around you. Keep whatever technology you’re using to live blog from bothering those near you. This means not taking up multiple chairs or commandeering dining tables with your equipment. If space is going to be tight, use your phone or a netbook/tablet instead of a full-size laptop.

If given the chance to live blog in the future, I would definitely do it again. You can read my live blog posts from BlogWell Chicago here: