What happened to liveblogging?

We’re Blogging This! on Flickr via Beth77

I spoke at a conference earlier this morning in Dublin, The Digital Festival. I’m still here and listening to the other presentations, Shel Israel earlier and Russell Davies now. These guys have interesting ideas and presentation styles.

And then it hits me – at a different point in social media history, I’d be liveblogging notes from these sessions. Today, there’s no need for this as the technology has evolved and various attendees are taking notes on Twitter hashtagged #BFS10.

So what happened to liveblogging?

Probably a lot of things: new publishing tools (e.g. Twitter, Posterous, Tumblr), attention fragmentation, and value retention (e.g. reserving analysis for private application), among others. Wasn’t live blogging always just a replacement for rich media experience (i.e. video) anyway?

I don’t believe that blogging is “dead” but the act of liveblogging certainly seems to be.

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  1. I think you’re right, but it’s too bad. The blog posts were much more useful to people who weren’t able to attend an event. Hashtags are such a mishmash of bullet points and back-channel chatter.

  2. What I’ve started doing at events I attend and want to blog about is I’ll tweet or at least watch the Twitterstream during the event, then later when I write a recap post for the day, I will use the tweets from the sessions as my ‘notes’. Maybe one of the speakers had a great point that I missed, but someone else caught in a tweet.

    So while I think ‘live’ blogging has been replaced, I actually think sources like Twitter are improving the quality of the blogging that DOES happen in relation to events.

  3. I’m with Mack on this. I no longer live-blog, but use the blog post-event to give more detailed analysis. And the collected tweets certainly help with memory retention (and give multiple perspectives, not just mine).

  4. Peter,

    I was at the Digital Festival event yesterday and it was great. There were some great speakers (including youself of course) and lots of knowledge to digest and absorb.

    It is probably easier to live “micro-blog” than live “full-Blog”. I think part of why this has happened is as you pointed out, is due to tools such as Twitter, Posterous, Tumblr especially in combination with mobile devices enable a more live experience.

    A live blog centres around the blog post itself, while with the likes of Twitter and especially with a #tag it automatically aggregates the “conversation” as it is happening for all to see.

    As Mark Collier pointed out the using the Twitterstream as notes is very useful, as you are collecting the notes of many instead of just one person.

    These tools [Twitter, Posterous, Tumblr, etc.] are better suited to “live”, therefore live blogging has not died it has just evolved.


  5. Liveblogging always sucked because the collection of little insights never seemed to capture things. A blog post usually is more thoughtful because the person collects her thoughts and that makes it more coherent. The in-the-moment impressions get captured better by Twitter.

    Seth Godin captures how I feel about this perfectly.

    See http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2007/05/im_liveblogging.html

    The exception is the live blogs on major sites of big events like the Apple iPad announcement — those are cool and worth following. They update with new material every few minutes. Very few people can make that work, frankly.

  6. I’m at a disadvantage in this conversation in that I’ve never watched live blogging coverage of any event. But of course, lack of knowledge never stops me from providing my opinion!

    At any rate, my view is that most of the long-term value of human interaction is non-immediate. Conversations lead to insights, which lead to knowledge, but not until actions change will there be any concrete result. Simply hearing a brilliant speaker or panel review an important concept or strategy doesn’t change the world. Only when we take that information and let it sink in can we ultimately figure out it’s true importance.

    Perhaps, as was mentioned, live blogging is good for product launches. But I think there’s still a lot of room for blogging about meetings, events, discoveries, ideas, etc. well after the fact.

  7. Peter, I really like either a full script-type live blog (only possible if someone can touch type) or Josh’s ‘considered’ blog post best.
    The reason is that the hashtag stream doesn’t contain enough detail to get a sense of the arguments presented. It tends just to be reactions – frequently of the knee-jerk variety.
    If you want to explain to a colleague what went on, having full prose is much easier to digest and understand.

  8. As clarification, a comment I left on Doug Haslam’s blog:

    Regarding liveblogging, the trend seems obvious in isolation, but a dissonance occurs at greater scale. While individuals like you and me might have stopped, majors like Boing Boing (TED), Ars Technica (CES), and Engadget (iPad) have kept the discipline alive and well. Maybe the difference is that those making money on social media publishing are still doing it while those who aren’t, aren’t.


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