Live blogging has fast made its mark as a potent online platform to rival 24/7 TV news. In a short span of time, it has evolved in a capable online interface for in-depth interaction and insightful conversation on any contemporary event of interest to masses irrespective of their geographical location. This has helped to widen the user base and focus on the target audience in a more effective manner.
We have discussed in an earlier post how this truly dynamic digital format is being deployed on a wider scale by several major news organizations across the globe on their respective sites. Explaining this development, a live news blog writer for a renowned international publication, The New York Times, mentions that you are more or less providing your readers with explanatory raw material instead of simply narrating a story to them with our without context.
Will the format work?
The news blog writer for The NYT, Robert Mackey, adds: “You also may end up getting completely swept up in the storm of tumultuous events, and don’t perhaps enjoy nearly as much luxury of spare time as you would like to mull over what’s actually happening, to build logical connections, or maybe come up with any sort of constructive methodical analysis.”
Nevertheless, a large section of the editorial fraternity seems reasonably assured of the fact that the format is going to be recognized for its sustenance as well as user friendliness. This is prompting them to turn to live blogging on a regular basis.
Martin Belam is a web information architect, associated with the BBC and other prestigious publications like the Guardian, elaborates: “It appears like a type of news & reporting, which is clearly emerging as being almost native to the Web. A majority of video news on the Web is essentially the same type of package you would produce for television, most audio quite the same as you would do for radio, and most text based news could well be printed out…”
Attracting users to a live blog
The new live blog style is a subtle mixture of all these things. Benjamin Cohen, the Channel 4 News technology correspondent states live blogs primarily require a lot of content for them to work. He adds that ‘liveblogging’ will also really only work if the institution or individual running it has a credibility to draw the audience.
Once you attract users, the next step is to hold their attention span so that they read and subsequently share it. But, don’t you then get a similar experience on Twitter and Facebook. Sometimes it can be more interesting to check the Twitter stream of a major breaking news development, and you don’t even require anyone to curate content and tell you what is important, and what’s not at that point of time.
The point is” Live blogs won’t work for each and every domain, each and every story, and each and every reader. Though they are useful for an instant reaction and interaction, they are not always authenticated like edited news stories.