20 May, 2008

Mini-blog post stream -- in real time

I just discovered this new web service, Cover It Live, that enables bloggers to post short commentary instantly onto a website. If you're familiar with Twitter, it is similar, but with a feed for a single event. As you can see on my right-nav column, I have added my own live Twitter feed; with Cover It Live, you can add a feed for a single event as a replacement or addition to a blog article.

The first example I saw was from Rafe Needleman, on his WebWare site. Rafe was blogging live (streaming) using Cover It Live while at the Google Factor Tour for Search event on Monday. I missed the live posting, but I was able to follow the commentary that he posted. I was also able to see the questions posted by those who were following Rafe. I found another example being used by a Yahoo! blog, Ball Don't Lie, where four bloggers posted commentary during the NBA Draft Lottery, followed by Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals (Celtic and Pistons).

I haven't posted myself, but I did watch the video in the Features section of Cover It Live's website. The interface looks simple and easy to use, with your recent posts and a simple editor in the middle of the screen. In the right column is a list of reader comments, with editing function -- you have to click the (+) to publish a comment, so you can control what comments are viewed by your readers. On the left you have controls to add media, polls, and other functions. You can create polls ahead of time or on-the-fly. If you're showing media, it appears on the screen over the posts as long as you keep it there (a good way to have an introductory image before you actually start posting). Using the search feature, you can search Google or YouTube and drag specific results into the live blog window.

If you have tried real time blogging or considered it, Cover It Live seems to be a great solution. The posting side looks easy to use, and as a reader, I really liked it. Cover It Live is currently free; it's from a company in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and has been available since late 2007.

No comments: