Liveblogging an event is basically where you do just that — blog it as it happens. Nice post, via Stephen Downes’ Oldaily, from Matt Thompson over at Poynter, on how to do it and why he likes doing it. Stephen summarises it well —
– a liveblog forces you to genuinely pay attention
– it also forces you to write.
– it can be intensely engaging
– it’s a service to your readers
– it can be a service from your users
But there’s a lot more in the post — covers the ground pretty thoroughly. Liveblogging allows more space than livetweeting, and somehow I’ve never really been tempted by Storify, though for onward links it’s way more powerful than a liveblog post. I’d only add to the paying attention bit that you need to separate out in your head what the speaker says from what you think is said. Something of a truism, but that process helps you come away with a lot more insight into the speaker’s position, and not just because you’re objectifying in order to write. There’s another level of thinking going on: you know the post will be public pretty much when you hit the Publish button; so there’s the mild adrenalin hit of trying to get it right first time, rather than going for Save Draft and editing later. I did both at APLEC (this was live) but re-reading the posts I preferred the ones I wrote straight off, apart from inline editing as I went.
Liveblogging also makes the editing process a lot more conscious — it’s as if part of your brain really does become an executive editor, keeping you on task, giving you instructions. There’s the editing that goes on in your head as you listen and try to reformulate what the speaker’s saying. There’s the inline editing as you type — rephrasing, editing for typos, etc. Then at some point or other you think — this is good, I’ll go for instant Publish, and you really tank it, furious listening, flurry of keyboard clicks, hit the big P — and you’re there. You sit back for a break, in time to catch the black look from your neighbour, irritated by all that typing. Ach well.