The Guardian’s Matt Wells recently reported that live blogging accounts for 9% of the site’s total unique users. Whether the subject is sports, a speech or what’s happening on the ground in Libya, readers can’t get enough of up to the minute reporting on what’s happening right now.
Wells is generally a fan:
[Live blogs] provide a useful way of telling stories characterised by incremental developments and multiple layers. They are open about the limitations of journalism and draw in the expertise of the audience – and even take input from journalists on rival publications.
On fast-moving stories, live blogs give the ability to post significant developments quickly – more quickly than editing and re-editing a news article. They also allow us to link out to other coverage, to include comments from Twitter and Facebook, to display multimedia (pictures, video and audio), and to include our audience in the comments below the line – all in one place.
What about the cons?
Over on Editors Web Log Meghan Hartsell writes, “With a constant live feed, readers can get lost in the story.” With a series of bulleted facts and one liners, context and analysis are lost.
We might have instant access to the who, what, where and when, but we lose out on the ever important why.
Or, as John Graydon Symes colorfully explains the live blog:
There is no structure and therefore no sense, and the effect is of being in the middle of a room full of loud, shouty and excitable people all yelling at once with all the phones ringing, the fire alarm going off and a drunken old boy slurring in your ear about “what it all means.” It really is a bizarre way to run a media circus.
What thinks you? What place does the live blog have?
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- lilyb answered: For frivolous, fun things like the Oscars, it’s fine, but for serious events - Libya, Japan’s Earthquake, no. Too much gets lost.
- sundaymorningcomindown answered: A happy medium can exist between live-blogging and article-length reporting, with the latter providing postreflection/accuracy on news events
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- bahchaves answered: HEHEHE
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- byrdsightings answered: Live blogging has its place, just as Tweets have their own place. Live blogs should be used as a supplement, never a primary.
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- selloutsamizdat answered: They’re usually boring to read, sort of like someone who tells a joke that bombs and then says “I guess you had to be there.”
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