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Live Blog 3.0 stable and the secret to improving any software

Climate News Mosaic is currently using Live Blog 3.0 to cover the UN climate conference in Paris, France
Climate News Mosaic is currently using Live Blog 3.0 to cover the UN climate conference in Paris, France

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been working hard to make sure to release the first stable version of Live Blog 3.0. Now, we have successfully managed to do so. We didn’t do it alone, but “with a little help from our friends”. Live Blog 3.0 brings you a redesigned UI, responsive embed codes, user roles for better newsroom collaboration, drafts and contributions for creating and editing content before it gets published and much more.

Live Blog answers to the needs of publishers when covering breaking news or any other fast-paced event, such as the current UN climate talks in Paris, or the celebrations of this year’s Polish National Day. These multiple tests and feedback from users have shaped Live Blog 3.0 - that we proudly unveil today.

Polish agency PAP used Live Blog to cover celebrations of this year’s Polish National Day

Polish agency PAP used Live Blog to cover celebrations of this year’s Polish National Day

The secret to improving any software

It is no secret anymore, the best way to improve any software is to give it to users and let them test it in a production-like environment. Then fix all the issues they may have come across and try to make their life easier by improving the user interface. Add some performance tests and you have a complete picture of what we have been doing since the first beta release of Live Blog 3.0 back in August. It is the nature of agile development projects that the tools are never completely “finished”, but we are proud to announce reaching the important milestone of the first stable version of Live Blog 3.0.

With this release we are also ready to provide managed hosting of Live Blog 3.0 to our new customers and we will start talking to our existing 2.0 clients about our plan for the migration. But not to worry, we guarantee Live Blog 2.0 support and maintenance for the near future.

To help editors and journalists get started with Live Blog 3.0 we have created this online user manual that will guide you through your first steps live blogging. You can also watch a short Live Blog 3.0 demo.

Show must go on

As we unveil Live Blog 3.0, we’ve already started work on a few important features for our media customers. The first version of the mobile app, both for iOS and Android, will allow for content creation and editing on the go. Currently only the web app is available for our users, which also works on tablets.

Content syndication is a feature for our news agency clients which enables content distribution.This means that agencies can sell the content to their customers who can use (some of) the content in their own blogs.

‘User comments’ is a feature that encourages higher user engagement. Some publishers use it during live interviews (Q&A sessions). Users can write their comments or questions and the editorial team, or the interviewee, can answer the questions or publish the comments.

What will 2016 bring for Live Blog?

The roadmap for Live Blog is looking ahead for our users. Apart from having Live Blog as a standalone application we plan to fully integrate it with Superdesk in order to allow for sharing live content with other desks and vice versa. Live Blog 3.0 uses Superdesk as a platform, it relies on the so-called Superdesk core. We’ve explained the relation of Live Blog and Superdesk in this blogpost.

We’re planning to include integration with advertising networks. This will make media organisations capable of  placing advertising content directly within a live coverage stream.

Furthermore, we’re planning an integration with various analytics platforms. We will develop the software further and allow it to integrate it in such a way that it will be easy to increase interoperability with various analytics platforms. This in turn will help media organisations learn more  about user readership patterns during live coverage.

Additionally we want to create new post types for specific coverage instances. Imagine pre-structured content containers relevant to specific types of coverage. When covering sports matches or races, this could include scorecards, background, and highlighted posts, while for covering election results, the content container would include maps, charts, and profiles.

We listen to our customers carefully and we shape our roadmap based on what their input is. Be sure to share your thoughts and feedback with us using our forum, Facebook page, Twitter or via email. We’d like to hear from you!

Highlights of Live Blog 3.0

  • Managed hosting

  • New way of including social media through embed.ly

  • Multi-item posts

  • Responsive embeds

  • User roles for newsroom collaboration

  • Drafts and contributions

  • Flexible theme manager

Coming soon

  • New features for media customers:

    • Mobile apps

    • Content syndication

    • User comments

  • Full integration with Superdesk

  • Event specific post templates

  • Integration with analytics platforms

  • Integration with ad networks

Are you interested in trying out Live Blog? Email us to request a free trial from our support team. Want to stay up to date? Sign up for our Live Blog newsletter and get the latest updates sent directly to your inbox.

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