I'm gearing up to do some live blogging at blogher and NCDD. Over the past year, I've done a lot of live blogging which is basically taking notes at lectures, conferences, and presentations of what was said. I process information through my fingers -- I think through my fingers!
It always helps to reflect back on your experience so you don't replicate too many of your mistakes - so I'm giving myself pointers on how to live blog. Perhaps it may be helpful to others who have not live blogged before.
First of all, live blogging takes a certain chutzpah and fearlessness. At last year's blogher, someone said that live bloggers need to carry around a hip flask in their tool box! So, you have to not be afraid of making mistakes ... publically ....
Because I've had such bad luck with wifi connections at conferences, I use blogging software that let's me save my work offline. I started off just using notepad, but then I learned about FireFox Performing and ecto and have used both of them.
I'm now using FireFox Peforming more these days because it is what I use at my desktop and I'm used to its little quirks or perhaps my bad habits. (Like you better save your work as a note before you close your browser or you will loose your work.) Ecto on the PC is okay, but far superior on the MAC. There are other blog editor tools, but if you're on a PC and already use FireFox - the performing can't be beat. Just be careful about closing the browser before you save your work.
The value to using one of these tools is that it doesn't matter if the wifi goes down - you can still save your work and past it later.
Before the conference, I decide which sessions I'm going to live blog. I create a post draft and cut and paste the description into as well as gather up any useful background links. I put a live blogging disclaimer at the top of the post that says "I'm live blogging, excuse lapses of grammar, spelling errors, and typos. I will clean this up later." I also add in the conference technorati tag at the bottem as well as any trackback urls.
Then, when the session begins, I take notes and hit the publish button at various points to save my work. I usually do this after each speaker.
I'm a fast, very fast typist. I learned how to type while I was in music school so I could temp to make some extra money. I approached typing like practicing the piano. Using a metronome, I did all the exercises very slowly and gradully went from largo to allegro to motto allegro. So for me, when I take notes, I do a combination of vertbaim transcript and summary. What I do is summarize the points and if there is a juicy quote I take it down verbaitem.
I also try to get several photos that capture the essence of what it was like to be in the room. I'll photograph the speaker, selected slides or fipchart notes, and people in the room. If someone asks a particularly compelling question or says something, I will photograph that as well. I upload the flickr photos using the uploader tool into their own set and annotate them with notes. However, now that I've recently upgraded my camera phone - I will play with using email to flickr option.
At the end of the session, I will clean up my post and photos. Add a photo to the post with a link to the photo set.
I might add a paragraph or two later on with some reflections about what I learned personally or what I might apply.
What live blogging tips do you have?