3 Reasons Why Live-Blogging (And Twittering) Is A Good Thing

I just want to take a few moments to give my thoughts on a debate that has bounced around a bit recently – whether or not live blogging is a good thing.

Doug Haslam wrote a great post recently for Media Bullseye, looking at both sides of the issue. Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson also discussed live twittering on recent episodes of For Immediate Release.

Earlier in 2007, Shel Israel live-blogged a panel at the New Comm Forum featuring Steve Crescenzo, giving Steve a somewhat unfavourable review.

Crescenzo responded with pointed criticism of both Israel and of live-blogging in general. This kicked off a storm, both in the comments sections of the two posts (interestingly, including from Mark Ragan, whose company organizes a lot of conferences) and on other blog posts.

Here’s my take on live blogging – it’s here to stay and that’s a good thing.

I’ve liveblogged (and live-twittered) a few events recently. Why do I do it?

1. So people who can’t attend can get the highlights

Most people can’t make it to the plethora of social media events that cover the calendar nowadays. Live-blogging events means that people who can’t make it can still get the highlights and benefit from the expertise of the speakers.

Does this create a problem because those people haven’t paid to attend?

Absolutely not.

Bands post songs to the podsafe music network. That doesn’t mean people who hear them won’t want to buy their other songs or see them in concert.

Far from it.

Live blogging speakers may actually drive up demand for future events.

So, non-attendees benefit from insights, and speakers (if they’re good) benefit from increased interest and demand.

2. To get perspectives from people who aren’t there

Live-twittering, in particular, gives people a great opportunity to give feedback and perspectives on what presenters say.

People can give their feedback, in real time, which enriches the experience both for the blogger and for the other participant. If the session is interactive, the speaker may even respond to that feedback or clarify their points.

3. To provide a record for a later blog post

I like to take a two-pronged approach to live blogging: I’ll twitter away during the event itself, then head home later, reflect on things and write a more thoughtful post for my blog itself.

Why? Because the two media have different, complementary, purposes.

Twitter is a constant stream of real-time information.

My blog is a place where I write careful, thought-out posts.

Different purposes, different audiences, different approaches.

I benefit from having a record of the event and other people benefit from having a choice of media from which to pick.

So there you have it – three reasons why live blogging is a good thing.

Note: All of them have benefits for people other than the blogger.

That’s why live blogging is here to stay.

Dave Fleet
EVP Digital at Edelman. Husband and dad of two. Cycling nut; bookworm; videogamer; Britnadian. Opinions are mine, not my employer's.