I like live blogging sessions at conferences. In fact my “blogging breakthrough” was at the first Blog Business Summit conference in 2005. I think, IMHO, that I’m pretty good at it. So when I saw Steve Crescenzo’s post about live blogging this morning, I had to give it a good read (despite his warning that it was long):
And therein lies the problem with the blogosphere. Itâ€™s a bunch of arrogant, self-important people who have suddenly been granted a platform. Never mind that he might have misconstrued my comments, because he was so busy writing as I was talking. Never mind that he may have besmirched my reputation, such that it is.
He gets to write whatever he wants, and that is that. And he gets to do it very fast, with no editors or fact checkers to keep him honest.
People like Shel Israel will spell the end of the blogosphere, sooner or later. Because people will stop trusting what anybody writes.
And thatâ€™s a shame.
Source: The problem with “live blogging” and the “blogosphere” (Corporate Hallucinations)
Steve calls out my friend Shel Israel about his coverage of a panel session he moderated (which Steve admits was a “train wreck”) which Steve thought was inaccurate.
In the comments on the post Steve makes this pretty insightful comment:
“Live blogging is all about the blogger, not the information. And that’s dangerous.”–Steve Crescenzo
There are two really good questions here about conference blogging:
- do bloggers do it for themselves or the information
- is live blogging a good way to convey information
I don’t think there is any question that many folks blog a session to draw attention to themselves. Being the first to break news is a heady experience. You become “the” source. The person others are quoting. That feels really good. This dovetails into the next question, is it a good way to cover an event?
I’m of two minds about this and I reflected on how I’ve covered sessions in the past. It is extremely hard to listen to the speakers and write cogent summaries. No doubt about it. It’s very easy to miss the forest for the trees when you’re just typing as fast as you can. When I live blog I try to type as many notes as possible as part of a draft post. Quotable quotes, deep thoughts, etc. Sometimes I post my stream of consciousness as I go. Usually I let folks know this at the beginning of the post. I find that these posts might be chock full of “information” but lack insight.
What I prefer to do is madly take notes, think about the points, snap a picture or two, then when the session is over I pull it together into something meaningful.
Of course when I figure out that big news is breaking in the session, I try to post the “news” and follow with “more to come … watch for updates”. So, yes, I try to break the news first.
I see my role as a live blogger as one of journalist and reporter. Most people aren’t at the conference and many would like to keep up with what’s going on. I like to give people a sense of the session and the conference as a whole. I also try to link to others covering the session and conference to add their opinions to the mix.
One of the best ways I’ve found to add more insight into my conference coverage is to do a summary post for the day. Something where I’ve taken time to reflect on each session and the conference day so far. It’s a great way to wind down before the evening’s fun (dinner and more conversation).
So while I can’t speak to Shel’s coverage, I think Steve is a little harsh on live blogging. It can work, but it takes practice and nimble typing fingers. As this spring/summer conference season is getting into full swing, I’m looking forward to blogging my fingers to the bone very, very soon.