We’ve experimented with a few live blogging events here on WP Daily and our experiments are still being played out as we work with more and more WordCamp event organizers and fiddle with the live blog plugin that we’ve got running during the events, and we thought we had a sweet deal going!
But the guys over at Ars Technica have really upped the ante with their in-house developed solution which allows some significant functionality beyond what I’ve seen or used myself.
The liveblog tool is a WordPress plugin that Marlin and Aylward wrote from scratch and it allows multiple authors to enter updates simultaneously inside a WordPress post. The reporters who are attending the liveblogged event are naturally there, as well as at least one offsite staff member who is stationed to select and position photos (more on that in a bit).
So when a liveblog is going on, a few staffers are camped inside the liveblog post at once.
It looks like this:
But it gets even more impressive when they share how they get hi resolution images from their tethered camera from their device into S3 and then into the blog post itself:
When a camera is tethered to a computer, it auto-imports and saves the image files to a folder. When an image is dropped in, S3 Image Sync grabs the picture, resizes it to a 640-pixel width and adds a watermark to one corner, then syncs that picture to Amazon S3.
The WordPress plugin that Aylward and Marlin wrote polls S3 for new images and pulls them into the liveblogging interface. Another remote staffer reviews these images and promotes the best ones into the liveblog, which are then pushed as updates to readers’ browsers.
This is exactly how I thought some of the more advanced tech blogs had it going but I didn’t know for sure – ah, this creates an incredible amount of high-tech jealousy when I read it because it sounds so sweet (and so simple)!
This creative solution has been live for nine months and is going strong. It would be sweet if they released it publicly for others to enjoy the fruits of their labor – we’d be forever indebted to you Ars!