The 3 best live blogging platforms for News and Media publishers
Choosing between what we think are the three leading live blogging solutions
In this post, we aim to help you decide whether Live Center, Live Blog Pro, or ScribbleLive is a good fit for you and your organization by describing the solutions feature. As with choosing any solution, it’s important to at first understand what your needs are and then see how what’s available out there fits those needs.
Below we are first going to introduce the three live blogging platforms and then go through some key aspects you should look at when you evaluate them. These range from concrete features and functionality to licensing and cost terms. So let’s jump straight to it
Three leading solutions
Live Center is built as an extremely customizable and scalable live blogging platform. It is designed to allow the user to create news feeds with any type of, news, sports, politics, and traffic content in a way that fits the unique requirements of each customer. The solution offers a high degree of customization of features, meaning you can include just the tools your users should have access to across your organization. Additionally, it supports an unlimited range of implementations so that it will fit into your technology landscape and other solutions.
Live Blog Pro
The live blog pro also offers a variety of features that will spark your interest in the live blogging career, and help you kick start your community of viewers. While suitable for both niches sites and larger organizations, it does however not offer the same level of customization that Live Center does. Providing a user-friendly interface and customer support system to help troubleshoot problems, it is an efficiently live blog tool for beginners and organizations wanting an out-of-the-box solution.
Live rockcontent is perhaps the solution which started the live blogging form of publishing back in 2008. Starting of as an enterprise solution for breaking news coverage and live events, it has morphed into a content marketing platform that is used by publishers, markets, and event planners alike around the world. Live benefits from being the most widely used enterprise solution, but with a price tag that goes with it, starting at between $2000 and $2500 a month according to online review sites G2Crowd and Getapp (a Gartner company).
While it is ideal that a user chooses their live blogging platform themselves, it is understandable that a beginner will not necessarily have the time and stamina to analyze all three platforms, thus we bring you their analysis, comparison and features that stand out. Let’s get into it.
Know that you more about these three solutions, how can you get started?
Before signing up it is always a good idea to try out the solution before buying any monthly subscription. Live Blog Pro, Live Center, and Live Rockcontent all offer free trials, thus not only can you try these platforms individually and decide which one suits your needs and ambitions the most, and choose accordingly. However, Live Center offers the longest trial of 30 days. So, if you want to really investigate the solution and live blogging in general, it is the solution, to begin with.
When it comes to comparing the monthly fee of each of the platforms, Live Center is a clear winner.
It starts at just €69, compared to €111 for Liveblog pro and between €2000 and €2500 for ScribbleLive.
Additionally, Live Center also allows you to sign a month-by-month contract so that you don’t have to commit to a year-long contract right from the start. While Live Blog Pro also allows this, ScribbleLive binds you to a 12-month contract as a minimum.
There are of course even cheaper platforms out there, that might be ideal for beginners or people who do not want to spend a lot of money, users who require a higher degree of control and more advanced feature would benefit from Live Center as it offers an extensive amount of features needed, in an economical price range below the two competitors.
Thus, Live Center can be a great fit if you are running a small live coverage gig, as well as an enterprise-scale set up alike.
What’s more, Live Center comes with plugins for both InfoMaker and WordPress which have been used by customers to replace other solutions they might have used in the past.
The Live Center is optimally designed for live blogging is perhaps the most versatile and diverse niches. An example of this is the online news media, Sports news, Publishers, Newspapers, Blogs, Media providers, Betting sites, Intranet live-chats. However, on the other hand, other platforms, for example, Live Rockcontent and Live blog pro are merely ideal for only a handful of niches, like online news media.
Thus, Live Center wins in this aspect by providing the user more diversity in the type of content they want to create.
Live Center accomplishes this through an extensive library of Extensions. These are the solutions way to add extra functionality in an easy way, this can be live scoreboards, election counters, advertisements, or similar. Extensions allow Live Center to perfectly fit the unique requirements of different niches.
When choosing a live blogging solution, it is of utmost necessity to select one that provides an optimal user interface and is easy to use. While in our opinion, all these solutions are user-friendly, Live Center is set apart against Live Blog pro and Live Rockcontent due to its editor designed specifically for mobile-friendly usage.
The reason for a mobile-friendly interface’s importance is recognized today because live blogging is essentially blogging on the go. Hence, news, sports, political coverage, and all the other live blogs often require the journalist to update their live feed while being present at different locations, thus using a mobile phone to post new live blogs.
Native apps available on the IOS or Android’s Appstore are great in theory and have been instrumental in publishing on the go in the past – you have an interface to your solution that fits your device. However, modern mobile browsers such as Safari and Chrome render many apps redundant because they are able together with the right frontend technology to render perfectly without an app. Even though most users in the past have been hooked on the idea of a native app, there are several benefits to not building and maintaining one.
These include reducing sources of error due to supporting three different technology bases (Web, IOS, and Android), faster development of the core solutions, reduces the need for the users to download the app since they can access the solution directly from their browser.
Being at the forefront of this movement away from native apps, Live Center has no native app, but instead a modern interface that supports all major mobile browsers.
In terms of customer support, all three live blogging platforms have support processes in place. Their customer support provides help and guidance to the users through help guides and documentation, whenever any troubleshooting is needed. LiveBlog Pro and ScribbleLive also provides priority support. However Live Center goes one step further with Slack and Phone support if you choose the Professional or Enterprise package. With access to Slack, you can reach customer support in seconds and get an answer to your question right away.
Live Center, Live Blog Pro, and ScribbleLive provide training to their users in multiple ways, as opted by the user as per their preference and convenience. Training methods such as training online, webinars, and documentation, have made it incredibly easy for a user to learn and improve their content. Live Center also provides extensive How-To guides on their support side, from which you can also chat directly with Support and get answers to anything you are missing.
While all three platforms have provided features that make Liveblogging more efficient and fun, Live Center provides the user with an extensive range of features to help them create live feeds that fit their ways of working.
What’s most unique about Live Center’s features is that they can be switched on and off to only show what you as a user actually need and use. Meaning, if you want to be able to capture videos directly on your phone through Live Center and publish them in seconds, that feature is easily included in the editor. Otherwise, it is simply removed to make the editor interface more streamlined.
Some key features to highlight
1. File sharing
Being able to share files and documents allows the user to have a greater variety of content they share, and this attracts more viewers, and in turn followers. It also allows the live blogger to interact and share more content with their viewers. Live Center can, for example, consume files from a media library such as photos, videos, or article drafts that are available inside the editor as a draft. The journalist can then easily select the drafts and publish in seconds.
2. Multi-user support
Supporting multiple journalists working inside the editor for a live blog at the same time is key for larger organizations, or live blogs covering hectic sporting events. All three solutions support multiple users while Live Center even allows comments and Q&As to be divided up into several steps. Meaning one journalist can be responsible for approving comments while another quickly goes through and publishes answers.
3. WYSIWYG Rich Text Editing
The What You See Is What You Get is hands down our favorite feature about the Live Center. It gives it an advantage over not only Live Blog and ScribbleLive, but also most live blogging sites and platforms out there.
The WYSIWYG editing feature allows the user to simultaneously see how the viewers are viewing their live post, and thus help more with features and settings they want to change. Even if you have a custom design applied to your live blog, this will be reflected inside Live Center’s editor. Meaning you will see exactly how your post will look like when you publish it.
Customized editor for VOX Media’s live blogs
4. Publish Scheduling
Another important feature that allows you to make sure your live blog feels live for as long as possible. This can be achieved if you consistently update your blog’s live feed, thus your posts would constantly appear on your subscribers’ screens and get more audience. However, it is nearly impossible for a person to always be available to update their blog from time to time. The publish scheduling feature offered by Live Center allows the user to pre-mediate the time when they want their live blogs to be posted, and thus appear to users when they tune in.
This also helps SEO ranking ahead of a key event by allowing you to publish posts ahead of time which gets indexed by search engines. When the event is about to start and readers search for it your live blog will likely be ranked high up in the results.
In summary – choose a platform that fits your needs
It’s not easy to choose a new solution. Regardless of your needs, budgets, etc. it is important to try out any tool before you sharpen your pencil and sign up.
If you want an independent comparison of what real users think about these three solutions, software review platforms Capterra and G2Crowdprovides just this:
Compare all three live blogging solutionshttps://www.g2.com/compare/live-blog-vs-live-center-vs-rock-content-engage