The Live Desk interface
GEN Live Desk presents two different interfaces: one for the reader, and one for the journalist.
What the reader sees
The reader sees the results of your live-blogging work as a timeline on your website, with the latest items at the top. New items appear immediately, without needing to refresh the page.
The timeline created by GEN Live Desk can be embedded wherever you choose on your site, and can be styled to fit seamlessly with the rest of your content.
A busy live blog can end up containing a large number of items. This can make it difficult for readers to get an overview of the content without having to do a lot of scrolling. GEN Live Desk allows journalists and editors to 'wrap up' their posts into sections when a natural break occurs. If you are live-blogging from an afternoon of horse racing, for example, you can use wrap-ups to organise the posts you and your colleagues made during each race.
Wrapped sections appear as sub-headings with a plus sign next to them, inviting the reader to click and reveal the hidden posts.
Once clicked, the plus sign turns to a minus, and the items contained within the wrap-up section are displayed.
Find out how to create wrap-up sections in the chapter Creating content and using sources.
Another handy feature of GEN Live Desk is that every post in the timeline is formatted as an HTML anchor, meaning that the reader can share and link directly to any post of interest.
What the journalist sees
The journalist's view of GEN Live Desk is a dashboard where content is originated or sourced, and then published into the live stream.
The interface consists of two panes in your web browser window. The left pane organises your content sources, while the right pane contains the live-blog's timeline, into which items are dragged and published.
This timeline is very similar to what the reader sees, but has features for journalists and editors such as the ability to re-order and delete posts, and to add comments to them.
The chapters Creating content and using sources and Using the timeline detail the publishing process.
Only authorised users can access the journalist's view of GEN Live Desk. User accounts are set up by the system administrator.
Live blogs are much more interesting for readers if they contain a variety of voices rather than a monologue. With GEN Live Desk, many individual contributors can be logged into the journalist's interface simultaneously, adding fresh content and helping to increase the pace of posting.