Creating content and using sources
You will notice a number of tabs along the left-hand side of the left pane in Live Blog, each with a different icon.
These tabs allow you to switch between different sources of content. Reading from top to bottom, these content sources are:
This is where you create your own content.
When click you into the text area, you will notice that a formatting bar appears above. You can use this to do basic styling (bold, italic, underline, strikethrough), align your text (left, centre, right), insert a web link, and insert an image. Finally, there is a button you can use to edit the HTML formatting of your post, or to insert code of your own.
To the left of the formatting toolbar, and remaining in view permanently, is a drop-down menu which, by default, contains four style options: normal, link, quote and wrapup.
This is the style which you will use to create normal text posts. It results in a post that looks like this:
If you choose link style, a link field is added above the content text area. When you paste a web link into this field and press enter, Live Blog will fetch summary content from your link and insert it into your post. If you wish, you can then edit this fetched content or add a comment of your own.
Be aware that any text you type into the fetched content will acquire the formatting of that content. If you are familiar with editing HTML tags, you can adjust the formatting as you wish using the 'edit HTML' facility in the toolbar, which has a button like this:
Here's how that post looks in the timeline:
If you select this option, the whole of your text entry will be styled as a quotation.
This is a special option, to be used when a natural break occurs in your live blogging, and you want to 'wrap up' the preceding posts in the timeline into a distinct section. The text you enter will be the name of the wrapup section, so choose something which sums up the section well.
If you were covering an afternoon at Caymanas Park horse-racing course, for example, you might entitle the first wrapup section 'Pre-race commentary', the second wrapup section 'Race 1, 1820m, purse 8,000', and the third wrapup section 'Race 2, 1200m, Purse 6,600'.
When you're ready, click Save & post, and the wrapup section will be created.
This is how wrapup sections look in the journalist's timeline. Clicking on the arrowhead will reveal the contents of the wrapup section.
Like other posts, wrapup posts can be unpublished or deleted, but they cannot be edited once they have been saved, whether or not they have yet been placed in the timeline.
If you accidentally place a wrapup post in the wrong position in the timeline, unpublish it and place it in the timeline again.
Tip: When you're drafting a post in the Edit tab, make sure you click Save or Save & post before you switch to another tab. If you don't, your work will be lost.
Collaborators are the other journalists who are working with you on the live blog. When you select the collaborators tab, you will see a row of user names in blue buttons, and below them a timeline of content items that has been created by those users.
If you wish, you can filter out content from one or more of your collaborators. When you click on a username button, it will change to a grey colour and you will no longer see content from that user until you click on their button again. In the above screenshot, both Andrew Reporter and Christine Journalist have been filtered, so that we can temporarily concentrate on content from Janet Editor.
The collaborators tab has a notification feature which can alert you to events occurring within the collaborators tab even when you have navigated away from it and are working in another content tab. Notifications are turned off by default. To turn on notifications, click on the circled exclamation mark on the collaborators tab icon. The circle will turn orange indicating that Live Blog will alert you to changes happening within this tab, for instance a new post. Clicking again on the circled exclamation mark will turn off notifications.
When you're working in another tab, a counter on the collaborators tab shows how many new unpublished posts have been created by your colleagues.
The functionality of this tab has not been enabled yet. The advertisements tab will allow you to organise advertisements and place them into your timeline.
This tab allows you to search for relevant external content conveniently within the Live Blog interface.
Just like in the familiar Google search interface, you can switch between results from Web, News and Images, by clicking the links above the search field. A limited number of results are shown, but you can request more by clicking the Show More Results button at the end of the page.
The next tab down lets you search Twitter for relevant items. This means you can incorporate different voices into your timeline, as well as encouraging your readers to signal their participation in your live blog by using a hashtag of your suggestion.
As with the Google tab, Live Blog's Twitter search function will show a limited number of results to begin with. Scroll down to review these, and if you wish to see more, click on the See More Results button at the end.
Like the collaborators tab, the Twitter tab has a notification facility. Turn notifications on by clicking on the circled exclamation mark on the Twitter tab icon. It will go orange to show that notifications are enabled. When you are working in, for example, the Edit tab, and someone sends a tweet that matches your existing search keywords, a 'New' button on the Twitter tab will alert you.
Search here for images hosted on the popular image sharing service. A drop-down menu enables you to filter your search results by copyright licence (e.g. Any, or Attribution-Sharealike).
As before, if you wish to see more results, click on the See More Results button at the end of the page.
The YouTube search tab features a straightforward keyword search, as well as search by user's favourites and user's videos. There is also a drop-down menu which permits you to order search results by relevance, date published, number of views, and rating.
When published to the timeline, video items are transformed into the a YouTube embedded player, complete with the familiar controls.
This tab allows you to search for images from the popular Instagram photo sharing service, with found items presented in a simple list. The photographer's accompanying text and hashtags are included as tooltip-style popups available when you mouse over.
Live Blog now also allows you to search for audio hosted on SoundCloud.
When published to the timeline, audio items are transformed into a SoundCloud player, complete with play/pause button, waveform, and like and share buttons, which can be used by your readers if they have a SoundCloud account.
Searches are remembered
Don't worry about search terms and results being lost when you switch between external source tabs. Live Blog saves them, so they'll still be there when you switch back.