Cloud-Based, Collaborative Content via ScribbleLive

ScribbleToronto-based ScribbleLive, which launched in 2008, recently released announced updates to its content management system (CMS) software. The service is a live-blogging tool that allows for cloud-based, collaborative coverage.

Some of ScribbleLive’s higher profile users include Reuters and Hearst Television, as well as non-media entities such as Greenpeace. Toronto’s National Post used the service for its coverage of the local municipal election, which it dubbed its “live election coverage hub.” National Post staff gave kudos to the service, saying it allowed the newspaper to “better curate election news and provide an improved forum for our social media and multimedia products.”

Anthony Ha, assistant editor for VentureBeat, explains how ScribbleLive works:

News organizations create a Web page or an embedded stream of content to cover a specific event or breaking news story. Then reporters can add updates in almost any way they like. They can log onto the site and post stories, pictures, and videos, of course, but they can also email their text, photos, and videos, or upload them via an iPhone application. And they can incorporate reader comments and Twitter updates into the stream.

“ScribbleLive changes the traditional linear flow of the newsroom to a more dynamic, collaborative process that empowers real-time reporting and audience engagement while ensuring editorial control and journalistic integrity,” says the company’s co-founder and chief executive Michael De Monte. It also allows news outlets to create their own branded web pages, which sets it apart from similar ventures such as CoverItLive. Mathew Ingram, a contributor to GigaOm, describes that capability:

The company’s software allows news outlets to quickly set up a live blog that looks and feels like a regular page on their website, complete with all of their branding and sidebar widgets or whatever else is on the page.

News service Reuters used ScribbleLive for its coverage of the recent Bangkok protests. Sports website The Score posts real-time scores for more than 300 teams and allows fans to be the play-by-play commentators, as shown on its recent coverage of the Redskins vs. Eagles game on October 3.

Scribble Live LogoGlobal News used ScribbleLive to cover the recent G20 Summit in Toronto. The page included reader-submitted photos of protesters, an audio report on rioting in the streets, videos of police creating barricades, and text updates from around the summit. Its live coverage of the G20 “broke historic new ground for storytelling in broadcast and online journalism,” said David Skok, managing editor for Globalnews.ca. “ScribbleLive gave us the opportunity to showcase the depth of our talented reporting teams in real-time using multimedia via one-touch reporting,” he continued. “We have realized our vision of unifying the digital and traditional broadcast newsrooms.”

ScribbleLive’s recently announced upgrades include:

  • enhanced publishing capabilities through SMS and voicemail
  • mobile apps for iPhone and BlackBerry
  • advanced filters for Twitter
  • secure sockets layer (SSL) data protection
  • syndication of posts to multiple web properties

In its current form, the service is best for live-blogging a news event (like natural disasters, sporting events, and election results) as it’s happening rather than used to create reference articles with in-depth and streamlined coverage. The company’s long-term goals will change that, however. “De Monte wants a ScribbleLive page to become that definitive news article, not just a liveblog that’s only relevant for a few hours,” writes Ha. Those future updates will allow news organization can polish and consolidate the content into a more traditional narrative rather than an aggregating stream.

Pricing for ScribbleLive depends on the desired plan.

Source: “ScribbleLive: Cloud-Hosted Live-Blogging,” GigaOm, 10/06/10
Source: “Twitter, ScribbleLive boost election coverage on our new Toronto page,” National Post, 10/05/10
Source: “ScribbleLive plans to reinvent the news article,” VentureBeat’s MediaBeat blog, 09/30/10
Source: “ScribbleLive Moves Journalism into the Social Media Era,” PR Newswire, 9/30/10
Source: “ScribbleLive gives journalists flexibility when it comes to writing a story,” TechVibes, 10/04/10
Image by Jason Ralston, used under its Creative Commons license.
ScribbleLive logo used under Fair Use: Reporting.

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