Preparing to Live Blog an Event

Apple MacBook

Apple MacBook

I’ve been asked to live blog an event for a client and their members. Actually, I’ll be live blogging, podcasting, Twittering, Uttering, and live streaming an event.

I am putting together my equipment, securing accounts with all the online tools and services I need, and reviewing the schedule so I’m prepared. This will be a major undertaking that will include two 12 hour days as well as pre- and post-blogging.

Normally, live blogging a conference is done with a team, but this is a proof-of-concept so I’m on my own.

While I’ve live blogged and live tweeted conferences before, this is the first time I’ll be doing it formally for a client. The conference is not my usual fare – it is about philanthropy instead of Internet or technology. I’ve worked with many nonprofits over the last 15 years – including running a nonprofit in New York City in the mid-90s – so the issues aren’t foreign to me. Still, I’ll have to be on top of my game – with a healthy dose of caffeine – to keep up.

Here’s what I’ve put together so far for my Live Blogging Gear.

Keen Oswago Bag

Keen Oswago Bag

The Bag
I almost attempted to make a bag that could handle my MacBook, assorted digital devices and a variety of accessories and that would keep everything at my hip, fairly ergonomically balanced, and extremely accessible. Luckily, I found something close to what I needed at REI. The Oswago Keen bag sits neatly on my hip, and I can quickly access my MacBook, a notebook and pen, my digital camera, my video camera, my iPod Touch, extra batteries, and all of my power cords and accessories.

The Computer
Black MacBook. Perfect size, weight, capabilities, sleek and good looking. Why use anything else?

The Digital Camera
I’m using a Nikon Coolpix L5 – 7.2 Megapixels, 5x Zoom. An older model but still going strong. I’m still on the fence about upgrading to a slimmer, lighter model. I’ve been using a variety of Nikon Coolpix for many years after graduating from an old digital Olympus. Any recommendations? Keep in mind I am not a professional photographer, and these photos are mostly for the Web.

Flip Mino

Flip Mino

The Video Camera
I’ve got The Flip and love its self-contained utility. I’m upgrading from the original model to either an Ultra or a Mino. I should go for the Mino because in addition to the sleekness, it is rechargeable via USB port as well as power adapter. I’m planning to try live video streaming from Flip to Web.

The Digital Recorder
While I’d love to get the Marantz 660 because I also do radio (you remember radio, right?) in addition to audio podcasting, I’ve decided to be a little more frugal at the moment and get the Edirol / Roland R-09HR Portable High-Resolution Audio Recorder. Both were recommended to me by radio producers, although the latter choice was focused more on podcasting so that definitely works for the live blogging. I’ll be interviewing panelists and speakers before or after their sessions.

The Blog
At the moment, the client is setting up the blog. I’ll be consulting to make sure it is “social media ready.”
I’m planning on using to live stream parts of the conference. I’m still checking with the client about whether to keep all of this private (for their members only) or public.

In a pinch, I’ll post some Utterz when I don’t want to mess with the digital recorder and want to have some audio up on the organization’s blog quickly.

There will be a private collection of photos uploaded each day from the event on Flickr. These will also be posted on the blog along with additional cross-posting.

But of course I’ll do a little live Twittering on Twitter. It will be private though, only accessible by my client’s members.

Other Miscellany
I’m packing all the powercords and chargers including a slew of rechargeable batteries and a multi-battery recharger. Rule of live blogging: Never run out of power. And of course I am packing a notebook and pens to give my wrists a break. I’m pretty sure there is no way I can type notes on that many sessions without some repetitive stress injury.

As I look over my list, I wonder about overkill. However, even though there is some crossover of functionality, every device can serve a backup function in one way or another so I feel like I’m covered for everything.

What am I forgetting? What do YOU use when you live blog an event?

[photos from,,,]