I spent over 11 hours on the bus on Tuesday, and got off exactly where I got on. It was art, and I live blogged the whole way. I was also twittering and streaming live video to Qik. It was all part of the project I’ve been doing over at elevenbus.co.uk.
I was really surprised with the video blogging, as it’s something I’ve always been sceptical of. I think more down to most video blogs’ lack of content that then technology. It was a really good way to quickly update anyone following (announcements of new video sessions were pushed to twitter) and when there were other people to talk to it was great to be able to quickly widen the sources of information. The quality (over 3G from an N95 mobile) was good enough, the problem came for me of deciding what to show on camera. The N95 has two cameras, one facing the screen one away, but you can’t cut between them in a single stream. This left me offering viewers a choice — my face and no scenery, or scenery and a disembodied voice. I partially solved this by quickly panning by hand from me to the surroundings, but a way to mix both (picture-in-picture style) would be good. If you should want to watch them they’re collected here.
The live blog, using the very good Cover it Live system, was not so successful. For a start you really need a laptop to blog and to answer comments from any readers — which could work a lot better when you don’t need to spend most of the day on a bus. The main problem was my trying to do too much. The content of my tweets and the live blog obviously overlapped, and there wasn’t the time to do both. Compare my live blog with that of Michael Grimes who forsook twitter for the duration.
The reason twitter won out was the ready made audience. You can see tweets related to the event here — and that’s only ones that used the tags and keywords — there are a lot, and taking the event to people in their own space works really well.
Ideally I would have mereged the two and used a system to aggregate my tweets into a live blog page on the site — allowing non-twiter users to join in. If someone could build a live blogging system that allowed comments and pushed them back to me via twitter I would be sold.
Great experience, I doubt any live internet coverage will be as difficult to do as that from the top deck of a moving bus.