Setting up for our workshops

Today I moderated, live blogged/tweeted and live streamed one of our workshops for the first time. During each of our workshops someone typically fills this role and today it was my turn.

To live blog our workshops, we usually use CoverItLive, a tool that lets you live blog an event while integrated Twitter and user comments. It’s simple to use and generates an embed code so that we can share the live blog with our entire community by posting it on our website. You can replay the live blog of the event here, which will give you a better idea of how CoverItLive works.

When using CoverItLive, you can integrate Twitter accounts and hastags into the conversation. I integrated the CML’s Twitter account (@CommunityMediaL) and the hashtag #CMLWorkshop. I chose the hashtag because it was something that could be used during other workshops and could help the dialogue continue. Or so, that’s my theory. Integrating Twitter into the live blog helps broaden our audience and engage more people.

Today’s workshop was on narrative and column writing and was hosted by Renee Collins. Collins is a former editor at Heritage Newspapers and now teaches journalism classes at Adrian College in Adrian, Mich.

I used UStream to provide a video stream of her presentation. UStream is another easy tool to use. I used one of our netbooks that has a webcam installed in it to video the presentation. The program is free and doesn’t require any software to be downloaded, which is always a plus. I simply turn on the channel I’ve set up on the website and turn the computer toward my subject (in this case, Collins). I was able to just let that run while I live blogged and tweeted the rest of the workshop without having to think about the live stream. Hassle-free, which is great when you’re juggling everything thing else.

You can see Collins’ presentation here, though the video isn’t the best. I believe that fault lies with the quality of the small webcam on our netbooks, not with Ustream.

We had a fair amount of engagement during our workshop with 10 viewers of the CoverItLive blog. For being 1 p.m., I’d say that’s a decent turnout. For anyone who missed it, you can rewatch the live video and blog here.

Have any questions about how I set this up or any of the tools I used? Email me at, or follow me on Twitter @kgjestland. I’ll be back in the lab 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. next Monday.


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