Liveblogging with the Liveblog Plugin for WordPress

I thought I’ve missed it when I was scrounging for a liveblog plugin when the Istanbul 2012 World Chess Olympiad was about to start.

It appears I didn’t, because Automattic’s Liveblog plugin was released sometime last weekend only. Check out this video that explains what this plugin is all about:

This Liveblog plugin could be a great blog extension if you’re covering live events, or just simply want to post one sentence updates to an event like the Chess Olympiad (which is a 2-week event).

I haven’t tested the plugin extensively yet, but, nevertheless, I just would like to point out some of my issues/concerns about it:

Paging

If you have too many updates, your post could really go a long way down. This happened to a liveblog post of mine, which used another liveblogging plugin. I haven’t tried the plugin yet if there’s any paging option, but it has no Settings page (so far with version 1.1) to start with, and I can only hope there’s the option to paginate all the live updates.

Styling

As mentioned, there’s no Settings page, so no option there to style your content. But looking at the source code in the browser, the updates are contained with a class “liveblog-entry-text”, so I guess you can style it from there.

Enable Liveblogging in Pages and Custom Post Types

In the current version (1.1) of the plugin, only standard “Posts” can be toggled as a liveblog post. You can’t take liveblogging to a static “Page” or a custom post type.

Ability to reposition

In the other plugin I previously tried, there’s an ability to reposition wherever in the body of the post you want the liveblog to appear. There’s a shortcode you can add to the beginning, middle or end of the content.

With this plugin, however, there’s no option. When you enable liveblogging in a post, the live updates are added at the bottom of the content, whether you like it or not.

The Toggle

In order to make a post available for liveblogging, there’s a toggle to check “This is a liveblog” at the bottom of the edit post page. But what if the event is done? Unchecking the button will actually hide all the live updates from the post. In the plugin I previously tried, the live blogs stay in the post, but you’ll just be unable to post new updates anymore.

Live Updates in Cached Pages

Currently there’s no clear-cut documentation available whether it should play nicely with a caching plugin like Donncha’s popular WP Super Cache. And if it should, how?

Mobile Apps

As one user pointed out in the support forum, you can easily drag and drop photos in a desktop environment, but not in mobile. There’s no backend for posting updates, so really there’s no ability to upload photos at all using your smartphone. So I guess a mobile app for Android and iOS is indispensable in this setup.

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