Monday, February 27, 2012

How to do a livestream and live-tweeting event at the same time

Here's the cheat sheet on livetweeting and livestreaming at the same time, in case you want to know how and why we are doing this at the Freeman. .

For live tweeting:
* Make a CoveritLive event, add your Twitter account or that of the person doing live tweeting. New to CoveritLive? Here's a whole bunch of tutorials to get you started.

Why would I want to live tweet if there is going to be live video?

Because live-tweeting the event can serve as your notes, it helps members of your community with context (and those who jump in late), and helps you mark time stamps in the video, which makes it easier to search for direct quotes once you're done livestreaming.

How in the world do you expect me to live-tweet and live-stream at the same time?

Livestreaming is as easy as hitting a button.


Seriously. Here's the button in Ustream.

So you have to do hit that button (and the 'record' one next to it) at the beginning of the event and at the end. All the time in between is for note taking, interviews, etc. But the event will determine if it can be done easily or not. Don't try to do everything if it's difficult and/or cumbersome.

For livestream:
* Place a Ustream or Livestream container online (the embed code), with the CoverItLive container on top or at the bottom, hours before the event. Have it featured prominently online. Push it on social media and in print the day of the event.

Wait a sec! How do you livestream?

Like this. Go to, create an account (or use your Facebook one), from the dashboard, hit create a show, name it, hit 'Go Live' on top right and click on the Start Broadcast and Start Record buttons. That's it. You can get fancy if you want and add logos, pre-roll, hook up your social media and all that. But for a quick start, that's pretty much it.


Press conferences are the easiest things to plan for and can be very newsy, so interest would be high. We did one earlier this month without notice and it got tons of hits.

Arrive at least 30 minutes in advance and test livestream, CoveritLive and tweets 10 minutes before events (something like, “hey guys, I’m about to blahbhahbghbalhdlkfjaqryuiahsdf” “how’s the sound” etc.)


A laptop with a web cam and an Internet card if out of the office. (Netbook works but I don’t recommended because they’re too cumbersome for most).

Duct tape to place web camera on convenient places and to prevent people from tripping on your cables if you find a plug. Look at the photo at right. There's a camera on top of a box. The other one (plan B, which we didn't need) is taped to a laptop.

(In the photo at right, we were taking live questions from the community, which were being displayed on the screen on the wall. This required another person.)

So, yes, you can have a sidekick in the newsroom or at the scene watching/tweeting/writing early web story and moderating comments. Tasks can be split depending on digital proficiency.

Using these tips, we've livestreamed three events last week. And two of them happened at the same time. It should be noted that the reporters did the livestreams themselves, with me just watching and /or moderating comments. I was only physically present for one of the livestreams.