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Announcing the new Liveblog of Doom!

CoverItLive LogoAs you may (or may not) know, for a while we have been experimenting with livestreaming video from various anime conventions. And after hours of experimentation, I have come to one inescapable conclusion:

Livestreaming video is hard.

For one thing, it’s almost impossible to hold a cameraphone steady, which is painfully evident if you’ve managed to sit through any of our livestream trials. (Contrary to what it may seem, it is not our intention to induce nausea and vomiting in our audience.) I suppose I could put together some sort of eXtreme steadicam type rig, but (A) I don’t have the money to do so, and (B) I’m lazy. There’s also the fact that all cameraphones have really crappy sound. Which means that, most of the time, it’s almost impossible to understand what the speaker/panelist/GoH/whatever is saying; it usually ends up sounding something like this: “Mmfffrrf mrrrfff mrr mfff mff mrrrrfff.” And, of course, unless you happen to travel with a backpack-mounted studio lighting kit (which I don’t), the only thing you have to work with lighting-wise is the (often lousy) lighting found in most convention center rooms; so even if I could manage to get a rock-steady shot, the video would most likely be of inferior quality as well.

So, yeah, livestreaming video is hard. So how am I to achieve my goal of bringing you live on-the-spot convention coverage? One word: Liveblogging.

Yes, the very same technique that many tech bloggers have successfully employed to bring coverage of tech conference keynotes and so forth will now be put to use to bring you the latest and greatest anime news from whatever con we happen to be attending. This is being brought to you thanks to the excellent free liveblogging service CoverItLive. If you head to our livestream page you will now see a lovely new “Liveblog of Doom!” widget. When we are at an event and are liveblogging it, you will see our pearls of wisdom scroll by just as fast as my fingers can type them. And there’s no need to obsessively hit your browser’s “reload” button either; the CoverItLive widget does all of that hard work for you, so all you have to do is sit back and watch. Unfortunately the service is ad-supported, so you’ll have to sit through the occasional advertisement video. But in general I’ve found the service to work pretty well.

How will you know when we are liveblogging an event? For one thing, you can take a look at our con calendar. This will list the events that we are interested in. However that doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ll be at each and every event listed here (the usual disclaimer about the fickle nature of convention scheduling, plus my unpredictable stamina level at any given moment applies). However when we do decide to livestream, we will of course update our Twitter.

We hope you enjoy this new method of convention coverage. If you have any comments, or are having trouble getting the CoverItLive widget to work for you, please drop us a line.

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