New Look, New Features

    There’s nothing like a MacWorld in the world of liveblogging. I often tell people that it’s the quintessential example of liveblogging. This January, we wanted to have something special for the users of Rock Content. We’ve been working on a major redesign for weeks, and this week we officially go live. This launch brings, not only a new look, but a new set of features and service enhancements.

    The first thing you’ll notice is the look-and-feel. Since liveblogs are all about reading, we’ve made everything on our site as easy to read as possible; big, clean fonts everywhere on soft backgrounds. There’s nothing like 80px fonts to enhance readability 🙂 There’s also much more sliding using the script.aculo.us library.

    We’ve been trying to get a Twitter integration that makes sense for months, and I think we have it now. Not only do we make it really easy to “follow” a Twitter account and pull all their tweets into your liveblog, but we have a new Twitter live-search that will constantly check Twitter for anyone talking about your topic. The tweets will appear right in the sidebar where you can easily pull them in as comments. This provides a never-ending stream of comments for your events. Here’s a video walkthrough of using Twitter in your liveblogs. And of course, you can login to Rock Content with your Twitter account.

    Another great feature we now have are “sticky” posts. During your liveblog you can click the “stick” button next to any post to pin it at the top of your liveblog. It’s a great way to keep a score or video stream where everyone can see it, or just use it as promotion for your site. We can’t wait to see how people use it and look forward to your feedback. This video walkthrough also shows you how to use sticky posts.

    We now support any Flash embed. Just copy-paste the HTML for your embed directly into the input box and we’ll take care of posting it. We always supported YouTube but now you can embed videos from Ustream, Qik, or any other Flash widget. You can even write your own and embed them!

    As well as the features you can see, there’s several big changes under-the-hood. We completely changed how live-updates work to use the power of the Amazon cloud products to handle more watchers than ever before. On Tuesday we successfully served up over 11M hits without any performance impact. We don’t just want to be the flashiest live publishing platform out there, we also want to have the most horsepower.

    There are many more changes with this launch and the best way to see them all is to try us out! Thanks to everyone who sent us suggestions and please keep them coming. We love to hear what you think.

    Happy liveblogging!

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