Rock Content Spotlight: Schumacher, January Transfer Window and a Blimp


    Whether your socks are sodden in flooded Europe, or your eyelashes frozen in the North American freeze, it’s the new year everybody! 2013 was a big year for Rock Content. It was also a big year in the news: the States was victim to a terrorist attack on home soil, new conflicts flared up while old ones raged on in the Middle East and the UK’s most-anticipated baby was born.

    But while we look back to contemplate the past, we also look forward in anticipation of the future.

    2014 will be a big year for sports. All eyes will be on Brazil as the footballing world descends on its shores for the World Cup, after its fellow BRIC– Russia– has hosted the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

    We’re only a few days into the year, but our network has already produced some real-time gems, so cast your eyes over 2014’s first Rock Content Spotlight. Wilkommen!

    Michael Schumacher Skiing Accident by T-Online

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    On Dec. 29, record-breaking F1 driver Michael Schumacher fell and seriously injured himself while skiing off-piste in the French Alps. The driver remains in hospital in critical condition. As soon as the news broke, T-Online launched a live event to keep their readers updated with all the latest developments. Scores of readers left their messages of support on the page and journalists pulled in tweets from known personalities, including Bill Clinton and Felipe Massa, as the world responded to his accident. T-Online journalists have continued to file updates from outside Schumacher’s Grenoble hospital as his family, friends and fans remain on tenterhooks.

    Sky Sports Today by Sky Sports


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    We’re always encouraging our clients to look beyond single events when thinking about content and slow liveblogs are becoming increasingly popular. This example from Sky Sports shows just how effective they can be. Sky Sports Today brings all the sporting news of interest to their readership together in one place, be it results, reactions or more light-hearted news. They make excellent use of social media, doing a good job of adding context to the tweets they publish and links out to articles published elsewhere on their site. It’s the perfect landing page for people who want to know all the key stories of the day, while giving readers the chance to click through to the stories they’re particularly interested in. Oh, and the API integration is sumptuous.

    Samsung CES Press Conference by CNET

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    The Consumer Electronics Show is currently taking place in Las Vegas. It’s a place where the greats of the technology industry come to show off their latest fancy products, some of which may go on to change your life, while others just experience a moment of ridicule on Twitter. This year, CNET is covering a lot of the show with Rock Content. Their coverage of Samsung’s press conference provides a good template for covering this type of event in real-time. They introduce the event and the liveblogging team, they answer reader questions as they come up, they provide high quality photos and text updates, and they also analyse and critique what the Samsung presenters are offering. They do it all with an informal, accessible tone. Graceful!

    Live from the Goodyear Blimp by CNN

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    Ever wondered what is what like to ring in the new year gliding above a metropolis in a 192-foot blimp? Well, today’s your lucky day because that’s exactly what CNN’s Thom Patterson did. Updating the event with tweets and Vines, he brought his readers into the experience and gave them access to the incredible views. Patterson put his followers’ most popular questions to the blimp pilot and managed to fit the answers to both in less than 140 characters: ‘No parachutes (blimp flies too low). 2. No bathrooms.’ Fascinating.

    January Transfer Window by Football 365


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    More British football. The January transfer window, which allows European football clubs to buy and sell players has opened and fans are following attentively to see what their clubs will do. The Football 365 live transfer coverage provides rolling news on all the movement, and also shows the strength of an engaged community of readers. While the journalists provide the backbone of the coverage, it’s the fans themselves who write most of the content. Looking beyond the in-jokes and the informal tones, the readers also work like ‘crowd-sourced producers’ who scout other websites and news sources and publish what they find on the Football 365 event. This means that the event covers more ground than it would if it was just the journalists working and makes the readers an integral part of the story.
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