Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 10:51 AM

Liveblog basics blogging howto

Some pointers on blogging with

When you have a new idea

Here's the flow.

  1. Click the big + icon in the left margin. This will create a special kind of headline that Liveblog knows is the top headline of an item. You can tell it's different because it has a different icon.

  2. Enter a title into the main headline, then indent and enter an outline. Revise as much as you want. Your post can be a series of paragraphs like a blog entry, or a structure of ideas, a todo list, a project plan, the outline of a presentation. It's up to you.

  3. When you want to tell other people about it, click the second icon in the left margin, the one with the arrow coming out of a box. This will open Radio3, my linkblogging tool, with the fields filled out with the title and link to this item. You can use Radio3 to send links to Twitter and Facebook. It also publishes an RSS feed.

That's it. You can repeat the process over and over, and if you never did anything else you would be linkblogging. But there is more you can do.

How to use the outliner

There's an outliner tutorial for Fargo that applies here as well. It's the same outliner software in both applications.

Adding a link

On the web, linking out to other sites is so common, we added an icon in the left margin just to make that super easy.

To use it, put the URL of the page you want to link to on the clipboard. Select the text you want to link from in Liveblog and click the Link icon. Paste the URL and click OK.

You can also select the whole headline with the bar cursor, and click the Link icon.. This will change the headline's type to link. When you double-click on it in the reader app, the page linked to by the headline will open in the browser.

Adding an your own image

When you view a Liveblog post in Facebook or Twitter, it will display an image. There's a default image, a classic picture of Buster Keaton looking out of a jail cell, but if this isn't what you want for your blog, you can change it.

First upload the image, and get the URL of the image on the clipboard. Facebook recommends that the image be xxx by xxx or larger.

Choose the Settings command from the menu at the right edge of the menubar. Click on the Image panel, and paste the URL in there.

Next time you share a link, we'll use your image instead of ours.

The reader app is "live"

When you push a link to your blog out to your readers, you're sending a link to a special app called the "reader." This app has a constant link back to the server that's managing your liveblog and is notified the instant you update. When that happens, the lock icon in the reader will turn green, indicating that there are updates available. When the user clicks the lock, it unlocks, and all updates are visible in realtime as you make them.

It's not exactly real-time, btw that would mean that your readers would see all your typos, and word changes. If you pause for three seconds, that's enough for Liveblog to send the update out to the reader apps.

We have the lock because it's jarring to have the outline update while you're reading. Other live products don't have the concept of a lock, I've often wished they did!


The last icon in the left margin is a suitcase, which opens the Attribute Editor.

This lets you attach or edit information to any headline.

Attributes are used to communicate to the software, to give it hints on how to interpret the information in the headline, and it subheads.

  1. If you add an img attribute, whose value is the URL of an image, it will be used as the header image for that headline, in place of the one you added in the Settings (described above).

  2. The description attribute will appear when you view the headline and its subs in, in the description section of the header. Otherwise the description will be blank (which is perfectly fine in some cases).

There are many other attributes you can use in different contexts. People always ask if there's a document of them somewhere, and the answer is no. It would be nice to have it of course.

Last built: Thu, Feb 19, 2015 at 12:25 PM

By Dave Winer, Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 10:51 AM. Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends.