Woooooooooooo!! I survived! And I drank a lot of Jones Soda in the process, so I’m a little hyper.
Liveblogging was quite the adventure. First, I went out for St. Patrick’s Tuesday evening so didn’t get the email telling me I was doing the Deadspin liveblog until something like nine hours later, so I went into a panic and quickly got some work stuff rearranged and confirmed my spot in the “liveblog army” (32 NCAA Tournament first-round games, 32 different livebloggers). Then stayed up way too late Wednesday night poring over Barack Obama’s prediction bracket, trying to learn obscure facts about UCLA and Virginia Commonwealth University, and digging up photos of Jorma Taccone (so, no different than any regular night, right?). If you read the Deadspin post, that makes a little bit of sense.
Today, I woke up late, barely managed to get to work on time, got berated by a very angry customer (whatever, I survived), and talked a friend into driving me home so I could be sure to get there in time for tip-off. I was given magical privileges to log into the Gawker blog editing system, which made me feel kinda special. I don’t know if I had the ability to poke around and edit other people’s posts, I quickly decided against tempting fate and trying that out, for fear of permanent banishment and the end of my blogging life as I knew it (I can still log in! I wonder how long that’ll last).
I was given some quick instructions, which included “just keep typing” and that I might want to turn off comments to make things easier. I had the option of either using Cover It Live, a liveblogging system, or manually updating posts as I went along. I actually really wanted the challenge of reading comments and even (gasp!) interacting with commenters, so I went the old fashioned way of manually updating posts. This worked out fine, except there were moments when I lost way too much time making the timestamps show up in bold when I just wanted my posts to show up right away. Basketball is a really fast-paced sport, so if I didn’t get a comment posted quickly enough, it might not be relevant 30 seconds later.
I’m a much, much bigger football fan than basketball fan, so I was worried how I would fare in that regard (hence way too much research). I could’ve done worse, I guess. But, I played to my strengths: a quick pace, attempting to be funny, and paying too much attention to things like the pep band and mascots. I didn’t even look at any of the day’s other liveblogs. For one, I didn’t have time, and I knew I wouldn’t need much in the way of inspiration. Through my experience getting silly comments posted on Deadspin’s “Hugh Johnson Project” and reading the blog daily, I knew my audience. And through my experience trading snarky barbs with friends over IM during other sporting events or episodes of 90210, I basically had the quick, funny comments thing down. Mostly I just worried that I would cave and have total writer’s block once the whole thing started.
Well, somehow, it worked! Luckily nothing huge or relevant had gone down during the day, so the blog intro I wrote 24 hours prior (in case I didn’t have any time before the game started) worked fine. However, the game started 15 minutes late, and I found myself out of half my pre-written material before the game even started, of course. But just when I was starting to get worried, a really awesome basketball game happened! The game literally went down to the final seconds, so I never ran out of things to write about. The amazing amount of caffeine in my system no doubt contributed to my ability to pay attention to a game on TV, keep up on the reader comments as they came in, look up other scores and random junk on the internet, and somehow in between it all, keep writing blog entries.
I have to say, I rather impressed myself. I got some good reviews, entertained myself, and got some great experience and exposure for my li’l blog here. Check out this lovely chart detailing site visits over the past several weeks:
Finally, it should be noted, that I was the only female liveblogger of the whole event. HA!