Hosted live-blogging service CoverItLive, by far the best way to liveblog, always came with a catch. You could set it up, and drop it into your website, in minutes… but it was very obviously a rather crude embedding of ‘someone else’s service’. Their logo, their font, not yours. But not any more.
Effective today, there’s an option on the CoverItLive admin interface for ‘My Viewer Window’, allowing you to create your own presentation style by uploading your own logos, resizing the window to fit your design, and selecting one of the web’s ‘usual suspects’ fonts. The images must be a specific pixel size, which isn’t actually a bad thing in my book… and must be GIF, JPG, PNG or (intriguingly!) Flash. There’s still a small ‘powered by CoverItLive’ message in the corner, but hey – give them a break!
The ‘main image’ is effectively a ‘splash screen’, for when the liveblogging isn’t ‘on’ – so you probably don’t need to worry too much about it, frankly. (Maybe do a cute ‘please wait’ message or something?) The ‘secondary image’ appears at the bottom of the iframe, and sits on top of a grey strip with a background image applied. To make it look most natural, I’d suggest you use a transparent 24-bit PNG: that should sit beautifully and seamlessly on top.
I’m talking to a couple of clients who are excited by the possibilities of live-blogging. I wholeheartedly recommended CoverItLive as the solution, but with a (single) caveat about the lack of visual integration with the client site. That problem has gone away overnight. The CoverItLive guys are doing everything you could ask of them, and they entirely deserve their top spot in this emerging field.