Liveblogs are fantastically artificial experiences. In an era of live, streaming video there is little reason to experience a live event through periodic pictures and text updates. Who would read a printed news ticker when there is Twitter and CNN? Who would send a telegram via morse code when there is Facebook? Why shouldn't Google livestream Google IO? Aren't Microsoft and Apple absurd for not livestreaming their recent press events? Wouldn't a live audience bring greater attention and interactivity to an event? Maybe.
Liveblogs are an artificial sweetener that makes press events oh-so-much-fun. Liveblogs create an air of exclusivity for attendees, as only the most coveted are invited to attend. Liveblogs provide the tech media with an exclusive experience, an owned experienced that the tech faithful gather around like kids in a candy store. And when the tech media's audiences flock to these liveblogs, the PR team wins.
Liveblogs provide the audience with bits of information, small snippets of text and hastily composed pictures that leave the audience salivating for more, watching the screen for the refresh and scrolling down to try to finish reading the last sentence while the new one takes its place. Liveblogs provide very raw initial editorial reactions alongside tiny bits of news. Videos are reduced to pictures and eloquent speeches to sound bites. Liveblogs are morse code. Liveblogs are the "It is high, it's far, it's is........ Out Of Here!" for the tech world.
And liveblogs lose all of their appeal when there is a live video feed available.
Liveblogs are part of the tech culture. They have defined many press event experiences for the faithful who want nothing more than to attend in person or dream of a video feed. But by providing that video feed. The artificial limitations imposed on the event enhance the event experience.
Is Google making a mistake by livestreaming instead of withholding and thereby prompting liveblogging?
I don't think so. Eventually the liveblog will go the way of the telegraph. And as much as we love it today, I'm not sure we're going to miss it when it goes.