Hiya ArtRageous People...
Here's a link to me doing a live-blog test-run of CoverItLive.com:
I did a very quick, very basic tutorial showing how I go about colouring a scanned black and white sketch.
My intention in making this tutorial was to test CoverItLive as a tool for me to use in my live Visual Facilitation practice. And it worked.
For those interested in my process workflow, here are the elements I used:
1. I registered for free at http://coveritlive.com. (They're very specific about the browser you need in order to use the console tool. You MUST use Firefox 2.* (or above) or IE7* (or above) to create content. You can use any browser to view the content.)
2. I set up a test template (very very easy to do all this; just head for the site and try their non-published live test).
3. I opened my screencapture program (I use TNT). It uses the 'PrtSc' hotkey (Print Screen) on Windows.
4. I opened ArtRage 2.5.
5. I opened Firefox 2.5, and went to my CoverItLive account. I clicked on the 'Activate Live Blog' button.
6. This opened up my console window.
[At this point I need to just share that the procedure I followed here is NOT the best. I discovered a better way shortly after I closed out the session. I'll describe that better way later. And I'll point out the shortcoming of the technique I'm about to describe when I hit the pertinent step.]
7. I started my ArtRage painting, and took a screen capture of the detail I wanted to communicate about.
8. I saved the screen capture using a pertinent file name, in an already open folder.
9. In the CoverItLive console, there's a little 'Media Library' button, with folders. I clicked on the 'Images' folder, and made one specifically for the tutorial.
10. I clicked the 'Media Uploader' button, and browsed to the open folder, and selected the screenshot.
11. I pressed the 'Upload File' button, and waited for it to transfer.
12. Once in the CoverItLive folder, I was able to double click the file to publish it into the live blog.
[Here's the first major drawback. Getting the file INTO your live blog post takes several dedicated steps. The MOST inconvenient aspect of this is when you've posted several pics, and the right slide bar appears... You can't reorder the view to have most recent upload at the top. Which means EVERY time you upload a new file, you have to scroll down to find it in order to double click it. Very irritating.]
13. After you've double-clicked the file to publish it, it immediately inserts into your live blog... as a 'popup' link.
[This is the least desirable feature of the service... I want the pic to be inserted inline. I want people to see the pic among all the other pics. This way, you see the LINK to the pic among all the other LINKS to pics. There is a workaround. But it's an authentic ball-ache, and adds more steps. But is ultimately better (for me and my purposes).]
14. Rinse, repeat.
The killer thing about this tool is that you can set up a 'meeting' with a bunch of students, for instance, at a particular time. You make the blog go live at that time, and the students simply view it in their browser.
Viewers are able to send comments. These comments don't go live automatically. You as the originator of the live blog accept and publish, or reject comments. And you can set it up so up to ten people CAN comment automatically, without you needing to accept each comment.
This lets your students ask pertinent questions.
(For me, as a visual facilitator, this lets me field questions that remote viewers might have concerning the session.)
The next killer thing about this is that once you close out your session, it's recorded for instant replay. Every post has a time-stamp. And it's all preserved exactly as you originated it. AND you can edit it all after (except for the pics -- all you can do is delete them, or leave them as they stand). You can download this saved session. Or you can let their servers deal with it. All for free.
[I'm going to describe the alternate upload system in the next post.]