Tickaroo’s News Blog

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  • 10/21/20 7:40 AM

    Marketplace



    Time zones, other deadlines, the need to have a reporter on location – all of these factors and more can make liveblogging difficult. Even if it’s not possible to put together a liveblog, Tickaroo presents clients with a unique solution. Instead of having to write their own liveblogs, they can book ones that are written by reputable third-party providers. In Germany, the non plus ultra in the news category is without a doubt dpa.

    Marketplace and dpa
    Since the debut of Marketplace, dpa has partnered with Tickaroo to provide the latter’s clients with a streamlined way to book news liveblogs. When a dpa-written liveblog is booked via the Tickaroo platform, it is automatically added to the list of liveblogs belonging to that organisation. That means that it can be seamlessly integrated into their website via Embed JS and boosted with SEO solutions such as schema.org, AMP and HTML Prefetch. It can be left “as is” or added to should the editors want to include more local information. Despite not having any boots on the ground or being able to even watch the event live, media houses are guaranteed quality coverage when they need it most – live!

    SID and kicker
    Marketplace isn’t just about news blogs, there are also sports-oriented liveblogs that can be booked – kicker and Sport-Informations-Dienst both offer their liveblogs in Tickaroo Marketplace. From upcoming soccer matches to American Football games or handball, readers are kept informed in real-time thanks to kicker and SID’s reporting as well as Tickaroo’s stable and scalable digital publishing platform.

    Writing and Selling
    Booking liveblogs is only part of Marketplace’s appeal – it’s also possible for clients to offer theirs as well. If a reporter is covering something of particular interest, for example a breaking news story, they might be the only one with access to the latest updates and live on location. By writing a liveblog and offering it in Marketplace, other news organisations can also book it. All it takes is to add a checkmark to a dropdown menu and the liveblog is good to go – national or even international!

    Test out Marketplace and book a dpa liveblog today!

    If you don't have a Tickaroo account yet, sign up for you 30-day free Live Blog trial account!

  • 9/28/20 11:29 AM

    The Three Pillars of Election Liveblogs


    The three pillars of liveblogging are the perfect way for reporters and editors to get started creating their 2020 US election liveblogs.

    Pillar 1: First the planning, then the reporting!
    When it comes to reporting on an election, especially one as large as the 2020 US presidential election, there are a number things to keep in mind. The first is that planning is key. With so many events, resources, and opinions, it’s very important to present everything in a cohesive manner. Given the number of reporters needed for such a range of events and topics, it’s crucial for them to understand what their role is and how they can best work together. A good briefing is important for the team – so that they are flexibly prepared for anything and everything newsworthy that could come their way.

    Before the editors and journalists start writing, a consistent tone and style needs to be established. It should also be decided whether the liveblog is for something limited such as a speech or a debate or instead for a series of events lasting multiple days. This will help to determine how the liveblog is set up with regard to milestone posts. Milestone posts help to organise longer liveblogs by creating links to posts with clickable headlines that take the reader to specific parts of the liveblog, e.g. the Vice-Presidential debate. NB. While it’s easiest to create milestone posts while writing, this can also be added afterwards as well.

    Pillar 2: Multimedia storytelling – don’t just write it, show it!
    The upcoming election is set to be the media event of the year, largely in part because 2020 has been challenging for so many people, and for such a multitude of reasons. Even with the best written storytelling, the addition of multimedia content makes the headline more compelling and draws the reader deeper into the narrative. Integrated photo and video material make the election events more vivid and relatable. By embedding social media posts, the liveblog presents additional perspectives and demonstrates the relevance of the topic beyond its own medium.

    Arguably the best storytelling is done “close” to the source, or in other words, on location. Mobile reporters, who have direct access to liveblog reporting via the Live Blog app, can document the news right from the thick of things. The content produced, whether visual or textual, can be shared directly with the readers. This level of contact with the event means that the reporting is both more authentic and the liveblogs are filled with more unique content, thereby helping to further captivate readers.

    Pillar 3: The best content needs to be findable!
    By nature, a liveblog is a medium which presents live updates to readers in a clearly laid out and readable format. The value of the liveblog is based on readers having access to the updates when they want them most, which is usually during the event itself. Even if the liveblog is still interesting and relevant afterwards, the key takeaway here is that the liveblog needs to be advertised on the website where readers can easily find it. This includes other relevant articles listing the liveblog in the recommended reading section for related articles and vice versa. Thus, the reader is provided with a complete offering of information that is of interest to them. In addition, particularly relevant news can be highlighted in the liveblog while it is being written (or even afterwards) by marking posts as important. Another important thing to keep in mind is to make sure that the internal search on the website recognizes words like “liveblog” or “liveticker”.

    When it comes to articles being “findable”, this doesn’t just refer to the liveblogs on the organisation’s website, but also on the web. Thanks to some recent SEO updates, including AMP Prefetch and Styled (CSS) Prefetch, liveblogs can be more easily found by Google, thereby increasing reach and ultimately monetisation as well.

    Test our user-friendly digital reporting liveblog technology today! Try it out for free for 30 days and share your election coverage live!
  • 9/28/20 10:48 AM

    AMP Prefetch: Amp Up Your Liveblogs!



    With any big news story, such as elections, multiple news outlets are all presenting their own version about the same topics. Competition is extremely high and the likelihood of articles being buried by Google nearly as great. One of the best ways to solve this is to use cutting-edge SEO tools to ensure that the news stories find their way to the top of the page. AMP Prefetch is one of these tools.

    Accelerated Mobile Pages or simply AMP – arguably one of the most talked-about acronyms in the online publishing world – does exactly that and makes AMP-enabled Tickaroo liveblogs stand out even more. Here are a few facts about AMP Prefetch:
    • The AMP lightening symbol is a guarantee for fast mobile loading times. Users can quickly identify which of the search results will be fastest.
    • When a page is AMP-enabled it is saved in the Google AMP Cache which is what greatly increases its loading speed. It also eliminates the need for pre-rendering.
    • AMP improves the speed at which the liveblog is loaded which is an important ranking factor.
    An added benefit of having AMP pages is that your content can be displayed in the Google Search Carousel which essentially displays the news story as a calling card. This increases your reach and subsequently your traffic as well. While using AMP doesn’t mean that pre-fetch HTML isn’t required, by using both in tandem, it is much easier to increase your SEO and traffic. Even though AMP itself is very technical, implementing it is no more difficult than pre-fetch and certainly as useful, if not more!

    Set up your 30-day free liveblog trial in seconds!

    Contact us if you want to benefit from AMP Prefetch.

  • 9/28/20 9:26 AM

    Opinary Election Polls: The Perfect Addition to Your Liveblog


    Ask Your Readers
    There has been a growing trend for readers to engage more with stories: first it was with a letter to the editor, then the comment function, and now it’s all about polls. This is especially true when the topic is something particularly polarizing, such as the upcoming US 2020 election. For Tickaroo Live Blog partners with an Opinary plan, a poll can be set up. Then it only takes four simple steps until readers can start interacting even more with the live content.

    1. Click on the shareable link and then paste it in the text field in Tickaroo Live Blog.
    2. Wait a moment for the preview.
    3. Delete the URL after the preview appears.
    4. Post the liveblog entry

    Readers will be able to immediately begin responding to the interactive polls. Since liveblogs can contain multiple entries, a poll can be “promoted” by being marked as a milestone (with a link displayed at the top of the page) or as a sticky post (so that it stays at the top unless unmarked later on). Individual posts can also be shared on social media if the sharing function has been enabled. That way the poll can reach an even wider audience and also garner more views for the liveblog as well.

    Exit Polls, Debates, and the Beer Question
    When it comes to elections, the first thing that usually comes to mind are the exit polls. However, in the run-up to the big day, there are also countless of polls done, primarily by private companies, and often with varying results. Everything from who they think will win the election to how they feel about specific issues is all part of the mix. It’s these latter polls that are particularly interesting since they target the hot-topic themes that are central to every election and also have the most impact on how voters will decide (unless however you believe in the Beer Question). Even though the cross-section of respondents is limited, since only readers of the publication would see the poll, it’s still indicative of voter sentiment as there are no barriers to submit a response and it represents the general audience’s views.

    Do you already have a Tickaroo Live Blog account? Start adding Opinary polls to your live content today!

    Click here to sign up for your free 30-day Tickaroo Live Blog trial account!
  • 9/23/20 12:29 PM

    Why made.by?



    A small start-up to a solid company entering its tenth year. Two strong and innovative brands – Tickaroo & made.by Tickaroo – are paving the way forward.

    Up until now it’s always been Tickaroo. The one name represented a number of products and services. When asked by new contacts what Tickaroo did, it was always a careful balancing act of where to begin: with our SaaS products or our digital media services. Should we wow them first with names like Süddeutsche Zeitung, Der Spiegel, RTL, and heise online or with kicker, Red Bull Media House, and Verivox? While this is only one example of a more complex issue, Tickaroo as a company and name, really does stand for a variety of projects.

    New Name. New Look.
    On our previous website there wasn’t a concrete or visible enough presence where we could properly highlight what digital media projects we had been working on. Instead, the main focus was on our SaaS. Making the leap and fully embracing our agency persona was something that we had always struggled with. A chief concern is that there is sometimes a stigma associated with the word agency – people can assume that everything is project driven and focused on the bottom line. This year though, with the release of made.by Tickaroo we did just that, and we did it on our own terms.

    From Strength to Strength
    One of our main strengths as a company is our willingness and desire to embrace new ways of doing things, all while striving for digital excellence and retaining learnings from past projects. Ranked as one of Germany’s top special agency by kress pro since 2017, we continuously strive to set new creative and technological goals for ourselves. Matthew Ulbrich, CEO and “Chief Digital Excellence Officer”, leads the charge when it comes to innovative solutions: “User Experience is at the centre of Tickaroo's mission – fast-responding apps that even our grandparents understand and enjoy using are the ultimate goal that we're trying to achieve.”

    Looking Forward
    With so many challenges facing both people and businesses this year, the trend for companies and organisations to search out digital solutions is only continuing to grow. Whether our next projects are news or sports related, or perhaps even something new, we are looking forward to dedicating ourselves with the same energy and expertise as we have to all our ventures. By focusing on reliable technology and cutting-edge designs together with all other aspects of the project, we are able to make products for people and not just for users. Having already worked on so many exciting and innovative projects, we are even more optimistic when it comes to future cooperations.
  • 9/4/20 8:46 AM

    Consent Handling – How Tickaroo solved it!



    Why is consent handling becoming even more important? The short and the long answer is GDPR.

    When third-party content is included in a liveblog, if consent handling has not been enabled, the reader’s data is being unknowingly and/or unwillingly transmitted to the social media platform. That’s why it’s a topic that every platform or news site has to think about. Luckily our liveblog product provides several consent handling options to our partners so that they can choose which solution best fits their needs. While the first option is not recommended for most cases, the other points allow for flexibility with regard to compliancy.

    With Embed JS there are four main options when it comes to third-party content that is being embedded into the liveblog:
    • All third-party embeds can be enabled without consent handling
    • All are disabled without consent handling
    • Integrated consent handling available with our liveblog’s EmbedJS
      • This enables a small switch to be shown that allows readers to select which platforms may display content in the liveblog. Unless actively enabled, we will only show a GDPR-compliant preview of the tweet, post, or video.
    • Custom consent handling
      • If the webpage, into which the liveblog is integrated, already has consent handling, then the developers can write code to interact with the consent handling API of the liveblog’s Embed JS. The latter will “ask” the website for consent for each social media platform.
      • When we have e.g. a Tweet, and Twitter has already been disabled, the Embed JS will automatically display its 2-click consent switch. When the user clicks this to display the Tweet, the third-party embedded content will be visible, and the Embed JS will notify the website so that the consent handling can also be updated.
    There are definite drawbacks to the first two options: one is not GDPR compliant and the other could have a negative impact on the storytelling since not all content is being included that is necessary for the narrative. However, the last two points are not only compliant, but also accommodate our clients’ needs the most. In fact, the integrated consent handling 2-click switch, which we introduced earlier this year in anticipation of this issue, is not only the easiest but also the fastest solution for keeping liveblogs reader-friendly and GDPR compliant.

    For a more technical approach please refer to Tickaroo's Developers' Documentation.

    Our original post about 2-click consent handling can be found here.
  • 8/13/20 8:19 AM

    Three Cheers For Our Latest Three SEO Updates



    Our latest hot summer update further completes our SEO offering by adding styled prefetch to our recent AMP and schema.org releases.

    Prefetch
    SEO has always been an important topic for us, which is why we have long offered clients the option to further optimize their liveblogs with HTML prefetch. Typically, when a liveblog is integrated into a web page, the embed takes the data, e.g. the content from the liveblog posts, via JavaScript. For Google though the page appears to be empty, which in turn negatively impacts its ranking. To counteract this, we added HTML prefetch so that the liveblogs could still be indexed by search engines. The HTML prefetch essentially provides a page for search engines where the liveblog content is included. Until now this page was not styled, and therefore only visible for search engines.

    Styled Prefetch
    With our newest update, the client is able to pre-style the prefetched content with our Embed JS CSS styling. In essence, we provide the general styling of the Embed JS which can then be mirrored onto the pre-fetch page. The benefit of the styling is that the prefetch content can also be displayed to liveblog readers and no longer has to be hidden from them. This in turn leads the Google ranking to increase even more because it is also readable by people and not just search engines. Even though the prefetch liveblog is visible, it will not usually be seen by readers. However, there is an additional advantage to using this feature: if their connection is poor and their device is unable to correctly load the Embed JS version of the liveblog then the styled prefetch liveblog would be displayed. Together with AMP, schema.org, and now styled prefetch, Tickaroo Live Blog offers clients the tools to get their liveblogs to #1!

    If you want to improve your liveblog’s SEO, feel free to contact us!
    Click here to be taken to the Tickaroo Developers’ Documentation.
  • 8/11/20 8:50 AM

    Tickaroo makes Live Blog even more SEO-friendly!



    Our hottest summer updates are online and ready to be put to top journalistic use!
    Without further ado, here is everything that you need to know about AMP prefetch and schema.org so that you and your team can start benefiting from these features straight away.

    AMP Prefetch
    In line with our commitment to digital excellence, we always strive to develop and release feature updates, even before they become mainstream. This helps our customers maintain a competitive advantage. Accelerated Mobile Pages or simply AMP prefetch – arguably one of the most talked-about acronyms in the online publishing world – does exactly that and makes AMP prefetch-enabled Tickaroo liveblogs stand out even more.

    Here are a few facts about AMP prefetch:
    • The AMP prefetch lightening symbol is a guarantee for fast mobile loading times. Users can quickly identify which of the search results will be fastest.
    • When a page is AMP prefetch-enabled it is saved in the Google AMP Cache which is what greatly increases its loading speed. It also eliminates the need for pre-rendering.
    • AMP prefetch improves the speed at which the liveblog is loaded which is an important ranking factor.
    An added benefit of having AMP prefetch pages is that your content can be displayed in the Google Search Carousel which essentially displays the news story as a calling card. This increases your reach and subsequently your traffic as well. While using AMP prefetch doesn’t mean that prefetch HTML isn’t required, by using both in tandem, it is much easier to increase your SEO and traffic. Even though AMP prefetch itself is very technical, implementing it is no more difficult than prefetch and certainly as useful, if not more!

    schema.org
    Our second big summer SEO update focuses on schema.org. Firstly, what is it exactly? In essence, it’s a search engine-friendly readable version of your liveblog and is meta data that is saved to make it more accessible for search engines. It functions by providing the meta data via the API prefetch. Available as an additional setting to our Embed JS, it is not a feature that is offered with the standard Live Blog package.

    Recently we further improved the schema.org feature that we already offer by including social media content as well. For example, if there is an embeded Tweet in the liveblog, it will also have meta data attached to it as well and essentially mirrors the content in a search engine-readable format.

    For more information on how AMP prefetch or schema.org can be added to your liveblog pages, click here to contact us! Share this info with your developers!
  • 8/11/20 8:49 AM

    Opinary


    There has been a growing trend for readers to engage more with stories: first it was with a letter to the editor, then the comment function, and now it’s all about polls. Having recognized this shift, we’ve been busy working on a new feature update that provides a clean and simple way to include Opinary polls in liveblogs. For Tickaroo Live Blog partners with an Opinary plan, a poll can be set up. Then it only takes four simple steps until readers can start interacting even more with the live content.

    1. Click on the shareable link and then paste it in the text field in Tickaroo Live Blog.
    2. Wait a moment for the preview.
    3. Delete the URL after the preview appears.
    4. Post the liveblog entry

    Readers will be able to immediately begin responding to the polls. Since liveblogs can contain multiple entries, a poll can be “promoted” by being marked as a milestone (with a link displayed at the top of the page) or as a sticky post (so that it stays at the top unless unmarked later on). Individual posts can also be shared on social media if the sharing function has been enabled. That way the poll can reach an even wider audience and also garner more views for the liveblog as well.

    Do you already have a Tickaroo Live Blog account? Start adding Opinary polls to your live content today!

    Click here to sign up for your free 30-day Tickaroo Live Blog trial account!
  • 7/30/20 8:24 AM

    Generate Local News Liveblogs in 3 Clicks



    Tickaroo’s newest feature, the Live Blog Link, is the fastest way to integrate a liveblog into a website or distribute the real-time content. We’re not talking minutes here, we’re talking seconds.

    Liveblogs for Communities
    The decision of wanting to provide liveblog technology to cities and communities for an extended (and free) trial period also led to a new product update. Since municipal organisations are not set up the same way as a publishing house or sports club, we recognized that this group would also have its own specific requirements such as access to varying levels of technical support available to them. It’s for this new audience that we developed the Live Blog Link which is a pre-styled landing page. The liveblog is presented in a professional manner and time-saving format since no additional styling is required. Instead of having to rely on a developer to integrate the liveblog into a city’s homepage, it’s also possible for anybody who can add written content to the site to present and publish the liveblog landing page for their citizens.

    Three-Click Setup
    Being able to present official and accurate information in real-time helps to avoid confusion and the spread of misinformation. Updates can include everything from new health and safety measures and community initiatives to information about financial aid. By following these three simple steps it’s easy to create a link for the pre-styled landing page. After clicking on the liveblog that’s meant to be shared:

    1. Click on the "Preview & Embed" tab.
    2. Next, click on the “Live Blog Link” tab.
    3. Thirdly, click “Create Live Blog Link” so that the URL is generated.

    The URL can then be included as a hyperlink or as a landing page for a call to action (CTA) button. The link can also be quickly and easily posted on various social platforms such as Facebook or distributed via group chats (e.g. WhatsApp). Although this efficient way of sharing content was primarily developed for cities and communities, this feature is available for any organisation that has a Tickaroo Live Blog account.

    Sharing liveblogs has never been easier! Test it out for yourself and sign up for our free 60-day Community Live Blog test account.
  • 7/20/20 1:31 PM

    How to Monetize Your Liveblog



    In recent years the news industry has been busier than ever finding ways to re-market/invent/brand themselves for digital audiences. This doesn’t just apply to gaining and retaining readers but of course includes finding new ways to earn revenue from news content. Thanks to our close cooperation with the news industry, we’ve always designed our products with an emphasis on their needs, including monetisation. We’ve collected our top three tips on how to monetize liveblogs:

    Integrated Ads
    Did you know that one of the many features that we offer lets customers display their own ads in their liveblogs? It’s called CustomAd and allows the advertisements to be integrated into the liveblog and controlled via its original server such as Google AdSense. Available as an “ad”-on, it’s certainly one of the easiest ways to get liveblogs to be profitable for publishing houses. Ads can also be set up on the website itself so that they are displayed around the live content, further increasing potential revenue.

    Marketplace
    Tickaroo has its very own Marketplace where users can quickly and easily book reputable third-party content from providers such as dpa, kicker, and SID. What might not be as well-known is that Tickaroo clients can also offer their own liveblogs as well, thereby benefiting from the same content as many times as it’s booked!

    Retention Rates
    This last one might seem a tad obvious but it’s still just as valid: the longer a reader interacts with the liveblog, the higher the retention time is. This not only has a positive (read: financial) benefit for the ads being run, but also means that the reader is more likely to engage with the content by sharing it or even clicking on another story. The easiest way to keep retention times up is to stay true to the overarching storytelling style on the site and write the content in a captivating manner.

    *Added bonus: The new Live Blog link feature that we recently introduced, the page’s URL, or even individual posts can be shared on social media. This helps to improve reach, name recognition, and boosts traffic to the news site.

    If you have any questions about how liveblog content can benefit your site, don’t hesitate to contact us via support@tickaroo.com or try out your very own free liveblog trial today!
  • 7/8/20 8:21 AM

    Setting the Tone: Sie or Du



    Like numerous other companies that are based in Germany, and have international clients, we present our website in both German and English. Recently when re-doing our website and composing new texts, we asked ourselves not only the classic W questions, but also something a wee bit more complicated: Should we use the familiar Du or the formal Sie?

    As is the case with many business relationships here, conversations and correspondence with our clientele quickly jump into the “realm of Du”. However, since a website is often the first point of contact with potential clients, the question of whether to stick with the more formal approach or change it up and start with Du was presented. After all, our entire liveblog publishing platform uses the familiar form, so why couldn’t our website as well?

    For native speakers, or even those who have lived in a German-speaking country for a number of years (like myself), navigating the waters of grammatical politeness is usually second nature. However, when writing text for a website, it can be a trickier business. When discussing a possible switch from Sie, the discussion quickly centred around our personas – who will be visiting our website? Could the seriousness of our product – liveblogs for major publishing houses, sports associations, regional online news sites, and communities – be compromised by using Du? Could the tone be misconstrued as not taking our clients seriously enough? Has business German become informal enough to forget about Sie, even for a SaaS website?

    After some discussion, we chose to maintain the status quo – we decided that first contact with customers should be left “as is”. While it could be seen as playing it safe, using Sie isn’t about creating the perception of distance between people, it is about showing respect and establishing an initial connection with them. We felt that we would rather develop familiarity with website visitors, or in essence, start a relationship with them that contains the potential for further conversations where Du is willingly offered.

    About the author: Originally from Canada, Victoria has been living in Germany for nearly a decade and working for Tickaroo for the last three years. She would rather say “Du” instead of “Sie” and is still searching for a Bavarian word that somehow combines them both.
  • 4/3/20 8:57 AM

    Darts!



    It’s never been a better time to play a game of darts Tickaroo’s newest app update brings with it a much-anticipated sport template – darts. Dart fans from all over can now liveblog their games and share them on their social platforms, as a link via WhatsApp, or on their websites. Tap to instantly update followers about who is a leg ahead and who has won the set.

    Add messages, photos and videos to make your digital storytelling pop and include social media links or comments from your liveblog followers to engage even more! Our pro tip is to try out our instant replay video function so that you never miss a second of action.

    Click here to try it today!
  • 2/6/20 10:05 AM

    New Year, New Updates



    With the first month behind us we are happy to share some of the Tickaroo updates that we have been busy working on.

    First up, our new two-click system that lets the user decide if they want to view the integrated social media content or not. By having the choice to consume the content, the user is able to decide for themselves if they want their data to be sent to the external platform. This update is especially important for data privacy and can be activated when setting up a live blog or for pre-existing ones as well.

    Small changes have also been made to the login process as well as to organisation’s owners. When a user logs in they are now presented with a screen and the option to enter their standard account or their business one. This is especially useful for Tickaroo Free users who have upgraded their accounts to Season Pass. Until now, it has only been possible for one person to be registered as the organisation’s owner. So as to further improve the workflow of our partners, multiple people can now be designated as an owner thereby allowing them to also make changes to the organisation.
    • 2-click system can be selected for JS Embed (shown here as a preview) 2-click system can be selected for JS Embed (shown here as a preview)
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