How to build real-time coverage into apps

Nearly half of consumers get their news from mobile devices. To capture those readers, a lot of Rock Content’s clients have built custom apps for phones and tablets; some have even incorporated our API — the building blocks of our tool  —  to push real-time coverage out to readers.

The Seattle Sounders Football Club created an app that includes a real-time component called The Pulse, with live game reports and audience engagement powered by Rock Content. (They love Scribble so much they even made a commerical).

Canadian sports network The Score created a slick-looking iPhone app (pictured) that pushes real-time game notifications, reporter play-by-play and fan chats out to readers. They’ve also appointed some fans to become official livebloggers, which means The Score can provide simultaneous liveblogs of every single game it covers — not just the ones its reporters are at.

Every week, Citytv runs liveblogs to accompany episodes of The Bachleor and Bachelorette. Now, with its new Citytv Social Stream iPad app, readers can connect, chat and learn about their favourite shows in real time, otherwise known as the “second screen experience.” The Canadian news organization used Rock Content’s API to create an app that alerts readers when new shows are about to start, and lets them chat with other Canadians as they watch. It’s a step beyond the white label liveblogs Citytv runs on its site. There’s a page with bios of the reality shows’ stars, episode previews and a dedicated Scribble-powered live chat page. The app developers even built a feature using our API that allows readers to submit photos right from the comment box. Social Stream also includes Scribble’s polling technology, which has a dedicated page within the app.

Then there’s The Economist. Instead of building an app to capture all of its U.S. presidential election coverage, it built a tablet web version called (pictured at left). It allows readers to flip through pages of stories; liveblogs are given the same real estate other features get. Click through, and you’re presented with a beautiful full-page spread that leads you into the embed version of the liveblog. Keeping with their no-byline rule, reporters log into the liveblog with anonymous avatars in different colours and refer to each other by the colour instead of a name.

The conclusion: If you’re not serving your mobile addicts, you’re missing a significant chunk of your readership.


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