I’m going to attempt to live-blog how to make a live-blog with a Google Doc.

You can tweet your questions to me @ivanlajara or post a comment below.

This is caused by the recent discovery that CoveritLive will begin to charge.

I’m trying to find if this way is a reliable method and easy enough to do.

So here goes nothing.

1. Log in to your Google account. Hit Drive and create a Google Doc.

2. Hit File, page setup. and change the paper size to A5 and margins to 0. (That will make the frame fit on this blog and others, usually 600 pixels wide).

3. On top right of your doc. Hit Share and make your document ‘Public on the Web’

4. Copy that link to share and paste it in this iframe generator. Make sure you have scrolling on.


Alternatively, just add the URL into the following code:

<iframe src="HERE GOES THE URL FOR YOUR DOCUMENT" name="frame1" scrolling="auto" frameborder="no" align="center" height = "1000px" width = "600px">


5. Copy that code and paste it in the source (HTML) part of your story. The set up is done.

As you can see here, the document is live and you can witness my typing (and even my thought process as I do this, which is kind of freaky). If you prefer, and many might, you can alternatively hit “File“ and then “Publish to Web” and get that URL. It updates every 5 minutes (or manually, if you choose).

OK, so you are done. And now you have an empty page on your website that you can type on.

But oh, there’s more. Here are some of the things you can do now that you have a live page.

Let’s talk mobile.

If you have a mobile device (I think they call it ‘phone’) you can actually send updates from it.

Android users have the upper hand, because there is a Google Drive app.

Basically, get the app, log in, click on your document and type. Better yet, TALK TO IT!

I’ll make a little video of this to show you how easy it is. I’ll post the link here.

iPad users: Use the browser. Visit http://drive.google.com, log in and hit edit at right. Seriously.

I just typed that with an iPad. (iPhone people, I could use some help if there’s an app for this out there, otherwise the same steps apply as in the iPad, though it’s admittedly more cumbersome.

Pros and cons.

You can take photos with your phone and send them to Google Drive. Or tweet them. The problem here is that you can’t upload to the feed alone from the phone. You’re going to need a laptop or desktop to use the ‘Insert image’ button.

You can add collaborators. This is a Google document, after all. All the people you invite will be able to participate.

The simplest way I envision doing this is to do the 5-step set-up on a laptop and then work on the document with time stamps, like this:

7:13 p.m.: This is a time stamp. I just posted this.

7:14 p.m.: This is another time stamp.

Then you can take a picture with your phone, send it to Drive or tweet it and grab it with your laptop to post it. If you’ve been watching this, you’ve probably noticed you can resize the images.

You cannot add embeddable content. This means tweets, videos, scribd docs, maps, etc., cannot be added to your content, though you can link.

If you have more than one participant. You’ll see their cursors in different colors.

Trust and miscommunication might be an issue, so you might want to do this solo, as I’m doing right now.

At the end of the live blogging session, change the embed to the ‘Published to Web’ one, as it will be static.