I am currently working on a live blogging book and reached out to DJ Slim, the owner and creator of Idol Blog Live, for his story. I was intrigued by the fact that he live blogs Reality TV shows. And he was an early adopter. Starting in 2005, his site has grown in visitors, content and TV shows. Read more about DJ Slim and his passion for Idol Live Blog.
Why did you start blogging?
I started just plain blogging as a school project in September of 2004. We were asked to create a blog, and I set up a personal blog. I started posting about TV shows and that was all people were interested in. I had heard many things about American Idol. I had never watched it and decided to dive into a live type website aside from my personal blog. I opened idolbloglive.com at the start of American Idol in 2005 and started live blogging every episode. I have never missed an episode.
The blog have grown to include guest bloggers and numerous other shows like The Voice, Big Brother, So You Think You Can Dance and every award show on TV, all of which are live blogged.
Why did you start live blogging reality TV shows?
American Idol was the hottest thing on TV at the time I decided to open a new blog. There were really only a few people covering the Idol in the live blogging fashion so I figured it was a perfect thing to attempt. When thousands arrived for live blogs, I figured it was time to cover other reality TV shows since they are easy to blog and people are addicted. None [of them] produced what American Idol produced, but it does allow for a few extra people to get their weekly fixes.
I am kind of like a crack dealer for reality TV junkies outside the Eastern Time Zone or those stuck at work with only internet access during their favorite show. I help thousands of people get the information they seek sometimes hours before they would get to see it live, whether it is American Idol, The Voice or The Grammy Awards.
Which software do you use?
I started blogging with Moveable Type and quickly moved to WordPress.
What are the rewards?
The rewards have been amazing. I met a great group of regulars to the blog and we have become a little family. Some have become guest bloggers. Queen Angie blogs the Idol results show and So You Think You Can Dance. Many have become moderators. But the biggest reward the blog has given me is my own internet radio show with 2 of my American Idol regulars. This began and continues with a slot to talk Idol each week on the Idol Radio Show with Sir Darryl and Alan The Token White Guy to my very own radio show with Zip Allen and CB Snow (both of idolbloglive) about the Facebook game Farmville.
What are your challenges?
Honestly, the biggest challenge I have is finding the time to blog every episode. I am the father of a toddler and at times it is hard to fit the blogging duties in.
How do you promote your live blog?
Promoting the Live Blog has gone from nothing at all to using Facebook, Twitter and other social media to alert people that I have posted something or am about to Live Blog. With numerous regulars that share and tweet my posts, it is pretty easy to get the word out and get people to the blog.
How has your audience grown since you started?
When I first started blogging I was lucky to get a handful of people to read the blog. Now people start hanging out in the shoutbox an hour before Idol starts and for hours afterward talking about the performances or results.
In your opinion, what are keys to a successful live blog session – before, during and after?
There are a couple of important things that make for a successful live blog session or live blog in general. The first is making sure you never miss an episode. It makes no sense to build traffic to your blog and then start missing episodes. Your followers will leave for better waters. If you must miss an episode it is essential that you find someone to blog for you that night. The second most important thing is to be timely with your updates. I update within seconds of any performance or major announcement. That is what people are on the blog for – up to the second updates – and that is what I give them.
What traits do successful live bloggers possess?
Responsibility, multi-tasking and punctuality
Do you get paid for live blogging? If so, how?
The only income I make from the blog is through advertising like Google Ads.
Would you like to know about Idol Blog Live? Check out the site when you get a chance.