Online Debate Commentary Tools Make Heckling Candidates That Much Easier

05/25/2011 12:45 pm ET

Live blogging debates has become commonplace, finely tuned in the stream of primary debates. This week, bloggers are taking it up a notch with social networking and video tools. Virtual debate-watch parties just got easier. Twitter and Current TV are working together to tweet the debates on TV. Anyone who registers the hashtag #current in their twitter feed could get picked-up by Current TV (current on Twitter.) Twitter has also developed an Election 2008 page that covers presidential election-related feeds from Twitter users including a wide range of remarks about Obama, Biden, McCain and Palin.

VoterWatch is launching their new in-video blogging technology for use with the debate videos at their US Presidential Debate Project site. For those familiar with VH1's Pop-Up Video, it works like that, only bloggers put the quotes into the video feed for publication on their blogs. Since the videos are not available live for editing, it must be done after the fact, but the in-video blogging still a great new tool for direct commentary.

Live blogging and chatting services like CoverItLive can be utilized for bloggers to contribute active content during the television coverage to share and discuss their views of the events. Whereas blogs like Daily Kos and BlogHer always have open threads for discussing what's going on, the live chat tools differentiate between the bloggers from the site and guests. Sometimes the live chat tools aren't as easy to use as just contributing to open threads on blogs, but they provide a casual minute-by-minute repartee that allows viewers to feel more like they're in the same (virtual) room.

As if we didn't already have enough coverage on the TV networks and the blogs, now we have even more options for getting into the nitty gritty. Now we can call out lies inside the video and directly link video clips to fact-check sites and other resources. In real time, we can read brief thoughts from policy experts and see raw feedback from people watching around the globe. If John McCain blinks, you can bet it will be tallied in a Twitter feed.

Note: For all of the debates, the author will be using CoverItLive at, participating in the open thread at BlogHer, tweeting as 'sairy' and providing follow-up in-video blogging for and at