Storify: Collect Social Media Sound Bites Into a Coherent Story

Jan 31st, 2012No Comments

I love finding a quick, easy tool (read: no steep learning curve) that saves time and improves my work.  So I was happy to try Storify, a free web-based tool that lets you tell stories with social media.  With Storify, it’s easy to piece together a compelling, attractive story about an event by cherrypicking your – and others’ – tweets, Facebook posts, YouTube videos, etc.
The Detroit News storified the upcoming Super Bowl commercials
Time recently listed Storify as one of the 50 best websites of 2011.   It has been in public beta since April 2011.

What does a storified story look like? Some recent examples:

With Storify, you’re both the curator and publisher of your topic’s online presence and relevant social media posts. You’re also the editor because you can add context and comments throughout the story.  In a Twitter chat, for example, you might choose to highlight interesting side conversations, or get rid of them altogether to keep your story brief.

How to use Storify

This welcome video shows how to use Storify, as does this post by Claire Diaz Ortiz, which matches my first Storify experience to a tee and gives a step-by-step screenshot walk-through.

Possibly the easiest way to use Storify is to summarize a Twitter chat or other tweetable event.  You simply search on the hashtag, drag and drop your favorite tweets and images, write a heading and you’re done.* That’s what I did in my first story last week, where I summarized the Google+ for Business Tech Talk.

As shown below, once I’ve published my story, I can share it on Twitter or Facebook, and notify the people I’ve quoted.

Storify's share and notify screen

(When a person's profile is grayed out, it means we don't mutually follow each other on Twitter, so they won't be notified, which is nice and anti-spammy.)

Read more on how to use Storify for Twitter chats.

Three important, semi-random notes

  1. The links inside any story are active hot links, allowing readers to dive into people’s profiles and even retweet or reply directly from the story.
  2. Once published, you can continue to edit the story to update the content.  This is what Josh Stearns did as the Occupy Protests continued, for example.
  3. If someone later deletes a tweet featured in a story, the tweet remains archived in the story.

Other bright ideas on how to use Storify

Can you think of other ways to use Storify?  Any upcoming events you might want to storify?


Other blog posts you might be interested in:

* When there’s a firehose of information in a Twitter chat, like #blogchat for example, it’s much more time-consuming to curate the most representative tweets and/or amplify the voices that matter most to you.  For example, Harvard Business Review regularly storifies its tweet-rich #HBRchat twitter chats.


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