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.
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:
- 2012 Super Bowl commercials by the Detroit News
- State of the Union 2012 by NBC Politics
- Tracking Journalist Arrests at Occupy Protests Around the Country – by Josh Stearns, chosen by Storify as its story of the year
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
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.
Read more on how to use Storify for Twitter chats.
Three important, semi-random notes
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Ask questions and curate answers. The LA Times asked What would you put in a homemade pop tart? This idea works best when you have a lot of followers or are a known participant in a popular Twitter chat.
- Storify news as it breaks over Twitter, as Jon Mitchell did in his How to Curate Conversations With Storify post.
- Illustrate a “How To”. Steve Garfield has at least two: Creating a Book with iBooks Author and Buying a Car with the Help of Google+.
- Unleash your inner journalist. Kelly Fincham, Assistant Professor of Journalism at Hofstra, shows in detail How to Use Storify for Journalism Education. Staci Baird, who teaches in the San Francisco State Journalism Department, lists 5 Rules for Journalists Using Storify.
- Got a tweet-happy neighborhood? Build a neighborhood blog using Storify’s geo-search feature.
- Make an “All About Me” or “All About This” biopic/topic, as Elana Zak did to make an interactive resume.
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:
- How Marketers Can Use Google+ (with a Special Nod to Hangouts)
- Two Easy To-Do’s Before 2012 Kicks Into High Gear
- Do’s and Dont’s of Community Manager Rock Stars
* 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.