Using Storify to explain Storify

By Shaamini Yogaretnam

Karen Unland teaches Storify at MediaCamp Edmonton on Feb. 4, 2012 at World Trade Centre Edmonton.

EDMONTON — Storify, a social-media curation tool, was launched in 2011 by Xavier Damman and Burt Herman. In the span of one year, it has become a highly-used tool for journalists. Initially, only journalists who belonged to news organizations could get an account. Now, any user can create an account and curate social media content varying from reactions to Beyonce and Jay-Z’s bundle of Blue Ivy to today’s MediaCamp Edmonton sessions.

“It restores order to chaos,” said Karen Unland, journalism educator and avid Storify user.

Journalists might be feeling some social-media fatigue but Storify is a tool that uses other platforms to get content and then publishes this curated form to those same platforms and can even be embedded on a story page.

What is Storify good for? 

  • restoring order to chaos
  • turning bits into narrative – this is what journalists have been doing for years, turning facts into a narrative and making the connections between stories to find larger patterns and trends
  • adding context – Storify can give you the room to make your tweets accurate when immediacy gets in the way of real context.

“A hundred and forty characters is just enough to get you in trouble,” Unland said. When you’ve made an error through what you’ve implied or directly said but can’t risk deleting that social media content, Storify gives you the do-over to add the context back in.

  • collecting what the community is saying when you ask them to “send us your stuff” – asking readers to contribute content on social media is a great tool for community engagement but what happens when the user wants to see what you did with the image they supplied or the experience they shared? Storify lets you pool all of those resources in one location.
  • combating the ephemerality of Twitter – Twitter loses its memory as frequently as every seven days. When Twitter is your note-taking or reporting tool, once your tweets are gone, so are your notes and your stories. Storify changes that and preserves a record.

Unlike traffic on social media sites, curating the content and embedding Storify on a story page can directly serve your news organization.

“Embedding serves all the ads,” Unland said. You don’t need to worry about sending moneymaking traffic away and can build up your social media brand at the same time.

You can find this Storify presentation online here.