A new way to do social media arrives with Storify by creating automatic stories from a user’s chosen social sources. They recently won the top award for social media at this year’s SXSW Interactive Festival. Their contribution includes more than 1,000 stories built in five days about SXSWi. After coming out of private into public beta during April 2011, the site’s use of storytelling continues to grow on the belief that great stories can change the world.
As seen, this tool enables professional and citizen journalists to craft multimedia narratives by dragging and dropping. The two column interface allows the user to see the text or photo input and drag it to the left column. Then the user adds their own headlines, text, and rearranges elements to make the story one cohesive narrative. The final story can then be shared via Storify or embedded into a blog post. Users of Storify can also discover by searching hashtags, see featured topics on the homepage, and subscribe to other users’ stories.
In particular, Storify makes a great platform for specific types of stories. The first being the social movement. For instance, the Arab Spring story discusses whether or not social media outlets are replacing traditional communications and propaganda tools to spark revolution. The breaking news story is also generated easily within Storify. Recently, reporters in New York were evicted by the NYPD for the second time from Zuccotti Park while attempting to capture the newest Occupy Wall Street #M17 rally. Another piece easily stitched together by Storify is that of the Internet meme. One user creates stories featuring the best of Twitter called Super Tuesdays in which he pokes fun at various pop culture icons or presidential candidates. Lastly, Storify curates the the reactions of individuals toward hot news or can capture a conversation based around a response to a question posed. One such Storify shares Twitter user’s feelings about the recent passing of iconic pop star Whitney Houston.
If Storify sounds like a tool for you the journalist, check out their guided tour or see the video below!