Friday, May 18, 2012

The best of Storify

There is this nifty little app called Storify that increasingly more journalists are tinkering with. It's a way to tell a story using web elements: Tweets, Facebook posts, links, blog excerpts, pictures, maps, Pinterest -- you name it.

When I imagine the future of "print" journalism, I see something like this.

So now the question is how to use it right?

As Poynter explains it, "Storify can turn news into conversations." This works best for highlighting social media, event reactions, quoting direct sources and documenting an experience.

Here is my latest Storify experiment, which will run alongside my full story on the topic:

The "go-nowhere generation?" Are today's young adults really going nowhere with their lives?

Poynter also lists its favorite five ways to use Storify:  Social movements, breaking news, Internet humor, reaction stories and weather reporting.

Here is my list of ways to use Storify, with some of my favorite stories.


* A visual way to organize information. Here is an easy-to-read compilation of a ton of info (including scanned documents, maps, links and videos) on a newsy story. 

* As a slideshow. Adding '/slideshow' to any storify will make a slideshow of your post. The last slide is the embed code. I really like this because I think it solves one of the biggest problems with Storify: the tedious scrolling down the page.

* A way to tell the story largely through the words of others.

* Or through the images/videos of others. Here is a great, new way to cover weather stories.

* A first-person story/travelogue. This is the reporter's tale of Bike to Work Day. This type of story works well because it sort of flows geographically. Journalist John Brewer put it perfectly when he said Storify is great to add breadth, but not necessarily depth, to a story.


* A way to do man-on-the-street questions (but online), or gather community reaction to a story (and pair the Storify with your story. For example, Longmont has a new pole dancing studio. Along with a story about the opening of the studio, ask the community via Twitter/FB what they think about it and Storify their responses). This sort of reminds me of reader comments, yet put together in a meaningful way.
Here is a compilation of Twitter reactions to Obama's announcement that he supports gay marriage: 

* A way to report information when the reporter can't be on the scene. An example might be a wildfire/natural disaster or an event in another state.

* As a timeline/chronology.

* For fun

* To pile up resources/links and related stories.

* As a first-person account of an experience. (Might be a great way to do a workout of the week or even dining review. I would love to see a dining review like this.)

* As a way to drive traffic to the news site in different ways. Always link back to the news website and possibly to a folo story that will be online and in print. Add links to other stories that could be related, too. 

* A way to organize and present Pinterest photos.