Storify: There’s a reason it’s garnering a lot of attention

One of the most exciting free online tools out there for journalists right now is Storify, a curation tool that rounds up social media posts, including tweets and Facebook posts, YouTube videos and other media, and allows the user to mesh them together to tell a story.

It’s a fantastic service, and very easy to learn. I did my first one on my own outdoors blog regarding a chain of fires happening in the Grayling area. I was amazed at how detailed the search could be, limiting the tweet range to as few as 10 kilometers and as much as 100 kilometers. The ability to pull so many different networks and content is a huge plus. Sometimes, a single medium doesn’t do the trick, and Storify does its best to pull from many sources.

A new exciting feature comes from Storify realizing its forte is in breaking news coverage. It’s a go-to tool for news happening on the fly, both nationally and internationally. So it recently launched a partnership with BreakingNews.com, an aggregate service that collects and distributes breaking news from around the globe. It’s a nice addition to any big, breaking story.

I’ve found it to be a useful tool with localizing big stories people are talking about, as well as big local stories and events. I compiled a localization of the reaction of people near Ann Arbor during the Casey Anthony murder verdict, where she was found not guilty. It was interesting to see how resident in our area built up to the drama of the case, and their reaction once the verdict came back in. It showed an interesting dynamic, and one that didn’t take very long to compile.

Storify is attracting much attention. Earlier this year, it won the Knight-Batten award for Innovations in Journalism, along with an additional $10,000 in funding. It’s a great alternative to the traditional story, allowing your readers and others the ability to become the story, without being intrusive. It gives the opportunity for the story creator to add text for context throughout, but it’s still very user-driven, a plus in today’s communications society.

What have you used Storify for? Let me know in the comments below. Hopefully we can share some ideas.

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