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Hacking Media Production Podcast: Using Storify to Produce Content

on May 8, 2013

Interview with Burt Herman (Time 20 min) co-founder of Storify on how users are using his product to assemble articles.

Two and a half years ago at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference I interviewed Burt Herman (@burtherman), cofounder of Storify (@Storify), about the beta launch of his new product that allows anyone to drag and drop elements from the social web to craft what one journalist dubbed a “frankenstory.” The idea cropped out of the realization that since everyone had the ability to publish all types of media from any device, then everyone was potentially a reporter. Now that a few years have passed, and Herman has launched a paid VIP version of Storify, I came back to revisit the story of Storify and see what has changed.

New and old ways to use Storify to build articles quickly

Quickly assemble social assets to tell your story: Storify’s core service is its ability to let you drag-and-drop in all images, text, tweets, and other social assets from the social Web into a blog post so you can quickly create a story. Your job as the writer is to add some written context around each item you drag into your article.

Use more voices in your story: With so many voices speaking and their thoughts and opinions so readily available, you can include many different voices in your story.

Uncovering the best of trending stories: When big stories hit, who’s providing the best information in terms of the best article, photo, and video? Storify is now analyzing trends and usage of its product to see which content gets used the most.

Prompt your audience: Instead of just searching for reactions, Herman has noticed that many journalists are using his product as an engagement tool by first asking questions of their audience. They are looking for content on a certain topic so they ask their audience for their feedback and then use those social responses back into their story.

Store social information: Another way the Storify audience is using the product is to store responses based on a given topic. It’s the easiest way to collect the way people are reacting on a certain issue. No context, just often a well chosen sample list for responses. Often this is used as a business development or marketing tool. Both the Romney and Obama campaign used Storify to see how people were reacting to certain issues.

Remember to add context and check your sources: Often he sees people using Storify to drag and drop tweets and then hitting the “Publish” button. He knows he shouldn’t be upset about people actively using his product, but he wants people who use his product to still behave like journalists. Add some context to the content you’re adding with a short description and actually click through a tweet to see who these people are.

A blog post doesn’t have to be static: People are interested in watching stories evolve. One of the new features of Storify’s new VIP product is live updating that allows you to constantly add new content and that will be automatically reflected on the readers’ page. They don’t need to refresh or do anything. Your readers will know that your site will always have the most updated information.

Customize the look and design: The new VIP product allows for a greater level of customization. This is designed for larger media publishing houses.

Doesn’t have to be bound to one website: Storify stories can be embedded anywhere just like embeddable videos.

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