Storify is one of the most creative and intuitive platforms on the web for creating written content. So, as the official Storify Editors for Dawn of the Unread, we thought we would share some useful info with you over here on the blog!
If you’re thinking about using Storify, or maybe you’ve never even heard of it but are intrigued, this is the place for you.
So, lets start off by answering the question that many of you may be asking: What is Storify? Storify is an online tool that you can use (for free) to write your own content whilst including a range of other media from the Internet to enhance it. For instance you can use tweets, pictures from Instagram, YouTube videos, and links to other websites and blogs from right inside Storify. The ethos behind Storify is the web is awash with content and so this is an aggregation tool that allows you to drag existing content into one place. If this still doesn’t make much sense, watch the video below.
Here’s a quick look at what you’ll see when you start a draft. The right hand side is where you’ll get all your media.
Along with the vast amount of multimedia you can use, what we particularly like about Storify is how easy it is to redorder your text and media by simply dragging it to where you’d like. Probably the most useful feature, and one of our favourite, is that once you publish your story, you are abe to notify people on Twitter, using either the standard tweet given to you or a personalised version. This draws people to your Storify page – talk about quick and easy marketing! Our top tip is this: try and drag in tweets from a wide variety of users. Somebody with a couple of hundred followers is far more likely to retweet and share their inclusion on Storify than someone with a million followers who will probably be too busy to take much notice.
What we will say however, is that you need to be specific when you’re searching for content from social media and websites. For example, if you want to include a video from YouTube, you are very unlikely to get what you’re looking by simply typing in part of the title (or sometimes even the actual title), so we would advise you to go and find the URL and paste that into the YouTube search bar in Storify.
It’s worth mentioning that we all have different levels of engagement with social media, so try to find out if the people you are targeting are dippers, skimmers or divers. A dipper is typically someone who checks their FB page now and then. A skimmer is someone who checks over content, leaves comments on forums and enjoys casual involvement when it suits them. A diver is a webmaster or someone who creates a forum. They are passionate and devoted to their social media presence. Taking the time to find the right kind of audience as well as the right kind of people to engage with your project could dramatically increase visitors to your website and save you a lot of time.
After having honed our Storify skills, here are our top tips if you’re thinking of using Storify:
- Make sure you have a Twitter account – you wont be able to find tweets to include, or notify people it you don’t have it.
- Embrace the freedom you have. Storify is about creating interesting articles full of content. Unlike other traditional forms of press, which have huge blocks of text, Storify lets you break up information with other forms of media.
- If you know a particularly source you want to use, for example tweets from a particular person, take note of who they are. If you already know their handle it will save you time (though don’t be afraid to search a general topic – you can find some interesting things).
Before joining Dawn of the Unread as part of a placement module at Nottingham Trent University, we had not really used Storify before, and therefore had to learn the ropes pretty quickly. We were to create professional, entertaining and informative posts (and like to think we have succeeded). Although our role was initially to create content for each of the 16 issues of Dawn of the Unread, we were given the freedom to write about our own ideas inspired by the project, giving us the chance to talk about what we are passionate about. Some our favourite posts that we wrote are on censorship and local literary achievements in Nottingham.
We are really enjoying writing for Dawn of the Unread, and hope it shows. Here’s a link to the Storify page, you should go take a look.
Dawn of the Unread is a graphic novel celebrating Nottingham’s literary history. It was created to support libraries and bookshops. It began life online and won the Teaching Excellence Award at the Guardian Education Awards in 2015 and has since been published by Spokesman Books (2017). All profits go towards UNESCO Nottingham City of Literature.
- Storify (storify.com)
- Storify as a curation tool to build digital narratives (socialmediaforlearning.com)
- How to create stories using Storify (journalism.co.uk)
- Curation as a tool for teaching and learning (storify.com)
- Curator, Twitter’s answer to Storify (thenextweb.com)
- An effective curation tool for journalists? (journaristic.wordpress.com)
- Dawn of the Unread on Storify (storify.com)