How Storify can help you make the most of your content

Storify, as I suggested in my previous post, addresses a problem faced by many newspapers.

Reaction to stories they publish are not just left on your their own sites, they appear on third-party platforms too, specifically Facebook and Twitter.

Storify allows you to gather them together in one place.

Storify users build a story around things that have already been published online. On one side of its interface is a window where you can search for stuff that interests you, on the other is a window where you assemble all the elements you have found.

When you have finished you simply press a button to publish your story. You can also, if you wish, tick a box to automatically inform all the sources you have used. This helps spread the story virally.

Storify is ideal for whizzing around Twitter and Facebook picking up comments on stories published by your newspaper.

There is an example here of how I used it to pull together reaction to a story about a particularly unattractive building in Worcester.

The platform also allows you to embed your  storify into your own website, although it uses Javascript which is not supported by some in-house content management systems. You can also export an HTML version.

Here are some other ideas for using Storify:

Assembling background
Rather than publishing background to an online story using a traditional narrative approach, try using Storify’s Google search button to curate your own previously published material on the subject. You can add text between each link to help the flow.

Curating the work of an individual writers
Writers should be encouraged to use Storify to organise their own work post-publication. They can create collections based on single long-running stories, around themes, or simply chronologically. All this content can be republished and shared. Here is a good example of a writer chronicling the development of her own story.

Recycling stories for further hits
Try gathering together and republishing content such as the month’s most-viewed stories, stories published about a particular neighbourhood, or stories of particular interest to certain age or interest groups. Republish every story you have published about inspiring mums over the last year for a Mother’s Day special, or a full season of match reports, or simply a selection of stories that make people smile.

Live blog
Most large newspapers now have their own live blogging facilities, but Storify is a useful alternative. Gather external content using its search buttons, supplementing it with your own text. You cannot, as yet, upload your own pictures directly into Storify, but you can work round this by tweeting them or uploading them to Flickr and then bringing them in via a Storify search.

There must to dozens of other ways newspapers can make use of this versatile tool. I would love to hear your ideas. Add a comment below.


About John Wilson

Editor of Hereford Times, Ludlow Advertiser, Stroud News and Journal, Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard and Gloucestershire Gazette series. Journalist for more than 30 years.
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