Show me the Storify

Josh Stearns makes sense of this thing called Storify, something I’ve long dismissed as a distraction. But the Free Press reporter’s ongoing monitoring of journalist arrests in Occupy protests works well with Storify’s concepts. Stearns is able to continue adding to the story and keep a running tally of arrests and police actions, even as the protests have lost much of the attention they did towards the end of last year. Stearns said, “Right now (Storify has) been used as a sidebar, not a main bar. The question is less than how will Storify will change journalism but soc media change journalism, and that’s an open question.”

The Daily Beast used the Komen Foundation’s political gaffe towards Planned Parenthood funding as the basis of a Storify. It organized the Storify into three segments: the plea for funding, the political backlash and subsequent turmoil at Komen because of the foundation’s own politics. I thought it provided a great mix of tweets and charts and multimedia to show the dynamic nature of this debate that emerged and then the reversal of the initial decision late last week. For stories that can change by the hour as this one did, Storify works well to keep people updated who don’t have the time to watch their Twitter feeds change or read a new news article on the hour.

PipelinePG, an offshoot of the Pittsburg Post-Gazette focused on natural gas drilling, centered their Storify on President Obama’s energy remarks during his State of the Union address a couple weeks ago. They used a combination of media sources such as NPR and groups like FracFocus.org as well as individual tweeters. They also incorporated the Post-Gazette’s infographics and video of the SOTU. It’s all really effective and well-orchestrated. It makes reading any story by them on this topic pretty much unnecessary.

I’ve already been able to use Storify for a hot topic-ish story for BostInno. It’s a great addition for capturing public opinion and what else is being buzzed about on social media platforms. Like Stearns said, how the public takes to it for their own use is up in the air. For journalists, though, it’s something we should all figure out how to incorporate.

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