Last week Storify opened up for public beta. I had an account beforehand but had not really used it, so I was prompted by the public beta to give it a go -so (drum roll) here’s my Royal Wedding Story. And now I’ve used it, I’m in luuurve!

What is Storify? Its a mashup tool that is ‘a way to tell stories using social media such as Tweets, photos and videos. You search multiple social networks from one place, and then drag individual elements into your story. You can re-order the elements and also add text to give context to your readers.’


Perfect for journalism or content curation, its a great way to grab the best tweets, pics and videos from an event or topic before they are filed away in the archives of history somewhere. Also useful for case studies or for bloggers.


The drag and drop interface makes it super easy to select and format the snippets you want to grab. You can create a Storify account by using your Twitter login, and then whoopee you are away.


During the royal wedding the tweets on the hashtag #RW2011 were spinning down the screen like a poker machine. I had Tweetdeck, Twitter, YouTube and Twitpic all open. Using Storify I grabbed the tweets and pictures as I saw them, dragged them into a story and sorted them from there. You can also get Chrome extensions for Storify so you can tag content from within any Chrome tab and import into your selected Story (or create a new one).


You can also drag Facebook posts, Flickr photos, YouTube videos, Google searches, RSS feeds, Slideshare presentations and URLs. Adding your own text is easy, as is reordering the content, deleting or adding more later on as I did when the official portraits were released.

One nice feature is that the data is preserved in its original format so that readers can still interact with it eg reply, retweet or comment on the original element – unlike a screen grab which might have been used as an alternative. Here is the Storify demo which explains the features further.



There are a few features that would be useful – such as being able to search for @mentions in tweets,  or have the option for selecting images only in my timeline not just Twitter searches. It also doesn’t offer easy embedding of the finished product into Blogger, but does for Tumblr, Posterous and WordPress. It also won’t work in some older browsers ‘from the last century’ so download an update now if you are committing that sin!


Storify provides a Notify feature after publishing allowing you to notify the original authors via Twitter that you have used their content in your story. Its optional, and while there is debate about whether its spam or not, it also allows you to spread your story virally. 


My verdict is that Storify is a fabulously easy tool for blogging, journalism and recording events that happen in social media as the royal wedding did. Here’s my final Story of the tweet, photo and video highlights from the day.


And while we are chatting about the royal wedding, wasn’t it great to see the royal family embracing the use of social media just as a modern wedding should? We were able to see Clarence House chatting to Westminster Abbey via Twitter on the morning of the wedding, receive announcements on what the Queen was wearing at the same time as the media via the official blog, keep up to date with the events as they happened, even watch the official videos on the royal wedding channel just hours after the ceremony. And watching it live with all your friends on Twitter or Facebook made it very social and adds another a dimension to such a special occasion


All the best Will and Kate, thanks for sharing so much of your special day with us.


    

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