Storify: how it works for curating by-election stories

Curation has become rather a buzzword in the last couple of years, with the idea that there is a niche for people and brands who curate content for their audience. With the huge volume of content available online, selecting, sorting and presenting the most interesting is a way to increase your audience and to keep it happy. As long of course as there is enough decent content in the first place to select from and to curate, without everyone ending up curating each other in an incestuous circle full of cross links and short of content.

Alongside the buzzword has come a plethora of different online tools promising to make curation easier, quicker, better, more social media friendly, more SEO-optimised and also to trim your waistline at the same time.

All of which is why I thought I’d take the opportunity of the Eastleigh by-election to give Storify a good trial run. I’ve dabbled with it a bit before and liked what I’ve seen others do with it (such as Caron). The appeal is that it makes it very easy to select content, sort it and add a little commentary.

That’s the theory. And the practice? Pretty good.

It’s been quick and convenient to use. One significant gremlin has been the option to add a link direct to your story. Much of the time I’ve used it, Storify has timed out the first time I have tried to add the link, working properly only on the second attempt.

The other annoyance, which is rather greater but more a matter for WordPress (and possibly my configuration) rather than Storify, is that if you pick the option to export a story directly to your WordPress blog all works fine – except if you then subsequently edit the story in WordPress, such as to add some tags. When I do that, the Storify code gets mangled and stops working.

There’s also a question about how well Storify collections work on tablets and mobiles. My direct experience so far has been good. That’s not been the case for all my readers however.

Certainly something worth persevering with.

You can see my uses of Storify for the Eastleigh by-election so far here:

UPDATE: Alas, Storify also showed the risks of putting your data in third-party systems, as in 2018 the service was closed. They did at least provide advanced warning and a decent set of export options, but even so it’s an example of why I like to have so much of my content on this site, where it’s up to me what continues not up to someone else.


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