After a successful private beta run, Storify is officially online for anyone to create an account to tell stories with social media. Storify presents and organizes news related items, so anyone can build and embed their own storyline of tweets, YouTube clips, Flickr photos and other social media elements. Storify’s successful run in private beta generated 13 million views since September 2010 and 4.2 million views just in March, the web site’s biggest month yet.
The private beta users, including The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post, created 121,000 stories on 5,100 sites. In an open letter announcing the web site’s official launch, Storify wrote, “more people have the chance to tell stories in this new form, and be part of the future of storytelling online.”
Once you create a Storify account, you can drag social media elements into a timeline. You form a script of your story as you add your own context around selected items. When you’re done, you can embed it wherever you like.
“We have so many real-time streams now, we’re all drowning,” founder Burt Herman told the NY Times. “So the idea of Storify is to pick out the most important pieces, amplify them and give them context.”
The new Al Jazeera show, The Stream, even uses Storify to script its live shows. For instance, a recent segment about the fear of Islam in the United States included YouTube videos, Twitter posts and paragraphs from essays on web sites and blogs.
While hard news publishers are using Storify, other media outlets like marketing and PR firms can use the social media site as well.