Curation is one of those buzzwords we all hear about today, but what does it mean exactly? New tools like Pinterest, Storify and Meograph make it easy to pull elements from social networks together to illustrate a theme or tell a story, whether you are a professional journalist or a local activist, a leader or a person with a story to share.
The most successful creators of Meograph and Storify pages are united by one thing: they’re skilled editors and curators who know how to look at content posted on multiple social networks and pull out the pieces that will best help them to tell a story.
Staci Baird, a journalist who currently is the Internet & Social Media Strategist for the Stanford School of Engineering, says “Aggregating, analyzing, providing context and insight is an important part of journalism today.”
According to Brandy Tuzon Boyd who runs Natomas Buzz, a hyperlocal news site for West Sacramento, Storify is one of the tools journalsits can use to easily wrangle contributed content and publish stories that involve their communities.
“I remember the first time I used Storify—I covered a blood drive,” says Boyd, who’s done 10 Storify pieces since she started in 2010 (see http://storify.com/natomasbuzz). “I used a hashtag and a lot of local Tweets. And it got a large audience.”
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Storify users agree that the platform has particular strengths in capturing almost real-time news,reflecting back popular memes– or themes—and sharing community views on incidents or personalities. For Steve Beatty and his team at The Lens in New Orleans, LA, providing almost real time information about the state budget hearings was a worthy experiment.
Anne Galloway and the VT Digger team used Storify to capture the movement of Hurricane Sandy into Vermont. In Charlottesville, VA, Brian Wheeler and the team at Cville Tomorrow experimented with Storifying live events, including a two future of cities/urban planning discussions held downtown. Despite a lack of images, more than 1,093 people viewed one of the planning stories; more that 2,900 viewed the other (see News n’ Brews: The Evolution of West Main (with images, tweets) · cvilletomorrow · Storify http://bit.ly/Uwb5XU) .
Storify is good for capturing popular memes as well. CNN, for example, created a Storify tracking reader responses to the discovery that college football star Manti T’eo’s dead girlfriend was not a real person.
The community team at CBC News in Canada has done some excellent curation using Storify around popular memes. Andrew Yates, Andrea Lee-Greenberg, Lauren O’Neil and John Bpwman are all experienced news producers whose job is to shape and curate community content. One of their best Storifys is about Psy, the Korean pop star who launched Gangnam Style; see ‘Gangnam Style’ goes gangbusters: South Korea’s catchiest pop export. More than 51,000 people read this story.
Storify is also a terrific way to quickly aggregate breaking news from Twitter and other social media. Al Jazeera got international attention for their Storify of protests in Egypt and of Tunisians’ struggle to keep the reform movement energized. Hyperlocal site The Sacramento Press shared breaking news on a small scale with their Storify Arden Fair back open after teens start huge ruckus in food court (with images, tweets).
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