Turning inner space into outer space

May 17, 2012

Exploring Storify: when does it work best with the news?

Sometimes Storify seems brilliant. Sometimes it seems like a solution in search of a problem. I have yet to decide which.

In the few weeks that I’ve been using the social media aggregator, it has seemed like a bright idea twice: when I used it for roundups of Twitter and Facebook posts for major events in Kamloops.

One was a fundraising run with thousands of participants called The Daily News Boogie. People spontaneously took to the Internet to talk about the experience and share pictures. A Storify roundup seemed the thing to do because I was able to report the news, or at least give an impression of it, while it was still fresh in everyone’s minds. Posts from participants revealed the raw energy generated by the event.

I embedded the Storify in the Kamloops Daily News website within an hour of the end of Boogie, and this likely led to its popularity. People who had just finished the run were eager to know how other runners fared.

The other time I thought I was onto something good was when the Kamloops Blazers junior hockey team fell short of an amazing playoff comeback — but impressed fans nonetheless. There were a lot of congratulatory posts that night. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to do a Storify until the next morning. By then, much of the emotion had worn off, and it didn’t have as big an impact as I had hoped.

So what’s the lesson here? Get on top of a major event and post a Storify ASAP. But not necessarily . . .

As it turns out, another Storify that I thought was kind of lame turned out to be more popular than the one for the Blazers. It was basically just a roundup of comments and links about a controversial mine proposal called Ajax. There was no big event for a tie-in, but readers gravitated to it anyway. I can only think that readers are so thirsty for information about the project that they’re drawn to anything that might help.

So in the end I’m left no real conclusion, and the need to continue exploring if I’m ever to find one.

My next project is a Storify based on a Twitter search for @KamNews — the handle used by the Kamloops Daily News. Many of these are reactions to headlines we post with links to articles on the website. So far, I’ve found half a dozen worthy of sharing. If this one goes over well, maybe it will encourage more people to say what they think about the news of the day.