What Is Storify And Why Did They Raise $2m?

By Kenna McHugh Comment

Have you heard of Storify? It’s more than just a clever tool for telling stories. Storify brings the best of story elements and content, and then publishes it on the web forming a dynamic story that is embeddable.

Journalists, editors, corporations and even PR firms are hoping that Storify will blend the best of technology and journalists to create “a future content management system for social media.” The idea is to take social media, interactive media and the web to create new ways to tell stories. Recently it was announced that Khosla Ventures is joining Storify with a $2 million investment. The investor will “help us advance our vision of building the future of journalism and storytelling online,” according to founder Burt Herman. So does the service work?

Based on the concept that reporters can’t be everywhere when something of newsworthy is happening, Storify steps up and takes the best of the user-generated or citizen-generated content and combines it with journalistic input.

At this time, the service is in private beta; although it has already been used by the Huffington Post, Washington Post and Washington news site TBD.com. Built via APIs from sites such as Twitter, Storify allows users to drag and drop social media elements from a panel into a story window. They can choose to incorporate their own text or notes around these modules. The uploaded elements can be sourced from pages bookmarked by the user using a Storify bookmarklet or by searching through their Twitter, favorite tweets and/or twitpics. What is really cool is that other material can be culled from Google searches, RSS feeds, Flickr and YouTube and added to the story.

Storify stories can be embedded within a website and as the central story unfolds with new material, the story will change with an update everywhere that the Storify is hosted. The key feature is aimed at live reporting, ongoing stories and serving the reader, who will be told what is new on a Storify that they have already viewed.

The best way to understand Storify’s concept is to view its blog and one of their more recent stories about the situation in Egypt.

So, if you haven’t heard much about Storify yet, you will in the near future. It’s a unique way of getting the story across to those who use social media to get their news.

Here is a simple demo of how Storify works:

Storify demo from Burt Herman on Vimeo.