One of the things I liked about SXSW were the Accelerator sessions where web startups pitched their ideas to a room full of investors, press and the paying public. The winner of News Accelerator was Storify, a website that allows users to curate tweets, photos, videos and web by dragging them into a single stream of information to tell a story. It’s a bit like gathering news headlines in a scrap book. It’s been used during some of the big events of 2011, such as the ‘Arab Spring’ and Worldwide ‘Occupy’ movements as an alternative to the mainstream media.
Since SXSW I’ve been using it to curate my own tweets, photos and videos for various topics. Storify ‘stories’ can be embedded on websites, and I’ve included my ‘Gigs of 2011’ story. It’s recently been revised which has improved the reliability of external services. But it still needs quite a bit of development, for example, it could benefit from closer Facebook integration, and I’ve found that I really need an iPhone app. It also really needs much stronger shared authoring. But having played with it for several months, it’s definitely is a useful tool for creating a story without much effort. With better sharing and with my Learning Technologist hat on, it could be a great tool for education. For example as a quick way to capture the main topics in a lecture or capturing information during a field trip.