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Making stories

Posted: July 21st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: professional development, storytelling | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

Want to stay up-to-date? Use RSS and Twitter.

That is all.

Or is it?

In this post last year, I gushed about RSS and Twitter as being THE ways to keep up-to-date. My opinion has not changed. However, as part of CPD23, I am playing with Storify to see if there are more ways to stay up-to-date.

For the uninitiated, here’s an explanation from the guided tour page: “Storify lets you curate social networks to build social stories, bringing together media scattered across the Web into a coherent narrative… Drag and drop status updates, photos or videos to bring together the social media elements that will best illustrate your story… A Storify story is more than just a collection of elements from social media. It’s also your opportunity to make sense of what you’ve pulled together. You can write a headline, introduction and insert text anywhere inside your story. You can add headers, hyperlinks and styled text. Build a narrative and give context to your readers.”

Here is my Storify about my current musical obsession, My Brightest Diamond.

In this – my first Storify – I chronicle a taste of My Brightest Diamond’s recent visit to Australia.



There’s a cool library Storify of the James B. Hunt Jr. Library ‘being born’ here. Of course Storify is also great for collating, storing and sharing tweets from an event, or any tweet chat. Check out @ellenforsyth‘s compilation of @love2read2012‘s twitter chat about #dream reading over here.

After my first experiment with Storify, I find it to be a fun, clever tool for curating social media and other online snapshots of happenings.  It is great for people who prefer visual stories rather than those laden with text. Storify is not just another way to tell a story with social media, like live-tweeting or documenting via Instagram. Rather, it is an evolved social media tool. The act of creating the story is artistic, like scrap-booking – piecing bits from here and there; tweets, video and links to articles, and so on. Storify is especially successful – and original (to my knowledge) – as it creates a narrative, not just a list of links.

So yes, I do think reading people’s Storify stories is a great way of keeping up-to-date. Of course, as with any knowledge pursuit, be aware of authorship/curatorship validity and factual recency. My heart, however, still belongs to RSS and twitter, but I imagine I will use Storify a little now too.

With content creation and digital curation of community happenings being a major player in future/currently switched-on libraries, I can see a place for creating and archiving Storify stories in libraries.

Do you know any great examples to share? Does your library use Storify? And non-Libraryland folk: do you, or your workplace use Storify?


p.s. For something very recent, very real and disturbing, and immeasurably sad, you may want to read this Storify: How news spread of the “Dark Knight Rises” shooting.

Why I need Twitter & RSS (CPD23 Thing 4)

Posted: July 17th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: professional development | Tags: , , , | 10 Comments »

Fact: RSS and Twitter are my top 2 favourite things on the Internet. Big call I know, but it’s been this way since 2007. And 4 years is a long time in internet years.

Embrace 2.0 by cmdrfletcher on flickr

Recently the CPD23 crew asked us to consider current awareness tools on the interwebs: namely Twitter, RSS, & Pushnote. As I am completely new to Pushnote, the following are my thoughts on twitter & rss. (I *may* write on Pushnote in the future.)

In the past I’ve referred to Twitter as my dear other spouse. I stand by this. I totally rate Twitter as my current favourite online socialising, networking & sharing tool. As I mentioned before, for me Twitter is the King of:

  • sharing links, info, and quick advice
  • real-time searching
  • short, sharp quip-laden conversations
  • staying up-to-date – follow industry people & get their thoughts as they have them & read/view what they deem sharable
  • virtually being there – “attend” conferences/concerts/demonstrations by following hashtags & hear what the backchannel really thinks
  • democratising the web – I can tweet anyone, anything, instantly. No more searching for email addresses or phone numbers & fretting about how to say what I feel in wordy emails or (gasp!) phone calls. Just tweet them your thoughts or query in 140 characters. You may even get a reply!

My advice for twitter:

  • Get a short username – it makes conversing with you & retweeting your tweets easier, as your username doesn’t eat most of the 140 character limit
  • Use a twitter client NOT the website – it will change your experience & opinion of Twitter completely. Repeat: do NOT use the website (try tweetdeck, etc)
  • @ reply people to get involved in the conversations – this is integral to “getting the whole twitter thing”
  • fill in your profile & perhaps be yourself
  • follow #hashtags
  • stick with it

I love how twitter flicks me around the intermehnet as I follow tweeted links & hashtags. In this way, twitter is a huge part of my how I keep up to date with my hobbies, my profession & my learning. Not just a real-time communication tool offering friendly advice, humour, insight, and professional support, twitter is a crowd-sourced RSS feed that I trust & benefit from extensively.

Enter: The Segue…

RSS is The Business.
It makes the net drivable. Given there are a gazillion billion sites out there, it is hard to keep up with what you want, right? Hard no more. Since I began using RSS I have control over the many, many sights I frequent, and I always remember to read my favourites. At the least, I have them stored to read later.

The bestest things about RSS:

  • it’s searchable! Read something fascinating but can’t remember where? Search your feeds: brilliant!
  • you can stop bookmarking endless sites & opening many, many sites each day and simply open your reader
  • folders keep like feeds together
  • reduce your inbox by unsubscribing via email to your many fave sites & subscribe via your reader instead

My advice for RSS:

  • create & use folders
  • subscribe to pertinent comment streams to continue your conversations in the blogosphere
  • I use googlereader and I highly recommend it
  • if you have your own blog/website, add prominent RSS posts AND comments feed buttons to your site

I tell people I love RSS & Twitter. I do adore these tools, and I need them. If you are into sharing & simplifying web navigation, then I suggest you need them too.