#wmgrad: Storified!

Graduates - Photo by Stephen Salpukas

Graduates - Photo by Stephen Salpukas

Creative Services has been playing around with a site called Storify over the past few weeks (http://storify.com/about) which helps you to tell a story by curating social media content. The idea behind Storify is that you search for a particular Twitter hashtag (like #wmgrad for this year’s commencement), or for comments on a given Facebook page, video from YouTube or photos from Flickr, Instagram, etc. and then hand-select the best bits of content to use to tell the “story” of an event. You can intersperse your own text in amongst the social media entries as well to provide more context or detail to a story. Using a simple and friendly interface, Storify lets you create a permanent record of (typically fleeting) tweets, posts and photos about a common topic that otherwise would be floating around on the internet seemingly unrelated to each other.

Frequently, Storify is used to recap current events or information from conferences or presentations, and it is also frequently used to “live blog” an event. There has been buzz about using Storify in higher education for quite a while, Jen Doak from CASE wrote about Storify back in June of last year. This year, many schools utilized the site to capture their commencement activities (it was even a topic on HigherEdLive’s roundtable on commencement coverage).

In addition to individuals and colleges, there are government agencies (like the White House and the U.S. Department of Education) and news organizations (USA Today College) also using the tool.

I first played with this personally using April’s spooning record breaking attempt as an example. Intrigued and impressed by how easy it was to create a fun story, I presented it to our social media team and it was decided to create an account for W&M to use to capture all of the great bits of social media content generated by our community.

Check out the #wmgrad 2012 story on Storify

-Tiffany Broadbent