I used Storify to report on Amnesty International’s tribute album to Bob Dylan. The album received a lot of attention because of AI’s sponsorship, Dylan’s popularity and what fans and critics considered as the credentials (or lack thereof) of each musician or band to cover a Dylan song.
By using Storify, I hoped to make the story accessible for people who were unaware of the album, and also deep enough for people who were interested in listening to or purchasing it.
[View the story “80 music artists honor Bob Dylan, Amnesty International on \”Chimes of Freedom\” / Chelsey Heath” on Storify]
Music journalists, bloggers and bands or musicians themselves could successfully use Storify to make engaging stories. A writer at Hypebot also chronicled the creation of a CD-release-focused Storify.
(There could already be many Storifies on music topics, but since Storify doesn’t have a way to search by topic from the homepage, I don’t really know. If anyone has example of music journalism using Storify, please send them over to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
The social-news format works well for following stories spreading on social media. For music, this might be an album announcement, personal news about a band member, a song release or a performance recap.
Storify is rather easy to use. Once you sign up for an account (I used the Twitter option), you’re taken to a main screen that suggests popular posts. In the top-left corner, there’s a blue “Create story” button.
Clicking that button brings you to the Storify creation page. The story has a handy little tip box that will guide you through the process if you’ve never made one before. Basically, this is what you can do:
Create a headline for your Storify. Headlines, unlike titles, have a verb.
Add a description of your Storify. What will you be talking about, and why?
Now the fun part – adding the content of your Storify. Add your news item from social media. The many options include other stories on Storify, Tweets, Facebook statuses, YouTube, SoundCloud, Flickr, Instagram, Google and URLs.
An easy way to find content that relates to your story is to search by keywords. In my story about the Dylan tribute album, I searched “Bob Dylan,” “Amnesty International,” “Chimes of Freedom” and all three together.
Add pictures you have uploaded to Flickr or Instagram, or add them with a URL. (Make sure you have at least one picture. It will show up in the preview of your Storify and encourage potential readers to click.)
Add text explaining or interpreting your story where you think it’s needed. Before you put in one or a group of social-news elements, write a sentence or two above or between them to explain why they’re there and what they mean.
If you’re really ambitious, you can add other social-news sites to your media toolbar. Click the plus sign in the media bar to add more options.
Once you’re done with your Storify, save it (but don’t publish yet). Read back over the whole thing, checking for errors or things you forgot to add. If it’s a breaking story, it might not be a bad idea to check if there have been any recent developments you don’t have in the Storify using Google Search and Twitter.
Once you’ve checked, publish your Storify for the world to see. Grab the link to send it over social media, or copy the embed code to add it to your website or blog.
If you notice an error or want to update the Storify, simply go back to the website, click on your story and click “Edit.” Remember to save after edits!
If you have any other online social or news services you would like me to explore in the content of using them for music journalism or as bands, let me know in the comments.
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