Recently I had the task of doing an assignment for DH2001. The assignment was based about how the digital humanities impacts our minor subject, mine being geography.
For the purpose of the assignment, we had to use Storify. Storify is a social network service that lets the user create stories or timelines using social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Even though storify is primarily story based we used it for an essay. I will now give a critical review of Storify .
From using this application, I found it both positive and negative in my opinion. First off it is a very easy program to operate . After a basic registration,I was brought to a screen where a draft explaining the basics of working with storify was displayed. It shows how to add social media, add links within stories, publishing, embedding, editing and updating. I found this very helpful and informative, it gave me a quick lesson on how every feature works.
The first feature I found very useful was sources. Sources allows people to gather information on the same page they are writing. Searches can be done from standard websites to social media sites such as Twitter. This makes researching a lot faster and efficient in theory. However when I was searching for information on my topic, the results were not accurate. If storify could fix this problem, it would be a great feature that would be used very frequently.
A second feature that I really liked was the whole publishing/editing side of Storify. Storify has a built in auto save mode. Every story is saved as a draft when you are writing. This made life so much easier, not having to worry about losing your work. When I finished and was ready to publish, all that was needed to do was click publish and it was then live for the world to see.
Another feature that had the potential to be great was embedding . Storify says on their website that “All Storify stories are embeddable, meaning you can also post them on places like your blog, Tumblr or any Web site where you can insert an embed code”. However I did not find this feature to be great as I couldn’t get it to work properly. It would appear in my blog, but look messy and incorrect.
I also really like the editing and updating feature. Even when I had published my story, it was still possible to change bits here and there. When I had my story published , I noticed I had a few spelling mistakes to change so this let me acknowledge these mistakes. Another option that comes under the heading of updating is reordering elements. If you felt you wanted to move a paragraph within the story it was possible by simply dragging it to a desired location. One problem I found frustrating with elements was when I hit enter, a new element was created everytime. As I am a person who has used word a lot I found this very awkward to use. It is also possible to add new quotes within the story. For instance if there is a large reaction to your story on social media and the story you’re covering keeps unfolding, you can add new quotes or developments straight away.
Storify allows people directly credit peoples work. For example if I referenced someone in my story, that person gets a notification to let them know they are now part of my story. This is a great feature as it can make your story reach a wider audience. The person you referenced is more than likely going to share it with his/her friends, therefore resulting in more traffic coming your way, which is great!
Overall I would give Storify a 7/10. The main reason behind this is because of the element feature where everytime you press enter a new element is created. I found this very annoying. It would have been fine if it was able to merge elements but unfortunately it wasn’t. However I did like the feature sources, instead of coming and going from your internet tab this made it a lot easier as the search bar is next to the story. Overall though, I think I would rather stick with Microsoft Word and then just post on my blog etc, as I know it is reliable from experience etc.