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Linsanity

February 16, 2012

This year February brought more than just Valentine’s Day.  This time around the world was focused on its infatuation with one Jeremy Shu-How Lin.  When crafting my story through Storify, I stated off pulling from very general sources just to give people background on who I was talking about.  The ability to include videos and pictures made this a breeze.  This allowed me to a put a face with the story, and to include his own thoughts in the form of interviews rather than just my words and the words of others.  This is something news mediums try to do all the time, but I did it in no time at all by simply drawing from other sources.  Drawing from them legally and for free I might add.

After establishing a base, I looked for tweets and Facebook posts from other people to include a range of positions on Lin’s popularity.  As with most celebrities, a dichotomy emerges where people either love or hate the person in question.  Obviously there are those with no opinion one way or the other, or those that are completely unaware but neither of those groups draw as much attention as the first two.  I tried to find good and bad, but I could see this format being abused and someone drafting a story that only focuses on one side and includes subsequent content to either make people love or hate someone or something.

I’ve never heard of Storify before now, and I certainly never would have thought to use it as a tool for journalism.  I think it has the potential to be a great asset to any journalist that takes the time to understand how it works, but it seems the greatest strength of Storify is to help something go viral.  Which is what you want if no one knows who you are, but for any professional they will already have some sort of medium that allows people to see their work.  The ability to pull sources out of thin air in seconds is great, but something like this seems like it’s better suited to generating hype before a story is published.  Someone could release a primer on Storify and then release a more in-depth story with their preferred medium.  Great for citizen journalists, but for professionals it just seems like another way to crowd source or abuse social media.

[View the story “Linsanity” on Storify]

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From → Responses

One Comment
  1. Well done, and interesting analysis on Storify. I’d like to hear more about how it could promote content virility.

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