I was not able to attend ACPA this year, and on Tuesday morning I started to feel rather bummed that I was missing out on all the fun. As a Twitter user, I was following the conference to the best of my ability via the #ACPA12 hashtag, but at points it began to feel cumbersome. I didn’t have a good way to keep track of the information I was seeing, I wanted to be able to group tweets that seemed to have similar content, and I wanted a way to keep track of the new voices I saw via the hashtag search. Yes, you can favorite tweets (which I admittedly rarely go back and read), or bookmark articles that are shared (I find delicious rather gross aesthetically), but neither of these options seemed like the right fit.
I first heard about Storify from a faculty member on my campus, Kim Knight. She used it to create a story which combined information from her undergraduate and graduate courses during the Spring 2011 semester. I was then reminded about the service recently by Joe Ginese when he used it to create a story about a recent Nichols College Alternative Spring Break trip to New Orleans. Gathering a few tweets from #ACPA12 seemed like a great way for me to try out the system for the first time. You can read the story here: http://storify.com/julieclarsen/acpa12-round-up
Now, we have talked about Storify before on the The SA Blog, but I wanted to also offer a few pros and cons about the service.
- It’s fun. I loved being able to move the tweets around and add photos that related to my various categories. I felt that I was creating a mini “conference experience” for myself by selecting important information from sessions, group ideas, and following new folks.
- You truly can create a story. I liked the ability to group tweets regardless of the time or day they were originally sent. Now, I realize this feature could be questionable in some situations, but in this case, it allowed me to group pieces of information in a way that was meaningful to me. You are also able to add text within the story. I chose to add simple headings, while Kim used longer paragraphs to give context of class assignments.
- You can reply and retweet from the service. If you use your Twitter account as a log in, you can reply directly to folks from the tweets in the story. This will also work for stories that you are reading. An easy and quick way to make connections with someone who may share your interests/functional area.
- The search function is a bit clunky, and for an event like ACPA where there are thousands of tweets per day for the hashtag, it was tedious at points. (This is why most of the tweets I gathered are actually from rather limited time frames.)
- I would love more control over the visual representation of the story, and be able to really group tweets according to headings/categories.
Overall, I think it’s a great service that I see myself using again. Enjoy reading my #ACPA12 story!