Curation is currently one of "the chosen" buzz words in the social media zeitgeist (that's another). But as abundant as the talk of curation is, actual curation tools have been in relatively short order.
In recent weeks, I've been experimenting with some newly released curation platforms. The first, Curated.by, lets you capture tweets around a specific topic using a plug-in that's installed on your Twitter.com profile. You can then easily tag and sort tweets into "bundles," which can then be embedded in a blog post for some additional context to whatever you're reporting on.
You can see our first Curated.by experiment in this recent post about Google Instant.
This week, I discovered startup Storify while watching the TechCrunch Disrupt conference. While Curated.by and Storify share the same core theme of curating social content, Storify goes beyond tweets by letting you insert content from YouTube, Flickr, Google search and more into "stories" which can be embedded into a Web page. I'm a sucker for experiments, so today I created something using Storify's platform. It all got kicked off with a single tweet.
From there, I took to Storify and began adding responses from the community. (Note to Storify: include Twitter mentions in addition to search in your next update).
Based on the responses, I added additional contextual information that included recent ReadWriteWeb articles and content from the various sources Storify supports. Here is the end result:
For a brand new service still in private beta, Storify is impressive. The ease of inserting tweets and additional content from across the Web was a generally pleasing experience. I did have some issues, though. After I had initially saved and embedded my story in this post, the tweets and contextual content I added randomly re-arranged. Considering the length of the story, it was a pain to have to go back and work on it for an additional 30 minutes. In terms of the presentation quality of the embed, it's good, but could use a little more beautification.
Storify lets you notify the Twitter users that were part of your story.
My biggest wish is that Storify make their stories "live." By that, I mean that I want anyone to be able to leave a comment on something that has been added to a story. For example, as you can see I replied to several of the tweets in the story using Storify's text module. But since there is no way for someone to reply to those, the conversation halts. I'm not sure if Storify wants their product to be that interactive, but it's something to consider, at least as an option.
I'm happy startups are starting to tackle curation. For a community manager, it's very nice to be able to capture what your audience is talking about and build an experience around it. It remains to be seen if Storify can make it as a standalone service, but I'd love to see their tools end up in a content management system like Movable Type and Wordpress.
What are your thoughts on Storify and emerging curation tools? Let us know in the comments!