Thirteen years ago this spring, Dave Winer’s UserLand Software launched a technical protocol that made it easy to publish content from one Web page onto another. (Winer was the inspiration for ReadWriteWeb and countless other blogs.) A similar protocol was employed by another blogging tool that would launch one year later, Evan Williams and Meg Hourihan’s Blogger – which will reportedly now be renamed Google Blogs in the great Google Plus Rebranding of 2011. The creation of easy, democratic publishing of content from one Web interface, out onto another, was an event of epic and irreversible historic proportions. Hundreds of millions of people have now had their lives changed by being able to publish freely and easily online and the media landscape has exploded.
“It is not everybody’s job to create an audience as in the blog era. The guy on the street today at Tahir Square might not have a blog and an audience but by sharing what he lives and experiences on social media, [then] blogs and news sites that do have an audience can pick up his tweets and amplify his voice. It’s one step further in the democratization of being published. Now you can be published and reach millions of people with just a tweet, without having to have built an audience. Just because you say something interesting that the world needs to know.” -Xavier Damman, Storify Co-Founder
Storify is a fast-growing and much-loved service that lets users quickly and easily build dynamic collections of embeddable content from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and elsewhere. Maybe you want to curate a collection of the best chatter online about this week’s Town Hall in the White House. Maybe you’re at the last U.S. Space Shuttle launch ever and everyone’s snapping photos and tweeting tweets. Maybe you just saw a funny conversation going on online and you want to save it for posterity.
Storify will now allow those collections of multimedia to be published out onto the servers of the most popular blogging platforms online and their users. The content will live there permanently and will be indexed by search engines on the page.
Co-founder Xavier Damman says that HTML output directly to blogs has been the company’s most-requested feature from users.
Throughout most of history, content creators were very few, content curators larger in number but still small and content consumers by far the biggest of the three groups. People like Dave Winer, Evan Williams and Meg Hourihan shook that equation up with the creation of blogging technologies, then Williams again and Mark Zuckerberg completely blew the numbers up with the enablement of hundreds of millions of new content creators on Twitter and Facebook. Now Storify will take some of the same “this is for real” technical underpinnings and attempt to bring the group of people online who are curating content into a new era of publishing as well.