By Anna Miars

Storify, a verb meaning to make something into a story, is also the name of a recently developed curation tool that allows online journalists to aggregate various forms of digital content, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Google and more.

As the first of its kind to collect more than just Tweets and Facebook updates, Storify “promises a new way to leverage the real–time power of social media for creating stories.”

Simple and user-friendly, Storify has the potential to reinvent online storytelling. This new multimedia platform is not only attempting to push social media curation, but experiment with the process.

The functionality of Storify is what really makes it unique. Rather than having to piece together images, videos and text, users drag-and-drop content  into their story from other sites. Each piece of content, and its subsequent comments/replies, is treated as a self-contained element that can be easily be shifted up or down. Attribution, metadata and links are preserved for easy access to original sources.

A straightforward timeline format provides context and flow, and allows a narrative to be crafted quickly without sacrificing organization and sophistication. Interactivity stems from the various layers and types of content displayed.

I absolutely love @storify. As an editor, it’s brilliant. Could be useful external app for editors in feature packages. #contentstrategy.

One feature that is unique to Storify as a curation tool is the ability to embed code from a story on any website, much like a YouTube video. Not only has Storify expedited the process of creating a story, that story can then be placed on a Web page just as quickly.

On her blog, Zombie Journalism, TBD’s Mandy Jenkins wrote “10 ways journalists can use Storify” summarizing some of Storify’s various journalistic incarnations. More recently, 10,000 Words wrote a similar article that includes screen shots of published Storify stories. To explain the platform after its initial release, Nieman Journalism Lab cleverly used Storify to tell the story of Storify.

Check out the official Storify demo.

If you’re interested in trying Storify, you’ll need to request an invite. Be prepared to provide your Twitter handle, your blog or the website you post to and the reason(s) why you want to use Storify.

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