Okay, so this post will be my personal critical review of the online digital tool Storify. Storify is a social network service that lets the user create stories or timelines using social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram so its basically another blogging service. First of all I do want to say I have a lot of mixed thoughts on Storify due to my overall experience with the online tool. I believe it has a lot of useful and interesting methods to make blogging easier however despite all this I do think it needs a lot of work.
Im not going to lie and say Storify was the best online blogging system I ever used because it wasn’t although it did have a lot of flavour to it which I found quit appealing. To me it appears as if Storify tries to make blogging a little bit different which is hoped to make it more appealing for people to use. I like this idea as it shows a bit more creativity which is always nice to see in blogs. You can see this straight away from the title as it is called Storify which is essentially outlining that this is where you can wright your story and share it with the world. When you are using the tool itself one of the main tabs is titled My Stories. Within this tap you are then able to create a new story. From this main tab you have a selection of sub tabs such as “All”, “Drafts”, “Published”, “Edited”, “Private” and “Collaborations”. I find these features to be very handy for the main fact of simplicity making it a lot quicker to get work done and keep it organised.
The Drafts tab is probably the section of Storify which I found most beneficial however the only reason why I saw it to be so beneficial was through a recurring negative experience that I was having with Storify. I came across the issue when using Storify that it randomly likes to quite every now and then. I have heard of others experiencing this issue and although the first time I came across it I was devastated as I thought my work had been lost I did begin to learn it all gets saved in the drafts tab. The next thing about Storify which began to get on my nerves almost immediately when I started to use it was the sectioning of paragraphs when constructing a story. You are completely incapable of pressing the enter button without Storify creating a new parted paragraph in a completely separate box. This will even happen if you stop halfway across a line and press enter. I found the lack of customisation to be frustrating and from talking to others who also used Storify feel the same way. Another area of Storify where I found there to be a huge lack of customisation and personal touch is when adding in media. When an image or video is added to the story/blog you are unable to physically construct the words around the image. Your only option in this case is to have a huge gap in your Storify post paragraphing it off from what you were previously writing about. In my opinion this appears to be very ugly and impractical in a lot of situations.
Despite these negative experiences I have had with Storify I do have to say there are some very good ideas within the service. One of my favourite is the method which is available to you if you wish to implement social media examples into your Storify post. When you are writing a new story these options are presented to you in an easy to use format on the right hand side of the screen. At the top of this section you are given a list of social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, google+, Instagram and several more. you are also given the option to add another social media site if its not listed on the page. For example you can select youtube and you are presented with a search bar. this search bar is then connected with Youtube allowing you to search Youtube’s online database for whatever you need to fit your story. Once you search what you are looking for the results are presented to you in a list below the search bar. You can then choice the video you would like and drag and drop it into your story. This method also applies to every other social media site you decide to select. I found this to be by far the most useful tool within Storify. I think it is overall very easy to use and I feel almost anyone who has used the internet before could learn how to use this in a matter of seconds.
Overall like I said at the beginning I believe Storify is heading in the right direction with the new age blog system and creative aspects. However I do believe Storify as a whole needs a bit of cleaning up and a few extra features such as a more creative layout of the stories themselves and also a more stable system which does not result in your work closing on you on a regular basis.