As journalists grapple with balancing traditional news sources with social media, content aggregators are becoming more and more useful. They outsource the job of wading through hundreds of posts and tweets, and help create a more complete picture of current events.
Storyful is one of these news sites. The stories it focuses on are ones that are circulated on Twitter. Curators pick relevant tweets and flicker pictures. Storyful does not actually break stories itself, but cites sources and aggregates reactions in a visual friendly layout. The idea is to generate discussion and to choose "quality" tweeting that provides perspective and even adds to a reported story (after it has been verified by curators, of course).
Storyful even has a branch specifically geared towards news organizations, although it is behind a paywall. Storyful Pro, which was introduced early this year, claims to host the "best images, videos, and contacts [the site's curators] discover".
A more recent addition to the social media aggregators is Storify, a website with a remarkably similar name. The website tagline proclaims, "create stories using social media", which sounds more or less like the same goal as Storyful's, but there is one important difference. Storyful aims to deliver content for news organizations, whereas Storify is more of a tool for journalists. It allows journalists to use its template to write stories that include relevant tweets and Facebook posts without losing the original formatting or links. Journalists can create interactive stories with clear links to original pictures or tweets. The cofounder of the site, Xavier Damman, spoke at last week about the site. According to him, the site's mission is to make social media the story - not just the distribution tool.
So which tool is more useful?
Depends on what you're looking for. As a journalist looking to coalesce the best bits of social media into a story, Storify's platform is the easiest integration tool and dispenses with the need for tech assistants. However, as a news organization needing good online video and stories picked up on social networks, Storyful may be the best bet, as it has even partnered with Youtube to ensure quality content.
Although they may sound similar, Storyful and Storify's slightly different objectives leave the possibility that they may be able to successfully co-exist in the world of online aggregation.
Photo Credit: Storify