One of the things that has changed the most from when I participated in my first Readathon in April of 2011 is that there are so many more ways to participate. In addition to updating on my blog or Tumblr, it’s really fun to be chatting with people on Twitter throughout the day, and I love using Instagram to share photos from my day. But I’m still a bit of an old school blogger, and like having my Readathon “home base” at my blog.
During the last two Readathons, I’ve used Storify to collect my Readathon updates from around the Internet into one place on my blog. Storify is a free service that allows users to “find, collect and share” what people are saying on social media around the web. It allows you to pull in information from sites like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Google+, and Tumblr, as well as links to other websites. You can also type text between social updates, which I use for more details.
I’m not going to do a full tutorial on how to use Storify, but I will try to point out a few of the basics. This is a screenshot of what the basic Storify screen looks like before you start:
And here are some notes about different parts of the page:
- Once you sign up with an account, you’ll should create a new story. Give your story a headline and a description (this will show up at the top of the page).
- You can search for social media updates to add to your story on the right side of the page. Each site gives you some different options for how to search for what you want to share. On Twitter, for example, I just search for myself as a user to see all of my updates. Click on the updates you want to add, then drag them to your story space on the left side of the page.
- If you want to add some text between elements, just click in the open white space and start typing. You can do formatting, as well as grab elements and reorder them. I usually put my most recent updates at the top, so anyone coming to my site will see what I most recently wrote or talked about. This means when you go to read my story after the Readathon, the start of the day is at the bottom.
- Once you’ve gotten your story started, hit “Publish” – you should get an option to “View and Publicize It.” I go back and update my story each time I take a break. After each update, publish the story again to see the updates go live – this works the same whether you’re sharing the link directly or embedding the story.
Once your story is published, you have a couple of options: Share the link directly to your story, or embed the story into a new post on your blog. I usually embed my story into a new post so it shows up on my site (a self-hosted WordPress site), but that may not be possible depending on the limits of your blog host (and, I’m sorry, I’m not techie enough to really help with that).
But if you have other questions about how to use Storify, I’m happy to try and help! Leave your questions in the comments, or get in touch on Twitter – @kimthedork.