All good things must end. It’s an aphorism, for sure, but it also seems to be my tech life. (Yours, too?) Not to get all elegiac, but I’ve said goodbye to several of my favorite tools in recent years. One of those, Google Reader, I’ve written about on this blog. Then, after I proselytized about Wunderlist to anyone who would listen, Microsoft started to slowly abandon it. (About that, I am truly in denial. Because I rely on that every day as if it were my outside brain.)
And now Storify. Foolhardy, these attachments.
So, what’s a journalism teacher to do? I know many of us have incorporated curation assignments into our curriculum. Perhaps we are coming into a new era about this type of story, this type of journalism–that curation is not as relevant as it was. Perhaps my ear is not low enough to the ground to have detected the shift. Or perhaps, we just need a new tool.
After looking at different blogs and forums and tech sites and groups that I know, like me, are in charge of “storifying” (can I lower case that now that it dying?) a specific Twitter chat, I began to despair of finding a comparable tool. (And, yes, I do know that WordPress allows you to build in tweets too, but what if the archive is not for a WordPress site?) Then, I had the good fortune to check out MediaShift’s latest #EdShift chat archive and low and behold: Wakelet.
Wakelet seems to allow much of the same functionality as Storify. For example, you can connect your account directly to your Twitter account and easily bring in multiple tweets. You can easily add text and move things around. And perhaps because, as far as I can tell, its purpose is part-Storify, part-curation board (like a Pinterest or one of the other curation services), you have a choice of layout options. Although it does not connect directly to Instagram, YouTube, or the like, you can add items via URL–simply and easily. You can also add your own photos. The team has also been super responsive, which makes me think they are open to suggestions.
Curation journalism, we are back in business.
And that’s exactly what my students are doing this week. Because you know what has not ended? This blog (and my JOUR 121 class that has inspired it). It’s been neglected–yes–but not abandoned.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve used Wakelet yet and how you like it.