Could the Steem Blockchain Have Saved Storify, a Social Media Timeline Curation Tool?

When social media truly started to pick up pace and eventually grow to pivotal portions at the beginning of this decade, many new social media tools saw the light and received huge amounts of venture capital in order to help curate the noise, discover new content and great linked articles, schedule updates, or create timelines with (related) updates.

The latter, a niche tool called Storify, launched in the second half of 2010 at TechCrunch Disrupt. TechCrunch’s MG Siegler wrote:

We appear to be on the verge of a new wave of content curation. Startups like Storify and present users with a very low barrier to entry towards creating their own new content. It’s sad but true that a lot of people simply don’t have the time or desire to blog, so instead, why not let them do something with all the content they’re consuming, by aggregating it? That’s basically my read of Storify.

And the service’s approach to spreading this content is smart. If someone uses a tweet of yours for a Storify post, for example, there’s an option to ping you about it on Twitter so you can then share it as well. And all of the content pulled into Storify still links back to the original source, so all of that can be shared as well.

The service quickly found an audience with both bloggers and the more forward thinking online news outlets, outlets who didn’t struggle with problems around linking outwards and integrating user generated content (UGC). Yet, sadly enough, Storify never truly became a mainstay of the social media scene, despite partnering with multiple larger scale media organisations and expanding its service also with (premium) liveblogging and collaboration features.

A currently trending Storify timeline

Merely three years after its launch, the startup was acquihired acquired by comment community building platform Livefyre who integrated the service in its platform offerings, while maintaining the standalone version as well. Thus not deleting many integrated stories on blogs and other websites.

Until recently, when it was announced that Livefyre, now a part of Adobe, was terminating the standalone product and will delete all existing timelines, breaking the Internet with many broken embeds.

The Storify product itself will continue to exist and be offered as part of the premium Livefyre Studio product. Users can export their content, according to the FAQ until mid-May 2018 when the standalone service is officially sunset and all timelines will be deleted.

Over the years since Storify was introduced, many sites have vastly improved their respective embedding capabilities, maybe Steemit may as well before we reach the year 2026, and it is true that embedding a Tweet or a YouTube video has become easy. Some, this author included, still swear by oEmbed, but no embed integration comes anywhere close to the ease of creation and nicely designed timelines Storify offered.

Obviously, as so often with social media tools, monetisation has always been an issue for the product and it is highly unlikely the service saw many premium subscribers for its standalone product.

That not in the least because many content creators still prefer not having to rely on some day possibly deadpooled products.

What if Storify Were Built on the Steem Blockchain?

Could an existence on the blockchain have saved Storify and reduced its operational costs sufficiently to continue to operate as a standalone tool, even if owned by a commercial behemoth like Adobe?

Would a future Storify clone, complete with Steem rewards upvoting mechanism, become a more popular tool?

With SMTs around the corner the fluttering of a tool such a Storify is an interesting topic because so far no online platform other than Steem has successfully managed to reward social media contributions, or even provide longevity while rewarding content creation without a vast (ad) sales department.

In recent weeks top witness @jesta has shown with the release of Vessel 0.2 one of the future integrations which may take Steem beyond its currently still limited playground and create new opportunities.

Imagine if every timeline creator could be rewarded for their curation and timelines could be embedded on any website.

Steemians could easily follow each flag war and other internal storm in teaglasses just by curated timelines, complete with related tweets zapps, dmania memes, dtube and dsound commentary, as well as sources found elsewhere. Imagine how our internal gossip kitchen follow needs would be simplified.

Others would be able to reward to timelines of current events, comics aggregated in their full form, and many more curated timelines.


Former startupper. Tech veteran. Lean. In before Ries.

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