Sunday, 17 February 2013

What do people find fascinating?

I used the Storify website today to make a story for the first time. On Storfiy there is a feature that lets you search Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and other websites for a certain word or name. Type your word or phrase in, hit enter, and Storify lists all the instances where your word occurs. So, if you typed in "Burnley Football Club" for example, and asked Storify to search YouTube, it would list all videos from YouTube that mentioned "Burnley Football Club". You could then pick and choose some videos, drag and drop them, and create a story based on them. You can re-arrange things in your story, and add text and images in between to help turn a list into a meaningful story. Thanks to Andy Mitchell and Maddie Pradhan in particular who showed me the way to use Storify.

In my story today I wanted to experiment using the Twitter search option. I got Storify to search for tweets that contained the hashtag #fascinating. There were about 150 hits. I narrowed it down to the hits from Saturday 16th February, and also ignored some tweets where it looked like the hashtag was referring to a book called Fascinating. What I was left with was a snapshot of what the Twitter world were finding fascinating on Saturday. This was fascinating in itself! Have a look at the story below to see the tweets. I've included three favourites below

What other hastags could you search for? Andy. Maddie, and others have made stories from the course hastags #edcmooc and #edcmchat. You could search for a place or name and compile a story based on those tweets. What story would emerge it you searched for any of these terms I wonder? Could this be used in class as a different way to research a topic? In an English class you could look up a certain adjective and see the different ways people used it. In Art, you could look up a certain colour to see all the images that used this colour. Could you also use it when teaching or learning a foreign language?

Storify has a feature called "notify" that lets you notify people who you have referenced in your story. Infact. they encourage you to do it to, in their words, "help your story go viral". Well. I'm not bothered about going viral, but it seemed like a courteous thing to do to share my story with those I'd quoted. They might find it fascinating too. There were 50 people referenced in my story. It didn't seem too many so I thought I would notify them. I was intrigued what their reaction would be as well. It was all part of the experiment.

What happened was that my Twitter account got instantly suspended! I felt terrible, like I was some dodgy spammer annoying people with junk messages. I've contacted Twitter to ask for my account to be un-suspended, and also contacted Storify to tell them to change their guidance on this feature.
 Image credit of the sad Twitter bird to Sean Gravener

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