Storify Co-Founder Burt Herman talks about Stories, Curation and Facebook


Burt Herman is a co-founder of real-time curation service Storify. I first heard about Storify on this Scobleizer post, and I've tested it for Samsung USA at SXSW and for myself at M2C (you can see an embeded example at the bottom of this post). I met with Burt at the Samsung Blogger Lounge at SXSWi and he was kind  enough to answer my questions. You can follow Burt @burtherman

1. What's the story of Storify?

Storify is founded by Burt Herman, a former Associated Press bureau chief and correspondent, and Xavier Damman, a Belgian engineer who was publisher of a crowdsourced student magazine. Both share a passion for media and technology, and about how to reinvent online publishing to embrace the social Web. They met early last year and joined together to launch Storify in private beta in September 2010. Storify is about enabling storytellers to find the best of social media to tell elegant stories that resonate and enlighten. We want to empower storytellers with simple tools that help them find the media that matters amid the flood of media.

2. Journalists have always been storytellers but they haven't always been "curators" of social content. What does social curation mean for the future of journalism?

Curation is a buzzword that represents what journalists have always done: Finding sources for information and synthesizing it into concise stories that a general audience can understand. We now have more sources than ever due to social media empowering people to create content, so journalists now have a much richer pool of information to choose from. This is an opportunity and the start of a new golden age for journalism.

3. There are some people that have been "curating" since the beginning of the web. Are you targeting such curators or do you believe Storify is for the masses?

Storify is about empowering users to easily tell stories using social media, and it can be used by anyone -- journalists, bloggers, companies or just regular people. Everyone has a story to tell, from serious news like the Japan tsunami to a personal story about a wedding or child's birthday.

4. It seems like Facebook is always adding features that were pioneered by companies like Twitter, Flickr, Foursquare, Groupon, and Disqus. Are you concerned about Facebook or other giants adding features similar to Storify's?

We are at the intersection of other social networks and are agnostic about the sources for stories. We view companies like Facebook as potential partners.

5. What separates Storify from services like Curated.by and Keepstream?

We are about storytelling and helping our users find memorable and meaningful posts from social networks to tell stories.

6. What advice would you give to future tech startup CEOs?

Follow your passion!

NOTE: Below is an embedded Storify story made up of tweets about M2C.

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