Chirpstory is a tool that allows you to tap into Twitter streams to create stories.
The technology (or what are my powers?)
Chirpstory allows you to assemble Tweets from your Twitter timeline, favorites, users, lists, and specific Twitter URLs to create a story. Just log into Chirpstory using your Twitter account and select “Create Story” to gain access to your story dashboard.
Next assemble Tweets that relate to your story.
In addition to using Tweets to generate your story, you can also include media from YouTube and from Twitter photosharing sites (e.g., Twitpic, yfrog, Flixi, img.ly, Twitgoo, and mobypicture). You can also use the Add Media interface to add text and links (e.g., if you want to add resources that are not from Twitter). The Add Media interface allows you some ability to format your text to create different heading levels and add bullets. Unfortunately, you can’t add images from non-Twitter photosharing sites like Flickr.
When you’re ready to publish, select the “Create Story” button at the bottom right of your story dashboard.
Here’s where you add a title for your story, a description, and tags. You also choose your privacy settings at this point. (You can always edit this later). You can choose to Tweet the story immediately, though you might want to see what your story looks like before you do.
The Options icon provides you with access to some editing options including a Delete option (which proved useful in my case since I accidentally published a story 11 times when I got an error message).
Once you’ve published your story you gain access to additional sharing options since you can connect to Digg, delicious (for awhile, anyway), Stumbleupon, and Reddit. You can also add your story to the Chirpstory Storyboard, to share your story with the Chirpstory community (in my hands, this option was a bit buggy).
The video below summarizes the basic “how-tos” of using Chirpstory.
You can also find more detailed information at the Help Page.
Chirpstory has been touted as a curation tool, and you can use it to assemble bundles of information, but I think curation isn’t all that useful unless you use the storytelling capabilities of the tool. To do this, think about the story you want to tell before using Chirpstory. Use the title and story description to engage learners and make them care about your story. Use the drag and drop feature of Chirpstory to rearrange Tweets and media so that your story has a logical flow. Use the Add media option to add context. If you want to add interactivity, you can use the Add media interface to link to websites with polls, flash interactivity, quizzes, etc. You can also use the Add Media option to add questions before or after the Tweets you’ve assembled.
A Chirpstory I created on Health Literacy is here.
Learners can use Chirpstory as a tool to make sense of information and create their own stories, since creating a story requires them to read posted links and consider how different Twitter conversations fit together. They can use the Add media interface to add their own reflections on Tweets and the media they’ve posted. Learners also can comment on other stories using the comment field provided, like a story on Facebook, and share stories with others.
Similar tools you might consider include:
Both tools allow you to add a wider selection of content and media, while Chirpstory is more Twitter-centric, but arguably gives you more filtering tools based on Twitter preferences. All three tools are easy to use, so which tool you choose will probably depend on how much you like using the dashboards of the respective tools. I particularly like the ability to format some of the content I added and the ease of dragging and dropping in Chirpstory, but it’s a close decision for me and it’s likely that all three sites will be adding features. Really, the bottom line is that the story’s more important than the tool.