(This post updates one originally written in 2013.)

An example of Storify

Storify used to be a handy free service that “makes the web tell a story.” It’s been taken over by Livefyre and now requires a paid license.

Many people are instead turning to Twitter Moments to collect ­– or curate, if you’d rather use the current buzzword – public tweets, pictures, video and other content from around the web, dragging and dropping them into a framework to publish as a story.

It’s a great way to summarize a Twitter chat, collect “live tweets” from a meeting or conference, relate a conversation or compile reaction to an event.

You’ll often capture conversations using keywords or a hashtag, #. The hashtag allows people to join in the conversation and flag their comments as part of the chat. Some chats to check out:

  • IABC holds a  monthly #CommChat.
  • The Toronto chapter of Professional Writers Association of Toronto (PWAC) shares tweets from #PWACchats and #PWACpanel professional development sessions.
  • Solo PR Pro runs a regular chat for independent PR consultants at #SoloPR.

Although I am by no means an expert, I’ve read and created enough of these summaries to come up with these do’s and don’ts to make the Twitter conversation easy to follow:

  • DO give your story a title that explains the topic under discussion, for later reference.
  • DO clearly show questions and answers by including all answers to the same question in the same section, even if they came in out of sequence. Otherwise, it can be hard to tell which comment answers which question.
  • DO use the best tweets, ones that help people make sense of the conversation or learn something new.
  • DO aim for shorter rather than longer.
  • DO include a variety of media, if you can. Photos especially add visual appeal to your summary, or include links to articles, YouTube videos or Google maps.
  • DO post your summary on Twitter, and give credit to the people whose tweets are included.
  • DON’T include every single comment. You’re summarizing, not providing a complete transcript (unless you are, in fact, providing a complete transcript).
  • DON’T include the chit chat that often starts the chat. Its purpose was to get people warmed up and isn’t necessary in the recap.
  • DON’T include apologies from people joining the chat late. Show their participation by including the interesting comments they make.
  • DON’T use retweeted messages just to include another person. It’s redundant. If you want to highlight someone, include their interesting comments.
  • DON’T use information that has been posted privately, as on a Facebook page.

If you’ve used or read Twitter summaries, what other tips would you add? Do you disagree with any of my suggestions? Let me know in the comments.