When Storify announced in late 2017 they were closing down, I wasn’t too surprised.
I had been an early adopter of Storify, using it to curate events, talks, and conferences since 2011.
Storify had a drag-and-drop interface that made it easy to add tweets, Flickr photos, posts, and other online content to a story.
Some weeks it wasn’t unusual for me to publish four or five Storify stories.
In its early days, Storify allowed you to do basic formatting with numbered/ordered lists and headings.
Over time, additional services like Instagram, Getty Images, and copyright free images were added to the list of services that integrated with Storify, making it even easier to curate content.
But after a while, fewer features were being added to the free version of Storify. The company was more focused (not surprising) on their paid service.
Why I Stopped Using Storify
As new features were added to Storify, other features I came to rely on were removed. Like the basic HTML formatting options.
I was disappointed.
But I was more disappointed when Storify told me that making their product more accessible was not on their roadmap.
Frustrating, since I’ve had positive outcomes from other companies who listened to my concerns and took action to make their products accessible.
I decided that since WordPress had introduced oEmbed support for many online channels, I would stop using Storify and publish my own posts on my blog.
That was a win-win for me since I own my blog; I would no longer be publishing content on a third-party site.
A Rude Awakening
While I stopped using Storify, I didn’t make any plans to migrate my Storify stories to my blog.
Almost 150 stories sat on Storify for the last couple years.
Out of sight. Out of mind.
Until Storify’s announcement that they were closing down in May 2018.
That got me scurrying around, trying to figure out what action I needed to take to move my stories.
Will check it out. I have almost 150 Storify stories over seven years, dating back to 2010.
— Deborah Edwards-Onoro (@redcrew) December 13, 2017
I learned that Storify offered a four-step process to export stories.
The problem was that the four-step process was for each story. And it didn’t produce clean code. Yikes!
Thankfully, Alan Levine had another solution.
He developed the free online Storify Embeddable Link Extractor that allows you to extract all the embeddable links and text blocks from a Storify story.
Which you can then copy and paste into a WordPress post. You still need to do it for each post, but it’s a cleaner result than Storify’s export option.
Wonderful! Sounds like a great solution for Storify users. Thank you, Alan!
There was another option I could have used, Wakelet, a service similar to Storify.
They personally contacted me to offer to to import my Storify stories into their service.
Hi guys, I work for a site called Wakelet. We are a free platform similar to Storify and are offering support to those who want to import their Storify stories into Wakelet. Let if you have any questions!
— callum nightingale (@Cnight97) December 13, 2017
But I decided it was best for me to own my own content, rather than rely on another third party service.
Levine’s online tool makes it straightforward to export content out of Storify and into a WordPress site.
But it doesn’t entirely fit my use case.
Why I’m Moving Almost 150 Storify Stories Manually
My needs to migrate Storify stories are slightly different than other users. I need to consider:
- Whether I should migrate stories with old content. Is it worth it? Is the content useful and meaningful?
- Migrating stories with links/content that no longer exist
- Review and update my existing blog posts that contain Storify embeds
- Review and update my weekly roundup posts that contain links to my Storify stories
- Future proofing tweets. Instead of using oEmbed in WordPress, I’m using the Twitter Embed tweet so content will display, even when the tweet or the Twitter account is deleted.
I admit, my process is longer because I didn’t go back into Storify over the past eight years to check broken links in each story.
And steps three through five are on me, because I’ve made the decision to promote Storify stories on my self-hosted WordPress blog.
I could skip those steps, but I estimate I’d have more than a thousand broken links on my blog.
Sure, I could use Levine’s tools to export text and links and paste the content into new posts without checking any of the content.
But I’d rather clean it up.
So, since I have (now had) almost 150 stories, I’ve set up a schedule to review/export/migrate seven to ten stories each week to this blog so I can move my stories off Storify by May 2018.
It’s a fair amount of time, my evenings are going to be busy!
As Posthaven says on their home page,
websites come and go. Content disappears when online services shut down.
In my opinion, and many others, unless you host the content yourself, you’re always at risk when you decide to use third-party sites like Storify to share your content.
Or Twitter or Facebook.
Or any of the hundreds of other sites offering you space to share your thoughts, photos, and writing.
Lesson learned: if you’re going to post content a third-party service, consider that one day the service will close down.
You would think I’d know better by now. Guess I’ll keep learning!
Are you on Storify? Let me know in the comments what plans you have for moving your Storify stories.