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Storify's social media fail

My reaction to the Zimmerman trial using Storify's Twitter account may have been amongst the worst some people saw. I earned a lesson in proper tact the hard way tonight.


  1. Like many in the US, I was glued to the verdict in the Zimmerman trial Saturday night and flocked to social media in the wake of the not guilty ruling.
  2. Discussion on Twitter immediately exploded, and within the first few minutes a search for "Zimmerman" was turning up pages of stories containing any early reactions to the news.
  3. My first reaction was to start putting together a story on my own account. I noticed right away that the quality of quotes and other elements in the Storify search area was much better than a generic Twitter search. (Storify search is actually one of my favorite features.  I wish it got more love, particularly from people using Storify to cover the reactions to big news.)
  4. We often see surges of new stories and questions about basic features during breaking news, so rather than keep the insight to myself, I threw out a quick tweet on the main Storify account:
  5. Everything about this tweet was a fail, as a few pointed out right away:
  6. And they're 100% right. If I'd taken even a minute to think before tweeting, I'd have realized a few things:
  7. • Many people were reeling in their living rooms or Twitter timelines as this was happening. Everything about this tweet lacked empathy for the whole situation.
  8. • We tend to have a newsroom feel in the Storify office as big stories break, but it was naive to assume most of Storify's 100k followers were focused on putting out stories at that moment. This info likely added little to no value to anyone's experience.
  9. • My love for Storify can put me in a bubble where I think everyone welcomes tips on how to use it at all times. What seemed like a timely tip on how to use a basic feature to me really likely looked like stinky, stinky marketing to others. Ew!
  10. Rather than deleting anything, I left the tweet up, favorited a few of the reactions we saw and let others know we had some lessons to learn here:
  11. I'm looking forward to discussing this with the team more and letting the lessons sink in. Of course, we'll be Storifying the whole thing along the way :)