Joan Carreras writes for the news site from Catalan TV&Radio, reporting on digital journalism and the Internet. When he first started playing with Storify, he was looking at it as a tool for reporters.
"I started using Storify as a journalist, trying to capture what was immediate, just at the moment in real time conversations," Carreras said.
After doing a Storify story on local politics in Barcelona, Carreras wanted to try capturing conversations happening around him. He curated a story using Tweets in Catalana called “Bon Dia,” meaning "good morning." He found many people locally talking online about their mornings.
“And then I thought about going further, not only the Catalan people, but focusing on the world,” he said.
For his first Storify experiment, he wanted to see if he could recreate the lyrics of John Lennon's hit song "Imagine" using recent tweets.
"I decided to start with something universal, like that song,” he said. "It was amazing! People were tweeting the lyrics."
"On this global and transparent conversation, we sing songs, we expose our preferences ... and there are some universal wishes as well, like those expressed by Lennon."
Carreras wanted to show that people unconnected were expressing the same words, thoughts and feelings on the internet. These people, without realizing it, were having related conversations. Through his stories, Carreras brings them together, creating a dialogue between strangers on the web.
“I call it ‘Interviewing the world,’” he said.
Not all the conversations are as uplifting as “Imagine,” as evidenced by another story Carreras created called "My dad is fat," attached below (WARNING: contains some profanity).
- "I just decided to be a little rude after that sweet 'Imagine' piece," Carreras said. "I started a new search with 'My dad is fat' and there were dozens of messages in the last 2 or 3 days."
Carreras used this story to further explore how people communicate on Twitter.
"I mean, if you think that every person in the world will be able to read what you write, would you ever write something like 'My dad is fat as fuck'?" he asked. "I don't think so. ... Sometimes it is good to share these comments but other times seems to come from an unconscious use of those tools."
"I'm not criticizing, not moralizing. I'm just doing an experiment about transparency and narration," Carreras said. "So we are sweet and rude, arrogant and generous, social and individualistic. We are all ordinary people."