Recently I interviewed Brandon Camp, the CMO of Storied, and the questions and answers are below. Today they announced their new product called Storied. It is an exciting new service that has outstanding potential for family historians to capture their ancestors’ stories.
You can read the press release at https://storied.com/resources/media-2023-jan-rebrand/. They have rebranded World Archives also. World Archives is the provider of NewspaperArchive.
Personally, the ability to add non-family and other types of relationships is a fascinating feature. Also, the ability to collaborate with others on your ancestor stories is exciting.
I recommend highly that you take a look at Storied
1. Why Storied? What was the impetus for the creation of this product/service?
The reason for Storied is threefold.
First, many of us caught the family history bug when we worked at Ancestry. One of the aspects of family history that really speaks to us is the stories about people. The names, dates, and places that we gather from historical records are an important way to build out a tree, but they don’t do a great job of helping us come to know our ancestors. We set out to build a platform with historical records and trees as a foundation for capturing stories about people to allow us to understand them, and ourselves, a little better.
The second is affordability and collaboration. There are millions of people who are interested in family history and are priced out of the hobby. The other players in the market have done a phenomenal job at digitizing historical records and providing an invaluable resource to family historians. With the investments they have made, they charge higher prices. Unfortunately, there are many family history hobbyists who would love to participate but are priced out. They have photos, heirlooms, diaries, and, perhaps most importantly, memories that aren’t in the family history ecosystem. We feel it is vital to get those folks off the sidelines and into the game, because everyone benefits.
The third is around relationships. The family history category has been focused squarely on blood-relationship families, which makes sense because everyone fits the model of two biological parents. However, our history is much more than just family. Every person we interact with leaves a mark or impression. Many of those relationships are very meaningful (in some cases more meaningful than family). Unfortunately, there isn’t a family history platform today that makes capturing those relationships easy. Our goal is to go beyond the family tree and pull friends, neighbors, coworkers, pets, and communities into our family trees. The technology behind Storied was built with these relationships in mind, and it opens up a lot of fascinating opportunities.
2. What are the main features?
We bucket the features of Storied into four different categories.
We have a robust free tier that allows for tree-building and storytelling. You can upload a GEDCOM or start a tree on the service for free. There are story prompts, a media gallery, people data sheet, etc to help people get started and involved.
We are compiling a catalog of core family history sets (like census, military records, BMDs, passenger lists, etc) including some additional product features (like sponsoring a group) that we are excited to offer for $4.99/mo.
As articulated above, we have built features into the platform that allow people to capture friends, family, coworkers, high school classmates, fellow congregants, pets, or any other relationship you can think of. We have a new view we are currently working on that lets you visualize how these groups and communities come together.
Ironically, one of the biggest challenges in family history is finding an easy way to share all the discoveries that are made. Many of us are sitting on research, photos, and stories that would be of interest to others. To get around these limitations, some families are creating Facebook groups or PDFs and books to share at the next family reunion. Those are workarounds because most of the current platforms haven’t made collaboration a priority.
On Storied, members can create a private group that is a dedicated space where all group members can contribute memories, photos, comments, reactions, and comments. The site encourages short and engaging stories that make it easier for folks to consume and respond.
Historical records with names, dates, and places are great, but they are a means to an end. They help build out the tree. The truth is, most of us want to learn about the memories, stories, and experiences that bring those people in the tree to life. With that in mind, we have created a storytelling platform with text message prompts, online story suggestions, an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface, and a personal story feed that shows when new stories and content come online. The story feed is the central experience, where you can see recent stories published by you, people you follow, and by group members, for groups, you are in.
3. There are a lot of what I will call “Story” products out there. Many have an online database for a person’s ancestors and others create a physical book, and others incorporate audio and video. How is Storied different?
There are a couple of things that sets Storied apart. First, there is value in pulling historical records, family trees, and stories into a single platform. There are many specialized platforms that focus on one or the other, but there is value in the confluence of all three. Organizing stories by an ancestor, story category, or relationship type provides an easy way to find and consume the stories that exist for the people you care about.
Another is the collaborative nature of Storied. The ability to create a private group and “crowdsource” many of the stories and memories from family members and friends is compelling. We’ve learned that many of the current storytelling platforms make the recipient feel like they have received a homework assignment. Additionally, many platforms are working towards a finished product that takes months to produce. Storied allows people to share stories immediately as they are captured, giving family members and friends the opportunity to not only consume but also react to and comment on those stories in real time as they are captured.
4. Why should I, as the family historian in my family, invest hundreds of hours to create my ancestors’ stories in Storied? How does Storied make it easier for me to accomplish that?
Part of the Storied value is it puts stories at the heart of the experience. The group and sharing functionality makes it very easy to get validation for all of the work and effort family historians put into their research. In many ways, it can help further the research as different family members and friends may have the needed content to flesh out the research.
Another key component is the multiple relationship types. We will be able to provide a much broader view of family history as users start to pull in friends, coworkers, classmates, etc. A story told by an army buddy that served with Grandpa could help users better understand what Grandpa’s experience was in the war.
The product is geared towards creating rich, bite-sized stories built upon a family tree that pulls people together.
5. What can we expect in the future from Storied, beyond the initial launch features?
The product is still in beta, so there are a lot of fun features and content on the horizon. Users can expect to see us continue to invest in historical content for those interested in research. We have some more robust storytelling tools on the horizon that uplevel what is currently available. Adding additional functionality around these non-familiar relationships is key to what we are hoping to accomplish. Most importantly, we want to hear from early users on Storied on what features are important to them to ensure the investments we make in the product are solving real pain points people are experiencing.
You can check out this exciting new product at Storied.
Here are a few fun short videos