On the surface, StoryPress looks like any other photo journal app, but its unique mix of audio, visual and written storytelling is far more captivating.
The oral traditions of storytelling are a lost art. These days, we tell all of our stories on social media, pictures and texts. While I'd rather converse on Twitter than anywhere else, something is always lost in translation when you can't hear someone's intonation. You miss out on some of the "heart" of the story.
That's where StoryPress comes in. It blends the best of both worlds. It captures the spirit of oral storytelling and puts it in a digital package. Available for the iPad, iPhone and also on the web, the app lets you share every aspect of your life, not just what's happening right now. Reflect on your childhood or college years. Chronicle parenthood, travels or holidays. Recount milestones and funny moments. Use the app as a diary, so that you never forget those small, but important, moments.
To help you tell your stories, there are templates called story guides. Each story guide prompts you with a different set of questions. Every question represents a chapter in your story.
Some of these questions can get pretty personal. The "living bio" template asks you about your relationships with your immediate and extended families. How close are you? Do you like each other? Are holidays fraught with fighting? Okay, it may not ask that last question, but you get the idea. There are also questions about your spiritual beliefs and personal philosophies. This might seem like a turn off, but it's the point of the app. It wants to create a full picture of who you are and how you've lived your life.
If you're using it to catalog deeply personal events, StoryPress gives you new way to get introspective and reflect on your life. You don't have to get personal. Record significant or funny moments, like marathons, weddings or simple get-togethers.
To get started, select a story guide topic. Tag each chapter with "who," "where" and "when." Then, upload a photo or video. Next, click the microphone button and start telling your tale. When you are done answering one question, swipe to the left to reveal the next one. You do not have to answer every question in a story guide. It's up to you how much information you want to share. If you don't find any of the guides relevant or helpful, you have the option to create a custom story.
While you don't make typical status updates, StoryPress is a social media app. You follow people just as you do on any other network. However, there is a "private" option so that you don't have to share every story with your followers. If you did want to give a Twitter or Facebook-like update, you'd have to create a new chapter and record your status.
Not everyone is going to like this app. Recording yourself telling a story can be awkward for a lot of people, myself included. Despite that fact, I really love StoryPress. By verbally telling your story, you add layers of context to key events and memories. If you want a fun, beautiful and unique way to chronicle your life, you need to give StoryPress a try.