10up Helps Launch StoryCorps Connect

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations across the globe have been forced to adapt and overcome unprecedented circumstances. One such organization is our long-term client StoryCorps who recently launched StoryCorps Connect, a new browser-based video conferencing platform engineered by 10up.

StoryCorps Connect

With a mission to preserve and share humanity’s stories, StoryCorps has collected living histories of more than 300,000 Americans. Stored at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, the StoryCorps archive is the largest conglomerate of human voice in the world. 

To date, the stories have been gathered through live, in-person interviews facilitated by StoryCorps moderators and recorded with their mobile app. However, under orders to stay at home and practice social distancing, the interviews came to a screeching halt. 

Determined to get staff back to work and continue their mission, StoryCorps explored a pivot to conduct interviews remotely via video conferencing to preserve the experience of talking to someone face-to-face. They built a proof of concept with the Vonage Video API (formerly TokBox OpenTok) and engaged 10up to engineer an integration between Vonage and WordPress so video interviews could be conducted through the StoryCorps website. 

The solution, StoryCorps Connect, leverages a custom WordPress plugin that was engineered and rolled out in only 13 days.

StoryCorps Connect empowers StoryCorps staff to conduct live interviews remotely from any location, expands the number of interviews that can be conducted, and enables anyone, anywhere to collect, store, and share stories. 

The new Connect platform has garnered media attention on sites like Wired and AARP (both of whom 10up has worked with) for its relevance during COVID-19. As many people face social isolation and loneliness, StoryCorps Connect brings people together, encouraging the sharing of personal stories that can be passed down generation to generation and documenting human history, from the mundane to the extraordinary. They even provide sample questions and prompts to help get started.

From our initial partnership to build out the WordPress-powered endpoint for the StoryCorps mobile app and the development of their main website, to designing a landing page for Story Corps’ Google Doodle feature and the multi-year build out of the StoryCorps archive and API, 10up has been honored to work alongside the mission-driven StoryCorp team. In our current pandemic-driven business climate, we are inspired by clients like StoryCorps who are refocusing their digital efforts and quickly adapting.

The collaboration to build StoryCorps Connect was especially rewarding, as it not only met their immediate need to continue operations but created an innovative solution that supports their long-term mission and vision.

If you’re looking for a partner to reimagine service delivery or monetization methods, or a team to bring a new digital initiative to life, please reach out — we’re here to help.

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