It seems like just about everyone has a Twitter or Facebook account these days and I find myself checking the so called "status updates" for my friends and family more than I'd like to admit. I never thought when these services launched that a status update could become anything more than a simple yawn-worthy report of personal activity. But as we've seen with these services' growing popularity, and the recent explosion of activity during the aftermath of Iran's election, the idea of a status update has morphed into something much bigger. A simple sentence or two can now be broadcast for thousands or even millions of people as a sort of window into the lives of those we know and to the lives people around the world.
A recent addition to my iPhone app library takes this concept a step further. After an easy sign-up process, Whrrl (free) lets you post both pictures and words to create a narrative in a neat package for others to see and comment on. You start by creating your story: let's say you're planning a trip to a public market. As you make your way to the market, you might take a picture of traffic and caption the photo with "There's always market traffic on Saturday morning." Later you might take a picture of the throngs of people with its own caption or maybe a photo of some of the fresh ingredients you find at the many stands. Finally, you can end your story with a picture of the dinner you made using the ingredients found at the public market. Your story can be public for all on the Web or you can allow permission to only specific people. Either way, you've created a narrative with a combination of pictures and captions that anyone can follow, and you give people the opportunity to comment on the complete story.
Whrrl lets you post your creations to both Facebook and Twitter (adding a URL to your status), and you can view your stories on the iPhone app or on the Whrrl Web site. If you use Twitter or Facebook, but would like to a create something that's more than just a status update, check out this free app.