Hopefully you’ve all already read about my jaded but come around tale of Instagram, because I’m about to lay another story of skepticism and acceptance on your asses. If Instagram was the hipster social media photo platform, then Vine is its quirky video cousin with severe ADHD. You see Vine is a six second video sharing platform for your smart phones. Twitter bought Vine last October before being released in January to the general public. Makes sense seeing as how they compliment each other so well, not unlike Instagram.
So I was never much of a videographer or film making kind of man. I had a camera back in middle school that I was elated about until I realized I was terrible at editing (Note to potential employers- I was terrible at the time) and had no patience for “multiple takes.” Basically, it ended up collecting dust in my closet and may very well still be there. Cannon Z-85 I think, in case you’re interested in buying? I digress; the point is that I don’t have that same background of love movie making as I did for photography. So then why was it that I was still hesitant about getting Vine when I had so much less of a personal stake in it?
After some thought, I believe it all stems to one of my “hipster tendencies.” I don’t like to jump on bandwagons. I’m wary about getting new popular things that I’m not convinced are not fads yet. I see something like Vine, Instagram, or even Twitter and ask myself, “Would I actually use this? Do I honestly need ANOTHER form of social media? How connected is too connected? Why do we honestly have LinkedIn’s?” It becomes an internal debate about whether or not we are so invested in our social media, getting likes, and retweets that we miss the world passing us by as we incessantly try to record it happening.
Well apparently my need for attention won out as I, admittedly in a drunken state, downloaded Vine one night at a party and promptly recorded my friend dancing randomly. I’m going to be honest; Vine may be pretty fun but it is pretty damn stupid when it comes down to it. I would say 95% of the videos I see on Vine are just dumb. However, as with other creative social media outlets, there are some rather impressive works of six-second art. Some of my personal favorites employ the use of stop-animation.
As long as Vine stays in the world of fun and art, I’m all for it. However, the idea of people using Vine in a journalistic sense irks me to no end. Six seconds is utterly incapable of telling a story an engaging and well-produced story. The only way I could see it working out is as a sort of video lede but then the problem is that Vine doesn’t allow for clickable links in the descriptions. This makes it impossible for the viewer to easily link to a news website and actually become educated at an appropriate length. Half the reason I ever got a Twitter was for that exact reason- keeping up with news. If you are interested in having an app that can do a decent job of video reporting, I would recommend Qik Video which allows you to take longer videos and stream them live. I used it once for a journalism class and it seemed to work just fine. Citizen journalism is another post for another time but I must implore major news outlets to stay away from Vine. I get it, you want to be cutting edge and “hip,” and there may be exceptions that prove useful, but generally it isn’t worth sacrificing integrity just to impress your younger viewers.
Vine, I like you, but let’s keep this strictly unprofessional.