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Posts Tagged ‘Vine’

Are Hashtags Useful?

Of all of the techniques, strategies, flotsam and jetsam to spawn from social media since its meteoric rise in the mid-2000′s, there may be nothing as polarizing as the hashtag. Some users utilize hashtags any chance that they get, others see them as an aesthetic and textual nuisance.

But the real question is: are hashtags useful in any real way?

Today, another social network, Vine, announced the platform-wide adoption of hashtag-focused organization and search. Vine CTO Nick Kroll wrote in a blog post for the company:

“To surface that content, we’re introducing trending hashtags, which show you the fastest-rising hashtags on Vine. These hashtags signify those that have moved up quickly in popularity; they aren’t necessarily the hashtags with the most posts.”

Using hashtags to track trends has been the mode of choice not only for Vine parent company Twitter, but also for Flickr, Path and Instagram. Last month, there was even talk of Facebook taking up the hashtag trend, though the social media giant has remained silent on the topic. On the surface, incorporating a searchable component based on hashtags is a helpful thing: users would be able to discover topics and search for what they want quickly, without having to bother with further context. Read more

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Please Don’t Use Vine: It’s Boring

When Vine was launched in January, I immediately thought it could be a new tool for reporters and wrote about it here. I didn’t have any particular good ideas, but was interested to see how people could use it.

Months later, the journalism-focused blogosphere is finally getting excited about it. But going so far as to say it’s “shaking up the news world” is a bit of a stretch.

Frankly, I’m not buying it for two major reasons:

1) The six second, GIF-like looping of video makes Vines some of the most boring video content out there. What could be done with a good photo is instead exploited and worn out with the app. In fact, “Finite Vine” would be a welcome addition.

2) Audio helps with context and Vine’s capability for voiceovers is great. But after seeing some Vines, I’m glad the default volume status is mute. It makes me want to push for other video channels, like HuffPost Live, to run the same way. I’m on a constant mission to hit the mute button on most videos on news websites before playback starts. It feels like a constant attack.

If Twitter is an incessant feed of things you’ll probably never get around to reading, or really need to know, then Vines just add to that noise. There’s a reason why traditional broadcasting organizations haven’t taken to it. You need more than six seconds and a GIF to tell a story. Even if it’s just 24 seconds more and two GIFs — anything is better than a Vine.

Let’s stop the madness.

How Can Journalists Use Vine?

What can you get in six seconds or less? A whole lot, apparently.

It’s been a week since Vine, Twitter’s new app for creating, curating, and sharing short videos, hit the iOS App Store and I can’t help viewing every one that comes my way.

The chance to create, post and share a short video means big things for journalists in the field. But as of yet, I’ve only seen one of breaking news and it was a very sad, and very fuzzy, video of the dolphin stuck in a New York City canal last week.

Instead, journalists seem most excited about sharing their view of the newsroom and documenting, very, very quickly, the process of putting together the next edition.

And yet, it’s hard to be skeptical about a new way to post video on the go. Remember when we were all skeptical about Twitter in the first place? Or was that just me? It’s since become our daily, morning briefing with our coffee and the rest of the news-breaking world.

There will be more bad Vine videos to come, and if you’re in the field, six seconds is not a lot of time for context. But let’s not give up just yet or just plug the view from our desks.

Can you think of a way you could use Vine to enhance a story? Have you already? Share them with us in the comments or @10,000Words.