/// The Key to Enjoying Vine: Watch a Bunch Together
A vine by itself is not much to look at. Frail and weedlike, a single vine spiraling up a structure can be ugly and tempting to rip down. String a few vines together though, and you might end up with something beautiful: A vineyard a scenic garden, Wrigley Field, paradise.
Coincidental or not, the nature of Vine, the social video network, is starting to resemble that of the plant. Taken alone, a single Vine video usually plays as a six second snapshot of absurdity looping in repetition. But, as we’re starting to learn after a few weeks playing around with the service, string a few Vines together and you might end up with something great.
You likely understand the problem with single Vine videos. Whether posted by amateur videographers believing it’s their mission to fit 29 scenes into six seconds or by others who find it necessary film their face for half the allotted time, watching a single Vine can be a frustrating experience. Personally, I have seen enough of suspect quality that I now consider clicking on one a calculated risk.
I thought this past weekend’s blizzard might change things for single Vines. The blizzard was a made for Vine moment: Its location, in the media heavy northeastern United States, combined with its proximity to the app’s launch made it literally, a perfect storm. But, while a number of decently engaging Vines passed across my Twitter timeline during the blizzard, they were outnumbered by Instagram links and other pictures of just about equal value which required less investment. When the storm ended, I was ready to call it a total bust for Vine, but then I found Vining Nemo.
Vining Nemo, as the name sort of implies, is a site which aggregates Vines posted with the #Nemo hashtag. The site is simple, displaying the latest six #Nemo Vines and nothing else. In the direct aftermath of the blizzard especially, Vining Nemo served up small but interesting snapshots of the storm in one central place, allowing you to take short peeks into people’s lives as they dug out their cars, scaled snow mountains, measured the depth of the drifts and tried to keep warm indoors. All of a sudden these six second bits of anarchy started to form something of a coherent whole, offering a glimpse into the human experience of the storm.
Vining Nemo is not the only Vine mashup site either and the others are just as good, if not better. Vinepeek.com, for instance, is an addictive stream of random Vines playing one after the other. Visit the site, and you’ll have a hard time turning away from the succession of six second windows into people’s lives. In my visit there, I saw views of a London subway stop, got short tours of a few living rooms, and witnessed a lot of dancing, puppies, cooking, and music making– all in just five minutes. Another similar site, vineroulette.com, let’s you watch Vines by category, without the unpleasantness of another roulette site we all know and love.
When Michael Downing, the CEO another social video company, Tout, told me that his company’s research lead him to believe that Vine will eventually move over to a longer format, I tended to agree. For single Vines, that assessment totally makes sense– they are often hard to watch. But, if what we’re witnessing is a trend towards Vine aggregation, than the six second time frame is actually just about right. In Vine’s case specifically, the whole certainly looks to be greater than the sum of its parts.