SAW IT ON THE VINE

Vine App

Vine App

And now for a brief whacko journey to whacko-land. It has to be brief, because it’s on the “Vine,” and only lasts six seconds.

Vine is the video arm of Twitter. You can send a video of just about anything but it can only be six seconds long. (It loops.) Can you possibly get anything across in six seconds? It turns out you can, but a lot of it is weird and some of it is incomprehensible.

Vine is a free app for iPhone, iPod Touch and Android devices. Install it and it’s show time! Each day there’s a bunch of videos to watch when it starts up. There is some filtering of these videos by somebody somewhere because you don’t see any pornography. What, you mean some people send six seconds of pornography? Welcome to the real world.

Now these tiny clips do not have what we would call high production values, but beware: watching America filming itself is addictive. There will be many people dressing up, showing off, and making faces at dogs. Some people prefer cats, but it turns out dogs are funnier. But many others are quite creative, like the one showing a piece of paper bursting into paper-cutout flames. Or the couch that eats a snack off the coffee table and then quickly returns to being a couch. Careful or you’ll miss it. Don’t tap on the “all posts” category if you want to avoid the occasional porn video.

What’s especially nice about Vine is the scrolling. The audio portion of the video doesn’t start playing till you scroll to that video. This allows a dozen or so to be waiting for you while you slide your finger to the next one.

If you wish, take your own six-second videos to share with the world. Or if you’re more of a viewer, tap the “follow” button to subscribe to someone’s video posts. (Andy Warhol said someday we’d all be famous for fifteen minutes, but it’s down to six seconds now.) DigitalTrends.com recently compiled a list of the “best Vine accounts” to follow. You can find it if you search on that phrase. You’ll also see lists compiled by Mashable.com and other blogging sites. Or head over to YouTube and type “Best Vine.”

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