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Twitter Announces Vine. But How Could Higher Education Use 6-second long Videos?

Posted by Brian Kelly (UK Web Focus) on 25 January 2013

Sharing Brief Video Clips on Twitter

Yesterday Twitter announced Vine: A new way to share video. As described in a TechCrunch article[Vine] integrates with Twitter in the same way that Instagram does, except that Vine never turned off permissions randomly, meaning that Vine videos can be embedded directly in tweets, showing up in followers’ streams“. An article in the Guardian explains how “Vine clips automatically play when embedded in tweets, although their sound is turned off by default. The clips also play within Twitter’s official mobile app. Users can add locations to their clips – the app draws on Foursquare’s places database for that – with three options for sharing: Vine, Twitter and/or Facebook.” The Guardian article instantly attracted comments on how Vine might be (mis-used):

  • Sexting app
  • Advert app
  • oh no it’s the video equivalent of gifs, twitter is gonna become as annoying as tumblr is with these.

although others provided more thoughtful responses:

As with everything, it’s all about how you leverage the technology. 
Yes, for the most part, this app will feature videos of no importance whatsoever, but there will, as always, be some gems in the dirt.

Leaving that aside, you have to remember that with Twitter, many people end up forming a close circle of people they meet physically in the real world – so Twitter augments that. 
I don’t give a damn about someone I’ve never mets photo of their dog on twitter, but I do care if a friend of mine posts a picture of their dog.

The same applies to tweeting – to most people, the “Did xyz run in xyz area this morning, totally knackered” is completely meaningless and banal. But to this persons friends, it’s likely to promote conversation when they next meet. “Saw your tweet Dave, how was the run down at xyz? Did a run there recently” …

So, before you instantly dismiss tech such as this, perhaps give it a *little* more thought?

I would agree that we should give a little more thought to the implications of new technologies, especially their potential in higher education.

Initial Experiments

Vine appEarlier today I installed the Vine app on by iPod Touch and recorded a number of video clips. I asked what could be said in 6 seconds (partly to get a feel for what could be said in such a brief period. In my second video clip I said “E=MC2 and the DNA is a double helix” to illustrate how important scientific concepts could be described using the Vine app. By then I had gained some familiarity with the app. In my third post I described what I liked about the app: being able to stop and start reshooting by simply removed my finger for the screen. My four post described what I didn’t like – the lack of support for the iPod Touch’s forward-facing camera.

I then started to write this post – and discovered that I couldn’t find the URL for the video clips I had created and uploaded to Vine. I can view the videos using the Vine app and people who follow me on Vine will see the videos in their Vine timeline but it seems as though they are not available via a Web interface; this was confirmed by Giles Turnbull, one of my Twitter followers who is also experimenting with Vine: “only way to find out the URL of your Vine post is to share it somewhere. if you choose not to share, or forget, you can’t find it on the web“.

I therefore created another clip which is available online. However there does not appear to be a Web interface to my Vine profile, so I can’t access my clips via a Web browser in order to change access rights, delete videos, manage Vine followers, etc.

Perhaps it is unfair to be too critical of the limitations of the initial release of the app: these short=-comings may be remedied in a subsequent release. However I thought I would summarise my initial experiments for others who may wish to evaluate the app. And rather than describe possible use cases for 6-second long video clips in higher education I’d welcome suggestions. If you’d rather not describe possible uses, perhaps you may wish to complete the poll on whether you think Vine has a role to play in higher education.


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Posted in Social Networking, Twitter | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »