Vine has improved immensely

I’ve been lurking on Vine for a long time now. I’m happy to report that the app has improved immensely. With new updates, Vine has more options and effects. You don’t really need those options and lots of people have abandoned Vine for Instagram. However, Vine still feels like my video home.

In the war for users, Instagram has won. More than 150 million people use Instagram. Vine sports more than 40 million users roughly a year after its launch.

Still, Vine has my heart.

To paraphrase Hitchcock, a smaller budget makes for more creative art. The same is true for time. With only six seconds, Vine is not only a challenge for the Vine user, but often better for the Vine consumer.

This is a simple fact that’s often overlooked, but as a lurker, I notice that I enjoy Vine more. You can watch more vines faster and the user interface is more fun per minute as you flip through more content faster.

I have an Instagram account, but I don’t use it. I’m still a Vine guy and, despite my absence on the platform, I still feel connected to the community on Vine. Maybe it’s just the people I follow on each platform, but Vine seems to have a slightly older crowd and they’re very creative.

I’ll dabble on Instagram to stay in the loop with my kids, but I’ll stay a Vine guy.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What’s killing #Vine

This is frustrating. Vine has the potential to be a great app. I prefer it to the user interface at Instagram. To compete with Instagram’s huge base and longer recording time, Vine has to get it right.

The problem is the spammers.

Post a vine of Vine. Go ahead. I dare you. Within minutes, you’ll get somebody new liking or following you or commenting. The comment will be: Go to X website and get more followers! That’s all it is.

Many good Vine people are posting less or they aren’t posting at all. You can still enjoy Viners like MarlinSMASH, Holly_Golightly and Nick Confalone. Brittany Furlan is still killing it with outrageous comedy. However, many people who posted regularly seem to have given Vine a rest or the big goodbye.

Vine can come back from this. I’d be more cynical, but they’ve kicked the spammers out before. They need to do it again. I love Vine. I want it back.

Vine developers? Are you listening?

Tagged , , , , , ,

This is #VNN and the Vine Talent Agency

Six+Seconds+copyWhen I wrote Six Seconds, I predicted someone would use it to report news. That actually happened early on (in Syria) before I finished the manuscript. That was serious news in a six-second clip. Now there’s the Vine News Network. It’s not as serious as the news from Syria, but it sure is fun. 

Initiated by one of my favorite Vine users, MarlinSMASH, viners use the hashtag #VNN to make funny news reports. (I did some, too.) It works because a quick, funny video using a news report template lends itself to the form.

Next time you’re on Vine, search the hashtag “#VNN” and enjoy.

Fast Company reports entrepreneur and famous wine guy Gary Vaynerchuk has launched a talent agency for Vine stars.

(Click the above link for the article.)

What makes you “Vine famous” as opposed to regular famous?

Followers. Getting on top of the What’s Popular page and the On the Rise Page. Lots of revines and more and more followers.

Vine fame alone doesn’t get you an agent, but if you’re big enough with a broad appeal, you might end up using Vine to publicize the launch of a car with Gary Vaynerchuk brokering your deal with corporate.

FYI: The existence of an agency making corporate deals for Vine celebrities irritates some Viners.

Revines can be great, but the danger is that the same celebrity viners get revined so much, their videos are all we see.

Celebrity can be a loop that feeds itself in a loop despite uneven quality. For instance, if an unknown with few followers says, “I got a new handbag,” that’s boring. If a vine celebrity does the same, 1,500 likes and 40 revines!

It can’t be denied, some viners don’t get the number of followers they deserve.

One of those people is viner and actor Jay Hash. One thing I love about Vine is getting to know new people I’d never meet otherwise.

That’s also why I have two podcasts. I interviewed Jay on the Cool People Podcast about comics and theater and pop culture and comic conventions. To take the geek test with us at the Cool People Podcast, click here.


Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

#Vine hits back at Instagram with “biggest update yet”

Six+Seconds+copyHitting back at Instagram, Vine’s latest update offers 15 new channels and shows new and interesting viners “On the Rise.”


Like retweeting, this update may prove controversial. There’s some early resistance in the Vine community to the idea. After all, as one viner pointed out, “If I wanted to see their vines, I would have followed them.”

The other problem is that “revining” could lead to the same popular viners getting reposted continually. As another viner pointed out, Vine celebrities are already getting enough exposure as it is. It will be interesting to watch if this feature hurts or helps Vine’s case.

New Tools

This update includes new ways to shoot, including “new focus, grid and ghost tools.” It’s doubtful I’ll ever take advantage of that, but there are savvier, more adventurous viners than me out there.

Protected Accounts

With this feature, only people you approve to follow you can view your vines. Since we could already block people, I guess that’s for introverts who want Vine for family only. I don’t foresee many people taking advantage of that new feature.

If this update cuts down on the hang time bug, it’ll be worth it. I don’t expect it will pull anyone back from Instagrams’ 15-second advantage (or their far greater membership.)

TPOD season 1 ecover


Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Bad news for #Vine

Across Vine today, many viners who have worked hard to create great content are feeling down, defensive and threatened. They have good reason to feel that way.

Instagram has weighed in with video and the app is very competitive.

Vine has a superior user interface, but Instagram has two big advantages: 

1. Instagram has 135,ooo,ooo users compared to Vine’s 13 million or so. 

2. Video on Instagram yields 3 to 15 seconds compared to Vine’s 6.5 seconds.

Viners are asking people not to migrate to Instagram

Vine is still a great app, but all the follow-for-follow spam and being limited to six seconds will kill Vine unless they make some major upgrade to appeal to viners who are already making the move.

Instagram’s user interface is more awkward. It uses a tap button instead of touching the screen anywhere. The user interface is not as intuitive as Vine. Also, the filters on Instagram are plain stupid extras.

I predict these quibbles will not matter. 

No one is sadder about this than I am. I wrote a guide to using Vine for Thor’s sake!

RIP Vine: The Why is Simple

There is lots of great content stored on Vine and no way to migrate it anywhere. (Think of all that work!)

Some people say they will use both, but ultimately Vine will be ghettoized unless they counterpunch with a huge upgrade. Without that, when you have a great idea for a vine, you’ll put your best where so many more eyeballs can see it.

Vine engineers are saying they’ll counterpunch, but today it looks like Instagram is VHS. I bet on beta.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

#Vine: The Good, the Bad and Vine versus Instagram

Whoever is spamming Vine didn't read this!

Whoever is spamming Vine didn’t read this!


With the latest update to Vine, you can now share other users’ posts to Twitter and Facebook. This is a useful improvement. For instance, last night cool user Jay Hash gave me a shout out on his Vine profile. Not only did that spark an interesting conversation with him, I was also really happy to share his accolades to my contacts on Facebook and Twitter. It’s fun to share good news to my network and say, “See? Somebody smart likes me! Why don’t you?”


A constant annoyance is the crew of spambots with bikini girls’ profile pics begging Vine users to get more follows with their robot app. The crux is that no one benefits from a bunch of fake follows. If you don’t really like my vines enough to follow me, who cares about the numbers?

True, if your follow numbers are climbing, the success gets a bit gamified. By that, I mean that if you get a big round number (1,000 follows, 10,000 follows, 20,000 follows) it’s understandable you celebrate with a “Hey! I earned x number of followers! I am smart and funny!” Good on ya!

The key word here is “earned”. A bunch of fake follows engineered by bots? All that does is make you think you have some fun activity to check out. Then you go look and it’s disappointing to find spambots. Worse? The Get Follows meme got on Vine’s popular page! I’m sure that was an algorithm not a human decision at Vine’s HQ.

The engineers behind Vine haven’t cut out this spam crap yet so I’ve started reporting them. You know what’s a pisser? Making a Vine mocking the spammers and getting more spam on the same vine! 

I wrote Six Seconds so people could use Vine to promote their businesses, websites, services and products in a smart, fun, non-spammy way. Whoever is flooding us with spambots didn’t read my guide to Vine. There’s a better way to do it and bots ain’t it!


Instagram is stepping up to compete with Vine.

Instagram has 100 million users (compared to Vine’s last count of 13 mill). Vine is very popular, but if Instagram puts out a video format that goes longer than six seconds, it could be serious competition. 

You have to be pretty clever to do a good Vine in six seconds. Later this week we’ll find out if Instagram videos will be five to ten seconds long. It will be interesting to see how it develops, but I love Vine and really don’t want to abandon all the cool people I follow and those who follow me.

I don’t see myself jumping to Instagram, but I will check it out and provide a review here soon.

TPOD season 1 ecover~ I just launched a new book! It’s a horror serial about an autistic boy facing a future of cannibal hordes. The world has fallen to a flu pandemic that evolves into a conflict that’s a bit of The Stand, 28 Days Later and World War Z. For more information, go to or buy it here.

Related articles

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

#Vine shock: #LightACandleForDevin

The shock came when Larry Miles posted this message to Vine:

“We returned home late last night to find that our 21 year old son, Devin had passed away.”

Mr. Miles has posted follow-up vines which are heartbreaking: photo montages of Devin growing up, a trip to his school and even to the funeral home.

Vine has responded with the hashtag #LightACandleForDevin to express emotional support for this grieving family.

You’ll tear up watching these six second tributes to a young man taken too soon. Losing a child is one of the worst things that can happen to anyone. Mr. Miles is spreading the love for his son and reaching out, six seconds at a time.

It’s the most powerfully moving thing you’ll see on Vine.

Light a candle. Use the hash tag, #LightACandleforDevin.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

How #Vine Deals with #Haters

Maybe it’s because we can see people’s faces, but interaction on Vine gets more personal, and is taken more personally, than it is on Twitter.


Haters have found the wrath of Vine is as strong as the urge to keep the community civil. This is not 4chan or even Reddit. Usually people just ignore trolls. Vine can be more proactive than that.

When a hater* went after a popular user’s wife in her comment thread, an ultimatum was issued: 

This guy’s acting like a jerk. Unfollow and block him or I’ll unfollow you.

A few wanted to save the hater from himself or worried about reverse bullying. Many more answered the call of righteous anger.

I love Vine and nasty comments don’t intrigue me. It’s so much easier to move on and look at something else you do find entertaining than to go out of your way to try to ruin someone’s day.

If you leave a comment that would put you in physical danger if you said it in person, perhaps another hobby, like knitting is for you. Vine set a tone by urging “Say something nice…” 

When people don’t say something nice, plenty of Vine users are quick to cll out the haters, unfollow, block and report.

So say something nice or don’t say anything at all.

*I will not name said hater because haters need less attention, not more.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

What’s New on #Vine?

ASIMO is an advanced humanoid robot developed ...

ASIMO is an advanced humanoid robot developed by Honda. Shown here at Expo 2005. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


1. Android users are now able to use Vine! Welcome androids! We pray this is not the rise of Skynet and world domination by Robots. 


(I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords and I’ll kill whatever organic bio-sacks you want destroyed. Thank you, Robot Overlords!)


2. Oovoo! Sometimes you’ll see vines where up to twelve people are talking on a screen at one time. That’s oovoo and it’s a great way to connect with people you meet on Vine and talk over each other with no one understanding anyone else.


3. Superheroes and sexy villain stories on Vine! Follow the hash tag #VineHeroGameCH1. And all hail The Shadow!


(And our Robot Overlords.)





Tagged , , , , ,

How to find cool people on Vine

Click the cover to grab Six Seconds and promote your business without feeling spammy!

Click the cover to grab Six Seconds and promote your business without feeling spammy!

Check out a popular viner and you’ll find stuff like this in the comments:

Follow me and I’ll follow you!

If you think, that’s funny, I’m funny, too! Follow me at…

Please don’t do that. Comments on anybody’s vine that don’t have anything to do with their efforts is rude and looks desperate.

Speaking of Rude

One commenter dared to tell Brittany Furlan she wasn’t funny and that she should stop vining. Brittany Furlan is one of the funniest people on Vine! Curious, I looked at the commenter’s profile. Not funny and mean to everybody. It’s not just that I didn’t follow the nasty person. I blocked them. I’m sure I won’t be alone. Like the comment field says, “Say something nice”.

To find cool people to follow on Vine, check out profiles from commenters who are kind, funny, or interesting.

To be followed, leave comments that are kind, funny or interesting.

(Or dare to be pathetic and write a blog post about Vine and mention I am “Robert Chazz Chute” on Vine. Please follow me.)


The raunchy/hilarious/lovely Holly Marshall is now Holly_Golightly on Vine. Follow her and laugh your ass off.



Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: