Communication Down the Vine

I get such a kick out of the mobile app, Vine. I’m certainly not the world’s biggest user of the service, but I love how easy it is to point, click and publish moving images that loop and loop. I like it so much, I wanted to talk about it during one of my recent #sm4ph Twitterchats. The chatters had some trouble figuring out how anyone could reliably use a six-second looping video to do anything that was teachable and interesting. So I wanted to take a blog post and expand on that idea a bit.

My first thought was that we, as government communicators, need to be on Vine for when this type of video gets posted on there:

But really, you could say that about any social media service and it’d be true. But what about creating? What about using it positively, proactively?

Well, first, let’s look at the business case. A friend recently posted a link to this article on why video is so important today:

As a form of content, video is a multi-sensory experience. Movement, images, colors, words, emotions. It would seem only logical that we would find it more appealing than just the written word. But would you be surprised to know that there is real science as to why we are drawn to video?  Susan Weinschenk, Ph.D. — also known as The “Brain Lady”—has uncovered four core, very human reasons we are drawn to video:

1. We focus on the face.
2. Voice makes more meaning.
3. Seeing is believing!
4. It’s all about the movement.

The fact of the matter is that video is a key facet of what our communication should look like moving forward. The problem is that we’re probably going to attack it like we attack all other communication pathways—boringly.

Take a look at this amazing compilation of Vine videos. Someone took a ton of time to put together this amazing video of some of the best content that’s been published this year. And sure, some most of it is silly or a pratfall, but how much of it blows your mind? How much opens your eyes to all that can be done with a phone and six seconds of your time? (Also, sorry about the cover image, and yes, there is a bit of language in there.)

And the federal government is getting ahead of this, having already reviewed and approved the terms of use for Vine, according to GovDelivery. They go on to show their favorite government Vine (how a Congressional bill is submitted), point you to some public healthy ones and offer six types of content that could be interested when Vined:

1. Introductions
2. Ceremonies and events
3. Introducing a new product
4. How-to videos
5. Promoting initiatives and events
6. Engage with citizens

So what do you think? Do you have six seconds and a story to tell?


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