Vine gets video sharing right--and it's perfect for sports

For nearly as long as users have been able to share photos on Twitter, there have been companies and products trying to push them to share video as well. In the early days there was Twitvid (which became Telly) and Yfrog, then the Shaq-backed Tout and even YouTube has recently attempted to get in the social sharing game with Capture. But none have replicated the early success of Vine.

With Vine, it's all in the nuances. As much as I want to credit Twitter (which acquired Vine before it even launched) for creating new user behaviors, the service is essentially an Instagram clone operating with a different medium. Instead of filtered or over-saturated photos, it's looping six-second video clips—somewhere between an animated GIF and the portraits in Harry Potter.

Vine's success lies in that format. Six seconds isn't enough time to say anything of substance and, if it were, do you really want it looping back over and over again? Plus, on the web, audio is disabled by default. Another nuance: Vine users can create compilations, but they must do so in one take. You create a post in Vine by holding the screen to record. You can use just a part of the allotted six seconds and add to it later, but you cannot go back and edit.

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Gawker's new reader-driven blogging platform would make sense for sports teams

I've long advocated for sports teams to launch their own independent publications. Independent from their websites— distancing content marketing intended for the most passionate fans from the overt marketing—and independent from other social media ventures. Other social media efforts would be integrated, of course, but this would be stand on its own. A hub, so to speak.

In looking for examples, KnicksNow immediately comes to mind, as does Duke's Blue Planet. They're highly focused, they are deeply integrated with Twitter and Facebook, they produce a wealth of interesting content (especially video) and they're powered completely by professionals associated with their respective teams.

That last note, though, has some downside as it limits the amount of content being published. The cost of each piece of content is equal to the internal resources required to produce that piece of content.

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It's time: bring on the crowd-sourced sports broadcasters

During halftime of the Super Bowl, my girlfriend asked me for the identity of the individual who was providing 'analysis' at the moment. She'd already stated earlier that she hated these NFL studio sets, and this individual wasn't doing anything to sway her opinion.

"That's Bill Cowher. He was actually a really good coach."

It didn't matter. It never matters. Cowher and the rest of the guys on these sets have a trove of information to draw on, war stories that none of us could even dream of, but again, it doesn't matter. They revert back to the same clichés, give that tired narrative a little more fluff, then point and yell a little before it's their turn to talk again. It's pointless.

And all this was before the blackout—which, as Drew Magary describes it for Deadspin, showed us "how truly worthless NFL broadcasters are."

This blackout should serve as the turning point, the moment in history when a network executive finally puts his foot down and says: "Why are we doing this? Why do we spend gobs and gobs of money on ex-players and ex-coaches who can't f*cking talk?" What is the point of Dan Marino?...A decade ago, The New York Times estimated that Marino makes $2 million a year from his broadcasting duties. That's $2 million—more than 70 times the median annual wage in America—for nothing.

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