Today

The Friday Fillip: Vinepeek

This week I debated with myself as to whether the fillip should be about piece of meaningless fluff (actually a whole dust bunny of pieces of meaningless fluff) that might be NSFW, or about a weighty question raised by a philosopher in the NYTimes (that probably was in its way NSFW i.e. not satisfactory for weekends). Fluff won. It is, after all, now February, that Thursday of months, when, speaking for myself, the winter thing becomes just a tad teejus and light, whatever its form, might be welcome.

The sub-trivial treat for today comes to us thanks, in part, to Vine, Twitter’s new feature that lets you post a six-second video to your followers. At the moment there are no BlackBerries on the Vine: it’s available only to iPhone and iPad users. I’m tempted to snark about its being for folks who find 140 characters too challenging, but it’s the frame that facilitates the picture, as they might say, and though this is a tiny frame, in the right hands six seconds of video could be very effective indeed.

But the right hands are fewer than we might like. You can see this in today’s real feature which is a nonce website called Vinepeek that publishes all of the uploaded Vine flics, one right after the other, “in real time.” It’s as if those fabled hundred monkeys have started typing — and we’re subscribed to the output.

vinepeek_catThere is, I admit, a certain fascination to this, or I wouldn’t have told you about it. It’s a little like gambling, perhaps, where you get ten fresh hands of cards a minute and with them ten little springs of hope. Or perhaps it’s like being a flaneur and letting your eye be caught by whatever lures there are as you stroll through town.

On the other hand, there will be cats, and for that I’m very sorry. But you’ve been warned. And, oh, there might be the odd bit of the naughty as well: seems Apple is a little unhappy with the Vine app at the moment because of this, and Twitter is busy trying to fix hashtags so that you can’t hunt out short porn. But I imagine that in the wild the cases of disturbing glimpses will be negligible, what with people’s love for the utterly utterly ordinary.

And should you encounter a masterpiece in Vinepeek, you can preserve it for all time by clicking on the video camera icon below the viewer.

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