The latest craze to descend upon the social media scene is an iPhone/iPod touch app called Vine
. Launched just a few weeks ago, Vine brings new meaning to the notion of short attention span theater. The app allows users to shoot six-second video clips (yes, 6 seconds) and share them via social media. You can either record six straight seconds of continuous video, or stitch six seconds worth of footage together for a stop motion montage effect.
Essentially, Vine is like Twitter and Instagram, but for video. Six seconds doesn’t sound long, but neither did 140 characters a few years ago. To get a sense of what “vines” look like, search Twitter for the hashtags #vine
. Or, check out Vinepeek
to see a running, real-time view of Vines as they’re posted.
Already, Vine is generating a lot of buzz, and law enforcement agencies should be aware of the app and its videos, and its potential pitfalls and opportunities. Standby for more citizen journalists reporting “news” in real time via Vine…
For the enterprising, social media savvy department, Vine offers a new way to engage and connect with the community. The most immediate use may be for capturing and sharing the great work officers are doing every day. You’ve got 6 seconds to get your message across. The challenge is to be simultaneously succinct and creative. Here are a handful of ideas.
- Crime prevention tips
- Public service announcements
- Most wanted
- Simple how-to guides
- Traffic notices and advisories
- Promoting community events
- Behind the scenes
If police departments think of themselves as a brand
, it doesn’t hurt to look to private industry
, which has already embraced the tool as an advertising platform, for inspiration.
Conversely, let’s brainstorm ways that the community can connect and communicate with and to departments through Vine. Suspicious activity reporting? Crimestoppers tips? Officer commendations? What about a Vine contest for the best 6 second crime prevention video?
What about internal uses, say perhaps during roll call - a quick officer safety reminder to wear your seat belt and your vest?
The beauty of Vine is its simplicity. No high tech gear or software required. Just an iPhone and a creative, enterprising officer and you’re on your way. A quick search didn’t show any U.S. law enforcement agencies using Vine yet. Will you be the first? What are some more ways you can think of to use Vine in policing?