Vine’s Been Cut Down

If you follow this blog, you probably know I’m not a fan of social media (ironic, considering blogging is a form of social media, but anyway…). So I was happy to hear about the demise of Vine,* which is basically YouTube with a much shorter attention span, where users post 6-second videos. Yes, you read that right. Six seconds of video, played on a loop until the viewer gets sick of it and it’s no longer amusing or funny or whatever it was supposed to be.

Apparently, Vine is being shut down (although the existing videos will remain in an archive) because it did not keep up with the innovative pace of Twitter, Snapchat, and other popular social media sites. Why did Vine not last? Perhaps because users wanted something with a little more substance, so they turned to YouTube. Maybe they wanted to upload pictures instead of videos, so they went on Instagram.

Oddly enough, I’ve also been hearing things about Twitter (the parent company of Vine) and Tumblr (owned by Yahoo!, which was recently bought by Verizon) also having problems. So maybe Vine represents the beginning of the end for social media in general, and we can all return to having face-to-face conversations instead of burying our heads in our phones all the time. I do recognize that this is an unlikely outcome because social media sites come and go all the time, but I can dream, right?

*But I was not happy upon realizing that Vine’s shutdown means that people will be out of jobs.

The Hemingway Editor

Let me say this right away: I have never cared for Hemingway’s writing. Everything I’ve read by him has bored me to death. But the editing app that carries his name might be useful.

Usually I’m leery of editing apps and programs because I’m an editor, and there’s always the possibility that my job could be taken by a robot or a very smart computer. Then I remember that I am often correcting mistakes made by Microsoft Word’s grammar checker and programs like Grammarly, and I am reassured that my future is secure (well, so far).

The Hemingway App also tells you how easy your sentences are to read and whether you have any adverbs, longer words that could be replaced by a shorter word, passive voice, and so on. CaptureLike Microsoft Word, it also gives you a counter so you can see what you have in a given document. I’m guessing that the “Read. Time” thingy is how long it would take an average reader to get through the document, which is an interesting feature.

Would you use something like this?

Gmail Likes to Put Words in My Mouth…

…and weird reminders on my calendar. It annoys me when I’m trying to email my friend and Gmail gives me suggestions of what to say that totally lack in personality and would be offensive if I actually sent them. I know the system is supposed to be intuitive, but have we gotten so lazy that we need to rely on Gmail to write our emails for us?

I know that some tablets and smartphones are actually pretty smart and over time, they learn your most commonly used phrases, so their suggestions actually sound like something you would realistically say. My smartphone has never adapted to my words, so I guess it’s not as smart as it pretends to be.

Another quirk of Gmail: every time someone sends me an email with a sentence that even vaguely seems imperative, Gmail wants me to add it to my calendar.* I got this one yesterday:

madness

You know, it would be really nice if I could believe in whatever latest madness had occurred in the world. I’m naïve, but I’m not that naïve. 🙂

*I don’t use Gmail’s calendar anyway. For work stuff, I use Outlook. For other stuff, I use a paper planner.