SwingVine is a place of sharing tastes and creating new trends. People who like knowing "what's hot" in music, books, fashion, and taste, in other words - food and wine, and for those who enjoy writing about their favourite dishes, reviewingfilms and music albums, and gaining ranks in the community of trendsetters.
<p>It's a fact, that people with similar taste will probably enjoy the same new trends, and those who discover new trends, like to share them with others. And what could be an easier, faster and more efficient way to do it than an internet site? This is not a magazine which tries to tell people what is fashionable, and what's out of date, but a site, where users themselves inform others about what they find interesting and worth recommending.</p>
<p>The site is divided into 5 categories: music, movies, books, fashion and taste. Each of them contains a number of articles submitted by the users, who can choose a topic and write a description of the film, book or dish they want to recommend, add media, like photos or video clip, and wait for the response. Other users can comment the article, add their "vines" (articles about things with similar features or texture in case of food, and style, in case of fashion) and make the net of connections grow.They can also vote the page up or down, and see it change it's place in the "what's hot" ranking.</p>
<p>The articles have some interesting features, like the visual summary box. It shows a grid of "reviewers reputation" and "rating", so it's easy to see how for example, a film is rated by users who are considered "movie specialists". The user can click on the grid and choose which reviews to see - the good, or the bad ones, written by the "esteemed reviewers" or "novices". Each piece of information can be edited or flagged as inappropriate. Users who write reviews get points of contribution, depending on the size and quality of what they publish.</p>
<p>It's possible to collaborate on one site, adding for example, new photos of actors or interviews, and each author is then rewarded for activity. The more activity points - the better the rank, and more trendsetting influence on the community. The thing which surprised me, is the lack of "users profiles" browser. There are users profiles, of course, but you can find a particular user only when you encounter his or her article, or comment, or find them in somebody's list of friends. This makes it more difficult to find people, but probably was a conscious decision on the part of the creators - users are supposed to explore trends and fashions, and not collect friends, I guess.</p>
<p>The site looks very fresh and trendy, with lots of connections, ways of jumping from one piece of content to another, and tasteful retro swirls. At first glance, the site might look a bit complicated, with all those ranking options, small icons and little boxes to tick in the search menu, but after just a couple of minutes, it all appears to be really cleverly designed, and easy to navigate.</p>
<p>There are some things that can be considered drawbacks of this site - the lack of "users calatogue" and a limited number of categories. Most trends do appear in the fields of fashion, food, music and movies, but I think there might be more fields added. Maybe leisure activities or gadgets? Apart from that, SwingVine looks really interesting, and might become a really good place for people who enjoy sharing their favorite things. It might also become an inspiration for fashion designers, or movie makers', because they could find out what people enjoy, from the people themselves.</p>