Are GIF Apps Going to Happen?

GIFs were a thing of the past, but now they want back in through social networking. 

To begin, I would like to settle a debate that has been bugging me for a while. The prounication of GIF. I have heard it pronounced with a hard g like “gift” and I have also heard it said with a soft g as like “jiffy”. GIF is actually an acroynm for Graphic Image File therefore making it a graphic. So stop making it sound like you’re looking at peanut butter online.

tumblr_mhsgtp2w5u1s5p4ndo1_500

Anyway, I love GIFs. I love finding funny ones from TV shows, movies, music videos, and of cats doing silly things. They are simple mini video clips, usually a second or two long on loop that never ends. The best part is that Apple now allows GIFs to be sent over texting which has greatly enhanced my conversations with friends.

I took a photography class a few years ago and learned how to actually turn my pictures and videos into GIFs by using Photoshop. I sat down with the teacher that taught me how to do that recently.

“Oh I don’t teach that anymore, they’re awful” say Professor Brain Lawler of the Graphic Communications Program at Cal Poly.

yuck

“They have two benefits. One that that are small in file size and two they support animation.” GIF file types were the first of their kind to support transparency and motion, which was it’s immediate appeal. But with the invention of PNG files that support transparency and new types of video files, GIFs were pointless. According to Professor Lawler, GIFs peaked in the 90s and but he is curious to see how their return is going.

The GIF comeback would not have happened if wasn’t for social networks like Reddit and Tumblr. These sites are based on a platform that focuses on images. You can sit there for hours just scrolling without stopping. It’s really simple to get lost in these sites. GIF uses spand anywhere from reactions to other photos to images that bring us together. A perfect example of GIF success on the internet is the Tumblr How Do I Put This Gently. The titles of their posts are common situations and the reaction is a GIF that could be from just about anything. It’s hard to NOT relate to their posts.

h8

With the success and the fun had on these sites with GIFs and the winner of Time’s Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year in 2012,  app creators saw it as an opportunity to market GIF in a new way.

Most people with cellphones can capture video, so why not make your videos into GIFs and share them in new mobile social networks. Top GIF apps include Gifboom, Cinemagram, and Gifture. I do have a Cinemagram account. I am not very popular, don’t have a lot of friends, and the only likes are from my 3 friends on it. But I am trying. I have only turned a few of my concert videos into GIFs.

Sexyback GIF taken by Me at the Hollywood Palladium at the Grammy After Party Concert

Sexyback GIF taken by Me at the Hollywood Palladium at the Grammy After Party Concert

Everbody Talks GIF taken by me at the Jimmy Kimmel Show

Everbody Talks GIF taken by me at the Jimmy Kimmel Show

Born This Way GIF taken by me at the Staples Center for the Born This Way Ball

Born This Way GIF taken by me at the Staples Center for the Born This Way Ball

I was attracted to its similarities to Instagram and the nifty effects you can do to your work. There are times in my daily life when I think “Wow I wish I had a GIF of that facial gesture that I could keep in my pocket forever.” With these new GIF creating programs, that can be a possibility. But from my personal experience and from the information gathered from friends, it’s having a rough start.

“I do think it will eventually catch on. Not many people know about the app, but once the word spreads then people will notice it is basically Instagram taken to a new level,” says Kayla Koczian, a member of Cinemagram. “I like that it has filters. Filters make the world go round.” JJ Jenkins says he joined Cinemagram because he “wanted an app that makes making GIFs easy and  likes the promoted posts for the most part.” “I found a really funny one of a dog that’s amazing.”
puppy
I think the hardest part about GIF social networking is that we always forget to capture something on video. Taking a picture is so much faster, easier, and doesn’t require a lot of thought. Video takes up much more space on your phone and it obviously takes more time to capture. We are not in the mindset yet to remember to capture our daily lives through video. We are still stuck in a highly photographical way of displaying our lives on social networking.
time for dat

So will GIF social networking become as big as Facebook or Instagram? Right now as much as I wish it would, no. I think GIFs know their place on the internet and let’s face it, none of our homemade videos will be as good as the ones created on the web. They are hilarious tools used to reminisce about clips on a loop. I don’t think a social network will catch on because if the video is funny it will be sent to YouTube, the clip will be shortened, and then the GIF will end up somewhere on Tumblr. That’s how it works today and I think that’s the way it’s going to stay for a while.

no

So there’s my thoughts on the GIF Social Networking If you want to join the people that are trying to make GIF apps happen and see some of my own person GIFs follow me on Cinemagram @lindseyonline . Have a lovely day.

kiss

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Snapchat: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

A new app for Android and iPhone adds a fun new twist to sending selfies. 

If you are like me, then you were probably curious as to why there has been a new trend that included people anywhere and everywhere taking pictures of themselves making weird faces. We can thank Snapchat for this new trend.

Snapchat is a new app designed to share little photo moments quickly with your friends. It’s a very simple concept.

1) Take a picture

2) Decided how long you want the photo to be viewed. (1-10 seconds)

3) Add some decoration or a caption

4) Send

Snapchat isn’t about capturing the traditional Kodak moment. It’s about communicating with the full range of human emotion — not just what appears to be pretty or perfect. Like when I think I’m good at imitating the face of astar-nosed mole, or if I want to show my friend the girl I have a crush on (it would be awkward if that got around), and when I’m away at college and miss my Mom…er…my friends. – Evan, Snapchat creator.

Snapchat has becoming a part of my daily social networking. I do it everywhere and take pictures of anything. I especially like to draw on top of my picture or video snaps with the paint tool. But with the good, comes the bad, and often times, the ugly.

The Good

Snapchat made picture sharing a lot easier. When I want to picture text someone, the picture I send saves to my cameral roll. When I go back through my photos, I don’t want to find my embarrassing selfies that I took to share with close friends. Snapchat eliminates this problem by essentially destroying the photo once it is viewed. You can’t even look back at what you sent. Once it’s sent, it’s sent. Done. Simple. Easy. Get’s the point across.

Sent this little gem to my friends

Image

The Bad

A large majority of snaps are pictures of yourself. You’re going to use the front camera on your device and you’re going to make a weird face. It’s not the cutest thing to see when going through your daily life. Other people are going to see you. It is even weirder when someone catches you who doesn’t know what Snapchat is and then you have to explain why you are taking a picture of yourself making a duck face in the middle of the library. I decided to make up this game where where I catch people snapping. I love it because when you are in the act of snapping someone, you are in your own little world. It’s hilarious to see people go through the process of thinking of a pose, taking the photo (usually multiple times), and then laughing to themselves as they send it. Props to those who can make sending snaps as casual as possible. I strive to be you.

Here are some good snaps in action:

ImageImage

The Ugly

Let’s face it, no one looks good from the front camera. I can guarantee that 99% of my snaps are ugly pictures of my face and the other 1% is of food. I only send the ugly faces because I know they can only be seen for 10 seconds. You get the real me, usually without makeup and some insane hair.

Also there are some people who will send anything in Snapchat. And when I say anything, I mean ANYTHING. So there is that ugly to take in account as well.

But here is what my snaps commonly look like:

Image

WARNINGWARNINGWARNING

When I first heard the rumors about this app, I heard “OMG it’s so cool, you send a picture and then it’s deleted”. K, cool that’s great. But we all have that lovely feature on our phones that let’s us screen shot. “Oh don’t worry Linds you can’t screen shot it’s not allowed”. False. You totally can screenshot. So beware! The person who sent the photo does get a notification telling them their photo had been screenshotted. But really how much does that actually help or do anything? You just get to know that someone decided to save the ugly picture of your face. Splendid.

To sum up; be cautious of the snaps you send and open up, who knows what could be in there. Also if you see someone taking selfies, let’s not make fun because in the inside we really all love sending and receiving Snapchats. Those selfie takers are just like us, no harm done. It’s ok everyone, I’m not judging you. Snap in class. I do it. Snap in the bathroom. That’s funny. But if it’s actual selfie, be prepared to be made fun of 🙂

Hope your day is filled with tons of fun and embarassing snaps!

Wait… I love the New MySpace

It seemed like Justin Timberlake took his role in The Social Network a little too seriously, but I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt.

We learned, back in fall of 2011, that Justin Timberlake bought a third of MySpace.com. I will be first to admit, I wasn’t sold on the idea of having another social networking site to keep up on. After trying the New MySpace, I will retract my previous thoughts and explain to you why MySpace is cool again.

Cruising around the MySpace site, I came to the conclusion that the developers decided to take the top features from the most popular social networking sites and utilize them to make one massive site.

  • Spotify’s playlist sharing feature: On Spotify you can share your custom made playlists for others to listen to. With your MySpace profile you are able to create your own Mixes to listen to as you browse the site or to share with your connections. You can give your Mix a photo collection, a title, and a description of what the playlist is about.
  • Pandora radio streaming and artist bio: Pandora usually is a tab we have open while going on the internet. We chose an artist and Pandora has a radio ready to play. On MySpace you go to specific artists and listen to their similar artist radio or listen to all of their songs they choose to post. You can listen freely without commercials and read their personal bios on their music page.
  • Twitter trending topics and followers: When you create your account you can add certain things that describe yourself. For example, I checked that I was a writer and a fan. So in my trending part of my feed I can discover popular articles about music today. MySpace allows you to “connect” to anything. What you connect to is what shows up in your feed. Just like on Twitter, the people you follows tweets show on your feed.
  • Facebook photo and personal information sharing: Just like any personal page, you can upload your own photos and post text. You can share specific songs to friends through the messaging feature. You can comment on artist’s and friend’s pictures, songs, and updates.
  • Youtube video streaming : On each artist’s page, there is a section for videos. Easily scroll through all the music videos of each artists and stream them at your leisure.
  • Old MySpace “Top 8” and profile song: “The most nostalgic thing about it was the different music people had on their page,” says UCSB student, Cecilia Mendez about Old MySpace. On your new profile you will be able to add a quote, show your location, a personal website, a song, and your “Top 8”. One of the features that caused the most drama between friends, but also was an honor to be a part of, was the “Top 8” friends on each page. New MySpace brought back that feature but this time you can add in your favorite musical acts.

Screen shot of my personal MySpace Profile

Screen shot of my personal MySpace Profile

Still want more info, check out some tours on how to use MySpace to the fullest. Don’t feel intimidated by the intricate design or the fact that you scroll sideways instead of up and down.

This site’s goal is not based around connecting friends with friends. MySpace is aware that there is Facebook and Twitter for that. You can easily maintain this site without feeling obligated to share about yourself or talk to your friends on MySpace. “‘I don’t want Myspace to be who I was last night through a bunch of drunken pictures in a drunken stupor, and I don’t want it to be who I am right now on what I’m typing on the Internet,’ Timberlake said about his vision for his personal pages, clearly alluding to Myspace’s biggest competition, Facebook” in this MTV article.

Although, while I was browsing MySpace, I got a little emotional. Since I signed in using my old MySpace account, my old profile picture came along with it. It reminded me of the beginning popularity of social networking. “I liked that you could personalize your page and decorate it,” says Cal Poly student Dani Newton. Remember when we used to search for profile themes, usually a glitter based one, that we had to code into our settings. Those were the days. I think what I will miss the most about old MySpace is the one person who friended you first, Tom. If you miss Tom as much as I do, feel free to check out his Twitter and see what is up with our first friend on the web.

Tom Anderson's profile picture on public Twitter page.

Tom Anderson’s profile picture on his public and verified Twitter page.

The 7 Deadly Sinful Posts of Facebook

Facebook is one of the most poplar websites on the web today with over 200 million profiles. We all have those people on our News Feed that irritate us. There are some Facebook sins we should be aware of so you are not un-friended.

1) Gluttony

definition: the act or practice of eating to excess

Sin on Facebook: food pictures

Screen Shot 2013-01-16 at 9.42.31 PM

As much as we all love food, the pictures posted on Facebook can get obnoxious. “I fully support pictures of delicious meals. However, Facebook is for faces… And books. I would much prefer to just see them on ‘the gram'” says Jake Devincenzi, Cal Poly student. (We will get more into Instagram or “the gram” in future posts.) There is a place for food pictures, just not on Facebook. Load your Mobile Upload folder with pictures of you and your friends. We are friends on Facebook so I can see what’s up with you, not your food. If you still can’t break the food habit, I suggest a check-in at the restaurant accompanied by a picture of  YOU with your food.

2) Lust

definition: very strong sexual desire

Sin on Facebook: couple kissing pictures

Facebook allows us to display our relationships. We can show who we are dating or married too. When people take pictures with their significant other it can be really cute, but there is a line where these photos go too far. Kissing pictures posted on every date attended really don’t need to be shared to the Facebook world. Be sensitive to your single friends. We are happy for you, but we can only handle so much.

3) Pride

definition: A feeling of pleasure from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is associated, or from qualities or possessions

Sin of Facebook: party pictures

Red Cups

For a majority of college kids, partying is a large part of their lives. Pictures on Facebook of you and your friends are great, but there are times where caution is necessary before posting. When college is over it’s the time when people are searching for jobs and ready to start a career. Today, employers could search Facebook to check up on people they are interested in hiring. “I basically just look at the pictures… If they are stupid enough to have party photos of themselves that are public then that’s my red flag,” says Brynn Zinsman, Kevin Main Jewelry Employee. Facebook profiles have different privacy settings that everyone should look into. You can pick pictures that you can only have certain people look at. Be careful what pictures you post because a person who knows how to work their privacy settings could get the job over you.

4) Wrath

definition: Extreme anger

Sin of Facebook: cyber bullings

“Treat someone the way you wish to be treated.” A phrase we have been hearing since the playground days. It works the same way on the Internet. Bullying someone is wrong and is a serious issue. We have all heard the horror stories of the effects of bullying. Even ABC made a movie about Cyber Bullying. If you don’t like someone and feel the urge to say something mean, stop and think about how you would feel if that was happening to you. If there is an issue with someone, de-friend them. Simple as that.

5) Sloth

definition: Reluctance to work or make an effort; laziness.

Sin of Facebook: hashtags

hashhtag hashtags hashtag

“What is a hashtag?” asks Riley Casey, Cal Poly student. A question heard on a daily basis. A hashtag is a tag embedded in a message posted on the Twitter microblogging service, consisting of a word within the message prefixed with a hash sign. By using the “#” you are able to connect things on the web. These come in handy with media sites such as Instagram and Twitter. They are in no way possible are they affiliated with Facebook. So when someone posts a hashtag there is no way for use Facebook users to click on the hashtag to see what other people using that tag are posting. Don’t be lazy and post hashtags on Facebook, instead, send them to a website that uses the hashtag function.

6) Greed

definition: intense and selfish desire for something, esp. wealth, power, or food.

Sin of Facebook: self promotion on personal profiles

Creating a business from scratch is hard. Everyone knows that you have to get started somewhere. Creating a business page on Facebook is a great idea. Social media is an excellent way to broadcast your business to the internet world. When people are using their personal profile to spam the News Feed, it is turning people away from your business. If people want to hear about deals or events with your business they will like that separate business page. Limit the spam.

7) Envy

definition: Desire to have a quality, possession, or other attribute belonging to (someone else):

Sin of Facebook: fake profiles.

A new show on MTV has opened the eyes of America to fake profiles and their relationships with people online. Take a look here:

Many people are creating fake accounts hoping to gain attention, fame, and, a lot of the time, love. The profiles created are often taken directly from someone else’s Facebook. The names are different but the pictures are all the same. The issue with fake profiles is that they are cheating people out of friendship.  It is easy to hide behind profiles on the internet. Being yourself is the only way how to truly gain friendship and love.

All pictures courtesy of Facebook.