I used to shake my cane at the sky and declare “I just don’t get kids today and their GIFsets.” Then I went to work for Tumblr.
Tumblr is a medium where people painstakingly create and share gorgeous original GIFs — and where “reaction GIFs” of memes, pop culture, and, well, pictured responses often take the place of text. A few months into my Tumblr tenure, I too had vast folders containing GIFs that were either pure eye candy or there for reactionary purposes. I prefer creating words to visuals, which is why I am constantly in awe of the magic gifmakers make.
My proudest GIF moment was when I asked Neil deGrasse Tyson to help me remind Tumblr about the importance of attribution. My friend and gifmaster Alex Stone managed to make a GIF from my not-so-great-quality video that still makes me happy: [source]
I particularly love GIFs with a ripped-from-the-headlines feel. I will never be over my awe of how quickly news gets GIF’d, especially for fandom purposes — minutes after a trailer for a movie like Avengers: Age of Ultron comes out, dashboards and feeds across the internet are full of gorgeous moving pictures for us to pour over.
Some gifs are truly works of art, playing with and pushing the boundaries of our perception: [source]
For the record, the GIF below is the one I’d save, because it’s pronounced “gif”, you know, with a hard G. No, I don’t really care that the creator of Graphics Interface Format, Steve Wilhite, chimed in recently to say he’d intending it to be said like “jif.” This is bigger than you now, Steve-o. The author is dead, and the President has spoken: [source] [video]
Thinking about GIFs made me wonder which ones you’d preserve for the future. Is there a GIF you use daily for reactions, and couldn’t live without? Is there one so stunning you’ve never forgotten it? Is there a tiny looping piece of history you think should be right-click saved forever? Tell us in the comments. This here’s a GIF party.
Pictures: Shutterstock, Tumblr, Imgur