COM0011 – Blog #3 – Let’s talk GIF

The world of social media is always evolving and this week has been no exception. One thing in particular that caught my eye was Twitter announcing that we can now send and receive animated GIFs. I admit, it wasn’t until recently that I even knew what a GIF was, let alone that it stood for Graphic Interchange Format. You will find the technical definition here but most of us know animated GIFs as “short animated graphics that can really punch-up sharable content” often by adding humor and visual interest.  Tweeters are already excited about the news!

GIF vs. JIF  Before I go any further, let’s get the pronunciation straight! I have always pronounced GIF with a “hard G”, however, according to Steve Wilhite, the inventor of the GIF, it is pronounced with a “soft G”.   I do question his decision since “graphic” is pronounced with a “hard G”, right? Right! But that doesn’t matter. It is pronounced with a “SOFT G” – period, the end!  How have you been pronouncing GIF?  I am quite certain I will continue to mispronounce it – I just can’t wrap my head around the “soft G”.

It’s been around for how long?  CompuServe introduced the GIF in 1987! Yes, that is correct, 1987 and animated GIFs followed two years later. Twitter announcing that they have now incorporated animated GIFs into their code on June 18, 2014 feels the same as me announcing, “Hey everyone, did you know you can rent betamax movies at Blockbuster?”.

So, what is all the fuss about?  What’s that saying…everything old is new again? Marketers of today will jump on this opportunity to find new and exciting ways to use animated GIFs to market their brands through tweets. An article I read by Socialbro lists the following 8 Marketing Uses For GIFs on Twitter:

  1. Stand Out
  2. Tell a Story
  3. Show your Advert
  4. Showing Off
  5. Demonstrating your Product
  6. Go Viral
  7. Add Personality To Your Customer Service
  8. Share Pretty Things

This opens up some exciting new opportunities for businesses and marketers and I would like to know if you’ve already seen some of the examples above being used on Twitter, after all, it’s been almost a week now, which is close to “old news” in social! 🙂

 

References:

http://blog.hootsuite.com/twitter-announced-gif-support-best-reaction-tweets-far/

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/21/an-honor-for-the-creator-of-the-gif/?smid=tw-nytimes

http://www.socialbro.com/blog/8-marketing-uses-gifs-on-twitter-gifsontwitter

 

 

 

Blog #2 COM0011 – It’s all about moderation

I was feeling great about the decision to learn more about social media, then this video titled “Look Up” showed up on my Facebook feed.   I, along with over 42,000,000 other people, watched it. This viral video paints a very negative picture around the use of social media and, after watching, I felt conflicted!

 

My initial reaction was “SHUT ‘ER DOWN”! My feelings after watching this video could have been classified as a small panic attack! Was I missing out on life, allowing it to pass by while I was buried in my device? Would my children remember their mom busily texting, updating statuses and “liking” everyone else’s life rather than paying attention to their needs? I questioned whether I was neglecting my family and friends.

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OK, just breathe, it’s all about moderation, right?

We can all agree there are negative aspects to social media. Did the individual who posted this video feel that he was spending far too much time on Social Media? I’ll make a best guess here and go with yes! Most of us have probably worried about the very same thing but, like many things in life, it all comes down to moderation. I ask you, was this video a wake up call or are you comfortable with the amount of time you spend on social media per day? Perhaps we should ask if the one’s close to us think we spend too much time on social media… bad idea, don’t ask!

 The positive sides of social.

We’ve all discussed how social media is a wonderful tool in which to stay in touch with friends and family, find out what is trending, stay current with the news both worldwide and within our communities, among other things. I found a fun list of 20 reasons why social media is good for us and so many of these resonate with me and I am sure you can relate too. The video above states that social media is “anything but social” and there is “no church and no steeple”, but I disagree. Out of the many positives I take from social, there is one slide in particular that resonates the most for me, and that would be the slide titled “4. You can meet new people”.

Thank you social media for changing my life for the better and honey, thank you for the poke on Facebook!  If it wasn’t for Social Media, “WE” would never have happened!

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What are some of the positive impacts social media has had on your life?

Starting with Social – (COM0011) Blog #1

I consider myself a “newbie” when it comes to Social Media and I’m amazed at just how little I know.   This course is going to help me through this terrifying journey, and now, I BLOG!

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I am a mother of two, my son is 17 and my daughter is 15. They did not grow up with tablets in their primary school classes but they would be hard-pressed to remember a time without Social Media. It is a HUGE part of their everyday lives and it is because of them that I crave more knowledge. What do they find so fascinating aboutYouTube”, “Snap ChatandInstagram? The reality is, I signed up for these apps because my kids were using them and I wanted to be a part of it too! I may even be guilty of cyber-stalking them in a friendly “mom” kind of way.

I enjoy seeing what my kids are posting and sharing on Facebook and Twitter, their interests, dislikes and status updates. They send me snap chats, tag me in photos and share videos. It’s also interesting to see how they interact with their friends and how text messaging is their primary form of communication. Gone are the days of picking up the telephone and dialing a friend, passing notes in class, handwriting essays or putting together presentations made up of cue cards glued to an over sized piece of bristol board. Instead, kids today use PowerPoint, Word and iMovie to complete school assignments (to name a few). Did I mention how effortless it is for them?

Social Media is here and it’s here to stay (captain obvious here). Actually, it’s been around longer than I realized so check out this timeline on how and when it started – it is fascinating.  Some of the statistics in this timeline are mind-boggling such as in 2013 where “500 years of YouTube video are watched every day on Facebook”.

For now, I will continue to stay connected with friends and family through Facebook and frequent my favorite sites such as Mashable, an on-line newspaper, as well as a fantastic home decorating site called Houzz (warning: this site is a huge time suck so grab a beverage)! As time goes on, I hope to expand my social media use in the work environment, but for now, baby steps!

I would love to know what your favorite social media app is, and why?

 

References:

Socialnomics – The Internet Then and Now

Will Farrell’s picture from Pinterest