Well, I had a right good time at the UKSG 2016 Conference – write up coming soon, maybe in a few months when I find my notes stuck to my pants like bubblegum. However, I did go a bit mad on Twitter, probs due to the free wine I was pouring down my neck and my use of GIFs was picked up a little bit, hence this quick blog post. Might be a bit wanky, I can’t tell…
I’ll just skip the bit where we all explain what a GIF is and how to pronounce it, because we’re not lame-os right..?
I either use GIFs on Twitter or on Facebook messenger, but you can (and I have) stick them anywhere really, like PowerPoint slides, Word docs, your butt etc.
I prefer to use pop culture references to TV shows and films, rather than random people/animals. Maybe it’s just me being picky but I find that it’s funnier and gets the point across more. For example, I tweeted this highly relevant and important cultural reference…
…rather than one of a pigeon getting trapped in a box or summat.
Make sure your GIF reflects the meaning of your tweet/slide/chat – the image has to build upon what you’re trying to say and should emphasize your message. GIFs make a stronger point and grab more attention than standalone text- use sparingly though; I’m guilty of going a bit mad.
Before these high-tech modern days, I used to see them on social media or Reddit and save them for later, but now there are GIF search engines you can use. I prefer the inbuilt GIF search tool on the Twitter app, GIPHY on my desktop and there is a GIF keyboard on Facebook messenger.
You can search by keyword, and I usually go for an emotion or a phrase – something like “horrified” or “mind blown” – but searching for a specific character or TV show can work well. For example, I searched for this Parks and Rec GIF with this particular scene in mind to go with my tweet:
It can be a bit hit and miss, so I often play around with key words until I find something suitable. Using the GIF search tool on the Twitter app, I’ve found their inbuilt popular suggestions to be quite useful if you’re looking for something in a hurry.
I’ve also tried to make my own GIFs with middling success…
You can do this by either clipping a longer video into a loop or adding a series of static images – and because I am just so lovely I have tried both for you, in PVA glue slightly shitty Blue Peter style.
My first attempt was for my work Twitter account, using some static images I had created and saved in PowerPoint. I used gifmaker.me and then tried a few others when this went a bit tits up – if you Google it you can find loads of different websites but not many accept static images.
This is one of my many attempts – I tried a few different versions, file sizes/types and tools to stop it from changing in size but I couldn’t figure it out. Anyone know what to do?
I then tried using an app – so much easier! Like the difference between cutting your leg off with a piece of raw chicken and a blade-saw.
I used the snappily titled Video to Gif – Gif Maker which is available on iTunes for free, cos don’t pay for GIFs guys, save your money for pogs and chewits.
My first attempt was turning photos from my camera roll into a GIF:
I thought it worked really well – you just stack up the photos and then it saves to your phone. However, I’ve inserted it above and it’s behaving erratically/not looping, like it’s on dried frog pills, so the app might not be as good as I originally thought.
The only video I had on my phone was of some dodgems from the UKSG conference, so that’s what we have a GIF of. There is a slider that allows you to snip the section of video that you want to use, maybe I just have clodding flipper fingers but it was a bit tricky to get exactly how I wanted it.
This GIF doesn’t seem to loop either, but I am too lazy to figure out why.
However, it does work in a tweet, so if that’s all you want your homemade GIF for (just like momma used to make) then you’re sorted, easy…
Dedicated to Beth Tapster who thinks she’s dead old, even though she asked me how I used GIFs using her twitter app so can’t be that past it eh