A famous philosopher once said:
“There’s nothing a good GIF can’t convey.”
Ok, I made that up. But it’s true! You’ve got something you’re trying to say and it just won’t come out right? There’s a GIF for that!
So let me bid you welcome to my Bloggiesta Fall Mini Challenge – enhancing your content with GIFs!
But First, What About Copyright?
TBH, GIF’s currently exist in a grey area. Many people believe they fall under “fair use”:
In its most general sense, a fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work. Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner.
Stanford University Library, What is Fair Use?
Yea, ok…but what does that really mean?
According to Jeff John Roberts of Fortune, GIFs can be considered “transformative” under copyright law because they do not undermine the market for the original work: “No one, for instance, is going to watch a Star Wars GIF instead of the original movie.”
So what makes a good GIF? How do you know where to put it in your post? What else needs to be considered?
Here are my 5 easy steps for how to enhance your content with GIFs:
- Pick a theme. Stick to one show, or one celebrity, per post. It helps with both the flow and feel of your content. I wanted this post to be light-hearted and fun. Who better to help me convey that feeling than my main man, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson? If you can make your theme even tighter, selecting only GIFs from the same series or event, that’s even better!
- Keep it consistent. All my GIFs on this post are sized at 500 pixels wide. It’s not only pleasing to the eye to have them all be the same size, but also to the brain. It’s just science.
- Don’t overwhelm the senses. Keep in mind that not all GIFs are created equal. Try to find ones that loop smoothly, after several seconds. GIFs that only last for 1-2 seconds can distract from your content with the speed at which they loop.
- Go with your gut. How many GIFs are too few, or too many? Only you can decide that. If you absolutely need a formula, 1-2 paragraphs per GIF should do the trick!
- Save the best for last. Sometimes there’s nothing left to say, but a well-placed GIF. Find that one GIF that truly encompasses the theme/vibe/feeling you were hoping to convey throughout your post, and throw it down in closing!
But Where Do I Find GIFs?
There’s lots of sites that house GIFs: Tumblr, Giphy, Reddit – to name a few.
I find what works best for me,
maybe not so surprisingly, is Google Image Search. The first GIF in this post, for example?
“the rock eyebrow gif”
How did I determine that was what I was looking for? I thought to myself, “Self, how would you respond as a reader to your opening statement?” And I answered with: skeptical. Then I got thinking about who has the best skepti-brow out there, and obviously The Rock came to mind! Badda-bing, badda-boom I had my theme.
Using the steps I outlined above:
- Select a previously published post that could be enhanced with GIFs.
- Decide what theme would best suit your content.
- Add as many (or as few) GIFs as needed to give your post that extra oomph.
- Post your jazzed up posts in the comments for us to check out!