Reanimating the Glorious GIF: Tumblr’s Best Animated Blogs
Inside Flipboard / June 1, 2012
Like the vinyl record or the fixed-gear bike, the animated GIF is enjoying a comeback.
Web old-timers might recall that the animated GIF (pronounced â€˜jiff’) is a series of images, that when stitched together, play like a flipbook in an endless loop of primitive animation. We can thank the engineers at the pioneering online service, CompuServe for that: In 1987, they created a spec called the Graphics Interchange Format, which was one of the earliest ways for users to share color pictures. It evolved, adding primitive animation, and got a huge boost when Netscape Navigator, the first mass-market browser, supported the spec. Was it the dancing baby, an early Internet meme, that turbo-charged its adoption? Who knows, but waving flags, moving flames and â€˜under construction’ signs soon began to pullulate like fireflies across the Web. Patent disputes slowed the spread of GIFs, and the rise of better, more efficient ways of animating websites (Quicktime and Flash) all but killed off the technology.
The animated GIF might have gone the way of the 9600-baud modem—until the rise of microblogging sites like Reddit and Tumblr breathed new life into the art form. What better way, after all, to animate the latest viral dancing cat hit?
To celebrate the rich history of the GIF, the team here at Flipboard explored the whimsical land of Tumblr and found some amusing blogs that celebrate the animated GIF.
GIF Me The GIF: A collection of living images from popular culture, music, arts and sports.
BryJin’s: A fashion-heavy blog with creative stills—and even more compelling moving images.
Brother Brain: An animated homage to the video games of yesterday.
Iâ™¥Cat GIFs: Cats and GIFs. Need we say more?
Conan GIFs: Watch Conan O’Brien like you’ve never seen him before, courtesy of Team Coco.
DVDP: An artistic approach to design—that moves.