If you want to learn something new (and impressive) today, I recommend this:
This is a followup to my post yesterday about Vine. If you haven’t checked out Instagram’s new feature called Hyperlapse, it also is worth playing with to understand how tools you play with can become tools you can’t do without one day. Anyone who has used the time lapse feature on a GoPro camera to speed up the action and get rid of the bumps will recognize what’s taking place.
Read more about it here and check out this video below to see what it will do:
At Hammock, we are experimenting with ways in which GIFs and things like Vine can be used as something more than goofy viral fodder. (We’re already convinced on their goofy viral fodder potential.) Personally, I think animated GIFS have great potential as illustrations in how-to posts, as I mentioned in a post recently.
Before getting too far into thinking I know how to use a medium or format based solely on what I’ve seen others do, it’s my belief that I should first “play” with it in a sandbox in ways that help me understand personally how I can bend and flex the format.
Sometimes that means trying to do things that involve understanding “hacks” (in the positive use of the word to mean “creative work arounds”) necessary to get something to work a little more elegantly than on a software program devoted specifically to the format.
Yesterday, for example, I was doing a quick project that involved me creating a GIF in which I had to use three different software applications: ScreenFlow, Keynote and GIF Brewery. (In the past, I would have needed a third program, iMovie, to accomplish the effect I was seeking, however ScreenFlow has now become a robust video editing tool in addition to being an excellent screen capture tool.)
A few moments into my efforts, I saw a photo on Twitter of the problem that occurred with the snow-flake Olympic Rings effect at the opening ceremonies of the Sochi Olympics.
It just so happened that the GIF I was using in my “sandbox” involved an effect that inspired me to see the missing ring in the way it appears in my GIF above. (The following is for how-to geeks: I was testing if ScreenFlow will capture video in the form of a .mov file that has been embedded in a Keynote slide when you are in the “play” mode. It does.)
Even though the ceremonies would not appear on U.S. TV for several hours, I went a head and posted the GIF on my Tumblr account and forgot about it.
This morning, the GIF has 7.5 K likes and reblogs vs. my typical Tumblr metric: 0.*
Bottomline 1: It’s great to read what others do, but playing around with this stuff yourself is how you learn it.
Bottomline 2: It’s the goofy viral GIF that goes viral.
*Later: I wasn’t exaggerating when I said “zero.” The trend line below displays the typical “activity” on my Tumblr account. Activity refers to reblogs (shares) or likes a post receives on Tumblr. Tumblr is the social medium I use that is even less read than this blog, but I love the platform and am happy that Yahoo! hasn’t ruined it yet by adding that ridiculous Yahoo! bar across the top of it like it has to Flickr.
If the product you’re selling is a camera that adventurous people strap on to themselves to record what they see while doing adventurous adventures, don’t waste time talking about how great the camera is. Do what GoPro does in this four minute video.
While it’s no lie to call this a promotional video, I wouldn’t call it an advertisement or commercial as GoPro didn’t pay YouTube to show it to me and I wasn’t subjected to it in the middle of another video I may have been watching, say, a sporting event or episode of CSI. (Although, they may have paid something to have the clickable features embedded.)
No, I saw it because about once a quarter, I make it a point to visit the GoPro Channel on YouTube, hoping it will convince me that life won’t be complete until I have one of these cameras strapped to my bicycle helmet. I know I’ll never do anything these adventurous (and very crazed) people are doing. Then, again, I’ll never be Michael Jordan, either, but I’ve been buying Nikes for decades.