Column: “Does ‘sharing’ enrich lives, or distract us from them?” at The Tennessean

May 25, 2014:

An excerpt:

The difference seems to be in how we frame the question. Are we more connected to the capture of the subject or to the experience of the subject, including the people who might be sharing it with us? And is there a way to do both?

Read the rest at the link:

Animated GIFs in marketing: genius or evil genius?


Let’s call a spade a spade: This is marketing, pure and simple. But a crass “Whassup” ad this certainly ain’t: instead, Burg and Beck capture the creative “process value” behind Dogfish’s product, showing how luscious organic strawberries are hand-loaded into a wooden fruit press, sorghum is hand-poured into the brew kettle, and the first pint is lovingly served. The cinemagraphs are subtle and lovingly crafted — just like (get it?) the beer itself. A marketing match made in heaven.

I noted a while back (sorry, can’t find my own reference) that the sparing use of animated GIFs in marketing emails sometimes made a very big impression when I could see it above the “fold.” This is potentially better: using artfully crafted images that show limited motion to clarify a process. But it’s easy to imagine this going WAY too far, and becoming an overwhelmingly common phenomenon implemented poorly. It’s bound to happen, I suppose, but let’s hope the good examples, like the one shown here, help keep the bad in check.