Wired pointed us to the fact that on this day in 1991, “the world wide web became publicly available for the first time.” Father of the Internet Tim Berners-Lee posted an introductory post to the alt.hypertext Usenet group on August 7, 1991, and all at once another world was born: one where we’d be able to see each other’s faces without being near them and join with like-minded people to geek out about shit and–of course–watch lots and lots of free porn.
Hey guys, what’s up? Cool. Nothing’s really going on here at Betabeat, except that we just learned the best thing ever: In Gmail, you can insert animated GIFs into emails. Woooo.
This is a total game changer, communication-wise. Attaching a GIF just doesn’t possess the same panache. And what if your friends aren’t on Gchat to receive your (undoubtedly witty) IMs to Tumblr GIFs? These are serious problems that people like you and me grapple with every single day.
Twitter has been in and out, in and out for the past three hours, and the company finally has an explanation, albeit limited to 140 characters: ”Today’s outage is due to a cascaded bug in one of our infrastructure components. We’ll provide updated information soon.” At first, we suspected this BuzzFeed service piece, which explains how to make any animated GIF your Twitter avatar.
Twitter’s policy explicitly prohibits animated GIF avatars, probably to avoid having the site go all Myspace on everybody or maybe because pulsing and looping hurts Larry T. Bird’s tiny brain. The site started experiencing issues the day after the great GIF invasion. Did the GIFs had anything to do with it? Twitter declined to say, instead forwarding on the above tweet. There goes that theory.
Guys, we’re so glad Twitter is back. How else would we find things like this little gem, tweeted out yesterday by Foursquare engineer ringleader Harry Heymann with the observation, “I think the heat in nyc melted the brains of the @foursquare eng team.” It’s #WhatShould4sqCallMe, a Tumblr devoted wholly to the trials and travails of his own staff. And while we don’t have confirmation, the call is presumably, as they say, coming from inside the house.
Fun with GIFs
“Can VCs be bred?” asks
US Weekly Fast Company‘s recent feature on the Draper dynasty, an absurdly wealthy coterie of ski-loving venture capitalists who just so happen to share the same bloodline. The elder Drapers founded some of the most notable investment firms–perhaps you’ve heard of Draper Richards, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, or Sutter Hill Ventures? Now, the younger Drapers–Jesse, Adam and Bill, all in their 20s–are ready for their time in the spotlight, and this article serves as their coming out of sorts.
While reading the piece, we found we were at a loss for words. Several frenzied Skype messages were exchanged, each more convoluted than the last. It was best, we finally decided, to communicate in our native language in order to truly do this piece justice: it was best to communicate via GIFs.
Gif It To Me
The humble GIF has seen a renaissance in recent years, even evolving, in some cases, into an arresting artform. Now Gifture, which just hit the App Store today, hopes to make them into an entertaining alternative to the smartphone snap.
When Gifture’s press release first landed in Betabeat’s inbox, the sight of an Instagram-like interface and the prospect of yet another social mobile photo app left us unimpressed. Then we clicked through to a sample post, only to find a charming animated image of Astoria’s elevated train at night, flickering like a silent film. Downloading the app, we discovered an feed filled what appear to be members of the Gifture team: designer James McDonald bellyflopping onto a bed; business development brain Erik Stern doing a goofy dance outside an Apple store.
Kickstart or Kill
Welcome to the first of a new series here at Betabeat. Each week we will highlight one Kickstarter project focused on technology and based in New York City. The idea is to discuss the merits of the project and dissect their approach to fundraising.
To kick things off we’ve got Physical GIF, a project that combines our favorite file type with the laser-based maker culture that percolates at places like NYC Resistor.
Treating GIFs like high-brow art isn’t a new concept, but it’s having a moment right now.
Long-haired rocker Andrew W.K. is hosting a party—at 4chan!
Mr. W.K.’s song “Party Hard” was memeified at 4chan and other goony websites into a series of animated .gifs like the one above.
On New Year’s Eve, Mr. W.K. tweeted: “I love @4chan. PARTY PARTY PARTY! It’s New Year’s Eve!” with a link Read More