#30YearsofGIFs – 8

 

In the earliest days of the net, GIFs and JPGs for different aspects of this brave new world often made reference to pre-existing technologies and objects. For example, the above GIF shows two letterboxes for email, a virtual reinterpretation of the traditional door flap for letters and parcels. This analogy helped people be more comfortable with the new technology by relating it to things they were already familiar with IRL.

Credits: Vijay Shah, Blingee

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#30YearsofGIFs – 7

 

Lovable Pikachu, the yellow star of the anime series Pokémon, first made his appearance in 1996 in a Nintendo Game Boy game and arrived on TV a year later. A generation of people made Pokemon GIFs to put on their sites and really show they caught them all!. Unlike many things from the heyday of GIFs, Pokémon are still going strong, as last year’s Pokémon Go craze can attest.

Credits: Vijay Shah, Blingee

#30YearsofGIFs – 6

 

Your wish is my command!!… This animated GIF, which bears a strong resemblance to the Genie in hit 90s Disney movie Aladdin, was widespread on websites hosted by GeoCities. Sadly my research couldn’t find much of a back story on him.

Credits: Vijay Shah, Blingee

#30YearsofGIFs – 5

 

 

Different versions of the ‘Under Construction’ GIF, such as the one featured above were popular on the early Net. For home-based website creators especially, these GIFs were a way of showing they were hard at work building their sites, just like at a construction site. Many of the GIFs were based off of US road signage. Sadly, after the demise of Web 1.0 in the first few years of the 21st century, the under construction GIFs that frequented the likes of Geocities went the way of the floppy disk, surviving now in only legacy sites and GIF collections.

Credits: Vijay Shah, Blingee

#30YearsofGIFs – 3

 

This cute little GIF, a US-style letter box that opens to reveal a cluster of hearts, was a popular feature on the user-generated network of sites called GeoCities during the 1990s. It was, as appearance suggests, use to indicate links to emails. Sadly I don’t know its origins.

For some further reading, here is an ‘ode to the GIF’ written by marketing agency Nelson Bostock Unlimited – http://www.nelsonbostockunlimited.com/blog/an-ode-to-the-gif-2/

Credits: Vijay Shah, Blingee

#30YearsofGIFs – 2

 

Our second #30YearsofGIFs post introduces the ‘Dancing Banana’. This little yellow fellow was another Internet GIF pioneer. Appearing in the early 2000s, this fruit derived from a cult Flash video “Peanut Butter Jelly Time” made by Ryan Gancenia Etrata and Kevin Flynn (with the song “Peanut Butter Jelly Time” by The Buckwheat Boyz). Just like the Dancing Baby, the banana achieved celebrity status, appearing in a 2005 episode of Family Guy.

The Dancing Banana became so well-known that some forum owners set the word banana to show a dancing banana emoticon GIF.

Check out this fun article on GIF history by magazine ScoopWhoop, with its very own illustrative GIFs https://www.scoopwhoop.com/30yearsofgif/

Credits: Vijay Shah, Blingee, Know Your Meme