Blog Option #2: GIF


Due: Sunday, February 8 (by 8pm)

Drawing on the readings and lecture from Week 3 on Communication in the digital age, and the lecture on memes as a form of communication, this assignment will require you to produce your own animated GIF based on a media property of your choosing, and then write a blog post analyzing it in conjunction with other animated GIFs you’ve selected from the same media property.

This assignment consists of 4 primary steps:

  1. Pick a media property you’re familiar with, and search for animated GIFs associated with that television show/film/band/video game/celebrity (tumblr hashtags are a good place to start).   Think about the primary function these animated GIFs serve, how their function might differ depending on one’s frame of reference for the property and moment captured.  In short, consider their semiotic function.
  2. Select a couple of these animated GIFs that you find especially representative or interesting, textually, and save them (make sure you also save the attribution information: username of the original poster [if you can find it], and link to the post).
  3. Create a GIF based on the media property you’ve selected using Photoshop (and reflecting the skills you have built in the weeks 2-3 lab sessions).  You should conceptualize this GIF as having a distinct purpose within the broader community and discourse around your chosen media property: GIFs pull out short, meaningful moments out of any given text, and the GIF you create should represent an easily identifiable mood/stance that might be used by others to express themselves or reminisce about a key moment within a text.

Now, onto the written section…

Please note, this is not a smart approach to writing this post…seriously, you will fail.

Write a 300-500 word “Author’s Statement” that theorizes:

  • The GIF you created (including briefly discussing your thought process behind the clip selection and GIF creation process in Photoshop) alongside the GIFs you curated from others (including attribution and a link to the original post).
  • At least 2-3 of the following concepts from the readings and lecture, considering how they relate to both your GIF, the GIFs you’ve curated, and the phenomenon of GIF sharing broadly:
    • GIFs as a form of digital “social cues”
    • Social Presence Theory vs. Media Richness Theory
    • GIFs as tools within flame wars
    • Dawkins’ 3 basic properties of memes
    • GIFs and/or memes as a “shared social phenomenon”
    • Repackaged memes: mimicry or remix?

Remember, though this is a blog post, it’s a scholarly blog post, so make sure you’re citing correctly (endnotes and/or parenthetical citations in the body of your post with a works cited list at the bottom.  You will be graded according to the blog rubric and the requirements outlined above.


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