I started this blog two years ago, for many reasons. I wanted an outlet for writing my thoughts and a way to practice writing, and I also hoped that it would garner some attention for my writing. But more than that, I knew it would be a great tool for learning new skills.
I love learning things, and I’m new enough to this stuff that I still have lots to learn. But doing software tutorials only helps so much if you don’t know what you want to build. Having an actual blog that I need to not only write, but create, design, add images to, add SEO language to, format, optimize, and maintain is a much bigger challenge, and a great way to learn hands on.
Learning new skills is also a big part of why I’m participating in NaBloPoMo. Yes, I want more content on my blog and I want to get into the habit of posting regularly, but I also want to learn to create different kinds of posts. I’m giving myself experience that I’m not getting elsewhere. NaBloPoMo is a huge challenge, but it’s also a great learning opportunity, and I am taking in a lot.
I envy and admire other bloggers with skills I don’t have. One such skill is using animated gifs to help tell a story. You know, those little moving pictures that add so much to a post, especially when used as commentary or subtext. BuzzFeed, the king of viral content, is a huge proponent of gifs, because they make their posts that much more clickable. Those gorgeous Into the Woods posters with the moving backgrounds I talked about last week? Even those are simply animated gifs. Knowing how beautiful and artistic, as well as uproariously funny, gifs can be, it’s definitely a skill I want to master.
Starting with the pronunciation: it’s apparently pronounced “jiff,” with a soft g. That will take me a while to get used to; I thought it was a hard g. Not that I care that much. It’s more important to me to figure out how to make them.
I’ve wanted to learn to make animated gifs for a while now, but I haven’t had time, or an idea that I liked. Yesterday, I came across this great blog post that uses gifs in a hysterically funny way. I was completely inspired. I finally said screw it, I’m going to take the time and learn to do it, and use my blog as an opportunity.
I came up with an idea (a few actually) for what I want to do, and I’m teaching myself to do it using YouTube videos and Google, as well as some invaluable help from Alex. It’s working, but as with everything, it’s taking longer than I thought. I’ve successfully made a couple of gifs, but I want more time for the actual blog post. So I thought for today’s NaBloPoMo I’d talk about my new skill, and in tomorrow’s post, I’ll show it off. 🙂
Tune in tomorrow for the actual gifs!
What new skill have you learned recently?