The Webby Awards are proud to honor Steve Wilhite with a Lifetime Achievement Webby Award in recognition of inventing the GIF file format. The GIF has had an immeasurable impact on the way users interface with the Web and how designers and developers present visual data and imagery. From its humble beginnings in the early days of the Netscape logo, the GIF has continually proven a dynamic format for Net artists and advertisers alike. Despite developments in moving image and animation technology on the Web, the GIF remains a staple among image formats used to spread news and information. The proliferation of the GIF within today’s meme-powered, Tumblr-driven pop culture, proves it a lasting format still among the most celebrated on the Web (despite the hotly contested controversy over its correct pronunciation). With 2012 being the 25th anniversary of the GIF we think the 17th Annual Webby Awards is a most fitting event to honor and celebrate Steve Wilhite and this historical achievement.
The Webby Awards honors Steve Wilhite for his creation of the GIF file format while at Compuserve in 1987.
Fun Fact 01: So is it pronounced with a soft or a hard G? These guys say soft, we always go hard. Let’s agree to disagree.
MySpace was where you went in the past, WordPress and Movable Type were where people went if they had the patience and writing output to maintain a traditional blog, Facebook was where you went to define yourself by schools and checkboxes, and Tumblr was where you went to make your own identity and express your creativity.
We knew what the people wanted: the same thing the Doors wanted. Freedom.
Ray Manzarek, legendary Doors co-founder and keyboardist, who passed away yesterday. RIP.
“I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today,” Doors guitarist Robby Krieger said in a statement. “I’m just glad to have been able to have played Doors songs with him for the last decade. Ray was a huge part of my life and I will always miss him.”
Manzarek grew up in Chicago, then moved to Los Angeles in 1962 to study film at UCLA. It was there he first met Doors singer Jim Morrison, though they didn’t talk about forming a band until they bumped into each other on a beach in Venice, California, in the summer of 1965 and Morrison told Manzarek that he had been working on some music. “And there it was!” Manzarek wrote in his 1998 biography, Light My Fire. “It dropped quite simply, quite innocently from his lips, but it changed our collective destinies.”
We now live in a world where we have public lives and private lives — and for over a century now, since roughly the point at which the above article appeared, the portion of our lives considered “public” has been expanding, while the portion of our lives we can consider “private” has been contracting.
Felix Salmon, How Technology Redefines Norms, Reuters.
What’s more, Jarvis himself is a prominent proponent of the idea that we should maximize the speed at which we move our lives into the public realm; he also equates a desire for privacy with being “scared of the public” .
Never before have we faced so many opportunities to turn the formerly-private into the newly-public. As those opportunities arise, many people adopt them, and turn “public” into the new norm for such activities. Eventually, the norms become societally entrenched, to the point at which it is now utterly unobjectionable for those who once would have been labeled “kodak fiends” to take photographs outside a Newport tennis tournament.
My point here is that technology has a tendency to create its own norms.
Which means, according to Salmon, that if wearable computing (like Google Glass) is successful, norms about what is public and private will continue to change, so if you are attached to what’s normal now, it’s better not to be, or you have every reason to worry.