Hot Fun in the Summertime….

Well, it happened again – we lurched from that indeterminate few weeks that pass for Spring in this part of the world right into full-blown, Ohmigod-it’s-HOT-turn-down-the-thermostat Summertime temperatures. As often happens here, the transition was achieved with all the subtlety and finesse of someone throwing a brick through a plate glass window. Yep, this week we managed to set an all-time “highest temperature ever recorded in June” mark with a dainty little reading of 109 degrees Farenheit. That’s actual ambient temperature, folks, NOT heat index.

This is NOT the type of liquid escape we’re discussing…at least not yet!

Luckily for us, Austin abounds with venues which allow the sweltering citizenry to escape into one form of water or another (and no, I’m not counting branch water, seltzer, or any other version of H2O applied orally in combination with ethanol by-products as an escape venue – at least not for the purposes of this particular blog. We can discuss internally applied liquid escapism in much greater detail at a later date…).

Paddling in the reflections of downtown Austin

Contrary to some widely held misconceptions about Texas, this place is literally crawling with rivers, lakes, ponds, streams and pools.  We even have a few captive waterfalls, which can be found spilling dramatically off high points in the surrounding Hill Country, to splatter noisily and festively into waiting pools of varying degrees of accessibility (and therefore popularity!) Why, right here in the middle of Austin we have Lady Bird Lake and Barton Springs – both of which offer significant reduction in body temperatures to those who swim, paddle, float or dive. It’s all about making the most of your environment – and I’ve got the feeling that this Summer, we’re going to spend a lot of time in the water.

The Cinegifs I’ve used to illustrate this blog are both 600 pixels wide, but their file sizes are small enough to make them very portable – perfect to use in email, on websites, in newsletters – you could even get really crazy and put them in a blog!  Find out more about using the new generation of animated GIFs to add impact to your marketing and communications efforts – go to cinegif.com and discover the power of Quality Video Anywhere.

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Happy 19th Birthday, Text Messaging!

It’s hard to believe, but it has been just over 19 years since the first text message was sent from a computer to a mobile phone, and 18 years since the first phones were produced that allowed people to send text messages to each other.  In 2011, over 8 trillion text messages were sent, and the average American thumbed out 357 text messages per month!  The numbers are incredible, and the reach is unbelievable.  Text messaging is changing the world – literally.  There are now over 4.2 billion texters worldwide – that’s more than 3 out of every 5 humans on the planet!  Cell phones and texting cut across all socio-economic and geographic boundaries.  Imagine having to charge your phone by using your car battery every night.  The fact is, more than 48 million cell phone users do just that, because they have no household electricity!  Even more astounding, worldwide there are 1.7 billion people who have cell phones, but have no bank account!

Given numbers like that, it’s easy to see that texting plays a prominent role in personal communications across the globe – but the one thing texting is missing is the context that video brings to the conversation.  We can e-mail a video, embed a video on a website and even play a video on demand on our smart phone – but our texting communications are generally limited to just characters and the occasional snapshot.  With texting today, I feel like I’m stuck in time playing Mario Cart, rather than mastering COD Modern Warfare.

It’s about time that texting grows up and joins the video sharing revolution.  I want to add life and motion to my text messages, to better express my thoughts and ideas without the hassle of sending data sucking video via e-mail or to a public social network.  This lit a fire in our belly and sparked a passion that led to the development and launch of Cinegif Video.  It’s the very first app that allows you add a video clip to any text message – up to 10 seconds in length.  Finally, you are able to add life, motion and context to the conversation!

Get the Cinegif Video App FREE in the iTunes app store here.  We hope you like it, and let us know by posting a review in iTunes.

What’s the first video clip that you plan to text, and to whom will it go?