Part 3 in our Creator Spotlight Series
Robert Allam (best known by his online persona, GallowBoob) is a uniquely modern phenomenon — a man who has made his career by his knack for spotting content with mass appeal.
Allam wasn’t always a master GIF creator with over 183 million views on Gfycat. By training, he’s a landscape architect. While working in landscape architecture, he began creating GIFs on Gfycat and sharing them on Reddit, eventually becoming one of Reddit’s best-known posters. He’s since parlayed his Internet success into a full-time career in media for the last few years. Currently, he’s the chief marketing officer at Supload.
When asked how he describes the type of content he’s known for, Allam keeps it upbeat. “I pretty much just post positive things,” he says. “ I try to steer clear of all the controversial things and just post things that people enjoy.”
A look at GallowBoob’s Gfycat account confirms that his content aims to please — it’s populated with cute animals, accidents that are dramatic enough to be funny without resulting in injury, and a drag queen dressed as Elsa freeing a van from ice.
“Spending too much time online, you just want to see wholesome positivity. I try to always cater to a positive audience,” said Allam. “Animal content makes the Internet go round.”
GallowBoob prides himself on his ability to use his platform for good. “Sharing an artist’s content, packaging it properly, can make someone’s career. With enough exposure, either you’re unique enough that more people will come over, or not.” He says he’s helped several artists take off over the course of his social media fame.
I asked Allam about the source of his, er, unique handle. “Some 17 years ago when World Of Warcraft came out, back when I was 15 or 16, I made an elf druid character called Gallow. Probably picked up the name from one of the bands I was listening to back then. I can’t even recall any of that. My friends and family call me Roob (short for Robert). I put both of those together and flipped the R for a B, because more people relate to boobs than roobs. I know it’s awful, but that’s the underwhelming story of where “GallowBoob” came from.”
When asked about his favorite GIFs, Allam at first demurred. “It would be insane if I had one,” he said, laughing. “I’ve created maybe 500 million GIFs throughout the years.” Later, though, he got back to me over email and sent me some of his favorites, which I’ve added inline. The common thread? Allam loves GIFs of dogs.