It's that time of year again. Award show season is here and the Golden Globes have kicked it off in customarily repetitive red carpet style. All the men wore suits, attempting to pass themselves off as an army of 007 clones, and the women wore miniaturized parade floats, seen in-person by a sea of camera lenses, then sorted into various categories by fashion gurus the Internet over. It was quite the affair. Now through March we can expect the usual steady supply of shows: the SAGs, the Grammys, and of course it all wraps up with the season's crowning jewel -- the Oscars. New year, same old thank you speeches to God, mom, producers and personal trainers, for all we know.
But if actors in fancy outfits aren't really your thing, there's a new award show this year that might strike your fancy: the .GIFYs, the worlds first award show for gifs. The Internet is full of them. We use them to add emotion to text, enjoy little moments in infinite loops, and revel in the balm of repetition. Gifs are a pillar of Internet fandoms, are being used as educational tools, and are central to digital art. But with a near-infinite supply of gifs to pick from, where do you start? The .GIFYs assembled a team of Internet-obsessed writers and editors from Buzzfeed, The Daily Dot, Engadget, Gawker, Joystiq, Mashable, Tumblr and more. These panelists compiled a list of the top gifs they have come across in a plethora of categories: Animals, Art and Design, Film and Television, Reaction, WTF, Can't Look Away, News and Politics and, the Internet's favorite category of all: Cats.
This isn't the Internet's first try at awards. The Webbys manage to hand out a wide range of accolades without all the pomp and teary acceptance speeches, but The .GIFYs are taking it a step further. This award show promotes and rewards the gifs themselves without all those pesky people involved. It might seem a bit ignominious to cut out the human element, but with most of these images, it remains pretty nebulous who might deserve credit. When 'Weather Woman Hit by Stop Sign' wins gif of the year, who should accept the prize, thanking God and family at the podium until the times-up music ushers them backstage? The storm? The stop sign? Holly Ellenbogen, the weather woman? The cameraman? The news channel? The person who made the gif? The share that made the gif go viral? An argument could be made for any one of these and more.
In the future, when the Internet has moved on to new file format pastures, it will be nice to reminisce about the early teens and the gifs that ruled the world. Voting starts Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at thegifys.com.