If the ultimate signifier of a medium's acceptance into popular culture is a lavish awards ceremony, then the animated GIF has finally arrived. They're called the .GIFYs — it stands for GIF of the Year, and it should be pronounced 'jiffies' according to .GIF creator Steven Wilhite — and they are like the Oscars for silent, infinitely looping microfilms.
The brainchild of editors and designers from Gawker, Buzzfeed, Mashable, Tumblr and more, the .GIFYs mission is to "honor the animated GIF as a medium, social commentary, and art form." There are categories for animals, art and design, nature and science, mashups, sports, cats, WTF, and the .GIFYs' equivalent of Best Picture: GIF of the year.
Habitual denizens of Twitter, Reddit, and Tumblr should recognize a lot of the nominees, featuring moonwalking ponies, a lenticular Lil Bub, sleeping girls being bombarded by hotdogs, Oprah terrorizing her audience with bees, Toronto's crack-loving mayor Rob Ford dancing, Snow White getting her head blown off, and many more.
Voting in the .GIFys is now open to the public. To help stack the deck, we've chosen a few of our favorites from each category. We're not saying you have to vote for our favorites. All we're saying is if our favorites don't win, we're going to Beyoncé it all like this.
You can vote in the .GIFys here.