The results are in…the Internet community has made their choice on who they think did a bang-up job promoting themselves online. New York City is set to be the place that everyone online is looking towards as the winners of the 16th annual Webby Awards are announced and awarded their prize. Established in 1996 during the web’s infancy by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, the Webby Awards are probably among the most prestigious international awards out there that honor excellence on the Internet. Honor bestowed by the Academy means receiving accolades from among some of the best minds in the industry–web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries, creative celebrities, and other Internet professionals help make up the judging panel.
Hosted by comedian Patton Oswalt, this year’s ceremony will once again honor a mixture of companies and agencies for their creative gumption in developing a really cool interactive presence and it’s only fitting that some of the most talked about tech companies here in Silicon Valley are awarded accolades themselves. Take Facebook for example…this year, the largest social network in the world will be the recipient of the inaugural People’s Special Achievement for Social Change as an honor for the company’s efforts in leveraging the Internet to enable and foster social and political development around the world. It’s interesting to note that Facebook trumped Twitter for this honor.
Other special achievement awards go to comedian Louis CK for his groundbreaking digital-only release of Louis C.K.–Live at the Beach Theater. As you know, the comedian decided not to go the traditional route and pay a share of his cut to the media to have his special televised or broadcast. Instead, he charged $5 and anyone could watch his special. It received rave reviews and earned him enough money to break-even and pay his team. Photo-sharing powerhouse (and now Facebook subsidiary) Instagram will receive the award for Webby Breakout of the Year–not bad for an 18 month old company that gets snagged up for a cool $1 billion in cash and stock.
But while the individual achievements are great, there are plenty more awards to be given and technology companies claim some of the best awards out there, some even claimed multiple awards: Dropbox, the cloud-storage service picks up four awards and leads the pack with the Webby and People’s Voice Award for Best Practices Website and Webby and People’s Voice Award for Best Web Services & Applications Website. Epicurious.com takes home three awards with the Webby and People’s Voice Award for Best Lifestyle Website and People’s Voice Award for Best Lifestyle (Handheld Devices) Mobile & Apps. Kayak also takes off with three awards with the Webby Award and People’s Voice Award for Best Travel Website and the People’s Voice Award for Best Travel Mobile & Apps. Skype receives three awards with Webby Award and People’s Voice Award for Best Social (Tablets & All Other Devices) Mobile & Apps and People’s Voice Award for Best Use of Device Camera Mobile & Apps.
In addition to these winners, the following other tech companies also received a Webby Awards:
- Mashable: Best Blog–Business Website
- TED.com: Best Radio/Podcast
- Mint.com: Best Financial Services Website
- Evernote: Best Utilities & Services (Handheld Devices) Mobile & Apps
- Khan Academy: Best Education Service
- Pinterest: People’s Voice Award for Best Visual Design–Function
- Hulu.com: People’s Voice Award for Best Television Service
- Google+: People’s Voice Award for Best Social Media Application
- PadMapper: Best Real Estate Application
- The Daily Beast: Best News Source
- Pandora: People’s Voice Award for Music
- Wired: Best Magazine
- Yelp: People’s Voice Award for Guides/Ratings/Reviews
In something typical of anything online, tickets for the Webby Awards ceremony are not available. In fact, the Webby Awards will be streamed live on May 21, 2012 starting at 4:30pm EST and all you need to do is to RSVP on Facebook and let everyone know to tune in.