Webby Awards

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The Webby Awards is an international paid-entry-exclusive award honoring excellence on the Internet, including websites, interactive advertising, online film and video, and mobile web sites, presented by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences since 1996. There is also a second set of awards called the People's Voice Awards for the same categories which are given by popular vote. The awards are operated and owned by for profit Recognition Media, which also operates the W3 Awards, Davey Awards, Communicator Awards, and the Tellys. [1]



The phrase The Webby Awards was used from 1994–1996 by the World Wide Web Organization,[2] which was introduced in 1994 by WebMagic, Cisco Systems and ADC Kentrox. As one of its services, it sponsored the monthly Webby awards to spotlight online innovation. Web.org was decommissioned in 1997.[3][4]

The phrase The Webby Awards has been used since 1996 to describe an annual awards ceremony. It was initially sponsored by The Web magazine which was published by IDG, and produced by Tiffany Shlain. Winners were selected by a group which would officially become the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS) in 1998. After The Web Magazine closed, the ceremonies continued.[5]

In 2006, The Webby Awards launched three new award programs including categories honoring interactive advertising, mobile content, and the Webby Film and Video Awards, which honors original film and video premiering on the Internet. In 2008, the 12th Annual Webby Awards received nearly 10,000 entries from over 60 countries worldwide.[6]

Awards granted


The Webby Awards are presented in over 100 categories among all four types of entries. A website can be entered in multiple categories and receive multiple awards.[7]

In each category, two awards are handed out: a Webby Award selected by a panel of judges, and a People's Voice Award selected by the votes of visitors to The Webby Awards site.[8]

Acceptance speeches

The Webbies are famous for limiting recipients to five-word speeches, which are often humorous. For example, in 2005, former Vice President Al Gore's was "Please don't recount this vote." He was introduced by Vint Cerf who used the same format to state, "We all invented the Internet."[9] At the 2007 awards, David Bowie's speech was "I only get five words? Shit, that was five. Four more there. That's three. Two."[10] At the 2009 awards, the acceptance speechs had to be five words long at most, and Dick Buschman used his speech to propose to his girlfriend, Airna.[11]


The Webbys have been criticized for their pay-to-enter and pay-to-attend policies (winners and nominees also have to pay to attend the award ceremony), and thus for not taking most websites into consideration before distributing their awards.[12][13] Gawker, its Valleywag column, and others, have called the awards a scam, with Valleywag saying, "...somewhere along the way, the organizers figured out that this goofy charade could be milked for profit."[14]

See also


  1. "After Winning Advertising Awards, an Invitation to Pay for the Trophies". NY Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/10/business/media/10award.html. Retrieved 2009-08-09. 
  2. http://web.archive.org/19970129221734/web.org/webby/
  3. "WebMagic, Inc. Site Archive". Webmagic.com. http://www.webmagic.com/archive/index.html. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  4. "This is Web dot Org!". Webmagic.com. 1997-07-10. http://www.webmagic.com/archive/web.org/index.html. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  5. "History". Webby Awards. http://www.webbyawards.com/about/history.php. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  6. "Webby Awards to honor David Burne and Lorne Michaels for lifetime achievement". The Webby Awards. 2008-05-28. http://www.webbyawards.com/press/press-release.php?id=156. Retrieved 2008-06-01. 
  7. "Category definitions". The Webby Awards. http://www.webbyawards.com/webbys/categories.php. Retrieved 2008-05-31. 
  8. "Categories". Webby Awards. http://www.webbyawards.com/webbys/categories.php. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  9. Carr, David (8 June 2005). "Accepting a Webby? Brevity, Please". American Broadcasting Company. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/08/arts/08webb.html. Retrieved 2008-06-15. 
  10. "Bowie, Beastie Boys honoured in Webbys". News.com.au. http://www.news.com.au/mercury/story/0,22884,21859417-5005940,00.html. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  11. "2009 Webby Awards". The Age. http://www.theage.com.au/photogallery/entertainment/2009-webby-awards/20090609-c1rw.html?selectedImage=9. 
  12. Steve Johnson (2008-05-14). "Critics pour vitriol on Webby Awards". Chicago Tribune. http://www.chicagotribune.com/technology/chi-hypertext-webbys-0514may14,0,6525152.column. 
  13. Jack Shafer (2008-04-09). "What? You've Not Been Honored by the Webbys?". Slate. http://www.slate.com/id/2188581/. 
  14. Owen Thomas (2009-04-05). "The Webby Awards Remain the Best Scam Going". Valleywag. http://gawker.com/5240982/the-webby-awards-remain-the-best-scam-going. 

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