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Webby Award Nominees Reflect Boom in Online Video

Digital Journal — The nominees for the Webby Awards were announced today, and the “Oscars of the Internet” highlighted online video as one of the growing trends in Web 2.0 innovation.

The 11th Annual Webby Awards honour sites, online film and video, interactive advertising and mobile content that are judged by the 550-member International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Considered the best award a site can win, a Webby is known as a phenomenal boost for any organization lucky to take one home.

This year, many sites specializing in online video were nominated for the prestigious award. AOL’s is in the running in the Best Celebrity/Fan category, which comes as no surprise to any celeb-hound hunting for videos of their favourite star. Revver, Jumpcut and are all nominated for Best Broadband, and CNet — known for its new video reports — is competing in Best Guides/Ratings/Reviews.

“Online video is everywhere,” David-Michel Davies, the executive director of the Webby Awards, told Digital Journal in a phone interview. “Instead of trying to sell videos to studios or networks, people are bringing them online.”

Davies went on to explain what makes a site a Webby contender. “How does your community help drive innovation to your site?” he said. “A site that brings the public together, through its features, will definitely stand out.”

Speaking of standing out, the Webby Awards has made a name for itself in one unique way: acceptance speeches must be five words maximum. Being short and sweet is also the mantra in comedy, which is part of the Webby festivities — comic actor Rob Corddry, known as a “news” correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, will host the Webby Awards on June 5 in New York City. The winner will be announced May 1.

We’ve all heard of Oscar predictions, but why not Webby predictions? In an attempt to peer into the near future, Digital Journal dishes out of our picks for the winners in the more notable categories this year:

  • In Social Networking:

    In light of MySpace’s extreme ugliness, Facebook has become the social-networking saviour in recent months. Using a clean interface and easy-to-use communication tools, Facebook deserves the win for rocketing into popularity beyond any techie’s imagination. Now, it’s even become an insult — “I Facebooked your mom.”

  • In Music:
    BBC Radio 1
    National Geographic WorldMusic
    The Concrete, In-Colour

    Hand the Webby to, one of the most innovative arrivals in the world of Web music. By allowing users to type in a favourite artist and listen to similar musicians completely free, is proving itself a Web 2.0 wunderkid that should appeal to any music fanatic.

  • In Broadband:

    Although all the nominees boast an attractive design and intuitive structure, it’s Revver that deserves an honour for being a trailblazer in online video. By paying users for posting videos, Revver practically slapped YouTube in the face and in the process propelled them to instant notoriety. Plus, the site should win an award for its awesome tagline: What if creativity could pay the rent?

  • In Copy/Writing:
    The New Yorker
    Slate Magazine
    The New York Times – These Times Demand the Times

    For explaining complex issues and technical gadgetry without sounding like a textbook, HowStuffWorks wins our vote in this category. The writing is always succinct and rarely obtuse, even in articles such as How VoIP Works. It’s almost dizzying how many articles this site has published.

For more nominees in the 100 categories of the 11th Annual Webby Awards, go to

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