The 12th Annual Webby Awards - Celebrating the .ORG Community
Every year, leading edge technology and social /cultural trends converge at an event called The Webby Awards in NYC. The awards are billed as “the leading International award honoring excellence in interactive design, creativity, usability and functionality on the Internet”. Just as the motion picture industry has the Oscars, our industry has the Webby’s. The Webby’s brings out celebs as well as media types, to rub shoulders with the most creative up and coming talents and change makers in the Internet world.
And we were there. This is the first time .ORG has been a sponsor of the Webby’s, and we chose a darn good year. This year was a record for .ORG winners, 17 in all! Not surprising, considering the contribution individuals and organizations in the .ORG Community make to the Internet and to society in general. Given so many .ORG nominees and winners, our presence and message resonated with the attendees at all three events which happened over the course of the Webbys. Stay tuned for video and photo coverage of the “Sunset Cocktails”, the “Film and Video Awards” and of course the Gala.
As an Official Sponsor of the Webbys, we had tickets to all three nights, plus prime seating at the gala, right next to the stage. So who did we invite? We took along some guests, such as Dan Rundio of TierraNet and his .ORG customer Sura Hart of Grassroots.org. Idealist’s Jake Brewer, a past Webby Winner, and Jim Craner of the Chicago Technology Cooperative( they help non-profs create their web presence), as well as Jeff Zaretsky of KickApps (one of our showcase members in the .ORG Resource Center) were also our guests. We were also joined by members of our Advisory Council, Angela Siefer and George Sadowsky.
We had a chance to congratulate some of the extraordinary .ORGs who won. For example, one of my favorites, Factcheck.org won three Webby awards and delivered one of my favorite 5 word acceptance speeches of the night: “Where truthiness goes to die."
Another winner was Artocracy.org , who provides a digital marketplace for original art – a great site that democratizes the art world and makes art accessible to anyone, anywhere. Nothing against the venues where our industry typically congregates (ICANN, domainer conferences, policy workshops) but sometimes I hear the same issues/ideas that were discussed last year, or the year before with little or no change, like living your own version of “Groundhog Day”. Well, not at the Webbys, where the creative quotient is high, and you get a first hand glimpse at talent and companies that rocked the Internet in the last year and possibly in the very near future. Think viral videos such as Will.i.am’s “yes we can” and Obama’s viral video which was more effective than a 10 city, $1000 per plate fundraiser. Think animation, photo blogs, social media and network apps, mobile campaigns, etc. It is refreshing to see this level of creativity and and the attitude that everything can and should change.