LonelyGirl, Flickr Take Webby Honors

    May 2, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

This year’s Webby Award winners were announced with the usual Oscaresque fanfare, names you’ll recognize and names you may not. But you’ll also notice who’s not on the list.

LonelyGirl, Flickr Take Webby Honors
LonelyGirl, Flickr Take Webby Honors
LonelyGirl, Flickr Take Webby Honors

Who’s not on the list is Google, but lets not focus on who dropped the ball most this year, after winning half a dozen last year.

If you’re a David Bowie fan, then you probably already know he sits alongside musician Beck, Internet inventor and evangelist Vint Cerf, Arianna Huffington, "The Simpsons" creator Matt Groening and Virgin Atlantic’s Richard Branson to choose the centennial winners.

Bowie, it just so happens, receives the Webby Lifetime Achievement award, commemorating all those years he was mercifully not making music and, instead, founding Web companies. Bowie launched BowieNet ISP in 1998, followed by UltraStar and BowieArt.

EBay and company president Meg Whitman also received the Lifetime Achievement award "on behalf of the 233 million registered buyers and sellers" on the site. YouTube cofounders Steve Chen and Chad Hurley, each the other’s better half, took the Webby Person of the Year award for "transforming the media landscape and reshaping everything from politics to pop culture.

Just like at the Academy Awards, there is a Best Actor and Best Actress Award. "Ninja" from "Ask a Ninja" took the best actor nod, and Jessica Lee Rose, a.k.a. "lonelygirl15" takes home the best actress award.

Interestingly and correctly, David Michel-Davies, executive director of the Webby Awards, thinks one day we’ll look on these early winners the same way we remember Charlie Chaplin and the Keystone Cops.

"The winners will go down in history as the first stars in a medium that has already radically altered the media and entertainment landscape," said Michel-Davies, executive director of The Webby Awards. "From major networks to independent filmmakers, the diversity of the winners also reflects the Internet’s democratic roots, as well as its star-making power."

Speaking of the Internet’s democratic roots, one of the funnier twists of this year’s awards came in the Activism category, as grassroots Net Neutrality site SaveTheInternet.com received the "People’s Voice Award." The majority of 400,000 voters chose SaveTheInternet.com over Apple’s Green Peace page (the celebrity panel’s choice).

The People’s Voice must have sounded like nails on a chalkboard to Verizon, a sponsor of the Webby Awards, and vehement Net Neutrality opponent. Maybe next year the vote will go to DontSqueezeYourCustomers.org.

A few sites shined with multiple awards. Yahoo’s Flickr and Adobe took home 5 Webbies each; HowStuffWorks won 4; graphic designer Jonathan Yuen grabbed 3; the BBC carried 3 across the Pond; and LinkedIn hooked up for 2.

Other winners (Webby/People’s Voice):

  1. Best Home/Welcome Page: Sony.com/NYTimes.com
  2. Best Navigation/Structure: IKEA/IKEA
  3. Best Use of Video/Moving Image: Jonathan Yuen/Adobe CS2.3 – The Creative Mind
  4. Best Visual Design – Function: Flickr/Flickr
  5. Broadband: Blip.tv/Blip.tv
  6. Guides/Ratings/Reviews: Yelp.com/CNet.com
  7. Humor: The Onion/The Onion
  8. Services: LinkdIn/Gifts.com
  9. Travel: Wikitravel/TripAdvisor