Techno-savvy artists, online wizards will share spotlight at Webbys


What do David Bowie, YouTube, eBay and a ninja have in common? The answer: They're all Webby Award winners and among the honorees gathering next month to bask in the glory and deliver their five-word acceptance speeches.

As the Web has grown, the awards have expanded, too. Three new areas are being recognized at the 11th Annual Webby Awards (www.webbyawards.com) celebration scheduled for June 3-5 in New York. In addition to more than 70 categories of Web sites, achievement in interactive advertising; online film and video; and mobile will also be honored.

Bowie is the man of the hour. He'll get the lifetime achievement award for his extensive career that has "pushed the boundaries of art and technology," the site states. A visit to Bowie Net (www.davidbowie.com) will show you why he's among the Web's elite. Be sure to click over to the Bowie Art site (www.bowieart.com) for a completely different experience that focuses on the musician's other artistic talents.

YouTube (www.youtube. com) co-founders Steve Chen and Chad Hurley will share the "Person of the Year" honors. It's somehow fitting that more than one person take home this honor, as their site, which they sold to Google for $1.65 billion, is at the heart of the Web 2.0 social networking phenomenon.

"YouTube will be saluted for its role in reshaping everything from politics to pop culture over the past year," the site says. "(They) will accept the award in recognition of their stewardship of the video-sharing sensation that revolutionized online entertainment and heralded a new era of the Internet."

EBay President and Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman will represent the 233 million registered users of the site, which is also receiving a lifetime achievement award. The awards site calls eBay a "cultural phenomenon" with a "commitment to innovation, growth and social consciousness."

Not bad for a company that didn't exist before 1995.

Ninja, from the online comedy series "Ask a Ninja" (www.askaninja.com), will take home the best actor award. Jessica Lee Rose, aka Lonelygirl15, will be honored as best actress.

Ninja gained fame by answering viewer-submitted questions while Lonelygirl15 (www.youtube.com/profile?user=lonelygirl15) stars Rose as the creator of a fictional online video diary. She was first thought to be the real deal, but came out as a video actress only after the viral video sensation helped put YouTube on the online map.

I'll visit the Webby Awards again after the ceremony, but in the meantime, you should visit the site and click into as many winners' sites as possible. Soak up the creativity and have some fun.

Share your Internet story with me at agibes@reviewjournal.com.

 

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