High fives (not fours, sixes)

Webby speeches once again are short and sweet

The Webby Awards revel in their designation made by David Carr of the New York Times as "the Oscars of the Internet." This year's ceremony in New York followed the script: red-carpet arrivals, celebrities major and minor and an awards presentation that can stretch out too long.

One thing different about the Webbys is its rule that all acceptance speeches be five words. No more, no less. Al Gore in 2005, recalling his failed presidential bid, gave perhaps the most famous line: "Please don't recount this vote."

Tuesday's ceremony didn't have any lines quite as memorable. Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" accepted his Person of the Year award with his alter ego's characteristic immodesty: "Me, me, me, me, me."

The Webbys, now in their 12th year, have become a tradition. The show is a mix of the prosaic (best insurance Web site), Internet nerdy (Tay Zonday, I Can Haz Cheezburger) and celebrity chic (David Byrne and Lorne Michaels).

Some speeches veered into the political. Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, used her five words to tap into the current political zeitgeist: "President Obama sounds good, right?" An executive from Factcheck.org, a site that uncovers misconceptions in political coverage, added: "No, Obama's not a Muslim." Frank Warren, founder of PostSecret.org, referenced a hot Internet political issue. "Net neutrality today, tomorrow, forever," he said.

TBWA Media Arts Lab won an award for its "Don't Give Up" banner ads that communicated with each other. The Omnicom Group shop, which has produced work for Apple over the years, gave thanks to the company's founder/deity with: "In Steve Jobs we trust."

Brian Morrissey is a reporter for Adweek.
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