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NEW YORK – David Bowie and eBay starred on Tuesday alongside photo-sharing Web site Flickr and a blog of cute animals as winners of the Webby Awards, the leading international honor for Web content.
Winners of the 11th annual Webbys, dubbed “the Oscars of the Internet,” were chosen from a record 8,000 entries from 60 countries by 400,000 public votes and a panel of 80 Web experts to recognize excellence in about 100 different categories.
“Our goal is to honor all the work on the Web,” David-Michel Davies, executive director of the Webbys which are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Science, told Reuters.
“The winners will go down in history as the first stars in a medium that has already radically altered the media and entertainment landscape.”
The award for Best Practices, viewed as probably the top award as it focuses on excellence in design, content, and technology, went to Yahoo Inc.’s Flickr.com where users can organize photos and share them with friends.
One of two Webby lifetime achievement awards went to Bowie, for pushing the boundaries of art and technology from BowieNet, a Internet service provider he launched in 1998, to his digital media company UltraStar, to his innovative West site BowieArt.
The other was awarded to the eBay online auction community which has 233 million registered buys and sellers.
Webby People of the Year award went to Steve Chen and Chad Hurley, co-founders of Google Inc.’s video sharing site YouTube, for the site’s role in “transforming the media landscape and reshaping everything from politics to pop culture.”
For the first time, the Webby Awards also introduced categories honoring online film and video, interactive advertising and mobile content.
“Over the last couple of years we have started to see excellent film making and video content online so the judges came to us and said it was an important medium we needed to honor,” said Davies.
New Zealand actress Jessica Lee Rose, known on video-sharing site YouTube as “lonelygirl15,” won the best actress award for her blogs about the troubled life of a teenager called Bree which were eventually discovered to be a hoax.
The best actor award went to Ninja of the online comedy series Ask a Ninja, which was created by Los Angeles comedians Kent Nichols and Douglas Sarine and features a black-clad ninja answering e-mails in ninja lingo with a signature sign-off, “I look forward to killing you soon.”
The Weird award went to Cute Overload, a blog dedicated to photos and videos of adorable animals which has developed its own language of cuteness, or “cutecabulary.”
The winners of this year’s awards will be honored in ceremonies in New York on June 4 and June 5 where winners are only allowed a five-word acceptance speech.
A full-list of winners is at http://www.webbyawards.com
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