Webby Awards, also known as the highest honor for internet content will be entering its 20th edition in the year 2016. The deadline for the submission of entries in the 2016 edition of the awards is December 18, 2015. Also christened the “Oscars of the internet”, the Webbies honor content on the internet, as well as special achievements in other fields and invite submissions in over 100 categories.
Stand up comic Hannibal Burress was the host of the awards ceremony this year. Judges of the previous edition of the awards included personalities such as TV show host, Conan O Brien, Founder of Huffington Post, Ariana Huffington, and Tumblr founder, David Karp. Big winners from the 2015 Webby Awards were TED, Vice Media, New York Times and Mashable, which won 11, 10, and 4 awards respectively. Interestingly, Mashable has been winning the ‘best business blog’ award consecutively since 2010.
One of the uniquely entertaining aspects of the event are the five-word speeches that the winners are limited to .
Other notable winners were Tinder, which won ‘Breakout of the year’, Funny or Die, which was adjudged ‘Best Humor Website’, and SoundCloud; which won the ‘Best Music App’ category. The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon won the award in the ‘best television website’ category. Co-founders of Wired, Louis Rossetto and Jane Metcalfe More than 500,000 people from as many as 200 countries voted for the Webby’s People’s Voice. Amongst actors, Ellie Kemper and Tituss Burgess won the ‘Best actor’ awards for their roles in the Netflix original Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
One of the uniquely entertaining aspects of the event are the five-word speeches that winners are limited to. Some of these have included “Please don’t recount this vote”, by former US vice-president Al-Gore, “When I die, bye bye”, by comedian Louis CK, and “Even this speech was outsourced”, by Freelancer.com. A site can be entered for consideration under multiple categories. Some of these include activism, fashion, humor, travel, television, events.
Despite a largely positive response, the Webby’s have found criticism because of its system of accepting fees to accept entries as well as letting a nominee attend the awards. For instance, merely entering one’s website or blog for consideration in three categories can cost upwards of $1000 (roughly Rs 65,000), which is a large sum for an individual hoping to get recognition for a blog or a new website. In its defence, David-Michel Davies Webby Awards executive director has previously told the Wall Street Journal that entry fees “provide the best and most sustainable model for ensuring that our judging process remains consistent and rigorous and is not dependent on things like sponsorships that can fluctuate from year to year.”