What are the Webby Awards?

The Webby Awards are international awards honouring excellence on the Internet. They began in 1996 and are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS). The IADAS is a very diverse organisation, made up of over 1,000 members, including leading web experts, business figures, visionaries, creative celebrities, Internet professionals and previous Webby Award winners.

The awards have grown significantly since their beginning and now attract a worldwide audience. The 17th annual Webby Awards, which ran on the 10th June 2013, received nearly 11,000 entries from over 60 countries and generated over 2.2 billion media impressions across the world.

In every category presented there are two winners, one is The Webby Award and the other is The Webby People’s Voice Award. The IADAS pick the nominees for both awards in each category. From here they vote on who will be the winner of The Webby Award whilst the online community determine The Webby People’s Voice award by voting for their favourites. This award usually attracts millions of voters from all over the world. The winners of each award are limited to 5 word acceptance speeches, of course on occasion individuals go over this limit but often it means they are  hilariously entertaining.

As the internet has grown to be a huge tool for businesses and everyday lives, the 17th annual Webby Awards expanded to include excellence in websites, interactive advertising and media, online film and video, mobile and app. These are all included in the new categories for work in the ‘Social Web.’

Winners are selected based on their excellence in different categories. For websites and mobile sites this includes content, structure and navigation, visual design, functionality, and interactivity. For interactive advertising and media those categories are creativity and integration. For online film and video they are concept and writing, quality of craft, and integration. For social the categories are based on content, creativity and engagement. For each group there is also an overall experience category. A full list of the 100+ categories included can be found on the Webby Awards website.

The huge success of the awards is a testament to the success of the Internet as a whole. The Webby Awards have easily become the Oscars of the Internet. Since the web has become an instrumental tool for businesses, The Webby Awards are the most important honour they can receive.

Winning a Webby puts you in a large group of industry leaders that include companies such as  Twitter, Google, eBay, Pinterest, Skype, BBC News, ESPN and more.

Both past highlights and future Webby Awards can now be watched on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/thewebbyawards 

Taylor Fleischner - Social Media Content Assistant - @tayfleischh

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