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Wednesday, June 8, 2005

I'm so glad school's out... I'll have time to browse all the sites I never heard of that won Webby Awards. The awards for Craigslist, Flickr and Google weren't much of a surprise, but the choice for best employment site was.

However, the "they said it couldn't be done" award should go to former Tennessee Senator and U.S. Vice President Al Gore, who received a lifetime achievement award for his contributions to the Internet -- but Gore may have faced a politician's lifetime challenge when accepting the trophy: The Webbies insist that acceptance speeches be only five words long.

Vinton Cerf, co-author of the main protocols that hold the net together, introduced Gore, who became the butt of scores of jokes after he talked about taking the initiative on behalf of the Internet. (Cerf has come to Gore's defense on that score in the past.)

"We all invented the Internet," Cerf told the Webby crowd, according to The New York Times. He said Gore really had pushed critical legislation and gave the Internet political support when it was needed.

As for Gore, who didn't get to accept the presidency in 2004, he did come up with a five-word acceptance speech for his Webby.

The five words?  Back to the Times for the quote and the reaction:

"Please don't recount this vote," he said.
The place went nuts.

Gore was invited back to say more, and told the New York crowd: "It is time to reinvent the Internet for all of us to make it more robust and much more accessible and use it to reinvigorate our democracy."

Politics and humor also played a part in the television Webby award -- it went to the "Indecision 2004" pages, which are no longer at their original address at  MTV's Comedy Central.

A communication Webby went to Skype, the Internet telephone service. For the full list of awards, including nominees as well as winners, see the Webby pages.

The Webby Lifetime Achievement Award: Former Vice President Al Gore

Webby Person of the Year: Craig Newmark of craigslist

The Webby Artist of the Year: The Kleptones

The Webby Breakout of the Year Award: Flickr

3:31:05 PM    comment []

The NewsHour on PBS broadcast a "News on Demand" feature about alternative forms of news delivery, but I missed it...

Luckily, the program practices techniques mentioned in the story: An RSS feed to alert subscribers to the latest stories,  streaming video for those of us who were stuck in traffic or out buying groceries at the program's scheduled time, and extended interview transcripts for folks who want to know more, just like text, or have modem connections that don't like video.

A central quote from the transcript:

To stem the loss (of readership and viewership), news organizations are innovating: devising technological alternatives that allow people to get their news in different ways -- and, in many cases, decide when and where and how they receive it in a new "always on" environment.

The consumer is suddenly in the driver's seat. The television networks realizing they can no longer depend on people for "appointment viewing" are now offering news on demand and in new ways.

The NewsHour site isn't limited to the most recent stories. This Impact of Web Blogs on Mainstream Journalism feature is still there, and so is this "special for students" Podcasting Power to the People Newshour extra--both from back in February.

In addition to its own Online Reports, the NewsHour's What is RSS? page includes links to feeds for Frontline and Nova.

9:52:37 AM    comment []

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