Presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences, the Webbys are considered to be “Internet’s Oscars,” comprised of categories in website, design, interactive advertising, online film and video, and mobile. Starting today, the public is invited to have a say in who takes home a coveted Webby by voting in The Webby People’s Voice Awards — open until April 26.
Following “The Year of Protest”, IADAS is introducing the inaugural People’s Special Achievement Webby for Social Change, honoring important Internet-based initiatives that had significant impact in organizing the masses to promote sociopolitical change. This year’s nominees are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Kiva, and Change.org. In true social fashion, the winner will be selected by the online public as part of Webby People’s Voice voting.
We’ve also seen the entertainment industry’s biggest names harness the power of the Web to connect and interact with their fans. Highlights from this year’s nominees include Ben Stiller, Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig, Sean Penn, Ted Danson, and Wieden+Kennedy’s work for Nike’s “Back for the Future,” which featured Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd and Bill Hader, and benefitted The Michael J. Fox Foundation.
The Webby Agency of the Year will be presented to the agency that performs the best across all categories. Strong contenders for this year’s honor are DDB with 12 nominations, BBH (9), Wieden+Kennedy (9), and Akestam Holst (8).
Among the Academy judges making the final decisions are Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, Musician David Bowie, Instagram founder Kevin Systrom, R/GA’s Bob Greenberg, AKQA’s Rei Inamoto, The Barbarian Group’s Benjamin Palmer.
Winners will be announced May 1 and honored at a star-studded ceremony on Monday, May 21, 2012 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City where they will deliver five-word speeches in tradition of past victors. The show will be hosted by critically-acclaimed stand-up comedian, writer, actor, and Downton Abbey live-tweeter, Patton Oswalt.
Be sure to tune in to The 16 Annual Webby Awards, streaming LIVE in HD on Monday, May 21, 2012, at a new, earlier start time of 5:30 PM EST at www.webbyawards.com.