The Art Institute of Portland

The Art Institute of Portland offers programs in Advertising, Design Management, Design Studies, Design Visualization, Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Interior Design, Apparel Accessory Design, Apparel Design, Fashion Marketing, Digital Film & Video, Game Art & Design, Media Arts & Animation, Visual Effects & Motion Graphics, Visual & Game Programming, Web Design & Interactive Media, Culinary Arts, Baking & Pastry, and Culinary Management.
Learn more about The Art Institute of Portland

The Webby Awards — Five Words to Web Infamy?

Entertainment junkies have long looked to the Grammys, Emmys, and Addys to award kudos to the best music performers, movies, and advertisements of the past year. But recently, members of the entertainment industry have lent their credentials to another recognition event — The Webby Awards.

Launched in 1996 and presented by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, the Webbys are the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet. Academy members include industry giants from Beck and David Bowie to Arianna Huffington and Richard Branson.

Having such big, talented names as judges adds validity to the awards, according to Tim Dempski of the Web Design and Interactive Media faculty at The Art Institute of Atlanta — Decatur and The Art Institute of Atlanta. “The entertainment figures involved in the Webbys make the awards more credible and add exposure to the industry,” he states.

This year, the 14the Annual Webby Awards will bestow awards in over 100 categories, including Website, Interactive Advertising, Online Film & Video, and Mobile Web. Two honors are presented in each category — The Webby Award and The People's Voice Award. The festivities will take place June 14 in New York City.

Dempski is already planning to check out this year’s nominees and winners’ projects when they go up online. Voting for the People’s Voice Awards begins at on April 13 and concludes on April 29. From the over 10,000 entries received each year, only five nominees make it to the finals in each category.

He believes that strong contenders will rise to the top and gain exposure via the viral nature of the net. And the easy accessibility to voting and viewing entries allows people from all walks of life — not just those in the web industry — to take an active part in judging Webby submissions.

“Any recognition of web and interactive work is always a help to the industry,” Dempski says, adding that a Grammy, Emmy, and Addy all have the same sort of industry specific recognition that the Webby provides. Webbys are different, though, because they can be presented to every day people. As Dempski puts it: “Many of the winners only win because they took a chance and entered their own work.”

Those winners have had the opportunity to see some of the most interesting, snarky, and inspired acceptance speeches in award show history. Because acceptance speeches are limited to five words, winners have impressed audiences with inspiration: Biz Stone/Twitter’s “Creativity is a renewable resource;” Stephen Colbert’s “Me, me, me, me, me;” and Jimmy Fallon’s “Thank God Conan got promoted.”

It’s this type of self-deprecating humor that has made some critical of the Webbys. Others question the validity of the awards, given that all applicants must pay a fee to have their creations considered It’s a controversy that seems to hit web blogs hard right before the awards are handed out.

Slate Magazine’s Jack Shafer writes that “entering your website in the Webby Awards is like buying a box of Cracker Jack -- everybody wins a prize.” While he accepts that this is an exaggeration, he does state that the large number of honorees, nominees, and over 100 award categories adds up to an excessive number of winners. Slate was even a nominee in the 2008 awards.

Writer Andy Baio’s post on also accuses the Webbys of “category inflation” while attacking the awards’ validity for charging an entry fee. The article states that the awards program saw a 330% increase in new categories from 2005 to 2009, and attributes the increase and entry fee to a business model that’s “hinged on getting as many entries as possible.”

He goes on to liken the Webbys to the website Cool Site of the Day, “a former web mainstay that's long since drifted into irrelevance. Once they started taking cash for consideration, the award became less meaningful and the picks were less interesting because of it.”

The Webbys have fought back against such criticism, issuing a statement from executive director David-Michel Davies to address the changes in the number of awards and cost of entry. “When the Webby Awards debuted in 1996 with 15 categories, there were only about 23 million Internet users world-wide. Today, there are 1.5 billion. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Webby Awards’ growth has closely mirrored the Internet’s evolution.”

Despite the debate, Dempski believes that award competitions are incredibly valuable for students and professionals who are looking to have their work evaluated by a larger audience. While entry for this year’s Webby awards is now closed, those interested in next year’s awards may register to be notified when 2011’s entries are being accepted.

“I wish more students would enter their work into these types of competitions because any recognition will help them in the future,” concludes Dempski.

Read the article HERE

Bookmark and Share


Leave a Reply




Roy Tanck's Flickr Widget requires Flash Player 9 or better.

AIPD Flickrstream

AIPD 2010 - 2011 CALENDAR


9.3.10 September Holiday

9.6.10 Labor Day

11.25 & 11.26.10 Thanksgiving

12.23 & 12.24.10 Winter Holiday

12.31.10 New Years Eve


Summer 2010
7.12.2010 - 9.25.2010

Fall 2010
10.4.2010 - 12.18.2010

Winter 2011
1.10.2011 - 3.26.2011

Spring 2011
4.4.2011 - 6.18.2011

Summer 2011
7.11.2011 - 9.18.2011


Runway shots may be seen HERE

Backstage and pre-show shots may be seen HERE

Paparazzi and red carpet shots may be seen HERE