x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

World wide winners of the Webbys

The Oscars of the internet – now better known as the Webbys – honour the best out there from web to video.

Alec Baldwin, left, and Jerry Seinfeld in a Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
Alec Baldwin, left, and Jerry Seinfeld in a Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

They used to be known as the Oscars of the internet but now they’re famous enough in their own right to simply be the Webbys.

And they’re back for their 18th year, with the comedian Patton Oswalt presiding over the ceremony in New York.

Last year, everyone from Björk to Sarah Silverman showed up to collect prizes and make their customary five-word speeches. Björk’s was “A-E-I-O-U; Silverman’s, predictably, was unrepeatable in polite company.

This year’s event, which happened last night and will be broadcast on-demand today at webbyawards.com, is set to be just as starry. The winners in more than 100 categories have already been picked: Jerry Seinfeld won Outstanding Comedic Performance for his internet video series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee; the rapper Frank Ocean got Person of the Year for his heartfelt use of Tumblr; Grimes, whose earliest recordings were distributed free online, won Artist of the Year; and Kevin Spacey was honoured for House of Cards. Netflix, Tumblr, TED, Vice and Pinterest were also selected for awards by a panel of experts that includes David Bowie and Arianna Huffington.

 

In other categories, the winners aren’t yet world-famous, but they have a decent shot at future ubiquity. Here are 10 that are worth checking out

Overall Social Presence Nasa’s Curiosity Mars Rover (twitter.com/MarsCuriosity)

Regularly updated by Nasa scientists, this mind-expanding Twitter feed links to brand-new photos of the surface of Mars taken by the Curiosity rover; YouTube videos explaining what’s going on up there; and posts to Nasa’s websites, breaking down concepts such as solar conjunction, which is what happens when the sun gets in between Earth and Mars.

Best Business Blog Mashable (mashable.com)

“Digital innovation” is the focus of this popular blog, which has 20 million unique monthly visitors and is updated several times a day. Recent topics covered under the heading “Next Big Thing” include the virtual currency Amazon Coins, Reddit communities and the exercise app Runtastic.

Best Cultural Blog Mental Floss (mentalfloss.com)

Facebook engineers originally wanted to call the “Like” button the “Awesome” button. That’s Fact #3,903 of Mental Floss’s “Amazing Facts”, which pop up at the top of the screen each time you access the site. There’s also a “Big Questions” section, where readers send in questions such as “How Does Scratch and Sniff Work?” and a whole lot of pop culture-related “top 10” lists.

 

Best Car Blog Driven (driven.urbandaddy.com)

Even non-petrolheads can get lost in this good-looking site specialising in vintage photos of cars with an interesting backstory. Take a look at John Lennon’s 1965 Ferrari, which is up for auction in June; the sleek, sci-fi-looking Buckeye Bullet, which will be attempting to set a new land speed record for electric vehicles in September; and an aerial photo of Lamborghini’s 50th birthday celebrations.

 

Best Financial Services Website Hello Wallet (hellowallet.com)

A cleanly designed, soothingly pastel-coloured site that promises to help you “find money” and “take control of your daily spending”. Once you’ve filled in your details, you’ll be sent a weekend spending guide and a budget update every week, and your transactions and bank balance will be automatically recorded and categorised.

 

Best Music Website
Vevo
(vevo.com)

The company that distributes most of the world’s music videos, syndicating them to YouTube and elsewhere, has its own website, where you can watch the new Justin Bieber offering or stumble across a new track by Iggy Azalia.

Best Travel App Kayak (kayak.com)

A free app for iOS that makes it simple to find the cheapest flight from hundreds of different options, pick a hotel and even track your flight status. There are lots of travel screen-scrapers out there, so it’s good to know that Kayak has the Webbys’ seal of approval.

 

Best Music App Songza (songza.com)

Unlike Spotify, this music-streaming app has no annoying audio ads and there are no listening limits either. You just have to tell it what you’re up to, whether it’s having hipster friends over for dinner or pounding the treadmill at the gym; fill out your preferred genre, decade and mood; and start streaming one of thousands of specially curated playlists on your iPhone or iPad. The playlists can also be shared on Twitter, Facebook and email.

 

Best Email Newsletter Artspace (artspace.com)

Artspace is a site where you can learn about collecting art, bid on original works and limited editions, or buy them outright; they’ll carefully package the work and ship it worldwide. You can browse by region and there’s an extensive section dedicated to Middle Eastern artists. To sign up for the newsletter, visit the Artspace site.

 

Best Weird Website
One Tiny Hand
(onetinyhand.com)

I’m not sure why this blog – which takes photos of cultural icons such as Iron Man and Leonardo DiCaprio and Photoshops one hand to make it look grotesquely small – is so funny. But, somehow, it is.

 

artslife@thenational.ae

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