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12. Webbys salute best of the Web

By Mark Alberstat

THE OSCARS, the Junos, the Emmys and a dozen other award shows clutter our TV viewing each year with endless hours of congratulations and thank-yous.

One award that you never hear about but should be of great interest to readers of this column, is the Webby, a yearly award given out in June to a variety of Web sites that are judged the best and brightest in a variety of fields.

As always, an interesting crop of sites showed up on this year's list of nominees and winners, helping to underline the diversity of the Internet.

The Webby Award nominees and winners are selected by the Academy (tongue firmly in cheek here) from sites that have been submitted to the contest.

The sites are then judged against six criteria and undergo a six-month, three-tiered judging process to win the coveted award.

The voting is overseen by PriceWaterhouse to insure everything is above board.

The 30 categories run the gamut from activism, community, politics and spiritualism, showing the diversity of the Webby Awards and the Internet itself.

A Canadian site that won this year was CBC's Radio 3. The site, which won in the broadband category, is best viewed if you are on a fast link to the Internet.

This site is an eclectic mix of music and pop culture. It has a hip artsy look to it with a photo gallery, new music and a complete archive of features you may have missed.

The site is so popular that not only did the judges like it, it was also a People's Voice award winner.

Another winner of both the judges hearts and the People's Voice is the Lonely Planet site, which won in the travel category.

With such services as an online travel advisory, a detailed travel forum that is useful for the veteran and novice traveller, and an easy-to-use Lonely Planet book and accessory shop, this site is what the Webbys are all about.

For those with a little time on their hands, the games category had some fun sites that are certainly worth a visit, but keep half an eye on the clock or your time online could reach the level of a Webby judge.

Under the category of community, LiveJournal was a nominee. This site is a blogging site and is quickly growing in popularity. It was beat out for the award, however, by, a site that allows you to meet other locals on the Web and, for a change in this wired world, meet them face to face.

There is even an active group for Halifax that has more than 100 members.

A few of the sites one would expect to be winners were there as well. PayPal was the winner under finance, while Google and BBCNews found their awards under the news category, along with eBay under services.

With a good set of archives and fully and nicely linked list of nominees and winners, the Web site for the Webbys - - could easily be used as a portal to the best of the Web and a good place to start for your next online adventure.

The Mousepad runs every two weeks. It's a service of Chebucto Community Net, a community-owned Internet provider. If you have a question about computing, e-mail If we use your question in a column, we'll send you a free mousepad.


The Mousepad Index


Originally published 6 July 2003


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