From “Automotive” to “Sales Lead Generation”, the annual Webby
Awards recognize the very best sites on the Internet. Regarded in the
highest esteem by propeller heads the world over as the ‘Oscars’ of the
Internet, the 2004 Webby Award winners were recently announced
including some of the best of the best including:
- Car Stuck Girls
BEST PRACTICES: GOOGLE (www.google.com)
The world’s most used and lauded search engine, Google continues
to rack-up praise and hardware. Not only did Google win the Webby, but
it also won the People’s Voice (i.e. ‘people’s choice) award as chosen
by public voting. Google remains the favourite search engine by a
plurality of web heads and the giant is becoming…. oh so much
If you haven’t already done so click on the “more” tab on the
Google home page. A bevy of options, including discussion groups, a
directory of mail-order and web-order catalogs, and a section called
“Answers” that is an ‘Ask-the-Expert’ feature at a cost of $2.50 per
question. Google maintains a stable of “more than 500” experts who will
answer any question within 24 hours and “your satisfaction is
Wikipedia is a truly great community (a.k.a. free) website that is
an online encyclopedia built by you and me. Well, it’s actually the
work of 6,000 volunteer contributors, but anyone can offer to
contribute, though an editorial committee reviews all submissions.
While the quality of encyclopedic entries and articles is predictably
erratic, Wikipedia does offer a wealth of information at no cost, which
is about $60 per year less than the online Encyclopedia
What is particularly cool about Wikipedia (derived from the
Hawaiian phrase WikiWiki meaning ‘super fast’) is that any reader can
easily correct, update or add to any unprotected article on the
Speaking of hot commodities, iTunes picked up three Webby Awards:
Best Music site, Best Commerce site, and the People’s Voice Award in
the Music category. Since the death of Napster (and subsequent rebirth)
the “World’s #1 music download store” has become the newest
revolutionary in the download music industry. Users can download a song
for 99 cents, or a whole album for $9.99. iTunes has a library of more
than 700,000 songs for download.
I personally prefer PureTrax.com which has a far more
user-friendly site, charges in Canadian dollars, and has a comparable
library (my recent downloads include Delirium, Gerry Rafferty,
Tragically Hip and Guns N’ Roses).
Always a favorite of critics and fans alike, TheOnion.com
picked-up its 10th Webby Award as the best Humor site for
2004. Particularly adept at writing political parodies, TheOnion.com
always serves delicious send-ups of both political and pop culture
icons. While writing this column TheOnion.com featured a
particularly funny piece on Dick Cheney announcing he is running for
Fed-Up Cheney Enters Presidential Race Himself
"Enough is enough,'" the visibly annoyed Cheney said at a morning
press conference. "George blew the whole Iraqi prison-abuse speech, and
he barely did better with his Nicholas Berg reaction. Now he's below 50
percent in the polls. I'm sorry, but I can't allow him to drag me down
with him in November."
"Do I have to do everything around here?" Cheney asked, pausing to
gesture angrily around the White House. "I guess I do."
(TheOnion.com, May 26, 2004)
Either the entries weren’t very good or the judges got bored but
the winner of this year’s Webby in the Weird category is a little site
called Car Stuck Girls. As far as grading web best practices, design,
usability, content, likeability, and general interest, the site sucks.
The website features inexpensive (but not necessarily cheap…) and
scantily clad models trying to extract their respective cars from mud
pits, snow banks, large puddles, etc. And that’s all the site features.
Pictures and video of girls with ‘stuck’ cars.
Of course, my personal favourite, HealthyOntario.com (disclaimer:
Prescient Digital Media did the plan and operates this winning site).
Also, runner-up in the People’s Voice Awards to the U.S. Federal
Government submission (www.FedStats.com
HealthyOntario.com continues to be a popular health information site
with a growing user base. With about 7 million hits last month,
site traffic is growing by more than 25% per month – and not just with
the Ontario audience it targets. Its well researched and written
features and stories are topical and relevant to any audience
regardless of their geographic home.
BEST WINNER YOUR FAVOURITE
Do you have a favorite commerce, entertainment or news site? Drop me a line
give it a plug in the next Internet Strategy.
Toby Ward, a former journalist and a regular e-business columnist
and speaker, is the President and Founder of Prescient Digital
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