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LOOKING BACK ON HISTORIC TEN YEARS, THE 10TH ANNUAL WEBBY
AWARDS UNVEIL 10 WEB MOMENTS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD
Dotcom Boom and Bust, September 11th, and the Asian Tsunami Lead List
of Moments That Transformed How We Live and Work
New York (November 8, 2005) -- Looking back on ten years that saw the web change the way the world lives and works, The 10th Annual Webby Awards today named the much-maligned “dotcom boom and bust” as the most influential web moment of the past ten years.
Launched by Netscape’s IPO in 1995, the dotcom boom spurred trillions of dollars in private investments into the internet, marketing, and fiber optic cable and led to the development of new technologies and such landmark sites as Google. Though now often synonymous with failures like Pets.com and Boo.com, The Webby Awards placed the “dotcom boom and bust” at the top of its list in recognition of the critical role it played in fast-tracking the spread and popularity of the internet. In 1995, there were 16 million people online and today there are over 957 million.
“While this period was painful for some, the dotcom boom was responsible for catapulting the internet into the mainstream, wiring the world, and bringing hundreds of millions of people online in a very short period of time,” said Tiffany Shlain, founder of The Webby Awards. “Such a massive investment into a new medium was unprecedented in history. The internet’s explosive growth simply could not have happened without it.”
Other defining moments making The Webby Awards list are: The Drudge Report breaking the Lewinsky scandal online (#2); Amazon’s Jeff Bezos being named 1999’s Man of the Year by Time (#3); and the 2001 shutdown of Napster (#7). (See full list of The Webby Awards’ 10 Web Moments That Changed the World below and online at http://www.webbyawards.com.
With everything from eBay to Amazon to the mp3 celebrating their 10th anniversaries this year, The Webby Awards are marking the milestone with a series of special events culminating with The 10th Annual Webby Awards ceremony in New York in June 2006. Since its birth ten years ago, The Webby Awards have chronicled the internet’s growth from an underground medium to the driving force shaping popular culture, business, and society.
Proclaimed “the online equivalent of an OSCAR®” by the New York Times (June 21, 2005), The Webby Awards is the leading international honors for web sites and the innovators behind them. To compete in the landmark 10th Annual Webby Awards, companies, agencies, organizations, and individuals must enter online at www.webbyawards.com before December 16, 2005.
The Webby Awards is presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences, a global organization with over 500 members including musician David Bowie, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, The Body Shop president Anita Roddick, “Simpsons” creator Matt Groening, Real Networks CEO Rob Glaser, and fashion designer Max Azria.
The 9th Annual Webby Awards attracted worldwide attention with a star-studded New York City ceremony showcasing five-word speeches from Webby winners, including former Vice President Al Gore. (Gore’s headline-grabbing speech: “Please don’t recount this vote.”) Winners were chosen from more than 4,400 entries from 40 countries and all 50 states. Reflecting the web’s egalitarian spirit, winners ranged from powerhouses like Yahoo! and e*Trade to small, independents like BookCrossing and CafePress.
The 10th Annual Webby Awards’ Ten Web Moments That Changed the World:
1. The Dotcom Boom and Bust (1995-2001)
Launched by Netscape’s IPO in 1995, the dotcom boom spurred trillions of dollars in private investments into the internet, new technologies, marketing, and fiber optic cable and led to the development of such landmark sites as Google. Though now often synonymous with failures like Pets.com and Boo.com, the dotcom boom and bust was critical to fast-tracking the spread and popularity of the internet. In 1995, there were 16 million people online. Today, there are over 957 million.
2. The Drudge Report Breaks Lewinsky Scandal (1998)
The Drudge Report, a little-known, one-man news site, beat the mainstream media on one of the decade’s biggest stories when it broke the Monica Lewinsky scandal online. The Drudge scoop paved the way for the blogging revolution and foreshadowed future online coups like the downfalls of Dan Rather and Trent Lott.
3. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Named Time’s Man of the Year (December 1999)
The 1999 holiday shopping season marked the turning point when consumers put aside their misgivings and embraced online shopping in a big way. Online retailers ended the year with a 50% increase in holiday sales and one of their own, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, was named Time’s Man of the Year.
4. Elections Worldwide (2004)
From Ukraine’s Orange Revolution, where the internet and cell phones were used to circumvent state-run media and mobilize massive protests, to Howard Dean’s groundbreaking use of the internet to engage voters and raise millions, the web decentralized the political process in 2004, giving democracy around the world a much-needed shot in the arm.
5. September 11th (2001)
Modern global conflicts are defined by the medium that documents them: WW2 through radio; Vietnam through TV; and the first Gulf War through 24-hour cable news. For the internet, it was September 11, 2001. In historic numbers, citizens worldwide turned to email and the web to reach loved ones, follow the unfolding crisis, grieve, mobilize, and monitor the world’s reaction.
6. Asian Tsunami (2005)
With news agencies racing to reach the hardest hit areas, the first accounts of the disaster were largely provided by ordinary people armed only with digital cameras and internet access. The 7/7 London terror attacks and Hurricane Katrina, further spurred the ascension of “citizen journalism” which can sometimes be more immediate, passionate, and illuminating than professional reporting.
7. Napster Shut Down (July 2001)
Although the original services was shut down by the courts in 2001, Napster opened the file-sharing floodgates, turning the entertainment industry on its head, sparking innovations from BitTorrent to iTunes, and forever changing how we experience music and film.
8. Live 8 on AOL (July 2005)
AOL bested MTV at its game with its groundbreaking coverage of the worldwide Live 8 concerts. With more than 5 million people tuning into the online coverage, Live 8 represented the web’s evolution from amusing novelty (Mahir’s I Kiss You and The Dancing Baby) to a powerful entertainment medium.
9. Match.com Booms (2002)
From 2001 to 2002, Match.com experienced an over 175% increase in both members and revenue, proving that online dating had become an accepted fact of life for singles worldwide. With the 2002 launch of social networking communities like Friendster – and later MySpace – and the global expansion of Craigslist, the web became the primary means for making connections for everything from love and friendship to jobs and apartments.
10. SARS Virus Discovered Online (2003)
When the fatal new disease first broke and traveling was restricted, the World Health Organization (WHO) used the web to connect scientists from 14 countries, who worked in real-time to share data and test results, ultimately discovering the virus in one month. On a different scale, sites like Wikipedia and Flickr demonstrate how strangers around the world now use the web to collaborate on projects both big and small.
To enter The Tenth Annual Webby Awards, visit www.webbyawards.com
The Creative Group, a division of Robert Half International, the premier staffing company for creative professionals, is the Title Sponsor for The 10th Annual Webby Awards.
About The Webby Awards:
Founded in 1996, The Webby Awards is the leading international honors for web sites. The Webby Awards is presented by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a 535-member judging organization consisting of leading experts in a diverse range of fields. Sponsors and Partners of The Webby Awards include: The Creative Group; Adweek Magazines; Fortune and FSB; American Marketing Association; IDG; PricewaterhouseCoopers; 2Advanced Studios, 2 Advanced.net; Online Publishers Association; MX Interactive; Battle for the Heart Creative Roadshow; For more information visit www.webbyawards.com
About the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS):
The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences is dedicated to the creative, technical, and professional progress of the internet and interactive media. The Academy is an intellectually diverse organization that includes over 500 members consisting of leading experts in a diverse range of fields, such as musician David Bowie, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, business guru and author Tom Peters, The Body Shop president Anita Roddick, fashion designer Max Azria, “Simpsons” creator Matt Groening and Real Networks CEO Rob Glaser. The Webby Awards and The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences are registered trademarks of International Data Group. For more information, visit www.iadas.net.
OSCAR® is a federally registered trademark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Webby Awards and the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences are in no way affiliated with or sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences or OSCAR®.