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New York, NY (June 2, 2011) - Syndicated author and columnist Dan Savage will be honored later this month with a Webby Special Achievement Award for his work founding the revolutionary "It Gets Better Project," which inspired millions of young people, celebrities and politicians to stand up against LGBT bullying in schools through user-generated online videos. Savage's award highlights a groundbreaking class of Special Achievement Awards to be given out at the 15th Annual Webbys, which takes place on Monday, June 13, at The Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.
This year's ceremony will also feature the first-ever (RED) Webby Award. The (RED) Webby Award will be presented to Ushahidi - the open source software platform for interactive mapping that was born out of the 2008 election violence in Kenya - for its outstanding use of innovative technology for social good.
And a month after performing their last show at Madison Square Garden, musical group LCD Soundsystem will be honored with the award for Webby Artist of the Year. Lead singer James Murphy will be in attendance to accept the award on the band's behalf.
"Each year the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences acknowledges a few Webby Award winners that stand out amongst the others, honoring them with special recognition for adding to the growth of web culture," said David-Michel Davies, Executive Director of the Webby Awards. "From the IBM super computer Watson, to the philanthropic efforts of Ushaihidi, the Special Achievement winners are celebrated for their commitment to using the Internet to foster innovation."
Director and screenwriter Adam McKay, and screenwriter and producer Chris Henchy, will be honored with the Webby Film + Video Person of the Year Award for FunnyorDie.com, the web site that they co-founded with actor and comedian Will Ferrell. Judd Apatow is also a principal partner in Funny or Die.
Watson, the IBM Super Computer made famous for beating humans on Jeopardy, will be honored as Webby Person of the Year. The computer won a total of $1 million for its 3 day winning spree by calculating hundreds of algorithms simultaneously to cut through human language complexities such as puns in order to find the answer in its database. Watson is powered by 90 32-core IBM Power 750 Express servers with a total of 16 terabytes of memory.
Martin Cooper, famous for designing the first mobile telephone in 1973 while working for Motorola, is set to be honored with a Webby Lifetime Achievement Award. Coopers' original prototype, the DynaTAC weighed 2.2 pounds and had 35 minutes worth of talk time.
As previously announced, Red Burns, the founder of New York Interactive Telecommunications Program, will be presented with a Webby Special Achievement Award for her lifelong commitment to fostering many of the young minds who paved the way for today's thriving media world. Additionally, Groupon, the "deal-of-the-day" website will be honored as the Webby Breakout of the Year.
Through an innovative partnership with Facebook, Fans can watch this year's ceremony, hosted by Lisa Kudrow, live on the Webby Awards official Facebook Page, as well as on participating partner pages including The Huffington Post, Martha Stewart, (RED), BuzzFeed, National Geographic, FunnyorDie, and SportsNation.
For information on this year's Webby Award winners, visit www.webbyawards.com. To apply for media credentials, please go to www.webbyawards.com/press/cred_req.php. You will be notified as to the status of your request by Friday, June 10.
About The Webby Awards:
Hailed as the "Internet's highest honor" by the New York Times, The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet, including Websites, interactive advertising & media, online film & video, and mobile & apps. Established in 1996, the 15th Annual Webby Awards received nearly 10,000 entries from all 50 states and over 60 countries worldwide. The Webby Awards is presented by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Sponsors and Partners of The Webby Awards include: AOL, Aquent, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Ford, Dentyne, Facebook, MLB Advanced Media, Rackspace Hosting, LBi, Buddy Media, YouTube, HP, USA Today, Business Insider, 2advanced.Net, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Time Out New York and Guardian News and Media.