The 7th Annual Webby Awards Announce Best Sites of the Year



Patrick Kowalczyk,

Jill Feldman,

Michael Kaminer Public Relations, 212.627.8098



San Francisco, CA – June 5, 2003
With thousands of fans and nominees tuning in from more than 90 countries and 185 parties worldwide, The International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences tonight honored the world’s best web sites in the first Webby Awards announcement to take place completely online.

In a tribute to the medium it celebrates, the Academy produced a spirited, community-driven online experience in which Webby Awards were handed out in 31 categories, including Activism, Film, and Humor. In keeping with Webby tradition, animated characters designed by the winners delivered the famous five-words-or-less acceptance speeches. Speech highlights included:

  • “Mars or Bust; preferably Mars” – exploreMarsnow (Best Science)
  • “Upturns, downturns: independent voices survive – indieWIRE (Best Film)
  • “Family photo site beats porn.” – Snapfish (Rising Star Award)
  • “Won Webby; Next: Beat Bush” – (Best Politics)

For a list of all speeches,
please visit:

Hailed as “the online Oscars” by Time (May 13, 2002), The Webby Awards is the leading international honors for web sites. The awards are presented by the Academy, a global organization that includes over 480 members such as musicians Beck and David Bowie, Internet co-creator Vint Cerf, political columnist Arianna Huffington, and “Smart Mobs” author Howard Rheingold.

Capping a year that saw the web play an increasingly central role in everyday life,
winners ranged from upstarts like (Best Community) and (Best Politics), two sites that are using the web
in innovative ways to organize people worldwide, to web stalwarts like Google (Best News),
eBay (Best Services), and (Best Sports).

In a nod to the boom in blogging, Movable Type, a site that
enables people to publish personal online journals, received the Best Practices Award, which is bestowed on the site
serves as an overall model for excellence.

“The winners of The 7th Annual Webby have been at the forefront of using the web to spur action and
debate in the real world,” said Tiffany Shlain, the founder and creative director of The Webby Awards. “We can think
of no better tribute than to follow their lead by bringing people together for a truly worldwide celebration of the
best of the web.”

With a record 24 international nominees, The 7th Annual Webby Awards honored several sites hailing
from outside the United States, including the United Kingdom’s SHOWstudio http://www.showstudiocom (Best Fashion) and (Best Weird);
The Netherland’s NobodyHere (Best Personal Web Site); and Canada’s CBC Radio
3 (Best Music).

Tonight’s online announcement was the culmination of 24 hours of worldwide celebrations that kicked off
ith a party in Wellington, New Zealand and continued around the globe with gatherings attended by over 6,000 people in
aris, downtown Manhattan, Cleveland, San Francisco and dozens of other cities.

As revelers gathered offline, thousands of people celebrated on the web at a host of special festivities including
a Webby Day for kids at Best Youth nominee Whyville ( and
an original film created Best Personal Web Site nominee at At The Webby Awards web site, fans were
treated to an announcement that showcased special appearances by avatars created Woody Harrelson, author Howard
heingold (“Smart Mobs”), and Wayne Coyne, lead singer of The Flaming Lips, using Oddcast’s V-Host technology.
The online experience, designed by official Webby design studio Gershoni and developed by Netsprout, also featured
live videochat by CUworld, message boards, and a section to upload photos.

“A single venue in San Francisco just simply isn’t big enough when we are honoring a global medium whose
decentralization is its strength,” said Maya Draisin, executive director of The Academy. “The world makes a much better

Other notable winners included:

  • NASA was honored in two categories. NASA Earth Observatory won for Best Education Site and NASA won for Best Government & Law Site.
  • Several sites won both a Webby Award and a People’s Voice Award, which is determined by the public. Dual winners included: NASA Earth Observatory for Best Education; PayPal for Best Finance; Do-It-Yourself Network for Best Living; Lonely Planet Online for Best Travel; and Flaming Lips for Best Music.

For a list of all this year’s Webby winners, visit:

About the Webby Awards
Founded in 1996, The Webby Awards is the leading international honors
for consumer Web sites and individual achievement in technology and creativity.
The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences selects the nominees,
winners, and presents the awards event. Sponsors of The 7th Annual Webby
Awards include media partners Business 2.0, Fortune and Fortune Small
Business magazines; Event partners PricewaterhouseCoopers and Nielsen//NetRatings;
Official Sponsors The Creative Group, IDG, Absolut Vodka, Comstock Images,
and Rackspace Managed Hosting. For more information visit

About the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences

The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences is dedicated to
the creative, technical, and professional progress of the Internet and
evolving forms of interactive media. The Academy’s goal is to assemble
a brilliant panel of leading new media experts, visionaries, journalists,
and luminaries to propel the Internet and Interactive Technology into
the future. The Academy is an intellectually diverse organization that
includes over 480 members such as musicians Beck and David Bowie, Internet
inventor Vint Cerf, political columnist Arianna Huffington, Real Networks
CEO Rob Glaser, “The Simpsons”creator Matt Groening, “Smart Mobs” author
Howard Rheingold, Oracle chairman Larry Ellison, and The Body Shop president
Anita Roddick.

Members also include web developers, internet experts and technology writers and editors from publications such as The New York Times, Wired, Forbes, Spin, Fast Company, Travel + Leisure, the Los Angeles Times, Dwell and wallpaper. For more information, visit