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The 7th Annual Webby Awards Unveil Plans for Worldwide Webby Celebrations



Patrick Kowalczyk, patrick@mkpr.com

Jill Feldman, jill@mkpr.com

Michael Kaminer Public Relations, 212.627.8098





San Francisco, CA – May 19, 2003 – Giving people
around the globe the chance to celebrate the best of the web in true Webby
style, the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences today
unveiled plans for online and offline festivities marking The 7th Annual
Webby Awards on June 5th.

Nearly 90 percent of this year’s nominees hail from
outside the San Francisco Bay Area with a record 24 international nominees
representing countries such as Japan, Australia, United Kingdom, New Zealand,
Italy, France, The Netherlands, and


For the first-time ever, the Academy will announce winners exclusively online,
while also making it possible for finalists and fans to host their own offline celebrations around the world.

“The Webby Awards have always been about two things
– honoring the best of the web and bringing people together,”
Maya Draisin, executive director of the Academy. “We can’t
think of a better way to pay tribute to this year’s nominees than
a worldwide celebration that taps the power of the web to accomplish those

To facilitate this year?s festivities, the Academy today launched a special
?Celebrate Everywhere? mini-site where the public can register to experience the online announcement
of winners on June 5th or host their own Webby party.

Over the coming weeks, registrants will also be provided
with everything they need to fete this year?s nominees – from specially
created Evite invitations to a ?party-in-a-download? package created by
official design studio Gershoni (http://www.gershoni.com)
featuring Absolut Vanilia drink recipes, badges, signage, party music
(including a downloadable selection from The Flaming Lips, a 2003 nominee),
and other party supplies.

Draisin said that plans for local events – from small private parties to public
gatherings – are already underway in cities including Amsterdam, Cleveland, Paris, Tokyo,
and San Francisco. Meetup.com, a site that helps people organize local gatherings, will highlight
Webby Meetups for the general public on its homepage.

The top five cities with the most participants will be recognized online by the Academy.
Organizers of the most unique celebration will be honored with their very own Webby Award
– the coveted Slinky-like statuette.

On June 5th, the Academy will roll out the red carpet for registered revelers only,
at which time winners will be unveiled though a unique experience allowing people to
interact and document events through features such as live videochat provided by
Cuworld (http://www.cuworld.com), a photo posting area,
discussion boards, and blogging tools.

A highlight of the announcement will be lifelike, talking characters created by nominees
and designed by Oddcast that will deliver the winners? five-words-or-less winners speeches. Using Oddcast
technology, winners will phone in their speeches from around the world.

Starting today, the general public can

•Register for The 7th Annual Webby Awards celebration online and register to host their own Webby party at

•Vote for their favorite nominees in the People?s Voice Awards at http://www.webbyawards.com/peoplesvoice/.
Voting deadline is May 23rd.

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.

San Francisco-based design firm Gershoni (http://www.gershoni.com)
conceived and designed the site and all visual communication aspects for
this year?s awards. (For more details, see http://www.gershoni.com).
Comstock Images (http://www.comstock.com)
supplied images and The Creative Group (http://www.creativegroup.com),
the official staffing agency of the 7th Annual Webby Awards, provided
creative staffing support. San Francisco web developer, Netsprout, (http://www.netsprout.com)
built the site?s technology.

Out of respect for nominees who had expressed concerns about traveling in light of
recent global events, the Academy announced last month that it would bring The 7th Annual Webby Awards
to them rather than having honorees travel to San Francisco on June 5th.

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 http://www.webbyawards.com/.

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 http://www.iadas.net.