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noun [countable]

an international award given to people involved in web design and web-based media

'Guardian wins another Webby … Guardian Unlimited has won the best online newspaper award for the second year running at the 10th International Webby Awards, widely regarded as the "Oscars" of the internet.'

The Guardian 9th May 2006

'The Webbies are dubbed the "Online Oscars" by both Time Magazine and the New York Times.'

Scoop.co.nz 10th May 2006

On June 12th 2006, the 10th annual Webby Awards will be held in Manhattan. Presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, an organisation formed from a group of leading web experts aiming to promote the development of the Internet, the awards are presented to the world's 'best' websites. The Webby is a way of honouring excellence in web design, creativity, usability and functionality. It is generally regarded as a sort of online Oscar™ (a prestigious award in the film industry, presented since 1929 by the US Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences).

as well as website design, Webbys are given for the most outstanding examples of web-based media

The Webbys (plural form also sometimes occurring as Webbies) are handed out across 69 categories, including business, consumer, culture and politics. In each category, two awards are on offer: a Webby Award selected by a panel of judges, and a People's Voice Award selected by the votes of visitors to the Webby Awards site. Among this year's winners is photo-sharing website Flickr™, which picks up the Webby for best navigation and structure. As well as website design, Webbys are given for the most outstanding examples of web-based media. These this year include an award to National Geographic for best online magazine, Yahoo! Inc. for best podcast site, and an Artist of the Year award for the virtual band Gorillaz. American musician Prince is also to be given a special achievement award for his revolutionary use of the Internet to distribute and promote his music. Prince was the first major artist to release an entire album exclusively on the Web.

Background – Webby

The form webby already exists in English as an adjective meaning 'resembling or consisting of a web', based on the literal sense of the noun web as a network of fine threads made by a spider. The capitalized version Webby relates, of course, to the Internet sense of web (also often capitalized, dating from about 1994). The expression Webby was presumably inspired by the terms Grammy, an award for recorded music presented annually by the US Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and Emmy, a television industry award also presented annually by the US Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Over in the UK, the radio industry 'Oscars' are described as the Sonys, presented at the annual Sony Radio Academy Awards ceremony. In May 2006, UK radio station Radio 1 won a Sony for the first time in the 24-year history of the awards.

by Kerry Maxwell, author of Brave New Words

This article was first published on 5th June 2006.

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

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