Webby Awards Recognize 31 Sites

NEW YORK The Webby Awards—the so-called “Online Oscars”—last night handed out accolades for the best Internet sites in 31 categories, including activism, film and humor. The seventh annual ceremony took place for the first time completely online.

The award winners were selected by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a global organization that includes more than 480 members such as musician David Bowie, political columnist Arianna Huffington, Simpsons creator Matt Groening and Real Networks CEO Rob Glaser.

Shopping behemoth Amazon.com won the Webby Award for best commerce site, and Showstudio.com earned one in the fashion category. PayPal (www.paypal.com), the Do-It-Yourself Network (www.diynet.com) and Google News (news.google.com) landed Webby laurels in the finance, living and news categories, respectively.

NASA’s Nasa.gov Web site, redesigned by Canadian i-shop Critical Mass, earned a Webby in the government and law category. And Flaming Lips took home a Webby for best music site.

ESPN.com, Lonely Planet Online (www.lonelyplanet.com) and Nick.com were named best sports, travel and TV Web sites, respectively.

In keeping with Webby tradition, winners delivered five-words-or-less acceptance speeches, but this year through animated characters they designed for the online event. Snapfish, which earned the rising star award, for instance, commented, “Family photo site beats porn.”

For a full winners list, visit the Webby Awards site (www.webbyawards.com).