The 11th annual Webby Award Winners have been announced. 69 sites and 11 videos have been blessed with the web equivalent of an Oscar. As a judge for the awards, I’ve flown to NY for the past two Webby Awards Galas and must say they are THE coolest web event to attend. Unfortunately, this year I’m not making the trip thanks to SMX Seattle being scheduled on the same two days.
Hitwise correctly predicted people’s voice winners for MiniClip Games, Manchester United, TripAdvisor, BBC News, Great Schools and Facebook. If you look at the list of nominees and winners, you may notice some that were notably missing (Zillow for the Real Estate category, for example) and I’d like to make it clear that the sites go through a pre-screening process and sometimes don’t make it to the list of sites for judges to choose from. The people’s voice also has a similar restriction: people can only choose from the 5 nominees.
In the future, I hope the Webbys will re-introduce write-in votes for the people’s voice awards and that Judges can review the voting eligible lists before the voting begins to nominate any noticeable gaps. While I’m giving feedback, I’d like to offer the following advice to judges and people’s voice voters to help eliminate bias:
Webby Judges: please place more weight on site usability and repeat visit likelyhood. Ask yourself, “is this a site that I would come back to?” As a judge, I find it tempting to let the first-visit “wow” factor play too big of a role, especially considering the number of sites we look at. For my vote, sites have to do more than just dazzle me with flash eye-candy.
People’s Voice Voters: please don’t vote just for the sites you are familiar with. Take the time to visit the other sites. Sometimes the best site for a given category isn’t one you are familiar with. Use the awards as a way to discover some great new sites.