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Glitz, goofiness mark Webby Awards ceremony
SAN FRANCISCO (CNN) -- More than two dozen Web sites received critical and popular honors at the Webby Awards on Thursday night in San Francisco.
Much like the Oscar ceremony that honors the best in film, the Webbys ceremony featured star presenters, including Tony Award-winning actor Alan Cumming, comedian Sandra Bernhard, and Mahir Cagri, the Turkish creator of the wildly popular "I Kiss You"
"This is a celebration of risk-taking and everything that's best about the Internet and the new world," said Webby founder Tiffany Shlain.
But there were some major differences between the Oscar and Webby ceremonies, like the acceptance speeches for winners -- they were limited to just five words, like:
"We love you, Google users" and "Stile sucks."
There was one longwinded speech. It ran a total of six words: "Just remember, technical innovation means class war."
Webby winners are picked by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. And just what does a Webby look like? Sort of like a large Slinky that's lost most of its slink.
And the winners are ...
Webby winners included Jim Romenesko's Media News Romenesko, which was picked as Best News Site. MSNBC.com won Best TV Site, ESPN.com won for Best Sports Site. The music file sharing site Napster, was named Best Music Site. The search engine Google won the award for Best Technical Achievement, and The Onion won Best Humor Site and Stile Project won for best Weird Web site.
The people are heard
Some sites also were honored with People's Voice Awards, decided on by more than 134,000 Web users who registered to vote. The awards are the Webbys' tribute to democracy on the Web.ABCNEWS.com received the People's Voice Award for News. CNN.com received the People's Voice Award for TV.
Slashdot.org took People's Voice Awards in both categories for which it was nominated: Best Community Site and Best Print & Zines.
"This is not a frivolous use of my time. I should keep doing this even though there is no money in it. The Web is like art to me," said John Halcyon Styn, winner of both a Webby and People's Voice Award for Best Personal Web site.
While winning an Oscar may help film stars raise their profile, winning a Webby helps Web site owners raise money.
"It's definitely useful. We're raising money and talking to partners," said Webby winner Rufus Griscom.
And the bottom line for growing the bottom line -- keep people coming back to the site.
"If they get bored, they're gone," said winner Kurt Ehrenberg. "It has to be fun. Even a serious issue like politics or law, it has to have an element of fun."
Correspondent Rusty Dornin contributed to this report.
Big sites win support awards
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