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The Internet

Posthumous Webbys 43

Logic Bomb writes: "The Los Angeles Times takes a look at the nominees for this year's Webby Awards. The most obvious, and at this point predictable point of interest is the large proportion of nominated sites that no longer exist. But it seems people are finally acknowledging that beyond just being a shakedown, the last few months may be showing us what the web is most useful for. As the story says, "Take Activism nominee VolunteerMatch.org. It links do-gooders with opportunities, a use of the Web that, in retrospect, makes a lot more sense than selling dog food."" Hey, I bought cat litter from a certain online retailer which is now closed. Efficient? No, but it was amusing to see the UPS guy hauling 35-pound tubs of litter. Update: 07/19 8:31 AM by michael : The winners are now listed.
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Posthumous Webbys

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  • Someone else that noticed that the category "sex" only occured in the 1997 list? On the other hand there are more categorys now. Does this mean that the internet isn't about sex anymore?

    Well, to put it simply: No, the Web is no longer about pr0n.

    Pr0n has become estabilished part of the Web, one of the fundamental services of the Web. There's nothing novel about pr0n anymore; pr0n sites just are.

    These days, if you want innovation recognition and fame, you need to start a file-sharing service or offer something new from "community" side. Or something. Either way, pr0n isn't trendy. It just is.


  • They make the case for their own dumbness. Obviously some of the most effective websites are short term and might not be around the next time some advertising weenies get around to awarding trophies. Short term, immediate action, issue oriented stuff with a focus will never be permanently sitting there. Hell what about the Olympics?
  • ...it's old and boring. When's the last time you actually read something funny and original in The Onion? Seriously?

    Allow me to provide you with the secret formula to The Onion's stories:
    [Normal Person] does [Normal Everyday Thing]. [Normal and Expected Consequences]
    Example headlines:
    Slashdot Troll starts Flamewar, CmdrTaco butt of Jokes
    *BSD factions unite stating that their BSD is not Linux
    Hemos posts story on Nanotech: First +1 Funny goes to post regarding a Beowolf cluster of the devices

    I mean, really, folks. There's no more brains behind The Onion anymore. I suggest you look for edgier, wittier, original humor and satire in the brilliant writing found at SatireWire [satirewire.com] or BBSpot [bbpsot.com].

    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.
  • They didn't really have any activism sites pertaining to the internet itself. Why no censorware? [censorware.org] Oh, yeah, I guess I get it.
  • That's a great idea...now for some nominees:


    There are huindreds of them, but most sites I can think of were sites I enjoyed. If I didn't like it, I never went there. Hence, I didn't notice its passing. Web properties are not like the chemical plant two blocks away you are happy to see move to Mexico; they're only a part of your life if you let them be.
  • Well, that's because AOL is America's favorite Internet provider! Why, with so many new and improved features in AOL's new version 6.0, no wonder it's number 1!

    ...I do so despise it...
  • ...except /. is still around. Maybe if/when it dies, we'll have a place in the Web Site Darwin Awards reserved, though...
  • Hooray for LiveJournal [livejournal.com]!

    Everybody seems to think of Blogger when they hear the term "online journal," but LJ has been a better experience for most users I've talked to. It's finally getting some press, and recognition as a write-in for the Peoples Voice awards.
  • indeed! very glad to see it. Woohoo!

    (and, honestly, one of about three 'truly deserveds' in my book, but hey, I don't run the webbys)

    jdcatron [livejournal.com] aka
  • by Nightpaw ( 18207 ) <jesse AT uchicago DOT edu> on Thursday July 19, 2001 @06:39AM (#75009) Homepage
    They're still trying to close all the pop-up windows.
  • by Katravax ( 21568 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @04:32AM (#75010)
    Since the original post was so nice to not actually link to the awards, here it is: http://www.webbyawards.com/main/ [webbyawards.com].
  • The problem I discovered with Pets.com was that ordering the typical items I'd order were bulk (heavy) items like cases of cans of cat/dog food or kitty litter.

    When it costs more to ship the order than the order total, it doesn't make sense.....this leads to lots of incomplete orders (and a trip to the brick and mortar pet store down the street).
  • Could someone please fill me in on how Windows Update [microsoft.com] managed to beat out Apt [debian.org] for Technical Achievement, when Apt does essentially the same thing but with all your software and doesn't require a reboot?


  • I blame the media. Traditional media outlets often described Napster as a web-based service: "Users just have to go to Napster.com, enter the artist and song they're looking for, and then they can download all the songs they want." The best part is when they show viewers the Napster web site -- as viewed in AOL.
  • oh please. you started off well enough, but ruined it as soon as you mentioned bbspot and satirewire, which are nothing more that slightly more tech-oriented onion ripoffs.

    they all tend to mention the absurdities inherent in everyday life by exposing them in newspaper headlines, typically the straightest straight man one could get. its fairly easy to generate onion style headlines ("for the first time in history, its raining men. all are killed.") but the knack lies in finding the best ones that are the most appealing to people. "judge orders nuclear strike on napster?" LOL! ROTFL! or something like that...

    the onion is consistently funny, day in and day out. bbspot and satirewire are one step away from headlines like "vi proved to be better than emacs" and stories that begin with "and one time, when i was at band camp..."

    there's a reason you dont see geek oriented humour on television. why? because 90% of the time it isnt funny, and the other 10% rely on you knowing memory timings and how CERTAIN MOTHERBOARDS DONT SUPPORT THEM! abusurdities of absurdities! LOLROTFLMAOLOL!

  • But it seems people are finally acknowledging that beyond just being a shakedown, the last few months may be showing us what the web is most useful for.

    Shakedown? I can only assume the writer meant "shakeout".

    And yes, it did really irritate me just enough to write this reply.


  • Google is about the only one which remains discernable in their tiny little screenshots on the winners page. A testiment to minimal design.

  • I didn't know you could have two adjacent hyphens in a .com domain name. But the link worked, so I guess you can.
  • by oll ( 78871 )
    Someone else that noticed that the category "sex" only occured in the 1997 list? On the other hand there are more categorys now. Does this mean that the internet isn't about sex anymore?
  • Oh baby, my favourite rant. Nested tables. Lack of ALT tags. Mmmm mmm. Go dob them in to the WAI! [w3.org]

  • I have to say, I think The Onion [theonion.com] deserved the webby. While other nominees [webbyawards.com] are also funny, The Onion has been consistently fresh since long before they had the brilliant idea to hire Web staff and go online. Staying power and entertainment -- what more could we ask for?


  • Well, I've had Slashdot up since 8am this morning (British summertime), and although I refreshed the main page several times I didn't get anything new till some time between 1pm and 2pm (I'd given up watching it reload since nothing new was coming up).

    Suddenly there was not just 1 new story, but 5, all claiming to be from different times even though from my POV they'd all show up at about the same time. Maybe Michael just forgot to click "Send" or whatever, because now I think about it I've not noticed any other problems with IE and it's been refreshing everything else on demand without problems. Still, I'd be intrigued if anyone has actually been watching that whole time and had no problems whatsoever.

    I think I'll have a browse around now it's been an hour or two and look for other people with this problem....

  • In fact (now I've checked) even the First Post trolls didn't manage to reply to this story until lunchtime even though it's dated the middle of the night. http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=01%2F07%2F18%2 F2331237&cid=&pid=0&startat=&threshold=-1&mode=nes ted&commentsort=0&op=Change [slashdot.org] - see? Weird, huh?
  • Most of those sites are flashy, ugly and slow loading. The notable exceptions are, as michael says, the ones that don't exist any more. Instead of being flashy, ugly and slow loading, they were flashy, ugly and slow loading.

    The reason for this is obvious, the web desginers don't have the final say in what goes online. It's usually some higher up who only uses the web to check his email and doesn't know anything about modems, networks and bandwidth. At least that's how it is at my company.

  • I can't speak for its usability, since I've never really USED it, but craigslist.com ("community" webby winner) Is used by a LOT of people in SF Bay area - its all I hear about from my half-in tech, graphic design, etc. friends. Sort of a... find anything from a date to a car to a lampshade deal. Looks comparably lightweight. No _google_ of course, but then...

  • This is perfectly fair, because these are the WEBby awards. The World Wide Web is the part of the Internet distributed via http. If they were going to give awards to non-http sites, it'd be called the Netty Awards, or something.

    The only "intuitive" interface is the nipple. After that, it's all learned.
  • Easy. Apt wasn't listed as a nominee. [webbyawards.com]

  • Am I the only one who couldn't find among the nominees a single site which didn't exist anymore? Can anyone give examples?

    Also, they list /. as "Slashdot.com". You'd think handing out awards for websites they would use the more "proper" Slashdot address.

    By the way, it took me a minute and a half to locate the list of nominees. Unacceptable for a site which is supposed to know something about web design.
  • Personally I am very much in favor of this appeal. It is what makes the american system of justice great. Anyway, ordering napster to block 100% of the files is ridiculous. How could they possibly do it. Thats like asking an ftp client to block all versions of a song, regardless of format (.wav, mp3, etc)

    When is the government going to learn that the public will figure out how to share data, despite company's best attempts otherwise. The restrictions these companies want is quite disturbing, 1984 disturbing. Did you see the earlier article about publishers wanting to restrict the liberties of Libraries!

    I'd rather let 1000 guilty men go free then chase after them.

  • by don_carnage ( 145494 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @04:47AM (#75029) Homepage
    Someone should draft the "Darwin Web Awards" for those sites that we are happy to see leave the web gene pool.

  • IMHO, Pets.com was a great opportunity for consumers--there were so many coupons out on the internet to use, it would be dumb not to shop there. Every time you ordered, they'd send you a $10 off $20 purchase coupon for the next order!

    It was so inevitable that Pets.com would die...every time I'd order, I would think to myself, "I will be so sad when this goes out of business next month." Amazing how the people running it never saw it coming.

  • Did you ever notice how Napster was in the top 10 web properties list for a *long* time. I have no idea why people were hitting that site so much--I visited it twice, to download the client twice.

    Was there some amazingly informational part of that site that we've missed?

  • by Erasmus Darwin ( 183180 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @05:30AM (#75032)
    Most of those sites are flashy, ugly and slow loading. The notable exceptions are, as michael says, the ones that don't exist any more.

    Let's not forget the other notable exception. Their "best practices" winner is (deservedly so, IMO) Google. Among other things, the front page of Google is only 1918 bytes (lynx -dump -source http://google.com/ | wc --bytes), contains a single 305x118 GIF (with the appropriate height and width tags so that the page renders even before its started loading), and advanced search features are immediately on-hand when necessary but not required to get meaningful results.

  • He didn't say he had a cat, he said he bought cat litter...
    It's not quite the same thing ;-)
  • Napster was (note the use of the past tense...) certainly more a web inspired technology than a website. But then again, who says the webby awards are not for web inspited technologies?

    Look at all the protocols used on the net. HTTP is just one. Are the awards reserved for content distributed via HTTP? Why? would that be fair? Where do you draw the line


  • So they are gone AND forgotten, so what? The last two years are our "throw everything on the Web and see what stick" period. Try bringing up "Tech Stocks" in a dinner conversation :-0

    Another interesting things is that most dot.gones are from the US, this provides a pretty good (and free) lessons to countries where e-commerces are just getting popular. Lessons learned, so lets move on.


  • by daniel_isaacs ( 249732 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @04:35AM (#75036) Homepage
    Why does Napster deserve a nomination? Thier website was merely a place to download thier client, which was decidingly NOT Web-based. What gives?

  • by Proud Geek ( 260376 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @04:48AM (#75037) Homepage Journal
    Most of those sites are flashy, ugly and slow loading. The notable exceptions are, as michael says, the ones that don't exist any more. Instead of being flashy, ugly and slow loading, they were flashy, ugly and slow loading.

    It gives me a bit of insight into why ecommerce is such a bust. To get exposure, a sight has to be almost unusable. Then it hurts in the pocketbook to maintain it, and customers won't touch it.

  • All in all, I'm just not too thrilled seeing their list of nominees and winners. It seems that most of these sights are just web versions of something that is already out there in the "real" world (MSNBC) and don't offer anything substantially new. It seems like really innovative sites are, for the most part, completely ignored.
  • the last few months may be showing us what the web is most useful for

    Even though MIMO's [kia.net] in the doldrums and Life Serial [glassdog.com] is no more, at least there are some useful things [pixyland.org] still online...

  • Stileproject.com was nominated and won http://www.webbyawards.com/nominees/2000/weird_win .html Thats how I got to know the place!
  • Technical Achievement
    Microsoft Windows Update

    Now I know they are biased. There are thousands of sites with more technological achievement. Like slashcode [slashcode.com] or even my site, Spatial Disruption [homeip.net] uses more technology. I use perl, C, C++, and Apache to make my game work. All errors are logged and emailed to me. Bugs are fixed within a week of me finding them out. I'd like to see microsoft do that. (ok, ok, I only have a thousand players, but it's like a mini-game)

    D/\ Gooberguy
  • was somewhat questionable. I mean, what do they base their decisions on? There are plenty of more useFUL and useABLE websites out there...and quite a few of them are much more than just the over-the-top designs that many of the winners have fallen victim to. Take the Requiem for a Dream site for example...very nice looking, but slow to load, and TOTALLY USELESS.

    And please don't tell me that the good websites are just too hard to find. They managed to dig up Peter Pan's home page (retarded at best), so I'm sure they can dig up anything they want.

Things equal to nothing else are equal to each other.