17th Annual Webby Awards Opens Call for Entries, Expands Social Categories

by Dave Mainella

The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS) announced this past Monday the opening of the Call for Entries to the 17th Annual Webby Awards.  The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the internet, recognizing the year’s best websites, interactive advertising, online film and video, mobile and apps, and social media.

This year, IADAS is introducing a suite of categories to cover many aspects of the Social Web.  There are now two broad social categories; the first, focuses on social content and marketing in celebrity/fan, education, entertainment, news, and activism.  The second honors general excellence in social media for costumer service, innovation, native advertising, promotions and contests, and overall social presence.

“Social has been an integral part of the Internet, and thus The Webbys, since we began honoring the best of the Web in 1996,” said David-Michel Davies, Executive Director of The Webby Awards, in a press release. “However, today Social is no longer something that is realized through just a website, app, specific platform, or campaign. It is a principal thread that flows through everything we do online. Our new Social suite of categories is specifically created to recognize the people, brands, and experiences that excel at Social in 2012.”

The early entry deadline to submit works for consideration is October 26, 2012; nominees will be announced in April 2013, and the Webby Awards ceremony will be held later in Spring 2013.

Nominees and winners are selected by IADAS members, a judging body made up of over 1000 members comprised of leading web experts, business figures, visionaries, creative celebrities, and former Webby Award winners.

This year, the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences was proud to add a new class of members that include Tumblr founder and CEO David Karp, director and artist Chris Milk, and OK Go lead singer Damien Kulash.

While these select few add to the group of judges enrolled with the task of selecting the Webby Award winners, the public, online community is invited to vote for the nominees they deem to be the best, thereby determining the Webby People’s Voice Award winners.

Past Webby Award winners include Pinterest, Bjork, Spike Lee for his “Thanks 9/11 Tribute”, and Instagram.  SoundCtrl’s recap of last year’s Awards honoring Steve Jobs can be found here.