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Webby Awards Part Deux

The Webby Awards are the Oscars of the Web, as decided by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Science. If you don’t believe me you can check out the Web site at

The Webby Awards are the Oscars of the Web, as decided by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Science. If you don’t believe me you can check out the Web site at

Not only do the Webby’s help to push the Internet medium to higher standards in terms of design and content, they also showcase a lot of cool and useful sites that you might not otherwise visit.

That said, last week, I covered Webby categories from Activism to Broadband. Only 27 more categories to go, starting with…

Commerce – is somewhat of an anachronism in e-commerce. While many brick and mortar stores have an online sales components, is completely online. There are no stores, no clerks, store managers, no property costs, and the savings are passed on to customers. There is a wide variety of products to choose from, from books and music to furniture and toys. – specializes in posters, art prints, original art, decorative wall coverings, and wallpaper. While this site is highly specialized, the selection is huge and shopping is fun and easy.

Fresh Direct –

It’s not available in Canada, but Fresh Direct is an online grocery store that delivers, with an emphasis on organics and handmade products like cheeses. –

Red Envelope is an e-commerce site that specializes in the kinds of gifts that you might give your mother, with a new lineup of specials in time for every holiday and occasion.

The Tire Rack –

The Tire Rack sells car tires of all makes and models, including specialty tires for racing, off-roading, and other unique uses.


BBC Video Nation –

Video Nation is a collection of movies submitted by ordinary people about their experiences. The pieces are very personal, often hilarious, and deal with a lot of quirky and contemporary issues.

Geocaching –

Geocaching is a new outdoor craze for the GPS set. Basically, it’s a global Easter egg hunt, as people hide things in wild places and post GPS locations on this Web site. Explorers can search through the list of more than 51,000 cached items in 171 countries – some in well-known areas, and some quite remote – and find the items. All they have to do is leave another reward for the next GPS explorer to come that way. –

LiveJournal is a kind of online diary where you can enter information from anywhere in the world, and share your posts with a select group of friends with the right access code.

Meetup –

Have a public meeting to post? Meetup lists local interest groups and meeting topics online, and allows people to look for, and receive e-mail updates on meetings on topics that are of interest to them. Meetings can include political rallies, DJ group technical talks, and even Ultimate Fighting Championships.

Nervous Industries –

Want to share a photo album, painting, mixed tape, or a collection of poetry or fiction with some people who might be interested? Nervous Industries gets people to send their work by regular mail to members of its community, where they are passed along from one member to another before being returned home. It takes a leap of faith, but it’s an interesting idea.


BrainPOP –

BrainPOP is an online collection of education movies in health, science, technology, math, and English. There are resources for teachers as well as students.

NASA Earth Observatory –

The NASA earth observatory is an accumulation of satellite data and images, with information on natural cycles and natural disasters. There are also sections on atmosphere, oceans, land, energy and life, as well as features on a wide variety of topics, from space exploration to weather patterns.

Plumb Design Visual Thesaurus –

If you get the desktop version you can drag and drop any word onto the Visual Thesaurus icon to get a dictionary definition, synonyms, and related verbs, adverbs and adjectives in a cool graphic interface. The words in the window link to other words and definitions. The online version works the same, although it can take a few minutes to load.

Sodaplay –

It’s hard to describe this graphics, animation game which encourages kids to build online shapes and structures and animate them using a simple tools and instructions.

The New York Times Learning Network –

It’s one thing to read the news every day, and it’s another to look at the connections between events and understand the forces that set those events in motion. The NY Times Learning Network features news stories on topics that are fit for high school class discussion, drawing students into debates by forcing them to read, do research, and be able to back up their opinions with facts.

Apple goes musical

It’s been tried before, but it appears that Apple and Steve Jobs may have finally found a formula that will put an end to bootlegging MP3s. Last week Apple launched the iTunes Music Store, iTunes 4, and an all new iPod capable of storing up to 7,500 songs to capitalize on the company’s acquisition of Universal Music’s library, and deals made with other leading record labels. Songs from a library of more than 200,000 titles are now available for $1, albums are usually $10 or less for the highest quality conversions possible. There are no monthly fees, no commitments to buy, and previews are free. Visit for more info.

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