Cybernaut 

Webby Awards Part Deux

The Webby Awards, presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, are the Internet’s equivalent of the Oscar’s, with a people’s choice award thrown in for good measure. There are more than 30 award categories, and for the next few weeks I’ll be telling you what sites have been nominated and why.

For more information on the Webby’s, visit www.webbyawards.com .

Last week we covered Activism and Best Practices. This week’s column will go from Broadband to Education.

Broadband

120 Seconds (www.120seconds.com) – Really weird little films, animations, and music videos so completely un-mainstream that you’ll finally understand what "Indy" really means. Compelling, and sometimes inaccessible, there’s always something new to watch at 120 Seconds.

BThere ( www.bthere.tv ) – "Bthere is a multimedia production studio that creates, produces and distributes entertainment based content for the booming global Generation "I" market. By using both new (Internet, wireless) and traditional (television, radio) media, Bthere is changing the way celebrities communicate with their fans." Enough said.

The Guggenheim ( www.guggenheim.com ) – A wide selection of dynamic online exhibitions on a wide range of subjects, and a virtual museum. "Each exhibition is an extraordinary compilation of archived information, vivid images, and entirely new content."

KaZaA ( www.kazaa.com ) – Peer-To-Peer is just a fancy word for the same person-to-person file sharing that got Napster into hot water, but if you’re looking to share your stuff while boosting your own "file" collection – meaning perpetuate the theft of music – this is a great place to go.

OddCast ( www.oddcast.com ) – "Oddcast’s mission is to become the de facto standard in consumer-level, rich-media communications tools. To that end we have become the leader in providing consumer-friendly, interactive media solutions for entertainment, business, personal and educational needs." What tools you ask? What needs? How about software applications that allow you to create and edit music, edit films and create slideshows? How does that grab you?

Commerce

Amazon.com (www.amazon.com) – Amazon.com really needs no introduction, but suffice it to say, this online retailer is more out of the red and into the black these days and there’s a good reason for it. In a word, "selection".

BabyCenter ( www.babycenter.com ) – Everyone loves babies, but it’s not enough to simply have one these days. You have to properly feed them, clothe them, soothe them, warm them and transport them from place to place in such a way that the soft spots on their heads are protected. The Baby Center is loaded with parenting information and products to take you from the purple blot on your home tester to the time your baby is ready to go to preschool.

Cooking.com ( www.cooking.com ) – People love to cook almost as much as they love to eat. You can find all the information and products you could ever need – plus many you don’t but will probably want anyway – at this site.

Travelocity.com ( www.travelocity.com ) – One of the top travel sites on the Web, with some of the most comprehensive discount fare listings you’ll find anywhere.

Williams-Sonoma ( www.williams-sonoma.com ) – Another cooking product site for a decidedly more exclusive and upscale audience.

Community

BeliefNet ( www.beliefnet.com ) – A collection of all major religions and belief systems, with everything from bible readings to daily horoscopes. This site doesn’t pick favourites.

Burning Man ( www.burningman.com ) – The official site of the Burning Man festival, a one-of-a-kind event where experiencing means participating. It’s hard to explain, but easy to appreciate.

Idealist ( www.idealist.org ) – Also nominated under Activism, this is the site for Action Without Borders, "a global network of individuals and organizations working to build a world where all people can live free and dignified lives."

Nerve ( www.nerbe.com ) – A sex-positive network with regular contributors, editorials, fiction, photo-essays and the like. Not porn.

The Warren Ellis Forum ( http://forums.delphiforums.com/ellis ) – Warren Ellis writes comics and graphic novels, and is currently under exclusive contract to DC Comics. Of course the forum is related to comics and animation, but with 2,300 visitors and 9,000 messages posted a week, it’s probably the biggest comics discussion site this side of Krypton.

Education

ENature ( www.enature.com ) – A site for all kinds of ecologists and nature lovers, whether it be vegetable, animal or mineral. This site starts with the concept that nature starts in your own backyard.

Exploratorium ( www.exploratorium.edu ) – The "museum of science, art and human perception." Everything from expedition news to astronomy to mathematics.

JASON ( www.jasonproject.org ) – JASON refers to Jason and the Argonauts, and his quest to retrieve the Golden Fleece. The JASON Foundation is about multi-disciplinary education "that sparks the imagination of students and enhances the classroom experience." The JASON Academy "is an innovative approach to online professional development for teachers, emphasizing the physical sciences."

Marco Polo ( http://marcopolo.worldcom.com ) – Provides free, standards-based Internet content for K-12 teachers and classrooms. It has been adopted in all 50 U.S. States.

Students Against Testing ( www.nomoretests.com ) – American students fight the SAT’s and other standardized testing, which has been found to be biased culturally and economically, and not a true measure of potential.

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