Best of the Webby’s

It seems like just yesterday I logged on to the World Wide Web for the first time (yes, I’m that old), with its dynamic HTML-based pages rising head and shoulders above all the other Internet protocols out there like Gopher, Telnet and Lynx. It was the early ’90s, and there was a mini-battle going on over which standard would triumph.

With its use of images, sounds and dynamic content, it was fairly obvious that HTML — a common language that could be understood by all computers through browser software; you basically had a choice between Netscape and Internet Explorer — would win the day.

Now the Webby Awards, presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, are in their 11 th year. The time has certainly flown by.

Now there are more than 70 categories in the Webby Awards, from A to Y, Activisim to Youth, with five nominees in each. The academy picks the winner, while members of the public are allowed to cast votes for their own favourites.

There are far too many sites to list in one column, so my advice is to got to, find categories that appeal to your interests, and check out some new and interesting websites.

I have a few of my own favourites. — I have about 30 favourite books that I read over and over again, occasionally adding a title to the collection, but generally I have no idea what to buy or check out of the library. Book Glutton has lots of public domain books available, and you can scope out reading groups by typing in the name of a book you like and asking for advice on your next read. — A referral site like Digg or Reddit, but with a more selective group of readers referencing articles and web pages. — I downloaded the StumbleUpon toolbar to Firefox, and whenever I’m bored I can just press the button to get a random, recommended site in one of my pre-selected areas of interest. Sometimes an amazing photo will pop up, or a how-to guide for a home project. Also, if you stumble on any cool or interesting websites you can just click on the I Like It tab to recommend it to others. — I’m a wannabe math geek that barely passed Grade 11 but would love another shot at it. This site does the impossible and makes math fun AND relevant. — This game is like The Sims, where power generation and use is the biggest limiting factor.

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