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Meet the Aussie dot-coms in this year’s Webby Awards


Since 1996, the Webby Awards has recognised and celebrated the best of the internet. Last week, the awards celebrated their 15th year and five antipodean companies were among the nominees: four from Australia and one from New Zealand.

Freelancer.com, a dual winner in Anthill’s 2010 Cool Company Awards, was victorious in the Employment category, winning both the Webby and the People’s Voice Awards.

Matt Barrie, Chief Executive of Freelancer.com, paid tribute to the site’s users in accepting the award.

“We accept this award on behalf of our 2.5 million freelancers. Freelancers are the vanguard of a new entrepreneurial class sweeping the world. Technologically elite, they are creating an economic revolution in their own countries whilst being the powerhouse digital workforce which will drive productivity in the west. We are proud to accept these awards on their behalf.”

The achievement of being nominated — and in the case of Freelancer.com, winning — among such a competitive global field is worthy of great praise and approbation. This year alone, almost 10,000 entries were received from over 60 countries.

The other nominees representing the southern hemisphere in this year’s awards were the Amnesty International Australia Website (developed by Reactive), the There’s Nothing Like Australia website (Tourism Australia), the Monkey Mayhem mobile app (Deepend Sydney/Nomad) and the interactive advertising Orcon Living Office Banner campaign (Special Group).

The Amnesty International Australia Website and its developers Reactive were nominated in the Activism category which ultimately crowned REDU, a US education reform website with the Webby Award and Avaaz with the People’s Voice Award.

The There’s Nothing Like Australia website, developed by Tourism Australia, was nominated in the Tourism category but missed out to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Online, which won both the Webby and People’s Voice Awards. The There’s Nothing Like Australia website aims to attract visitors to Australia by encouraging Australians to share stories of adventures and experiences that can be had ‘down under’. So far, the site has grown to include a whopping 28,990 unique stories.

Monkey Mayhem, an educational mobile app developed by Deepend Sydney/Nomad, allows Taronga Zoo visitors to explore and interact with the zoo using their iPhones. It was nominated in the Education and Reference category of the Mobile and Apps division but lost the award to the HowStuffWorks App (Discovery Communications), which again won both the Webby and the People’s Voice Awards in its category.

The Orcon Living Office Banner was created by the Special Group (a New Zealand advertising company) and was nominated in the Rich Media: B to C category. The ultimate victors in this category were the AT&T World Cup Headercam Banner (BBDO New York) and the Sony “Everything is Better In 3D” Page Takeover (180LA).

Other winners

This year the Webby Awards crowned several companies from very different fields. Lego won the Best Homepage award, Foursquare won the Best Use of GPS/Location Technology and The Best Use of Social Media award went to an anthill favourite: the Old Spice Response Campaign. The Johnny Cash Project won the Best Use of Online Media Award, while Team Coco (from Conan O’Brien) won the Best Celebrity/Fan Website award. The Best Web Service and Application went to Dropbox.

But the big winner appears to have been Funny or Die, which won nine awards, including People’s Voice award in Best Individual Performance in Online Film & Video with Funny or Die’s Presidential Reunion – Jim Carrey as President Reagan and in Comedy: Individual Short or Episode with Justin Bieber Takes Over Funny or Die and Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Steve Carell.

Other multiple award winners included Google Creative Labs and Wieden+Kennedy with seven awards each and @radical.media and Discovery Communications with five awards a piece.

“This year’s Webby Winners exemplify the type of profound effect the internet is having on popular culture and the world at large,” said David-Michel Davies, Executive Producer of the Webby Awards.

The Webby Award winners are voted by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences and the People’s Voice Awards are chosen by the online community. A ceremony will be held at The Hammerstein Ballroom in New York on 13 June.