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StreetAdvisor: Will it or 7 others ‘fit’ in the iconic world of Webby awards?


Five years ago, Jason Spencer and Adam Spencer created StreetAdvisor because they couldn’t “fit” into a neighbourhood in which they lived and didn’t want others to suffer the same fate.

On Tuesday, the Australian startup that straddles two countries in far-flung continents – Australia and the United States of America — will find out if it “fits” the description of an iconic online company befitting the Webby, the highest honour for Internet companies. So will seven other Australian sites.

StreetAdvisor has been nominated for Best Guide/Rating/Review website in the 16th Annual Webby Awards, which will be announced by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences in New York on Tuesday (early Wednesday in Australia). StreetAdvisor is an online community that provides real-life street, neighborhood and city reviews, helping people discover their ideal places to live. Its reviews and guidebooks, for example, zero in on such things as community attitudes to noise levels and traffic woes, helping homebuyers, owners and renters make important decisions.

“Nominees like StreetAdvisor are setting the standard for innovation and creativity on the Internet,” said David-Michel Davies, executive director of The Webby Awards. “It is an incredible achievement to be selected among the best from the nearly 10,000 entries we received this year.”

Adam Spencer, who is also the founder of MotorShout.com, said he was already proud to be placed along hugely successful Internet companies that are also in the running for the awards.

“We are incredibly proud of this nomination, and honored to be placed alongside companies such as Yelp and Metacritic”, he said. “It’s been a long five years collecting ratings and reviews and The Webby nomination is a fantastic validation for our team and the unique local content that we provide.”

Jason Spencer also has previously founded another company — Stargate Technologies.

The other Australian nominees, along with their categories of awards, are:

Science: www.oceantracks.csiro.au, which tracks select marine animals.

Weird: www.secrettechnology.com, which has designed interactive “art/poetry cubes.”

Television: www.hoodlum.com.au, which helps professional filmmakers, game designers, writers and developers deliver their work across different platforms.

Telecom: www.huaweimobile.com.au, the Australian mobile phone site of the Chinese telecom company.

Employment: www.freelancer.com, an online community of freelancers for a variety of work

Religion and spirituality: www.fervr.net, publisher of Christian material for youth.

Restaurant: www.nagomibento.com.au, a Japanese restaurant in Brisbane

The awards jury includes media mogul Arianna Huffington, Skype CEO Tony Bates, SHFT.com co-founder Adrian Grenier, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom, mobile-phone inventor Martin Cooper and Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio, creators of the Webby Award-winning game app Angry Birds.

StreetAdvisor is also eligible for the People’s Voice Award, with online voting by fans across the globe. The online voting ended April 27.

The winners will be feted at a star-studded ceremony on May 21 at The Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, where they will be watched for what they say in five words, hallmark of the awards’ speeches.

If you’ve got a five word speech suggestion for the Australian nominees, let us know.