Facebook, Hollywood big shots and Bjork: Webby winners announced

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The Webby Awards is one of the most prestigious events on the tech calendar. Not for nothing are they referred to as “the Oscars of the internet”. Although the ceremony is still a few days away, the winners for the 16th edition of the awards have been revealed.

This year the body behind the awards — the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences — has recognised winners in some 70 web, 21 interactive advertising, 26 online film & video, and 24 mobile categories. That’s a truckload of awards.

The Webby Award winners were selected by a panel of Academy judges including Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone, Arianna Huffington and mobile phone inventor Martin Cooper, while online voters around the world chose the Winners of The Webby People’s Voice Awards with a Webby record of nearly 1.5-million votes cast from over 200 countries

As we noted earlier, Pinterest, Google+, Mashable, and Bjork were all among this year’s first-time winners.

Comedian Louis C.K. meanwhile will walk away with a special achievement award for he groundbreaking digital-only release of his comedy special Louis C.K. — Live at the Beach Theater. The special, which was available directly from C.K.’s site for US$5 and published without restrictions.

The award for Best Actress will actually go to Juliette Lewis and Graydon Sheppard as they’re honored as for their original YouTube series “Sh*t Girls Say.”

Facebook’s victory the inaugural People’s Special Achievement for Social Change saw it besting the likes of Twitter, YouTube, Kiva, and Change.org.

Some Hollywood heavyweights also staked their claim on the internet’s highest honours. Wieden + Kennedy won three awards for Nike’s “Back for the Future” campaign, which featured Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Bill Hader and Kevin Durant and benefitted The Michael J. Fox Foundation.

Funny or Die picked up a Webby for its “Drunk History Christmas with Ryan Gosling, Jim Carrey and Eva Mendes.” In the Best Drama Online Film & Video category “The Confession,” which featured Kiefer Sutherland, won both a Webby and People’s Voice Award.

72andSunny’s campaign for “K-Swiss, MFCEO Kenny Powers” earned standup comedian and actor Danny McBride two People’s Voice Awards. “Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s Star Wars” was honored with two People’s Voice Awards for CollegeHumor. Last, and certainly not least, Will Ferrell won his third Webby Award for impersonating President George W. Bush in Funny or Die’s “President Bush Reacts to Osama Bin Laden’s Death”.

Of course, everybody’s favourite ad campaign from 2011 won too. Old Spice’s “Mano a Mano en El Baño” won three People’s Voice Awards for Isaiah Mustafa and Fabio.

The ever-creepy “Take This Lollipop” meanwhile won the award for Best Online Guerilla & Innovation Interactive.

A few nominees won seriously big on the night. Dropbox, for instance, walked away with four awards (Webby and People’s Voice Award for Best Practices Website and Webby and People’s Voice Award for Best Web Services & Applications Website) as did The 21st Century Beetle — Rock ‘n’ Scroll (Webby Award and People’s Voice Award for Best Automotive Website and Webby Award for Best Navigation/Structure Website and Best Visual Design Function Website).

Counterspill, Draw a Stickman, Skype, Epicurious, Kayak and The Creators Project all walked away with three awards each.

“This year’s winners represent an amazing cross-section of the new and continuing trends we’ve seen across the Internet this year,” said David-Michel Davies, Executive Director of the Webby Awards.

The Awards will be presented to the winners at a ceremony in New York on 21 May. A full list of the winners is available on the Webby Awards site.

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