Awards In Tech
The glittering era of Oscars, Baftas and Grammys can dazzle us all. But what are the tech equivalents and how glamorous are they?
Early each year, a slew of award shows honor the top names in music, movies, and TV. As consumers of entertainment we’ve become so familiar with these honors that they have almost become brands. An Oscar- or Bafta-winning actor is seen as someone with merit and prestige, and the same goes for Grammy or Tony award-winning songwriters. We may even base our decisions about what movies, TV shows, or music to indulge in based on these awards themselves.
Internet and Technology Awards
Indeed, with awards being so much a part of pop culture, it was only a matter of time before we started applying honors to another prominent area of our culture: technology and the internet. Though not as well known as the accolades described above, there are a slew of honors and awards given each year to leaders in entrepreneurship, apps, internet culture, startups, hardware, and software. While these distinctions don’t get as much press—probably because there are no red carpets or ball gowns—they are no less an honor and coveted by those who spend their days innovating in the area of tech.
Here are some of the most well-known or prestigious awards given out each year, a list that is surely set to grow as creative use of internet platforms becomes as recognized an art form as filmmaking or songwriting.
The Shorty Awards: The Shorty Awards honor the best in social media, recognizing the most “talented agencies, brands, and industry leaders behind the best and most innovative work on social media channels, campaigns, websites and applications.” Last year saw honorees such as Casey Neistat in the YouTuber of the Year category and the much-loved DJ Khaled as Snapchatter of the year. Approaching their tenth anniversary in the next two years, The Shortys were one of the first organized events to honor achievements in social.
The Webbys: The Webbys are perhaps the most prestigious and most well-known of the awards given out for internet-related achievements. In fact, the New York Times called it “the internet’s highest honor.” Recognizing achievements in websites, interactive advertising and online film and video, past honorees have included The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, a viral sensation that raised millions of dollars for a previously little-known disease, and the Black Lives Matter movement in the category of social movements. The awards were started in 1996 and are particularly notable for the fact they have two winners in every category: one chosen by by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS) – a 2000+ member judging body – and another selected by popular vote, known as the “Webby’s People’s Voice Award.”
AdWeek ARC Awards: Though it may seem surprising to put a advertising-related award on this list, the AdWeek ARC awards are very relevant in terms of honoring online storytelling and branded content, which have become a mainstay of internet culture for many companies and brands. According to their website, the awards became necessary because “in just a few short years, branded content has matured to a dynamic new business distinct from interruptive advertising. As a result, the biggest producers, executives and talent in the business are getting onboard, and nurturing their own storytelling genres.” Backed by the powerful industry name that is AdWeek, a judging panel of more than 20 experts and creatives will select the first-ever honorees, due to be announced in January 2017.
The Mashies: The popular tech blog Mashable created its own set of awards in 2016 to honor “the people, brands and ideas that are starting conversations, engaging audiences and creating the future.” Covering marketing, advertising, and social, The Mashies are one of the most expansive awards and categories include Best use of Instagram, Best Brand Influencer/Partnership, and Best Use of Live-streaming.
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