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67 top website picks for the 2011 Webby Awards

This may or may not be accurate.

A grand total of 1,222,174 votes were cast this month during for the Webby Awards voting period which ended last night at midnight. I voted for all sections available in the websites, online film & video, interactive advertising, and mobile & apps categories. Out of these four categories, I’ve shared my picks only from the websites category here since it’s the most interesting category. And this should kindly spare you from reading scanning a never-ending list as this one is a whopping 67 items long (though a few are repeat links).

Results will be announced on May 3. I am not holding my breath for most of my picks to win. As I voted, the leader boards became visible and many of my selections showed up in 3rd to 5th place at the time. This led me to believe that some people simply voted based on brand recognition rather than based on the strength of the website itself.  But I knew that was likely to happen going into this. What can you do?

My top web picks for the Webby Award Nominees for the websites category are below!

connections (6 items)

celebrity/fan: Wonderwall
community: Tumblr – Yay! A site I actually use.
guides/rating/reviews: Yelp – Yay! Another site I actually use.
personal blog website: the3six5 – I’ve been selected to submit a post for this site to be posted by the end of the day, 10/21/11. Can’t wait!
social media: Behance Network – I should visit this site more often.
weird: The Daily What – Who hasn’t been to a site on this network (Icanhascheezburger, anyone)?

entertainment (7 items)

art: YouTube Play – A nice video of an event I would have loved to attend
fashion: Vogue.com – A well-done website overall.
games: Cityville – Don’t play this game myself but it seems like people really enjoy this one.
games-related: Joystiq – A great gamer destination
humor: The Onion
netart: Welcome to Pine Point – An interesting digital scrapbook.
sports: espn.com

features (9 items)

best copy/writing: The Onion
best home/welcome page: YoungArts.org – Nice integrating motion graphics
best navigation structure: Zappos.com – I’ve used this site and was happy with the ease of my purchases.
best practices: Hulu.com – I’ve been a member since it was in beta. Cool story, huh?
best use of animation or motion gfx: Immersive-Garden – A personal site of a Paris-based art director.
best use of photography: The Tiziano Project| 360 Kurdistan
best use of video or moving image: The Wizarding World of HP
best visual design – aesthetic: Life.com
best visual design – function: Vimeo.com

living (6 items)

events: Vimeo festival + Awards
family/parenting: Making Sense of Baby – Type in a name and age to really see the site go.
health: Attraction – French anime cartoon for youth, discouraging smoking.
lifestyle: NOWNESS – I’ll have to visit this site again.
religion and spirituality: Interfaith Youth Core
youth: A Thin Line – A good interactive role play for wise decision making for middle grade kids

marketplace (12 items)

automotive: Mercedes-Benz What Drives Us
beauty and cosmetics: COTY: Beyonce Heat
blog-business: Mashable
consumer electronics: LG Kitchen Experience
corporate communications: The GE Show
food and beverage: Epicurious – I should visit this site more often.
IT/Hardware/software: Google Demo Slam – It was interesting and cool to see what people can do with Google apps. Slam.
professional services: Vaughan Hannigan – Photographer with an amazing portfolio
restaurant: Chipotle – Home of the 1,000 calorie burrito. mmm…
retail: Zappos.com
self-promo/portfolio: Twitter Knitter – Too cute and valuable as a service to others to not get my vote.

media (7 items)

blog-cultural: Speakeasy, wsj.com blog – I’ll definitely visit again.
magazine: Vogue
movie and film: Disney.com’s torn: legacy
music: Soundcloud – Nice site to host music from what I’ve seen
news: NPR
radio/podcasts: BBC World Service podcasts – I enjoy listening to the live stream (not the podcast) at night before bed (when the UK business day is starting).
television: Hulu

services (9 items)

banking/ bill paying: Lending Club
employment: Glassdoor.com – I have mixed feelings about this site but it’s a good business idea.
financial services: Yahoo! Finance
insurance: University of Farmers
real estate: RE – The NY Times
telecommunications: Brightstar Studio
tourism: Oregon Food and Drink – If my home state didn’t offer the exactly same things (+ more) I’d want to visit Oregon based on this website alone. The pacific coast is quite delicious in many ways.
travel: LonelyPlanet.com – Yeah, I need to get out more.
webservices/apps: Tumblr

society (11 items)

activism: DIY Fundraising- International Rescue Committee
associations: Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass
blog political: TruthDig
cultural institutions: Sundance Institute
education: Exploratorium – fun+ learning!
government: NASA home page
green: shft.com
law: Guardian.co.uk/law – Interesting site on current issues and the law. I’ll visit again.
politics: PoliPulse – Usually politics and easy aren’t used in the same sentence, but this site is an easy way to gauge interest on a variety of topics in politics.
school/university: The Anything Project Microsite – A University of Victoria project created to gauge community ambition. This is a great idea that could be spread to other places of learning, perhaps at the secondary school level.
science: Discovery News

There you have it; the best of the web.

This weekend I’ll be volunteering downtown and stopping by BarCampLA 8. Enjoy your last weekend in April/first weekend in May!

Webby Awards

In a few hours the winners of the 2010 Webby Awards will be announced. I had the geeky pleasure of going through each of the categories and selecting my favorites. This took me days and I didn't even get to all the entries that were parked on YouTube. It was easy to see which sites were front-runners in a category, with the leader board appearing immediately after pressing the vote button. What I found is that the sites that I liked best were generally in fourth place or dead last. Oh well. Clearly I have different tastes (and a significantly slower internet connection) than most other voters.

Toward the end I got sick of the obligatory Flash tickers counting slowly to 100% only to show some sort of ~edgy~ but confusing navigation. I gave votes to ones that tended to load site content right away.  First impressions count for a lot, and the sooner the website can make that impression, the better. Not that I have dial-up or anything but websites should  consider that not everyone has G3/ T3 connectivity all the time.

The sites that I found particularly interesting are listed below. I voted for several, but some were sites that caught my attention– just not as well as another in its category. I didn't automatically vote for the most popular sites. I purposely wanted to give each unknown site a fair share of my time and maybe throw it a vote of confidence (or whatever these votes count for) if it impressed me– good or not so good. Below are the standouts IMHO, in no particular listed order.

Banking site

Innovative entrepreneurial-marketing site

Sites I should visit more
http://mashable.com/ a popular social media news aggregate. I'm into social media. I should be into this site, right?
http://www.npr.org/ I listen to the radio station in my car, but I hardly have an urge to visit the site.
http://gigaom.com/ this site is new to me and worth going back to..
http://allthingsd.com/ another new to me site. I like the layout and it's easy to read.
http://designobserver.com/ I have this bookmarked, but how often do you go through your bookmarks? Exactly.
http://1000awesomethings.com/ I first saw this site as a nominee last year. I visited it the second time as it is one this year too.
http://www.truthdig.com/ I've heard about this site many times more than I've been to it.
http://www.colourlovers.com/ pretty colours, so why shouldn't I visit this again? See, I even used the British spelling of colours because the site has impressed me so.
http://www.folkways.si.edu/ music site with content I'd likely enjoy reading.
http://moneywatch.bnet.com/ money blog that I'd likely enjoy reading.
http://www.bitterlawyer.com/ never seen a lawyer-focused blog before. This could be interesting to revisit.
http://www.mnn.com/ I really enjoyed this site. I should definitely bookmark this– or something.
http://current.com/ I have this as a module on igoogle. I just don't visit the website proper very often. I should.
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/us traveling interests me and so does this website.
http://www.livefromdarylshouse.com/ over the hills and through the woods to Daryl's house we go.
http://brokensecrets.com/ things to say "who knew?" to.

Sites I would read if I could stand the font

Sites I should visit again but probably won't


Guilty-pleasure sites


Interactive or Game standout sites

http://machinarium.net/demo/ if you've played "Samorost" this is the next game by that company. same dealie.
http://www.mathmovesu.com/sum-of-all-thrills.aspx?AuthTicket=debug loads slowly but the flash loader is interactive and yay for roller-coasters!

Spend an hour on this site and change (or solidify) your financial outlook site
http://www.pbs.org/your-life-your-money/ give up one night of tv and watch the videos on this site instead. Worth your time.

Update: Winners have been announced!

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