olia lialina on Mon, 21 Nov 2005 22:03:55 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Webbys reshape the web

To show the web of the 90s and to illustrate the fast growth of the
medium I often use the Webby Awards as an example. To see what sites
were considered to be important and how categories were developing. It
is very interesting to see for example how the category Art/Design in
1997 became net art in 1998, split into arts, broadband and net art in
2001. Then Net Art disappeared in 2005* and reappeared in the list of
the next year. And other interesting transformations.

The most striking were of course the categories of the first year.
The web was still mostly a hobby place. And 15 categories of 1997 were
named like personal interests: Books, Films, Games, Sport, Sex, Money,
others. Web was made by people not corporations.

The webby awards were growing together with appetite of e-businesses,
parallel to authoring tools and the development of plugins. This year
they announced 72 categories. 3 of them have Blog- as prefix (last year
there was category Blog). Many sound really Oscar** like: Best Use of
Animation or Motion Graphics, Best Navigation/Structure or Best Visual
Design. Personal web is dwelling in a Personal Web Site reservate.

Some weeks ago, to make an argument that once the web belonged to
people, I wanted to show nominees and winners of 1997 to the students.
But, to my huge surprise*** they were not there anymore. Though the
award is going to celebrate its 10 years anniversary next year, they've
shortened its history. Now it starts from 1998.

Archive.org helped to establish historical justice.

What was so wrong with this year to remove it? I assume it is the
category Sex which appeared in the list only once, in 1997. Back then
adult content was in the order of things, part of online culture and the
most developed part of the web. It would have been strange to ignore it
and the web reality was still in a state that there was no pressure to
do so.

In later years sex never appeared again as a category, under this or
other names.

Now it is erased. Nothing will remind academics of International Academy
of Digital Arts and Science, sponsors, business owners, graphic
designers, PR managers and other sensitive souls that their online
offices are built only some IP numbers away from the brothel.

It is an assumption only.


*Last year Net.Art category was on their website during the nomination
period, but disappeared when nominees were announced. I don't know how
many artists submitted their work. A diploma student of my did and paid 95$.

**Webby calls itself Online Oscar, The Oscars of the Internet.

***Today, Snowhite was turning 18. The 7 Dwarfs always where very
educated and polite with Snowhite. When they go out work at mornign,
they promissed a *huge* surprise. Snowhite was anxious. Suddlently, the
door open, and the Seven Dwarfs enter...

A blog from a cryogenic box http://frozen-niki.org/

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