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Roll out the carpet, prepare the speeches

india Updated: Mar 16, 2008 02:43 IST
Sachin Kalbag
Sachin Kalbag
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

The jury’s still out on who the winners of this year’s YouTube Awards will thank in their acceptance speeches. Their neighbours’ pets? Sasquatch? Leonardo da Vinci? Erno Rubik? There are 72 nominees in 12 categories this year — five more than last year — and users will decide the eventual winners by voting on youtube.com/ytawards07.

Okay, so there is no golden statuette, but there is more than the usual 15 minutes of Internet glory for sure. And yes, for those acceptance speeches, the winners may just have to upload another video.

The YouTube Awards, admittedly, are no Oscars. Most of the nominees are not even wannabe Coppolas or Spielbergs, and the videos include a student being tasered in Florida, a geek telling the world how to solve the Rubik’s Cube, an artist displaying his skill at painting the Mona Lisa, a girl serenading US presidential aspirant Barack Obama… you get the drift, right?

As the blogpost announcing the awards this Friday says: “… the online video is not just a way to share pet and baby videos (though it is certainly good for that, too), but rather it can be so much more: a showcase for aspiring artists, a megaphone for everyday people, a way to learn new skills and even to change the political process.”

Umm, so YouTube did get a bit corporate — and thus be in danger of losing its charm here — but they sure are aware that the categories list needed to go up. The five new categories this year are a reflection of the evolution of user-generated videos on the Web — Best Short Film, Best Political Video, Best Sports Video, Best Eyewitness Video, and Best Instructional Video. Another change: all categories have just six nominees, instead of 10 as was the case last year.