Video sharing website YouTube, the eBay online auction community and rock icon David Bowie were among the winners announced Tuesday of this year's Webby Awards, the so-called "Oscars of the Internet."
The awards honour online excellence and are considered the leading international gongs for websites, interactive advertising and online video. YouTube co-founders Steve Chen and Chad Hurley, who came up with the idea of people posting video clips on a shared website, were to receive the Webby person of the year award for the fantastically successful site.
YouTube had played a key role in "transforming the media landscape and reshaping everything from politics to pop culture," the Webby organizers said. Rock legend David Bowie was to pick up a lifetime achievement award for pushing the boundaries of art and technology with UltraStar, his digital media company that creates online content for The Rolling Stones and The Police.
He also runs BowieArt, a website that connects emerging visual artists with collectors, and launched BowieNet, an Internet service provider, in 1998. The more than 200 million users of online auction platform eBay were also to receive a lifetime award for "a cultural phenomenon" that had "permanently changed the way people connect, discover and interact with each other.""The Webby winners and special achievement honorees represent the very best in online creativity and innovation," Webby Awards executive director David-Michel Davies said in a statement, announcing the winners.
"We're proud to salute the people and organisations whose ideas and vision are transforming how we experience the world," he said. Past winners of Webbies include pop icon Prince and former vice-president Al Gore, who memorably used his acceptance speech -- limited to a maximum of five words -- to ask the judges: "Please don't recount this vote."
The winners are selected by the 550-member International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, whose members include "The Simpsons" creator Matt Groening, columnist and writer Arianna Huffington and Hollywood Titan Harvey Weinstein. Winners of the almost 70 categories in the 11th annual awards are to be honored at a ceremony in New York on June 5.