Thursday, June 15, 2006

Darlings, make blogs, not war

Webby winnerThe 10th Annual Webby Awards were held in New York on Monday night - and the company I've just started working for - Shift - received their second Webby in as many years.

This is a pretty big deal for us. We may be one of the best web design companies in the country (I like to think we're the best) - but New Zealand is a very long way from New York. It's enormously satisfying to see that the work we're doing here is world-class - and that it's being recognised by the international movers and shakers in the industry. How cool is that?

Time Magazine described the Webbys as the "Online Oscars", and the New York Times called them the "Oscars of the Internet". The Webbys were established in 1996, and the 10th Annual Webby Awards received over 5,500 entries from over 40 countries worldwide.

100% Pure New Zealand websiteShift won the tourism section for our 100% Pure New Zealand website, which we design and develop for Tourism New Zealand. We also won a Webby for the same website last year, and were nominated the year before that.

I'm wildly impressed by the amount of thought and effort that Shift puts into this website. It's absolutely gorgeous to look at, and it's full of really cool stuff. I found this great section on powhiri the other day. Powhiri is the traditional Māori welcome, and these pages include an audio and visual discovery of this important element of Māori life. Make sure your sound is turned on!

I guess what is most impressive about 100% Pure is the Travel Planner, which Shift conceptualised, created and coded from scratch. It's pretty darned cool. Basically it allows you to travel around a virtual New Zealand, collecting info about the places you want to stay and the things you want to do. You save them all in your Travel Planner, which you can return to at a later date and modify (from any computer), and when you're ready, everything is there at your fingertips. You can plan your trip on an online calendar, view it on a map, and when you're ready, you can print it out, email it to a friend, or take it to a travel agent who can help you book your trip.

Webby awardIt's brilliant. Here's more info about how Travel Planner works, and here's where you create your own Travel Planner.

The Webbys have a neat tradition of only allowing a 5-word acceptance speech from each winner, and there are generally some pretty funny (and succinct!) speeches. My post title is actually Arianna Huffington's speech. She took home the Webby and People's Voice awards for Best Political Blog for The Huffington Post.

Other notable/amusing speeches included:

You might have noticed the unfamiliar language that Selwyn used in his acceptance speech. "Ahakoa he iti, he pounamu" is Māori, and means "Although it is small, it is still precious". It was written for us by Moana Maniapoto of Moana and the Moa Hunters.

Thanks, Moana! Thanks Webbys for recognising Shift's work once again - and well done to fellow Kiwis Springload, for taking out the Events award.

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lakecat said...

What a great website. The award was well deserved. I really enjoy your blog, although I don't read it everyday, it is a joy to catch up periodically.