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Lisa Kudrow, Zach Galifianakis Win Webby Awards

The web stages its own awards show — which turns out to be as clunky as many of those old-media awards shows


The speeches were five words long, the winners had been announced a month before the show, and host Lisa Kudrow's first punchlines involved the likes of cellphone inventor Martin Cooper and the British physicist Tim Burners Lee.

The 15th Annual Webby Awards, an occasionally kinetic, frequently lurching and determinedly irreverent yearly tribute to the best and brightest (and, crucially, often the funniest) in digital media, took place at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on Monday night, but mostly it took place on the internet, streamed live via a variety of sites.

Lisa Kudrow"It seems like just yesterday my IBM Selectric typewriter was the badass machine to have," said Kudrow before awkwardly kicking off 90 minutes of nerd jokes, appearances by online celebs, clips, music from Norah Jones and the Gregory Brothers featuring Antoine Dobson.

Winners in attendance included "Entourage" star Adrian Grenier, the co-founder of SHFT.com; Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, getting an award from "Harry Potter" star Daniel Radcliffe; It Gets Better Project founder Dan Savage; and the band LCD Soundsystem, which was named Webby Artist of the Year.

Winners who did not attend included many of the biggest names among the Webby recipients: Justin Bieber, Jim Carrey, Conan O'Brien and the Arcade Fire.

In many of the dozens of categories, double awards were presented:  a Webby Award voted by judges, and a People's Voice Award determined by online votes.

Almost all of the winners adhered to the show's five-word-speech rule, though FunnyOrDie co-founders Adam McKay and Chris Henchy drew a few hoots by delivering a full comedy bit, with a video assist from Will Ferrell.

Speeches from many of the winners who did stick to five words are available on a YouTube channel; they range from the grateful (Blast Radius' "Blast Radius thinks you're boss") to the somber (CAA's "Kids deserve a great education") to raucous (the Onion's "Where is our f—ing Pulitzer?").

In one of the more curious awards, the Webby Person of the Year honors went not to an actual person, but to Watson, the computer that won on Jeopardy.

At the end of a night during which a good number of her jokes fell flat, Kudrow accepted her own Webby for her web series "Web Therapy," and then used her speech to deliver a quick plug — not for an internet project, but for her upcoming Showtime series. One last shout-out to old media, perhaps.

Special Webby awards:

Special Recognition Award: Dan Savage, "It Gets Better Project"
(RED) Webby Award: Ushahidi
Webby Artist of the Year: LCD Soundsystem
Webby Film + Video Person of the Year: Adam McKay and Chris Henchy, FunnyOrDie.com.
Webby Person of the Year: Watson
Webby Lifetime Achievement Award: Martin Cooper
Webby Special Achievement Award: Red Burns
Webby Breakout of the Year: Groupon

From Webby press releases:

Winners boasting star-power include:
Lisa Kudrow's "Web Therapy," (Best Comedy: Long Form, and Best Individual Performance in an Online Video)
Adrian Grenier's Shft.com (Webby Award and People's Voice Award)
Arcade Fire's "The Wilderness Downtown," (Webby and People's Voice Award for Best Experimental & Weird Video)
Conan O'Brien's "Team Coco," (Webby Award and People's Voice or Best Celebrity/Fan website)
Zach Galifianakis' "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis," (Webby Award for Web Personality/Host , Webby Award and People's Voice Award for Best Online Variety Show, Webby Award and People's Voice Award for Best Comedy Individual Short or Episode featuring Steve Carell)
Will Ferrell, Jim Carrey, Dana Carvey, Fred Armisen, Maya Rudolph, Darrell Hammond's "Funny or Die's Presidential Reunion" (directed by Ron Howard), (People's Voice Award for Best Comedy: Long Form or Series)
Snoop Dogg and LL Cool J's "Snoop Dogg vs. LL Cool J: The Ultimate Halo Smack Down," (People's Voice Award for Best Branded Entertainment)
Jim Carrey's "Funny or Die's Presidential Reunion," (People's Voice Award for Best Individual Performance in an Online Video)

Activism: REDU (Webby Award); Avaaz (People's Voice Award)
Art: Adobe Museum of Digital Media (Webby Award); YouTube Play (People's Voice Award)
Associations: American Institute of Architects (Webby Award);
Automotive: 2011 Mediocrity (Webby Award); Vespa Website (People's Voice Award)
Banking/Bill Paying: Lending Club (Webby Award); Chase Blueprint Demo (People's Voice Award)
Beauty and Cosmetics: Boss Bottled Night (Webby Award); Redken.com (People's Voice Award)
Best Copy/Writing: NewYorker.com (Webby Award); TheOnion (People's Voice Award)
Best Home/Welcome Page: LEGO.com (Webby Award and People's Voice Award)
Best Navigation/Structure: Hidden Heroes (Webby Award); Zappos.com (People's Voice Award)
Best Practices: Dropbox (Webby Award); Skype (People's Voice Award)
Best Use of Photography: National Geographic (Webby Award and People's Voice Award)
Best Use of Video or Moving Image: The Wilderness Downtown (Webby Award); TED.com (People's Voice Award)
Best Visual Design – Aesthetic: Monet 2010 (Webby Award); LIFE.com (People's Voice Award)
Best Visual Design – Function: TED.com (Webby Award); Vimeo (People's Voice Award)
Best Web Personality/Host: Funny or Die's Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifinakis (Webby Award);  Justine Ezarik for iJustine (People's Voice Award)
Blog – Business: TechCrunch (Webby Award); HuffPost Business (People's Voice Award)
Blog – Cultural: The 99% (Webby Award); Laughing Squid (People's Voice Award)
Blog – Political: Truthdig (Webby Award); Comedy Central's Indecision (People's Voice Award)
Celebrity/Fan: Team Coco (Webby Award and People's Voice Award)
Charitable Organizations/Non-Profit: Historypin (Webby Award); PBS.org (People's Voice Award)
Community: OpenIDEO (Webby Award); Twitter (People's Voice Award)
Consumer Electronics: Engadget (Webby Award and People's Voice Award)
Corporate Communications: Gone Google (Webby Award and People's Voice Award)
Cultural Institutions: Anne Frank House (Webby Award); Smithsonian Institution (People's Voice Award)
Education: TED.com (Webby Award and People's Voice Award)
Employment: Freelancer.com (Webby Award and People's Voice Award)
Entertainment – Tablets and Other Devices: PBS for iPad (Webby Award); MythBusters App (People's Voice Award)
Events: TribecaFilm.com (Webby Award); YouTube Play (People's Voice Award)
Family/Parenting: BabyCenter (Webby Award and People's Voice Award)
Fashion: NOWNESS (Webby Award); Vogue.com (People's Voice Award)
Financial Services: Mint (Webby Award and People's Voice Award)
Food and Beverage: Epicurious (Webby Award and People's Voice Award)
Games: Lego Star Wars III (Webby Award); Robot Unicorn Attack (People's Voice Award)
Games-Related: The Escapist (Webby Award and People's Voice Award)
Government: The Architect's Virtual Capitol (Webby Award); NASA Home Page (People's Voice Award)
Green: SHFT.com(Webby Award and People's Voice Award)
Guides/Ratings/Reviews: Yelp (Webby Award and People's Voice Award)
Health: Attraction (Webby Award); WebMD (People's Voice Award)
Humor: Funny Or Die (Webby Award); College Humor (People's Voice Award)
Individual Performance: Web Therapy (Webby Award);  Funny or Die's Presidential Reunion – Jim Carrey as President Reagan (People's Voice Award)
Insurance: Responsibility Project (Webby Award); University of Farmers (People's Voice Award)
IT Hardware/Software: Dell (Webby Award); Demo Slam (People's Voice Award)
Law: Threat Level (Webby Award and People's Voice Award)
Lifestyle: MarthaStewart.com (Webby Award); The Escapist (People's Voice Award)
Magazine: New Yorker (Webby Award); National Geographic Magazine (People's Voice Award)
Movie and Film: The Warden Sixteen (Webby Award); Toy Story Official Web Site (People's Voice Award)
Music: Pandora (Webby Award and People's Voice Award)
Netart: Welcome to Pine Point (Webby Award); The Wilderness Downtown (People's Voice Award)
News: NPR (Webby Award and People's Voice Award)
Personal Blog/Website: What I Made (Webby Award and People's Voice Award)
Pharmaceuticals: SpeakFromTheHeart.com (Webby Award and People's Voice Award)
Politics: FactCheck.org (Webby Award); NPR News Election 2010: It's All Politics (People's Voice Award)
Professional Services: Blenderbox (Webby Award); Awesomeville (People's Voice Award)
Radio/Podcasts: NPR (Webby Award and People's Choice Award)
Real Estate: Zillow.com (Webby Award and People's Choice Award)
Religion and Spirituality: The Buddha (Webby Award and People's Choice Award)
Restaurant: Pure Management Group (Webby Award); Chipotle Website (People's Voice Award)
Retail: Groupon (Webby Award and People's Voice Award)
School/University: Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing (Webby Award and People's Voice Award)
Science: NASA Global Climate Change (Webby Award); Discovery News (People's Voice Award)
Self-Promotion/Portfolio: Summit Project (Webby Award); Twitter Knitter (People's Voice Award)
Social Media: Vimeo (Webby Award and People's Voice Award)
Sports: MLB.com (Webby Award); ESPN.com (People's Voice Award)
Telecommunications: LG Optimus — 1,000 Acts of Kindness (Webby Award); When facebook becomes a book (People's Voice Award)
Television: Boardwalk Empire – Interactive Boardwalk (Webby Award); Hulu (People's Voice Award)
Tourism: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Webby Award and People's Voice Award)
Travel: Jetsetter (Webby Award); Lonely Planet (People's Voice Award)
Travel – Mobile & Applications: TripIt (Webby Award); KAYAK Mobile for iPhone (People's Voice Award)
Video Remixes/Mashups: CNN Walk Around the World (Webby Award)
Viral: Rated Awesome (Webby Award); Bed Intruder Song (People's Voice Award)
Web Service and Application: Dropbox (Webby Award and People's Voice Award)
Weird: Awkward Family Photos (Webby Award and People's Voice Award)
Youth: A Thin Line (Webby Award); National Geographic Kids (People's Voice Award)