2014 Webby Award Winners Announced

On Monday April 28th, the 18th Annual Webby Award winners were announced. The Webby awards highlight the who’s who of internet superstar-dom, and winners are chosen based on votes cast by world wide web.

The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet. Established in 1996 during the Web’s infancy, The Webbys is presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS) — a 1,000+ member judging body that includes Executive Members comprised of leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities, and Associate Members who are former Webby Award Winners and Nominees and other Internet professionals.

Here are a few of the standouts:

Category: Public Service & Activism

Winner: “4 Year Olds Bucket List” – Watch on Youtube
Campaign: www.waterislife.com
Organization: DDB New York

Category: Weird

Winner: The .GIFYS –  http://black.thegifys.com/
Organization: CP+B


Category: Best Use of Photography

Winner: Graffiti General – http://www.graffitigeneral.com/
Organization: BETC –  http://betc.co.uk/

Graffiti General

Category: News & Politics – Individual Episode

Winner: “In Saddam’s Shadow” – Click to watch
Organization: VICE media


Category: Animation

Name: The Scarecrow – Watch original on Youtube
Organization: Creative Artists Agency


See all the winners…

Visit: www.webbyawards.com
Fan: Facebook.com/TheWebbyAwards
Follow: @TheWebbyAwards

How Google Inspires Collaboration

The ultimate space for innovative thinking, Google Garage is every creative’s dream space. This playground like atmosphere sparks right-brained ideas and drives collaboration through an environment that influences human behavior.

Program Manager Mamie Rheingold says it serves as a “commons where Googlers can come together from across the company and learn, create, and make.”

Go Inside Google Garage, The Collaborative Workspace That Thrives On Crazy, Creative Ideas | Fast Company | Business + Innovation 2013-09-20 09-24-55

Bridging the digital divide: Internet equality is good business


via The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jul. 18 2013, 6:50 PM EDT

In the 14th year of the 21st century, which technology do you think is more essential: public pay phones or broadband Internet access?

Funny, that. This week, when the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission rebuffed a request by Bell Canada and two of its regional operators to raise the top price of a local cash pay phone call to $1 from 50 cents, the regulator noted that “pay phone service is an important public service, especially for Canadians who earn low income and those that live in rural and remote communities.” The companies say they will probably remove phones they can’t afford to maintain, so the CRTC is thinking about making it harder to yank a community’s last remaining pay phone.

But when it comes to broadband Internet access at home, what is the commission’s position on those same low-income Canadians?

Funny, that. It doesn’t have one.

Last week, David Cohen, an executive vice-president of the U.S. cable and media company Comcast Corp., told a gathering of minority media executives that he believes broadband access may be one of the most important civil-rights issues of the current century.

According to the trade publication Broadcasting & Cable, Mr. Cohen referred to next month’s 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech. “Civil-rights advocates of 50 years ago fought and ultimately won the battle for equal rights,” he was quoted as saying. “But the battle for equal opportunity continues. And that battle won’t be won, so long as we have people stranded on the wrong side of the digital divide, because broadband technology is fast becoming the most essential tool for full participation in American society.”

To be sure, Mr. Cohen’s speech was one part tub-thumping and one part chest-beating: Comcast launched a program to offer low-income Americans inexpensive access to broadband Internet as a way of currying favour with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission in the company’s effort to get the green light for the takeover of NBCUniversal. Comcast got its regulatory approval, and households with kids on school lunch programs got $9.95 monthly Internet.

But the same civic impulse that made public libraries a vital part of modern life – driven by both moral and economic imperatives – forces us to recognize that Mr. Cohen is correct: If you believe that the Internet is indispensable, then we need to find a way to make it easily accessible to all, on a 24-hour basis.

In Canada, according to telecommunications consultant Mark Goldberg, about 18 per cent of households do not have broadband access at home; that includes about half of those in the bottom 20 per cent of the country’s earners.

Last month, Rogers Communications Inc. took a first step toward helping to change things. Going one better than Comcast, Rogers announced Connect for Success, which later this year will begin to offer slimmed-down broadband access for $9.99 a month, along with a computer for $150 and free software to youth living in Toronto Community Housing. “It’s unfathomable that Canadians are living without Internet access today because they simply cannot afford it,” said Rob Bruce, Rogers president of communications.

It’s a laudable start. We don’t know all the details yet, but Connect for Success, a program of the Rogers Youth Fund, does not appear as if it will be available to households without kids. That needs to be addressed and eventually changed: Those in school aren’t the only ones who need high-speed access to the Internet at home, especially as Canada continues to lurch toward a knowledge-based economy. Industry Canada, which is now under the direction of James Moore, the highly regarded former minister of Canadian heritage, could take the lead.

Other telcos need to jump on board, especially Telus Corp., Shaw Communications Inc. and Bell, which, with Rogers, have the lion’s share of the market. (Bell’s parent company, BCE Inc., owns 15 per cent of The Globe and Mail.) And the hundreds of indie ISPs across the country can’t shirk their responsibilities here by hiding under their no-name brands.

Almost three years ago, the CRTC held hearings into the digital divide between those in rural areas and their city-slicker cousins, in an effort to prod companies to build better infrastructure in remote regions. That’s the kind of issue that pays political dividends, especially for a ruling federal party that depends on rural areas for its base.

But while government prodding has helped to shrink that gap (except in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, which are still woefully underserved), millions of Canadians living in buildings that are already cabled can’t spare the few dollars it would take to get them plugged in.

It’s time we helped them all join the 21st century. For their sake, and ours.

Google’s Project Loon: Balloon-powered Internet access

Could the answer to providing internet to everyone around the world be as simple as balloons? Simple doesn’t actually have anything to do with it, but Google has announced “Project Loon“, which aims to bring connectivity to the 2 out of 3 people around the world who have never had access to this transformational technology.

The Intro

“We believe that it might actually be possible to build a ring of balloons, flying around the globe on the stratospheric winds, that provides Internet access to the earth below. It’s very early days, but we’ve built a system that uses balloons, carried by the wind at altitudes twice as high as commercial planes, to beam Internet access to the ground at speeds similar to today’s 3G networks or faster. As a result, we hope balloons could become an option for connecting rural, remote, and underserved areas, and for helping with communications after natural disasters. The idea may sound a bit crazy—and that’s part of the reason we’re calling it Project Loon—but there’s solid science behind it.”

The Technology

Nominees for the 2013 Webby Awards

On Tuesday, the 17th Annual Webby Award nominees were announced. The Webby awards highlight the who’s who of internet superstar-dom, and winners are chosen based on votes cast by world wide web.

Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by The New York Times, The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet, including Websites, Interactive Advertising & Media, Online Film & Video, Mobile & Apps, and Social.

After sifting through the nominees, here are a few of my votes:

Websites: Best Visual Design

Nominee: http://www.blacknegative.com
Organization: http://www.immersive-garden.com
blacknegative 2blacknegative 3blacknegative 1

Interactive Advertising & Media: Online Commercials/Individual

Campaign: Hashtag Killer: WaterisLife
Organization: DDB NY

Hashtag Killer 2013-04-11 10-14-40

Websites: Best Writing (Editorial) / Features & Design

Name: The Verge
Organization: Vox Media

The Verge 2013-04-11 10-58-56

Social: Experimental & Innovation

Organization: Heimat Werbeagentur GmbH

CNN ECOSPHERE 2013-04-11 11-35-39

See them all, and vote for your favourites:

Visit: www.webbyawards.com
Fan: Facebook.com/TheWebbyAwards
Follow: @TheWebbyAwards

TED’s Ads Worth Spreading 2013

For the third year in a row, TED Initiatives has published it’s top 10 Ads Worth Spreading. Below are a few of my personal favourites.

“The dream behind this initiative is to find ads that communicate ideas with consumers in the same way that TED wants to communicate with its audience.”

In my opinion these ads all share the same few elements that make them so successful: the attention grab, the emotional affinity, the big idea, and more importantly the connection – the way all of these fundamentals come together to leave the lasting impression.

“Finding Your Understanding”
Brand: Expedia
Agency: 180 LA

Travel can take you out of your comfort zone and change your perspective. On this trip, Artie Goldstein travels across the country to attend his daughter’s wedding, a journey that tests him and ultimately changes him in unexpected ways.

“Follow the Frog”
Brand: Rainforest Alliance
Agency: Wander Films

So you want to save the rainforest? You could give up your job, your family, your life, and start a movement with the local tribesmen of Nicaragua. Or you could follow the frog.

“Meet the Superhumans”
Brand: Channel 4
Agency: 4Creative

In life, we all have obstacles to overcome. But, the champions of the Paralympics didn’t let anything get in their way. This powerful ad shines a light on the incredible strength of human determination.

“Three Little Pigs”
Brand: The Guardian
Agency: BBH London

If the fairytale of the “Three Little Pigs” was to take place today, how would a 24-hour press cycle and social media change the story? Discover a new twist on an old tale as today’s media dissects the supposed innocence of the pigs.