The Oscars honor the best performances in film. The Grammys highlight the year’s best accomplishments in the music industry. Whether it’s film, music, literature, or any other industry, our society loves to identify the best of the best. We hand out trophies and hold award ceremonies to crown the champions in all industries. The Internet it would seem is no different.

The Internet itself has become a necessary medium for individuals and businesses to stand out from their competition in unique and powerful ways by creating an online presence that people can’t ignore. And for the past 20 years, one award show has been honoring those people who have all taken part in making the online community what it is today.

The Webby Awards are a ceremonial shout out to the people/businesses who have taken the online industry by storm. The group behind the award ceremony, The International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences (IADAS), has just announced this year’s nominees; a list that has grown to include over 1,000 people.

Taking on the task of honoring the Internet is no small feat. That’s why the awards include a wide range of categories in order to capture all the Internet has to offer. In today’s blog, we’re going to look back at past Webby Awards and some notable winners. We’re also going to discuss the ways businesses are utilizing the Internet as a tool to boost their business and stay current in an every changing online industry.

The Webb Awards of the past

The Webby Awards have been highlighting the best the Internet has to offer since 1996, the age of dial-up modems and slow loading web pages. The first award ceremony, which was the first ever award ceremony to celebrate Web content, was much smaller, with fewer categories and less applicants. In the past two decades, however, the Web has seen tremendous growth and innovation which has been reflected in the rising popularity of the Webby Awards.

Each year more and more people and businesses apply, with just over 13,000 applicants in 2015 as well as new categories being added to further illustrate the variety of talent present on the Web. Last year’s winners included a wide variety of internet talent such as Vine star Jerome Jarre, who took home the award for special achievement for his witty and hilarious vines and popular comedian Chelsea Peretti for outstanding comedic performance. The mobile dating app Tinder took home the 2015 Webby Breakout of the Year award for its success with users and creative spin on a dating application.

The Webbies today

This morning, the list of the 2016 nominations was released with the largest number of nominations to-date, over 1,000. The categories range from photography, animation, and design to music, humor, and animal videos.  Although the IADAS chooses the Webby winner in each category, the public has the ability to vote in each category for the People’s Voice Award which is also given out at the award ceremony. Voting is open until the 21st of April and can be done here. The winners will then be announced on April 26th, with the award ceremony happening in May.

Fun fact: each winner is only allowed to give a five-word acceptance speech.

Cultivating Internet immortality

Many of the awards given out at the Webbies are not just to individuals, but often to brands and companies who use creative ways to display information and interact with their customers. There are awards for best social presence, creative writing, and best customer service that all emphasize having an online presence and creative strategy to get noticed by customers.

The companies and individuals that receive these awards have taken advantage of the latest online technology to spread brand awareness and build their business. They’ve achieved success by evolving with the online industry and offering their own unique perspective on the online landscape of the future.

Start on your way to next year’s Webby Awards

You don’t have to be nominated for a Webby Award to take advantage of creative and successful online marketing strategies. This year’s nominees were able to take advantage of online resources to show people their personalities and provide their customers with a high valued experience. The growth of the Webby Awards reflects the importance that the Internet has in our society today.

Don’t forget to support the Webbies and go vote for your favorite nominee and make sure to check back with us on April 26th to find out this year’s Webby Award winners.