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Google, Jay Z, Airbnb among 2014 Webby Award winners

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Google, Jay Z and crowdfunding site Kickstarter are among the winners of this year's Webby Awards, a celebration of Internet achievement that got its start nearly two decades ago.

The awards are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a group of about 1,000 Web experts and Internet professionals. Judges included Tumblr founder David Karp and "House of Cards" actor Kevin Spacey.

Each Webby category is split in two: There's an award from the academy and a "people's voice" award for which anyone can cast an online vote. Winners in the latter category include Beyonce, Tumblr, the NASA website and satirical news site The Onion (which was also the academy's pick in the humour category).

The website "Reasons My Son Is Crying" received both the Webby and the people's voice award in the personal blog or website category. The site features photos of bawling children captioned with the reasons they are upset, which range from "I wouldn't let him eat dog food" to "we told him that his dinosaur is blue."

The National Film Board of Canada netted its eighth Webby for "The Last Hunt." The people's voice award — selected by the online public — in the best navigation/structure category goes to the film by photographer Alexi Hobbs.

"The Last Hunt," created and produced by the NFB's Digital Studio in Vancouver, delves into the motivations that led Hobbs to photograph his grandfather's last hunting expedition, exposing the strength of family bonds and the spirituality implicit in the pragmatic act of hunting. The film also received an FITC Award, honouring the best in the digital media industry, in the best experimental category.

Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig won a lifetime achievement award. Lessig co-founded Creative Commons, which provides a way for people to license their online work for public use.

The Jamaican Bobsleigh Team won Athlete of the Year honours for using crowdfunding to finance its trip to the Sochi Olympics. The team raised $129,687.17 from the crowdfunding site Crowdtilt and also received unsolicited donations from the supporters of Dogecoin, the cryptocurrency inspired by a silly Internet meme.

The awards will be handed out on May 19 in New York in a ceremony famous for restricting winners to five-word acceptance speeches. Actor and comedian Patton Oswalt will host.

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Online: http://webbyawards.com/winners/2014

The Canadian Press


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