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Thursday, July 9, 1998 Published at 14:31 GMT 15:31 UK


Best of British Net awards

Front page news: This is London is Site of Year

London, Liverpool and lava lamps were the big winners in the UK's most prestigious Net awards.

Martin Dunn of This is London explains its features
This is London, an extension of the capital's Evening Standard newspaper, won Best Online Publication and was named Site of the Year in the 1998 Yell UK Web Awards held at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) in London.

The judges said it was "a fantastic site for anyone living in or visiting the nation's capital." As well as news, the site features maps and reviews of where to go in London.

Mighty Reds march on

In the Web User's Choice category, which received 4,000 nominations from the public, The Mighty Reds, an unofficial Liverpool Football Club site, won the trophy.

It was started in New Zealand by a native, Alex Brown, who has been a Liverpool fan for 21 years.

Alex Brown on Mighty Reds' global popularity
"When it was hosted in New Zealand, the site accounted for about two-thirds of the country's Internet traffic and actually crashed Nasa's node there at one point," he told News online.

"I give people up-to-date news and it's not slow to download. I'd love to run the club's official site, but they won't let me. Perhaps they will now I've won an award.

Alex came to work in Britain because of the Internet. Liverpool University agreed to take over hosting the site and two years ago it offered him a job.

The Mighty Reds allows fans to chat to each other, hear live commentary and read match reports, news and statistics about the club.

Glowing praise for lava lamps

A company selling lava lamps in London's Covent Garden won the Best Commercial Web Site award. The judges waxed lyrical over the "groovy" Mathmos site, saying its sixties feel captured the branding of the product.

And the other winners were:

  • Most Innovative Web Site went to CyberTranscriber, an online transcription service where users dial a freephone number and dictate a letter and then receive it back typed-up as e-mail.

  • Best Non-Commercial Site was that of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). The judges felt it reflected the organisation's activities effectively and the children's section was particularly good.

  • Best Personal Web Site was Circlemakers run by enthusiasts of crop circles. It was judged to be well-researched if unusual content and had a good overall design.

  • Best Entertainment Web Site was, an online music ticket store. The judges said it was easy to use and visitors would go back again and again.

  • Best Web Design Agency went to Syzygy. Its work for the Victoria and Albert Museum, The Cartoon Network and Pedigree Petfoods was praised as well as its efforts to provoke discussion of Net issues through a series of debates at the Royal College of Art.

Britain is seen as lagging behind the United States in developing the World Wide Web, but the chairman of the UK Design Council John Sorrell told the awards ceremony that web sites were conveying the real substance of creative Britain to the whole world at the click of a button.

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