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Friday, March 19, 1999 Published at 10:41 GMT


Webbies' Website wonders

Babycenter won a Webby for the second year running

By Internet Correspondent Chris Nuttall

The third annual Webby Awards in San Francisco on Thursday night proved a glitzy, ditsy forerunner to cinema's Oscars in Los Angeles this weekend.

It was more fancy dress than haute couture, with one attendee wearing a PVC Y2K mac.

But the awards in 22 sections seemed serious enough with the judging coming from the likes of film director Francis Ford Coppola and rock star David Bowie.

On the Internet, all is not what it seems. The Motley Fool won not in the Humour section but in the Finance category, for its astute business advice.

The Onion, a serious-looking online newspaper, was the Humour winner for its deadpan, bogus stories with headlines like: "Mourners Unable To Comprehend Last 20 Minutes Of Kubrick's Life".

Gamers Central was best games site and Intelihealth was judged to be the best health one. BabyCenter won for the second year in a row. The advice site for parents proved the power of winning an award when business increased tenfold after last year's Webby.

The best news site award was given to CNN Interactive.

The ceremony was a testament to the creativity of the new medium, but it was let down by the usual jerky Webcast coverage which exposes the Web as still a hostage to technology.

The director of the awards, Tiffany Shlain, said that rather than Esperanto, the true international language was html. The mayor of San Francisco, Willie Brown, said the Bay area with Silicon Valley was the natural home for the awards.

"Here is where it is, for the next millennium," he said.

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