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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 May 2006, 12:11 GMT 13:11 UK
BBC scoops three online 'Oscars'
The Webby award
Winners will be honoured at a ceremony in New York
The BBC has scooped three prizes at the annual Webby Awards.

The Webbys have been described as the "online equivalent of the Oscars" and reward web excellence in a range of categories.

BBC News Interactive won two news awards, while BBC Cumbria won the community award for a website that allows people to tell their stories.

Other winners include virtual band the Gorillaz, search giant Google, and photo website Flickr.

The winners were chosen from nearly 5,500 entries from 40 different countries.

People's choice

There are two awards in each category. A panel of judges including The Simpsons creator Matt Groening, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and musician David Bowie picked the winners.

The People's Choice Award was voted for by members of the public.

Getting the vote from web users around the world is particularly pleasing
Pete Clifton, head of BBC News Interactive

This year, more than 300,000 votes were cast by people nominating their favourite websites.

BBC News Interactive won both awards in the news category - repeating last year's success.

"We are delighted to land the double again in the prestigious Webby Awards," said Pete Clifton, the BBC's head of interactive news. "It is a fitting tribute to the dedication of our journalists, designers and technical staff, and we are proud to have beaten off such a competitive field.

"Of course, getting the vote from web users around the world is particularly pleasing," he added.

Digital lives

BBC Cumbria beat off the likes of computer giant Microsoft and travel website Trip Advisor to win the community award for its Digital Lives website.

The site allows people to publish their stories using pictures, video or text while learning skills such as filming and editing.

Mark Robertson, one of the producers who worked on the site, said that it proved everyone had a story inside them.

Virtual band Gorillaz
Virtual group Gorillaz won the Webby Artist of the Year award

"It's people off the street saying listen to this, listen to my story," he said.

Other community sites were also recognised in the winning line-up. The founders of social networking site MySpace.com won a special achievement award for Webby Breakout of the Year.

Thomas Anderson and Chris DeWolfe sold the site to media mogul Rupert Murdoch for $580m (330m) last year.

Millions of new users connect to the site every month for dating, making friends, professional networking and sharing interests.

Lifetime achievement

Other sites with devoted followings such as the photo-sharing site Flickr also won multiple awards, as well as sites such as Google Maps and Google Earth.

However, the prizes are not all for websites.

Dr Robert Kahn won the Lifetime Achievement award for work he did in the mid 1970s developing the protocols that underlie the workings of the internet.

He developed the TCP/IP protocols, as they are known, along with fellow web pioneer Vint Cerf, when they were working on the precursor of the net.

Winners who attend the awards ceremony on 12 June in New York are limited to a five-word acceptance speech.

Al Gore made headlines last year with his speech: "Please don't recount this vote."

Some winners may have difficulty delivering their speech in person. Virtual group Gorillaz won the Webby Artist of the Year award.

The band was created by Blur frontman Damon Albarn, and the line-up usually appear as cartoons on a screen when playing live.

Overall, prizes in 69 categories will be presented at the ceremony.

The Webby awards are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

Winners making their five word acceptance speeches

In pictures: Webby Awards
13 Jun 06 |  In Pictures
BBC triumphs in online Oscars
03 May 05 |  Technology
BBC scoops three Webbys
12 May 04 |  Technology
Webbys attract diverse nominees
21 Apr 04 |  Technology
Web win for punk kittens
06 Jun 03 |  Technology
Web award for BBC News Online
06 Jun 03 |  Technology


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