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RTE Radio up for top Web award
Tuesday, April 30 2002
by Sheila McDonald

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RTE Radio is the only Irish site to win a nomination in the 2002 Webby Awards, the prestigious US-based awards that recognise the world's best Web sites.

The radio site from Ireland's national broadcaster joins fellow nominees BBC Radio 4, Kpig.com, Transom and Youth Radio in the radio category. The winners will be announced on 18 June in a ceremony in San Francisco. Nominees in two additional categories, technical achievement and Internet art, will be announced on 06 May.

Although the Webbys are typically portrayed as one of the only global Web site awards ceremonies, the nominees are always largely from the US. Web superstars that gained nominations last year, including the search engine Google and e-tail giant Amazon, are nominated again for the 2002 awards, as are the popular humour sites The Onion, Fuckedcompany.com and Satirewire.

Newcomers include a handful of international sites, including the Vatican's site with a nomination in the spirituality category, and the popular file swapping service Kazaa, owned by Australia-based Sharman Networks, in the broadband category. Kazaa has come under fire recently because of the mandatory user-tracking software that it comes bundled with. Sharman Networks revealed last week that it is to offer a premium version of its service, which is currently free.

The Webby Awards are organised by the International Academy of Arts and Sciences, and this year the Academy is teaming up with the Internet measurement agency Nielsen//NetRatings to conduct a "sweeps" month in May. During May Nielsen//NetRatings will tally traffic to major Web sites to determine the winners in three new Webby categories: Rising Star, Top US Property and Top Global Property.

The Rising Star award recognises the site that grows the fastest in May 2002 as compared to the first four months of the year. The Top US Property and Top Global Property awards will go to the Web sites that attract the most surfers in the US and globally during the month of May.

Sean Kaldor, vice president of analytics and corporate marketing at NetRatings, said the sweeps should give top Web sites an incentive to develop their best content during the month of May.

The winners will be determined by members of the 350-person Academy, a group that includes Francis Ford Coppola, David Bowie and Esther Dyson. The public can also vote on-line for their choice in each category, in the People's Voice Awards.

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