NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – As Internet Week came to a close in New York City, some of the big guns from the Web world came together to celebrate their own at the 15th annual Webby Awards Monday night, an event perhaps best described as the the Academy Awards of the ‘net.
More On Internet Week: Star-Studded Conference Panel At the NewFront 2011 | Webutante Ball Names Internet Royalty
The gala has become a “who’s who” of both the virtual world and the real world over the past years, as the guest list Monday night included entrepreneurs, celebrities and YouTube stars alike. Past hosts have included B.J. Novak and Seth Meyers, and this year Lisa Kudrow did the honors.
Celebrity attendees at this year’s Webby Awards, held at Hammerstein Ballroom, included Norah Jones, Kevin Jonas, Antoine Dodson, Adrian Grenier and Daniel Radcliffe.
Vogue editor Anna Wintour received a Webby for best fashion Web site. In keeping with the ceremony’s 5-word acceptance speech rule, the fashion maven said, “sometimes geek can be chic.”
IBM’s supercomputer Watson, of Jeopardy fame, took home the award for person of the year.
“Person of the year,” the computer said in accepting the award. “Ironic.”
David-Michel Davies, executive director of the Webbys, noted the evolution of the event.
“It’s so much different now than those early years.” Davies said. “It took the world a long time to be affected by the Internet. Today it really is one of the driving forces in the world.”
Other honorees at the Webbys included lesser-known luminaries such as “It Gets Better Project” founder Dan Savage and former Motorola executive Martin Cooper, for his work in fathering the mobile phone.
“Each year the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences acknowledges a few Webby Award winners that stand out amongst the others, honoring them with special recognition for adding to the growth of Web culture,” says Davies.
The Webbys has been known as a place for wry off the cuff humor – and this year’s edition proved no different.
“In terms of jokes, we’ve been really fortunate this year and in the past to work with people who really get what the Internet sensibility is.” says Davies, who added that host Lisa Kudrow worked alongside an entire team to ensure the entertainment value of the show was top notch.
A full list of nominees and winners can be found here.
Freelance writer Lawrence Bonk contributed to this report.