NEW YORK (Feb. 11, 2009) – An international breaking news service based in the Netherlands and the space agency NASA were recognized Wednesday night as two of the 26 winners of the first Shorty Awards, which highlight the best micro-blogging on the site Twitter.
Also receiving an award was Carri Bugbee, a Portland, Oregon PR executive who created a following among ad execs while blogging anonymously as the character Peggy Olson, a junior copywriter on the AMC TV series Mad Men. Bugbee’s identity was revealed at the Shorty Awards ceremony at New York’s Galapagos Art Space.
“Twitter has emerged as powerful platform for covering news, politics, entertainment and more – but it would be nothing without talented writers,” said Gregory Galant, CEO of Sawhorse Media and co-founder of the Shorty Awards. “The Shorty Awards recognize those who excel on Twitter at covering a certain beat.”
The winners in total received more than 50,000 nominations and votes for the awards, created in December by Sawhorse Media. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation co-sponsored the event, awarding travel money to the winners to attend the ceremony. Special guests included event host and CNN Anchor Rick Sanchez (@ricksanchezcnn) and performer MC Hammer (@MCHammer.) NBA star Shaquille O’Neal (@THE_REAL_SHAQ) appeared via video.
The winners are the kind of innovators Knight Foundation seeks as it looks for new ways to experiment with news and information, said Alberto Ibargüen, president and CEO of Knight Foundation.
“@shortyawards winners, how will you use Twitter to innovate? @ everyone, all future of news and info ideas welcome. /A.Ibarguen, pres@knightfdn,” Ibargüen said in a live tweet to those gathered at the ceremony.
All acceptance speeches were delivered in 140 characters or less, the maximum allowed for a Twitter post.
“We love that a book recommendation site, a site dedicated to so many words, is recognized for the use of so few. It's an honor. Thank you!” said @FLWbooks, operated by FlashlightWorthyBooks.com, a winner in the entertainment category.
Other winners include:
- @MarsPhoenix, which posted 600 updates during the 152 days NASA’s Mars Phoenix Lander was on its mission last year. The account has more than 41,000 followers.
- @BreakingNewsOn, one of Twitter’s most popular news services, created by Michael van Poppel, a 20-year-old from the Netherlands
- @Yiying Lu, in the design category, for creating the Fail Whale, an icon that rose to popularity as Twitter’s error message when the fledgling service struggled to keep its servers running. Yiying Lu traveled to the ceremony from Australia.
For a full list of winners, visit www.shortyawards.com.
Award category sponsors, all of whom have a heavy Twitter presence, include Rocketboom, Porter Novelli, PepsiCo, PR Newswire, Epicurious, KlickableTV and DanceJam.
About Sawhorse Media
Sawhorse Media is a privately-held company in New York City created by Gregory Galant, Adam Varga and Lee Semel with the mission of facilitating the creation of valuable short-form content. It runs a number of ventures including the Shorty Awards and Musebin, a one line music review website. For more, visit www.sawhorsemedia.com.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes excellence in journalism worldwide and invests in the vitality of the U.S. communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects with the potential to create transformational change. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.