Shorty Award Winners Unveiled In New York City

'Oscars of Twitter' presented at TheTimesCenter

NEW YORK (March 3, 2010) - The second annual Shorty Awards (@shortyawards) winners demonstrated the diverse ways Twitter can be used to create the best real-time short form content. Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who won a Shorty Award in the government category, used his account to help constituents with timely snow removal. Brazilian pop superstar Ivete Sangalo, a winner in the music category, stays connected to her fans through Twitter. Writer Arjun Basu won in literature for his self-contained stories on Twitter, and travel category winner Paul Miller was able to make his way around the world through his followers' generosity.







CNN's Rick Sanchez hosted the ceremony at TheTimesCenter in the New York Times Tower on the evening of March 3, which featured a live performance by the Reduced Shakespeare Company, acceptance speeches by winners such as Cory Booker, Suze Orman and Rachel Maddow, and an appearance by Sesame Street's Grover.

William Shatner congratulated the winners via video and read some of his own favorite tweets from @shitmydadsays, which is being turned into a TV pilot by CBS with Shatner in the lead role. In all, 34 awards were given across 28 categories, including several new ones. Haitian TV presenter Carel Pedre received a special humanitarian Shorty Award for tweets that shed light on the devastating earthquake in his country. Janis Krums received a Real-Time Photo Shorty Award for his camera phone shot of U.S. Airways flight 1549 in the Hudson River.

Acceptance speeches were limited to 140 characters.

The awards are created by Sawhorse Media and made possible with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. This year, voting opened in early January, quickly making "Shorty Awards" a consistent top trending topic on Twitter. Voters publicly nominated the best people and organizations on Twitter across official and crowd-sourced categories.

“Twitter is part of the new frontier of communication,” said Gary Kebbel, Knight Foundation’s journalism program director. “This year’s Shorty Award winners share the ability to spread news and information, and to engage people individually and globally, in innovative ways. They're doing the kind of creative communicating that Knight Foundation seeks to support and advance."

"The Shorty Award winners show that you can make a big impact with few characters," said Gregory Galant, the CEO of Sawhorse Media, which created the Shorty Awards. "We're thrilled to see so many concise communicators fly in from around the world to accept their awards."

Finalists were narrowed down in February and then, for the first time, the winners were chosen from the finalists by a combination of the popular Twitter vote and judging by the Real-Time Academy of Short Form Arts & Sciences. Academy members include Kurt Andersen, Alyssa Milano, MC Hammer, Joi Ito, Craig Newmark, Alberto Ibargüen, David Pogue and Jimmy Wales.

This year's Shorty Award winners are:

Frank Adman, @FrankAdman
TweetDeck, @TweetDeck
deviantART, @deviantART
Brand (two-way tie)
Whole Foods Market, @WholeFoods
Sesame Street, @SesameStreet
Nathan Fillion, @NathanFillion
Cultural Institution (three-way tie)
Jonah Holland of the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, @lewisginter
Reduced Shakespeare Company, @reduced
Poetry Society of America, @Poetry_Society
Customer Service
Bonnie Smalley, @ComcastBonnie
Smashing Magazine, @smashingmag
TrueBlood HBO, @TrueBloodHBO
Suze Orman, @SuzeOrmanShow
Foodimentary, @Foodimentary
Cory Booker, @CoryBooker
Rachael Dunlop, @DrRachie
Humor (two-way tie)
David Thorne, @27bslash6
Mrs. Stephen Fry, @MrsStephenFry
Helen Klein Ross's Betty Draper, @BettyDraper
Journalist (two-way tie)
William Bonner, @realwbonner
Rachel Maddow, @maddow
Arjun Basu, @arjunbasu
Music (two-way tie)
Ivete Sangalo, @ivetesangalo
Ted Leo, @tedleo
The Diane Rehm Show, @drshow
To Write Love On Her Arms, @TWLOHA
The Nation, @thenation
Jen Scheer, @flyingjenny
Bill Simmons, @sportsguy33
Mark Watson, @soldierknowsbest
Paul Smith, @twitchhiker
The Llama, @DoWhatITellYou
Special Humanitarian Award
Carel Pedre, @carelpedre
Real-Time Photo
"Plane in the Hudson" by Janis Krums,

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Since 1950, the foundation has granted more than $400 million to advance quality journalism and freedom of expression. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote informed, engaged communities and lead to transformational change. For more, visit

About Sawhorse Media

Sawhorse Media filters, curates, and makes sense of the real-time web by creating fun, engaging, and useful products. Sawhorse sites include the directory of Twitter people and lists Listorious, the leading destination for journalists on Twitter Muck Rack, and a network of more than a dozen vertical Twitter sites. For more, visit

About the Real-Time Academy of Short Form Arts and Science

The Real-Time Academy of Short Form Arts & Sciences, comprised of leaders in technology, journalism, business and culture, will play a role in choosing the winners from the groups of finalists. The group includes Knight Foundation President and CEO Alberto Ibargueen, novelist and public radio host Kurt Andersen, Flickr cofounder Caterina Fake, entertainer MC Hammer, Creative Commons CEO Joi Ito, actress Alyssa Milano, MIT Media Lab Director Frank Moss, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, New York Times columnist David Pogue, Columbia Journalism School Dean of Student Affairs Sree Sreenivasan and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales. For more, visit


Lisa Gruber, Porter Novelli; 212-601-8358;

Marc Fest, Knight Foundation; 305-908-2677;

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

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