The Webbys – A Trip Back In Time


Nik’s written a piece on why he likes the Webbys over here.

I like the Webbys too. For me they’re the awards that get closest to recognising the important things online (in the English speaking parts of the interwebs anyway). It tends to recognise things for what they are, not what they look like.

Anyway, inspired by Nik’s runthrough of winners I went back and had a a look at 1997’s winners (Webbys 1.0) and I was totally shocked when I started to try and visit them.

It felt like most of them had gone!!!

So I did a very quick lookup of what’s left in all of the categories and it’s as follows:

Webbys 1997

I started to draw all kinds of spurious conclusions about why Money, Science, Film and Health are all still there (because they’re connected to big money and/or boffins). And why music, politics and sport did the worst (because they’re fickle, fast-moving industries run by a bunch of charlatans). But then I realised I was talking nonsense. There’s all kinds of reasons why these sites have gone missing in action.

For me it’s a really big shame that 47% of the best websites in the world from 10 years ago aren’t there any more. Thank goodness for the Wayback machine and its ability to teleport us back in time (mostly)…

Here’s the ones that are still alive…

(The ones that I’ve marked with a * are the ones that I love because the sites still really smell of 1997. The ones with two ** are the ones that make me really nostalgic for the days that I could do web design. The rest of them feel like they’ve moved on a bit…)


Books and Magazines








Music (sort of works, but not really)










So if you’ve made a nice website or know someone that has, enter The Webbys (closing date for this year is 25th Jan). And keep your website alive. Forever.

Work Naked

Whilst I’m all for working naked (or at the very least in underpants and socks). This ad struck me as rather odd.

Work Naked Vodafone poster

I’m cool with people working nude at home but I really don’t think we should be encouraging it out in public (using mobile broadband for laptops). In fact if there’s one argument for keeping broadband tethered, this is probably it.

The Slowternet

I’ve been using a ‘high-speed’ Internet connection in a Romanian hotel. Thing is, it’s not really high-speed at all.

I hadn’t realised just how much I take broadband (at decent speed) for granted.

I’ve been trying to think of a good way to describe how it feels. It’s really strange, everything just feels a bit wrong. The best I could come up with is that it’s like riding a bike with very flat tyres: You get there in the end, but it hurts more than usual and the handling just feels awkward and like you might fall off (I quite like the thought of ‘falling off’ the Internet).

A word of advice to people that make stuff online: big heavy flash sites really do suck for a lot of people in the world.

Fancy Working For Orange?

Orange are on the lookout for a new Digital Manager.

Obviously the best thing about the job is that you’ll get to work with Poke, and you’ll get to boss us around. And we have to be nice to you. But aside from that it’s a pretty cool role.

It’s got all the things you’d look for in a client side job and a great team to work with. It’s based in Paddington.

They’re looking for someone with:

  • 3-5 years in digital marketing
  • Demonstration of managing digital campaigns (and be able to show some cool stuff you’ve worked on)
  • Experience of media planning online (at a campaign level)
  • All the things associated with running jobs (project management, dealing with agencies, budget management, etc.)

From where I sit this could be a really great opportunity. The team is relatively small and able to ‘get stuff done’. And now that they’re a fully converged mobile/broadband company there’s some pretty cool stuff coming up.

If you want more information get in touch and I’ll hook you up…

Your future could be bright ;-)

Virgin Media, Slight Redemption

As some of you noticed a couple of people from Virgin posted in the comments on my post. Which was pretty good. So I got in touch. They dealt with my problem quickly and efficiently. And now I’m online with Virgin Media broadband. It all seems to be working really well.

The people I spoke to were duly apologetic and at the same time recognised that what I’d gone through was completely unacceptable.

One up for the power of blogs perhaps? I wonder how difficult it would have been to resolve using the ‘normal’ channels. Maybe it would have got sorted anyway, who knows?

[For anyone who cares it looks like the problem came about because I made a switch from Telewest to NTL (on account of moving house) – then 1/2 way through the transition NTL changed into Virgin Media, which I guess does sound a bit confusing and perhaps a rare case. But something didn’t work quite right…]

Virgin Media – Customer Control?

Well, Virgin Media launched today with a big old shout: a full wrapper of the Metro and putting Richard Branson in a box in Covent Garden (as only he would do).

I like the way they’ve simplified some things, and all their talk of customers in control is admirable.

And as it happens I’m a customer, I used to be a Telewest customer, so by default I’m now a Virgin Media customer. This, in itself, doesn’t make me unhappy. What does make me unhappy is when I call up to make an enquiry about whether my broadband speed is going to be cut (as it looks like it will) they tell me the hold wait is 15 minutes.

So I go to the website to try to login and find out some stuff, and….

I’m a bit of a geek and it still reads like nonsense to me. What’s the registration server? And what did my browser request that was denied?

So I binned the website and stuck it out on the phone only to have some guy lie to me about a bunch of stuff then transfer me through to a department that was closed. Perhaps better to put Richard in a call centre rather than a celeb-filled box?

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Growing pains for social bookmarking?

Broadband Stars – Covering the social media revolution: Growing pains ahead for social bookmarking? Interesting comment on the growth of web 2.0 apps and how the democratisation of them may ultimately lead to problems. Also refers to the ‘old guard’ worrying about non-geeks co-opting their technology. Strikes me that one of the beauties of tagging is that if geeks want to keep their links (or whatever) pure, all they’d need to do is add special tags that only their acceptible community know and use. Thus weeding out tags of the great unwashed.

Smacks a bit of elitism to me though. But I guess being able to slice information based on who’s submitted it is a key part of social software. It’ll be interesting to watch anyway…

Also liking the use of for reader submissions (see for examples.