It seems pretty fitting that a year of personal triumph for Roger Ebert should include being honored as the Webby Awards’ Person of the Year.
His recent thoughts on video games aside, Ebert has used the Internet to supplement the loss of his voice, transforming a blog and a Twitter account into something more than a just self-promoting Web presence. They’ve become his voice, just as much as the electronic voice box he debuted to us on Oprah a few months ago. It’s impossible to deny: The man’s got moxy.
(More on Techland: Techland Visits Roger Ebert’s Film Festival)
The Webby announcement had this to say: “In addition to his film criticism, which remains as eloquent as ever, his online journal has raised the bar for the level of poignancy, thoughtfulness and critique one can achieve on the Web, while at the same time shining a light on the most important issues facing journalism as it relates to the Internet itself. Ebert’s insights – be they in film, online media, journalism or life – and his unparalleled level of engagement with followers and fans – has made the Internet a more thoughtful, engaging and self-aware environment.”
Moral: Roger Ebert makes the Internet a better place.
Other notable honorees included band OK Go, who will pick up a Special Achievement trophy during the awards show held on June 14 in New York for rewriting the standards of music marketing with their irresistible string of viral music videos. You’ve seen them flipping around on treadmills and if you haven’t wised to their ridiculously cool Rube Goldberg inspired video for This Too Shall Pass, then feast your eyes:
The brain trust behind Ok Go is more than just those four dudes who started a band in Chicago, it’s that perfect blend of distribution and creative appeal, and the Webbys make it a note to point out their “genius approach to the viral video.”
Other names on this year’s winner’s list include Google CEO Vinton Clef, Amy Poehler, Jim Carrey and Brad Pitt. Who will have the best five-word acceptance speech? My money’s on Amy.