The Dukes of URL

2002 SXSW Web Awards

Hey Now
Hey Now

Independent filmmakers have hundreds of festivals to choose from. Independent musicians have quite a few, as well. But if you're an independent Web producer, your choices are a lot more limited.

One of the few chances for indie Web publishers to collect some brass for the mantel is the South by Southwest Web Awards, where the Web's up-and-coming glitterati compete to win a coveted Earl award (get it? URL), in one of several categories, including Animation, Weblog, and Grrl Site.

The only catch is that you had to have gone live in 2001. The list of nominees includes the Web sites of large corporations, side-by-side with personal home pages. They're judged based on criteria that include interactivity, design, and content.

"People from all over the world submit Web sites," says contest organizer Shawn O'Keefe, an alumnus of the Convergent Media program at the University of Texas. "We have hundreds and hundreds of submissions. We were a little down this year in numbers, but it was kind of neat, the quality of the sites this year is a lot better."

That's evident on sites like Hey Now (bailiwick.lib.uiowa.edu/swiss/web/heynow.html), by Thomas Swiss, a professor of English and rhetoric of inquiry at the University of Iowa whose Web work pairs his poems with music and animation by collaborators. Hey Now expands the possibilities of the interactive narrative -- Swiss' poem is modular, and the way the parts fit together is dictated by a click of the mouse. Although the design and sound are sometimes obtrusive, Hey Now creates different rhythms and meanings, verging on the ambient.

Another notable nominated site is Dichotomy: It Was a Matter of Time and Place (www.outtacontext.com/dichotomy/), where people can share their experiences from September 11. The site pairs firsthand accounts from people who were affected directly by the terrorist attack with personal accounts from others who were affected only indirectly. "While most of us were affected by the horror of what we witnessed and felt, our lives will continue in much the same way as before," says the Web site. "Not to minimize the intensity of our reactions and feelings, we are witnesses and chroniclers of that day. Other lives, however, were forever changed or extinguished by their location in time and place." It's an elegant memorial, a monument where you can record your own experience and write your own name.

Nikolai Nolan is a nominee for the second year running. This time it's for his site, the First Annual Weblog Awards (www.fairvue.com/?feature=awards2001). Last year, he won the SXSW Web site competition student category for his weblog, Fairvue. He went on to start his own Web site competition, nicknamed the Bloggies, which are awarded to the most popular personal sites known as weblogs, or "blogs."

"I was wondering which blogs people would choose as the best if it was left up to everybody," says Nolan. "So in 2001 I started the awards ceremony, and people liked the idea and voted for their favorite ones." The "ceremony," in true web-crawler fashion, was held in a blogger chat room and was attended by about 38 people.

A lot more people than that will probably show up for the SXSW Web Awards on March 10, so festival organizers decided to book a luxury hotel -- the Four Seasons -- rather than trying to cram everyone in a chat room. Rumor has it they'll even have hors d'oeuvres. end story


The SXSW Web Awards take place Sunday, March 10, at the Four Seasons (98 San Jacinto). A pre-party featuring live music and food kicks off at 6pm.

For a complete list of nominees, see www.sxsw.com/interactive/web_awards/finalists.php/. You can cast your vote for the People's Choice Award at www.sxsw.com/interactive/web_awards/peopleschoice/ . For more information, visit www.sxsw.com/interactive .

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw. Sign up for our South By-specific newsletter at austinchronicle.com/newsletters for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
SXSW Panel: The War at Home: Trump and the Mainstream Media
The War at Home: Trump and the Mainstream Media
How to report and consume news under siege from the White House

Michael King, March 16, 2017

SXSW Taps FBI Director James Comey
SXSW Taps FBI Director James Comey
FBI chief will discuss privacy and cybersecurity at March fest

Chase Hoffberger, Jan. 26, 2017

More Screens
Pressing the Flesh
Pressing the Flesh
The world's leading adult toy manufacturer for men wants to take the stigma out of sex

Dan Solomon, May 11, 2012

Get Schooled
Get Schooled
James Franco-produced Web series tracks UT Film students

Kimberley Jones, April 13, 2012

More by Michael Connor
Pauline & Paulettes
Brevity is the Soul -- Four-Word Film Reviews
A last conversation with Kael, the last decade with her successor, and a few words from online armchair critics

Oct. 11, 2002

Night of the Living Dead
Night of the Living Dead
Cinematexas sics itself on video chain giant

Sept. 13, 2002

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

SXSW Interactive, SXSW Web Awards, Shawn O'Keefe, Hey Now, Thomas Swiss, Dichotomy: It Was A Matter of Time and Place, Nikolai Nolan, Weblog Awards, weblog, Bloggies, Fairvue

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle