WHEN PARISH WAS NOMINATED FOR A WEBBY THE GENERAL REACTION WAS, "OH, COOL..." For whatever reason The Webby's wasn't the big deal thing it seems to be now. Perhaps that was just with the people I knew, or maybe we hadn't reached peak democratization of the internet yet. In any event being nominated was fun. I had been given honorable mention before for my work on TAP and had been to the main event before when I was part of the team that won The Webby for L'Oreal back in my corporate days. This time with Parish, my little company, was nominated for a win. By "my little company" I am referring to the early days of Boy Burns Barn which was comprised of just me. The developer is a close friend who did it as a paid favor, (and has gone on to bigger and better things) was also merely mildly amused by the nomination. While the website is no longer active, you can see by the images below it is deliciously out dated. Essentially designed as a print piece turned interactive (a style I've yet to really shake) its super thick with charm with the designed agony of an intense scrap book collage level to detail. Nothing about this says tech award winner. When I submitted this for review my thinking was the restaurant category was still emerging on the web and maybe the Webby people will be dazzled by the least techy thing up for review. I believe my client was happy for me but was also more in the "wake me when you win a James Beard award' camp.
But, ok, what gives? There were 10,000 entries from more than 60 countries. This is not some tiny event. In the restaurant category there were 6 contending nominees. You have two chances to win. One way is by popular vote. Past nominees are asked to visit all the sites and cast votes for their favorites. The other is chosen by the voting academy. When I looked at the other sites I thought, "wow!" I could go on about how I really felt but knowing that we won will seem like a 'humble-brag' so I'll stop there. Winning outright by the judging academy seemed like a long shot. The popular vote at least you had some control over because you can campaign for votes. As mentioned above, most people's reactions were, "you're nominated for a "what-y?'"Well, lo and behold, Parish got the straight win from the academy.
The even itself is quite the spectacle and you quickly realize, wait this IS a big deal... am I a big deal now too? Did I just walk down a red carpet? Is that Seth Meyers hosting? (yes) Are those Victoria Secret models (they were) Did I just pass Trent Reznor on the way to the bathroom (I did) Is Marc Cuban and Bill Simmons having a casual chat behind me about sports metrics? (of course they are!) That's just the people I recognized! You get to give the famous 5 words or less speech. They serve dinner and there's lots of polite laughter. Its a real deal award show much like the ones you see on TV.
When it was all said and done I had decided that I would win a Webby every year and possibly change my email signature to start with "Webby Award winning..." Thankfully the universe being what it is, when the next day comes and the check in call with the parents happens and all the details of the previous night are dispensed in breathless detail the perfect reaction is "You got paid though, right?" "Well, no, you actually pay to enter... but, you're missing the point... 10,000 entries, Seth Meyers" "Oh, ok, I bet Seth Meyers got paid..." That's my Webby experience. Thankfully the Webby Awards have grown up in the few years since I was there. So much so that I'll get a friend's visit to the studio and they'll see my spiral trophy and they asked "Wait, is that a Webby?! You won a Webby??!! You should put that on your website!" And, so I have!Services Performed: Website