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Thu, May 11, 2006 - Page 10 News List

Founders of MySpace.com among new Webby winners


The founders of the popular social networking site MySpace.com are among the winners of this year's Webby online achievement awards.

Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe will receive an award next month for breakout of the year. The Webby winners were announced on Tuesday in advance of next month's ceremony.

Largely through word of mouth, their site now has nearly 77 million registered users and eclipses most Web sites in traffic, including Google Inc's search engine. It even got the attention of News Corp, the media conglomerate controlled by Rupert Murdoch, which bought Intermix Media Inc for its MySpace business for US$580 million in cash last year.

"Everyone is using it, from politicians to rock stars to students to people of all ages," said Tiffany Shlain, the founder of the Webby Awards, billed in some circles as the Oscars for the Internet.

She said the breakout category "is really about a site that becomes pervasive in our culture."

Other special-achievement recipients include Robert Kahn for lifetime achievement. Kahn, along with Vint Cerf, invented the Internet's key communications protocols, known as TCP/IP.

Thomas Friedman, a columnist for the New York Times and author of The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century, was named person of the year.

The artist-of-the-year award went to Gorillaz, a cartoon-fronted rock group billed as a pioneer in fusing music and animation.

Mark Cuban, a billionaire Internet businessman who also owns the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, was named entrepreneur of the year. Organizers credited his role as an ``evangelist for the power of technology to drive change.''

Winners were named in about 70 other business, consumer and culture categories. Google's map products won in three categories -- for best visual design/function, for broadband and for services. Last year's breakout winner, Yahoo's Flickr photo sharing site, won this year for best navigation/structure and best practices, while Yahoo picked up an honor for its podcasts.

The BBC won for community and news, and National Public Radio was honored for radio and religion/spirituality, namely its This I Believe audio segments.

The awards are given by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

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