The Webby Awards are a Scam
SFist: Let’s Buy Us A Damn Webby!: I’ve never been a big fan of the Webby Awards. For some reason I find that their version of what is the best of the internet does not always jive with mine.
One thing though that I really don’t like about the Webby’s is that they basically are a racket intended to extract fees and money out of websites for their own profit. Don’t get me wrong. I kind of like the idea of a democratic process that helps refine the best internet sites out there.
And I think that sites like digg and delicious and reddit and a number of other sites help you find compelling new content. But you know what? digg and delicious and reddit don’t charge you a $245 to list your site on their service.
$245 is just unbelievable. Certainly I can understand entry fees for contests, but $245? What a crock.
From SFist: “We checked in with a friend of ours whose company won a Webby last year, and he confirmed our darkest fears. “They do this for an salary, not to celebrate the internet. They charge us the “processing fee” and also charged an entrance ticket fee (I think it was $250) to the awards ceremony.”
Another prominent blogger told us that “Apparently this year, they’ve extended the ‘nomination’ period at least once, maybe more, because I guess they haven’t made enough money. It’s most definitely a ‘who’s who’ type scam.” In the words of one of our esteemed colleagues, “That’s some racket the Webbys have going!””
While I can see why people would participate as the publicity/traffic/ad dollars/brand awareness probably pays in the end but how about having a contest that didn’t gouge the participants?
Update: I think using scam in the headline and in this article is too harsh a word. I took a look at the Webby’s FAQ just now and the enterance fee is prominently disclosed. There is also a $195 early bird enterant fee option available. While this contest still doesn’t sit right with me and I still feel that the fee is excessive, scam is a loaded word that is more than what is deserved in this case.