Volume 97, Issue 1
Thursday, May 22, 2003

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Is there a porn category?

(AP) If you've ever enjoyed Web sites like MeetUp.com, Sodaplay.com or Oddtodd.com, you're not alone in appreciating their cleverness. If you haven't, start surfing.

The sites are among the dozens of nominees competing for top Web honours at the seventh annual Webby Awards, celebrating the best of the online world.

There are three Canadian nominees in the pack, including second-time nominee Jeff Harris, who has been chronicling his life since Jan. 1, 1999, by having his photo taken every day.

The project, he says, started as a way to fulfill a New Year's resolution to keep a daily diary.

Almost five years and 1,500 photographs later – he's only ever missed two days – Harris is still documenting his daily activities on his site, www.jeffharris.org.

The other Canadian nominees are CBC Radio 3 (www.cbcradio3.com), which received nods in two categories, and Shift Online (www.shift.com), with one nomination. Ironically, Shift Online, the Web component of the Toronto-based technology and culture magazine, folded several months ago along with the print publication.

It's something Webby organizers, the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (www.webbyawards.com), have grown accustomed to.

Executive director Maya Draisin says it's normal for the Academy to have a few sites that close during the awards process.

"It's all part of the spirit of the Web. It's constantly changing and evolving," she said from the Academy's offices in San Francisco. "There was a winner once who said 'Bankruptcy never felt so good' [in his acceptance speech]."

Nominees for this year's Webbys are diverse – everything from youth-oriented fun and political discussion to a real estate agency that sells underground homes (www.missilebases.com). It's worth it to surf through the nominees; there are some real gems you'd otherwise never hear about.

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