Australian businesses join Pinterest, Facebook as Webby Award winners

An Australian youth-oriented community website and outsourcing business Freelancer.com have both taken out gongs in this year’s Webby Awards, along with giants including Pinterest and Facebook.

The wins come just a year after crowdsourcing business 99Designs beat out both Tumblr and DropBox for a People’s Choice award.

The awards are designed to showcase the best and most innovative use of web design and the internet in general, organised by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

The Australian-based start-up Fervr website, a Christian-themed community and news website targeted towards youth, took out the Religion and Spirituality category, while Freelancer.com won a People’s Choice award for the Employment category.

Fervr is designed by the web design firm Jordesign, although the project is run by the not-for-profit group Youthworks. Freelancer.com, which allows businesses to search a database of freelancers in any category, was founded by Matt Barrie and hosts over 1.6 million projects every year.

The site took out the award for the same category last year.

The Person of the Year category has gone to comedian Louis CK, who managed to earn millions for himself by producing a self-funded comedy special and selling it online – without any digital rights management – for just $US5.

The move has been hailed as a breakthrough for the distribution of professionally funded content online.

Social network Pinterest has taken out the award for Social Media, as the site has grown from strength to strength over the past year. The site – which relies heavily on photography and allows users to share pieces of media – has 11 million unique visitors a month in the US alone.

The site has become a haven for marketers, with the site driving more referral traffic than social networks such as Google+ and LinkedIn.

The site also took out the People’s Voice award for the Best Visual Design – Function category.

While many of the awards have gone to smaller sites and blogs, larger businesses have been given accolades – Facebook has taken out the People’s Special Achievement for Social Change award, while DropBox took out the Best Practices award.

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