The 13-year-old Webby Awards — the Internet’s Oscars — announced its nominations today. The slate includes a stellar pack of websites, and I’ve already discovered some new pages to bookmark (such as 1,000 Awesome Things and Cute Overload). But the race I’m really geeking out about is Best Viral Video.
Some of the category’s nominees are obvious. “Bill O’Reilly Flips Out — Dance Remix“? A classic (NSFW) example of how to capitalize on a juicy leaked video by making it even more memorable (and singable!). “Where the Hell is Matt“? Rather awe-inspiring in its ability to highlight the commonality among human beings all over this globe. The “Shiba Inu Live Puppy Cam“? Further proof that cuteness rules the Internet. And “The Website Is Down“? An amusing (and NSFW) representation of an IT technician’s typical workday.
But the pro-Obama Wassup 2008 video, while clever, doesn’t fit my concept of a viral video. It’s too scripted and recognizable, and for me, a successful viral video has to contain an element of low-budget novelty. I have to feel as if the clip could have been created by either an extremely bright 10-year-old kid, or by a 70-year-old grandma who’s just beginning to venture out into the online world. Wassup 2008 simply comes off as too polished and corporate (even though Budweiser had nothing to do with it).
So, what should have taken its place? My preferred nomination is embedded below (and is only slightly influenced by the fact that I have owned three calico cats). But I also want to know what you, PopWatchers, thought were the best viral videos from 2008 — who should the Webbys have cited? Feel free to post links to your favs, and don’t forget to vote for the Webby winners!