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Women in the Webbys

the internet is serious business


The 2011 Webby nominees were announced yesterday, the recurring awards event that validates our strange forays onto the internet. Though the tech scene is by and large still vastly dominated by men, a few women have staked their claim in the digital expanse — and they’re not all named Arianna Huffington or Tina Brown. Read on for some of the women at the top of their game in the web universe.

The glitzy ad world has given us the U by Kotex campaign, the self-deprecating tampon commercials that mock the standard spinning ladies in gauzy dresses that promise a fantasy world of dancing on the beach, never you mind that pesky period. Bravo to Aida Flick, the brand’s director of feminine care marketing, for responding to the “70 percent of the more than 1,600 female respondents said they believe it’s time for a change in how society talks about vaginal-health issues” and giving women an ad campaign they can actually relate to.

Speaking of the ad world, the hugely popular “Mad Men Yourself” campaign was designed by artist Dyna Moe, whose retro, jaunty stylings were a huge part of what made this feature such a hit and garnered it a nomination in the viral marketing category.

Ladies made a good showing in the visual world, from the now-household iJustine to the beautiful and always game Cat Cora, who has some delightful Muppet segments to watch here. Cheri Oteri‘s AMC web series, Liza Life Coach, is yet another strong effort in AMC’s original programming. Susan Miller (of The L Word) and Tina Cesare Ward (In Their Absence) wrote the ongoing series Anyone But Me, a drama about teens coming of age that’s done in a refreshingly uncondescending way.

And hey, if you’ve ever wanted to see Isabella Rossellini wearing a whale penis, I’m sure you’ve already checked out the Green Porno series (nominated in the couldn’t-be-more-appropriate category of  “Experimental and Weird”).

On a more serious note, New York Times photographer Lynsey Addario illuminates the motivations behind the Afghanistani women who attempt suicide by immolation here, and it is moving and well worth the watch.

In the You Did Good arena is Bedsider, nominated in the Health category. Bedsider provides information to young women, especially teens, about free or cheap birth control, giving them clear and concise wisdom on the best type for them, and how to get it. Their board is refreshingly populated by a number of female doctors, including Dr. Melissa Gilliam, from the University of Chicago Medical Center, and Dr. Vanessa Cullins, Vice President for Medical Affairs at Planned Parenthood.

And yes, fine, a nod to the Huffington Post after all, which did an expose story on how Baltimore woman Vicki Valentine was evicted from her home for an unpaid water bill, which snowballed from $362.28 to $3,604.41 within six months.

What do you think of this year’s nominees? Any ladies we missed in this round-up?

ETA 12:20 P.M.: A nod also to Flavorpill’s Leah Taylor, who hosts The Weekly Dose and is nominated in the Variety Video category against Between Two Ferns and TED Talks.


Natasha Simons is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, if you can imagine such a thing. She blogs here.

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