Shorty Awards

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The Shorty Awards
Shorty Awards Logo
Awarded for "The best producers of short content – under 140 characters on Twitter"
Country United States
Presented by Sawhorse Media
First awarded February 11, 2009
Official website

The Shorty Awards, also known as the Shortys, are an annual awards event, recognizing the people and organizations producing real-time short form content across Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, Instagram, Vine, and the rest of the social Web. The awards have primarily been sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and are organized by the co-founders of the Brooklyn-based startup company Sawhorse Media.[1] Greg Galant is CEO and Co-founder and Lee Semel is CTO and Co-founder of Sawhorse Media.[2] Since their creation in 2008, the awards have expanded beyond Twitter to recognize content creation on other social networking sites, including YouTube, Tumblr, Foursquare, and Facebook.

Twitter users nominate six finalists in each award category, and a panel of expert and celebrity judges choose winners. An awards ceremony is held each spring and streamed live on the official website. Each award recognizes the entire body of work of the content creator, rather than an individual tweet or post. A 2012 Forbes magazine article about the awards commented: "The Shortys recognize that social media is about more than who can get the most followers ... we are creating millions of pieces of new writing that will define our generation. ... These writings ... are creating our history of record."[3]

First Annual Awards[edit]

The awards were created in 2008 by tech entrepreneurs Greg Galant, Adam Varga, and Lee Semel of Sawhorse Media.[4][5] They invited Twitter account holders to nominate the best twitterers in general categories such as humor, news, food, and design.[6] Winners were chosen by more than 30,000 twitterers during the voting period.[4] The founders of Twitter first heard about the awards after the contest had gotten underway, and expressed support for it.[4]

The first Shorty Awards ceremony was held on February 11, 2009, at the Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn, New York. Approximately 300 people attended the event.[7] The event was hosted by CNN anchor Rick Sanchez and featured in-person guest appearances by prominent Twitter users MC Hammer and Gary Vaynerchuk and a video appearance by Shaquille O'Neal.[8][9] The awards, which were voted on by Twitter users, were distributed in 26 categories.[4] At the ceremony, the true identity of advertising category winner @PeggyOlson was revealed to be Carri Bugbee, owner of the public relations company Big Deal PR in Portland, Oregon.[10]

2009 Winners By Category[edit]

Advertising: Peggy Olson, @PeggyOlson[11]
Apps: brightkit, @brightkit
Brand: Action Wipes, @MarthaVan
Business: Paw Luxury, @PawLuxury
Design: Yiying Lu, @yiyinglu
Education: RubyLearning, @RubyLearning
Entertainment: Flashlight Worthy Books, @FLWBooks
Finance: StockTwits, @StockTwits
Food: Foodimentary, @foodimentary
Green: Green Moms Carnival, @greenmoms
Health: Debra Wendler, @ADHDParenting
Humor: Charles Trippy, @charlestrippy
Music: Hunter Burgan, @tranquilmammoth
News: BNO News, @BreakingNewsOn
Nonprofits: Athletes for a Cure, @athletes4acure
Personal: Arleen Boyd, @AlohaArleen
Photography: Kyle Reese, @Twipphoto
Politics: Justin Hart, @justin_hart
Science: NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander, @MarsPhoenix
Social Media: Dan Zarrella, @danzarrella
Sports: Jackie, @girlwithnoname
Startups: Hanniversary, @hanniversary
Tech: Twitter Tips, @Twitter_Tips
Travel: Cruise Source, @cruisesource
Video Games: Justin McElroy, @justinmcelroy
Weird: Martin Sargent, @martinsargent

Second Annual Awards[edit]

Voting for the second Shorty Awards opened on January 5, 2010, in 26 official categories. A Real-Time Photo of the Year category was added to the list of official categories for the first time, recognizing the best photo posted to services such as Twitpic, Yfrog, or Facebook.[12][13]

The second Shorty Awards competition introduced a panel of judges called the Real-Time Academy of Short Form Arts & Sciences whose members were Craig Newmark, David Pogue, Kurt Andersen, Caterina Fake, Joi Ito, Frank Moss, Alberto Ibargüen, Sreenath Sreenivasan, MC Hammer, Alyssa Milano and Jimmy Wales. After public nominations determined the finalists, the Academy decided on the winners.

Winners were announced at a ceremony held in the Times Center in The New York Times building in Manhattan, and were streamed online. The ceremony was hosted by CNN anchor Rick Sanchez, who presented awards in the official categories as well as the newly added Real-Time Photo of the Year and a special humanitarian award.[14]

2010 Winners By Category[edit]

Advertising: Frank Adman, @FrankAdman[12]
Apps: TweetDeck, @TweetDeck
Art: deviantART, @deviantART
Brand (Tie): Whole Foods, @WholeFoods
Brand (Tie): Sesame Street, @sesamestreet
Celebrity: Nathan Fillion, @NathanFillion
Cultural Institution (Tie): Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, @lewisginter
Cultural Institution (Tie): Reduced Shakespeare Company, @reduced
Customer Service: Bonnie Smalley, @ComcastBonnie
Design: Smashing Magazine, @smashingmag
Entertainment: True Blood HBO, @TrueBloodHBO
Finance: The Suze Orman Show, @SuzeOrmanShow
Food: Foodimentary, @Foodimentary
Government: Cory Booker, @CoryBooker
Health: Rachael Dunlop, @DrRachie
Humor (Tie): Mrs. Stephen Fry, @MrsStephenFry
Humor (Tie): David Thorne, @27bslash6
Innovation: Betty Draper, @BettyDraper
Literature: Arjun Basu, @arjunbasu
Journalist (Tie): William Bonner, @realwbonner
Journalist (Tie): Rachel Maddow, @maddow
Music (Tie): Ivete Sangalo, @ivetesangalo
Music (Tie): Ted Leo, @tedleo
News: The Diane Rehm Show, @drshow
Nonprofit: TWLOHA, @TWLOHA
Politics: The Nation, @thenation
Science: Jen Scheer, @flyingjenny
Sports: Bill Simmons, @sportsguy33
Tech: Soldier Knows Best, @SoldierKnowBest
Travel: Twitchhiker, @twitchhiker
Weird: The Llama, @DoWhatITellYou

Special Awards[edit]

Real-Time Photo of the Year: Janis Krums, @jkrums for "Plane on the Hudson"
Special Humanitarian Award: Carel Pedre, @carelpedre

Third Annual Awards[edit]

The nomination period for the third annual Shorty Awards opened in January, 2011, and ran through February 11, 2011, except for new categories that had extended nomination deadlines.[15] There were 30 official categories, and five special categories. In addition to Real-Time Photo of the Year, for the first time the awards accepted nominations for Foursquare Mayor of the Year, Foursquare Location of the Year, Microblog of the Year on Tumblr, and a Connecting People award. The awards also introduced new Shorty Industry Awards to recognize the best uses of social media by brands and agencies. A Marketing Jury within the Real-Time Academy of Short Form Arts & Sciences judges the Shorty Industry Awards and determines the winners from among the paid entries.[16] Winners were announced at a ceremony on March 28, 2011, hosted by Aasif Mandvi in the Times Center.[17][18] Other Shorty Awards presenters were scheduled to include Kiefer Sutherland, Jerry Stiller, Anne Meara, Stephen Wallem, Miss USA Rima Fakih, and Miss Teen USA Kamie Crawford.[18]

2011 Winners By Category[edit]

Actor: Neil Patrick Harris, @ActuallyNPH[19][20]
Actress: Stana Katic, @Stana_Katic
Apps: COLOURlovers, @colourlovers
Art: One Stop Poetry, @Onestoppoetry
Author (Tie): Shawn Stewart, @treatwomenright
Author (Tie): John Green, @realjohngreen
Celebrity: Kim Jae Joong, @mjjeje
Charity: The Trevor Project, @trevorproject
Comedian (in conjunction with the New York Comedy Festival): Harrison Greenbaum, @harrisoncomedy[21]
Cultural Institution (Tie): Tyneside Cinema, @tynesidecinema
Cultural Institution (Tie): Science Gallery, @ScienceGallery
Customer Service: Research In Motion, @BlackBerryHelp
Design: Codeorama, @Codeorama
Entertainment: Barney Stinson, @Broslife
Fashion: Ann Li, @thisisannli
Fan Page: Ke$ha Time, @keshastime ; Hey Britney @heybritney
Finance: Slow Money, @SlowMoney
Food: Epic Meal Time, @epicmealtime
Gaming: Adam Montoya, @SeaNanners
Government: Cory Booker, @CoryBooker
Green: Mud Baron, @Cocoxochitl
Humor: The Dark Lord, @Lord_Voldemort7
Innovation: Rene Silva Santos, @Rene_Silva_RJ
Journalist: West Wing Report, @westwingreport
Music: The Jonas Brothers, @JonasBrothers
News (Tie): Lei Seca RJ, @LeiSecaRJ
News (Tie): The Young Turks, @TheYoungTurks
Nurse (Tie): Ronivin Pagtakhan, @ronnievinn
Nurse (Tie): Matthew Browning, @MatthewBrowning
Politics (Tie): Marina Silva, @silva_marina
Politics (Tie): The Bloggess, @TheBloggess
Science: MythBusters, @MythBusters
Social Media Expert: Facts About Boys, @FactsAboutBoys
Sports: New Orleans Saints, @Official_Saints
Tech: Soldier Knows Best, @SoldierKnowBest
Television (Tie): Attack of the Show, @aots
Television (Tie): Sesame Street, @sesamestreet
Travel: JD Andrews, @earthXplorer
Weird (Tie): Alli Trippy @AlliTrippy
Weird (Tie): OMG I do this, too, @omgidothistoo

Special Awards[edit]

Connecting People: Shannon Miller, @shannonmmiller
Real-Time Photo of the Year: Douglas H. Wheelock, @Astro_Wheels for "Moon From Space"
Foursquare Location of the Year: SXSW
Foursquare Mayor of the Year: Baratunde Thurston @baratunde
Microblog of the Year on Tumblr: The Daily What

Fourth Annual Awards[edit]

Winners of the 4th annual Shorty Awards were announced March 27, 2012[22]

Fifth Annual Awards[edit]

Activism: Occupy Wall Street (@OccupyWallStNYC)
Actor: Nathan Fillion (@NathanFillion)
Actress: Tara Strong (@tarastrong)[23]
Apps: Instagram (@Instagram)
Band: Jonas Brothers (@JonasBrothers)
Celebrity: Justin Bieber (@justinbieber)
Charity: Random Acts (@therandomactorg)
Comedian: Jim Norton (@JimNorton), Matt Walker (@funnymatt)
Director: Alfredo Flores (@AlfredoFlores), Katherine Brooks (@thekatbrooks)
FakeAccount: The Fake ESPN (@TheFakeESPN), Dilma Rousseff (@diimabr)
Fansite: Sherlockology (@Sherlockology)
Fashion: Luke Reichle (@redcarpetluke)
Finance: Goldman Sachs Elevator Gossip (@GSElevator)
Food: Epic Meal Time (@EpicMealTime), Mud Baron (@Cocoxochitl)
Gaming: The Sims 3 (@TheSims3)
Government: NASA (@NASA)
Green: Jerry James Stone (@jerryjamesstone)
Humor: Ryan Higa (@TheRealRyanHiga), Christian Beadles (@LittlecBeadles)
Journalist: Andy Carvin (@acarvin)
LifeSavingHero: FDNY (@FDNY)
Music: Justin Bieber (@justinbieber)
Photography: Adam Bouska (@bouska)
Science: Nature News & Comment (@NatureNews)
SocialFitness: Christopher Brisley (@TakeAChallenge)
Sportsteam: Liverpool Football Club (@LFC)
Travel: Charles Trippy (@charlestrippy)
TVShow: Attack of the Show (@aots)
VideoBlogger: Fafa the Groundhog (@FafaGroundhog)
Weather: Andy Gabrielson (@FindTheTornado)
Webshow: Awkward Black Girl (@awkwardblkgrl)
YouTubeStar: Curtis Paradis (@CurtisParadis)
Best Music in Social Media: Demi Lovato (@ddlovato)
Best Branded YouTube Channel: The Visionaire Group: KungFu Panda 2 YouTube Brand Channel
Best Integration of Social Media with Live Television: Viacom (MTV Networks): VMA Twitter Tracker
Best Location-Based Marketing: Walgreens: Check-ins That Make a Difference
Best Overall Brand Presence on Facebook: Nickelodeon: SpongeBob GayPants
Best Overall Brand Presence on Tumblr: BBC America: Doctor Who Tumblr
Best Overall Brand Presence on Twitter: Bob Maron: @CharlieSheen
Best Social Commerce: Viking Range Corporation: Leanne Gault
Best Social Media Campaign for Film: Paramount Pictures: Super 8 Movie - Super 8 Secret
Best Social Media Campaign for Gaming: Promethium Marketing: Discover Your Legacy - Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
Best Social Media Campaign for Television: USA Network: Psych HashTag Killer
Best Social Media Manager: Stephanie Schierholz (@NASA)
Best Use of a Hashtag on Twitter: Bob Maron: @CharlieSheen
Best Use of Facebook in a Campaign: HBO: True Blood “Immortalize Yourself” Facebook Application
Best Use of Foursquare in a Campaign: Walgreens: Check-ins That Make a Difference
Best Use of Game Mechanics (Gamification) in a Social Media Campaign: Nickelodeon’s ‘Kids’ Choice Awards 2011’
Best Use of Social Media for a Consumer Product or Service: 360i: Dentyne Safe Breath Alliance
Best Use of Social Media for Customer Service: Research in Motion: Support At The Scale of BlackBerry
Best Use of Social Media for News: CNN Worldwide: The Global Networks of CNN Dominate on Social Media
Best Use of Social Media for Sports: Major League Baseball: MLB Fan Cave
Best Use of Social Media in a Mobile Campaign: Viacom (MTV Networks): VMA Twitter Tracker for iOS for Verizon
Best Use of Social Media in an Awards Show: Viacom (MTV Networks): 2011 VMAs (Twitter/Tumblr + Twitter Tracker)
Best Use of Social Media In Real Life (“IRL”): Wieden + Kennedy & Digital Kitchen: Dodge Journey - The Search Engine for the Real World
Best Use of Twitter Ad Platform: Edelman: Volkswagen’s All-New 2012 Beetle Launch
Best Use of the Twitter in a Campaign: 9/11 Commemoration
Best Use of Video in a Social Media Campaign: CNN Worldwide: The Royal Wedding of William & Kate; Group SJR: TED - Ideas Worth Spreading
Best Viral Campaign: BuzzFeed: Schick Xtreme 3 Razorbombing, Walgreens: Check-ins That Make a Difference
Boldest Social Media Campaign of 2011: VH-1: Do Something Awards: Give a Shit!

Special awards[edit]

The Shorty Vox Populi Award: Agnes Monica (@agnezmo)
Quora Answer of the Year (Tie): Matan Shelomi for answering,“If you injure a bug, should you kill it or let it live?
Quora Answer of the Year (Tie): Justin Freeman for answering, “What’s the best way to escape the police in a high-speed car chase?
Foursquare Mayor of the Year: Michael Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg)
Real-Time Photo of the Year (Tie): Stefanie Gordon (@Stefmara) for tweeting a photo of Space Shuttle Endeavour from a commercial airliner
Real-Time Photo of the Year (Tie): Louise Macabitas for the photo “Police Pepper-Spraying UC Davis Students.”
Microblog of the Year on Tumblr: We Are the 99 Percent, created by Christopher Key

2013 winners and finalists by category[edit]

  • Activism winner: AgainstSuicide.[24] Activism finalists: Canal do Otário, Blake Bliss, Everyday Sexism, Above Society and TWITTNICK.
  • Charity winner: Random Acts. Charity finalists: BieberGift, The Echelon House, Hilgos Foundation, BelieveTicketProject and Rumah Indonesia.
  • Fansite winner (Tie): Sherlockology and 1D Updates.Fansite finalists: Team Jonas News, Frases da Kéfera, The Doctor Who Hub and Justin B. Argentina.[25][26]
  • Gaming (tie): Monark (@RandonsPlays); PewDiePie (@PewDiePie)[26]
  • Journalist winner: Sarah Jones (@SarahJReports) [27] Journalist finalists: Ben Swann (@BenSwann), Tim Pool (@Timcast), Jake Adelstein (@jakeadelstein), Steve Herman (@W7VOA), Cher Calvin (@chercalvin) and Anna Therese Day (@AnnaOfArabia)[28]>[29]


  1. ^ "Shorty Award Winners Unveiled in New York City", John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
  2. ^ "Sawhorse Media Team"
  3. ^ Dube, Jon. "Why The Shorty Awards Matter", Forbes, March 26, 2012, accessed February 20, 2013
  4. ^ a b c d Holmes, Elizabeth: "Surviving the Drama of the Twitter Awards", The Wall Street Journal
  5. ^ Neisser, Drew: "How the Shorty Awards Became the Oscars of Social Media", Fast Company
  6. ^ Stone, Brad: "From the Twittersphere: Trophies for the Best Tweets", The New York Times Bits Blog
  7. ^ Otterman, Sharon: "The Scene at the Shorty Twitter Awards: Chatter", The New York Times
  8. ^ Vilensky, Mike: "The Media Is Twittering Away Its Short Time on Earth", New York Magazine
  9. ^ Capistrano, Daniela: "MC Hammer, AFI's Hunter Burgan Celebrate Twitter Mania At Shorty Awards", MTV News
  10. ^ Turnquist, Kristi: "Portland's Carri Bugbee plays Peggy Olson of 'Mad Men' on Twitter", The Oregonian
  11. ^ [1], First Annual Shorty Awards Site, Archived
  12. ^ a b [2], Second Annual Shorty Awards Site, Archived
  13. ^ Bunz, Mercedes: "'Twitter Oscars' open for public votes", The Guardian
  14. ^ Ciarallo, Joe: "In Second Year, Shorty Awards Get A Bit More Formal", Mediabistro
  15. ^ Matheson, Whitney: "The Shorty Awards call for (brief) nominations", USA Today
  16. ^ Haile-Mariam, Sara: "Shorty Awards Extend Submission Date in Honor of Social Media Week", Social Media Week
  17. ^ "Events: The 3rd Annual Shorty Awards", New York Daily News
  18. ^ a b D'Zurilla, Christie: "Kiefer Sutherland enlisted as Shorty Awards presenter", Los Angeles Times
  19. ^ [3], Shorty Awards Site
  20. ^ [4], 2011 Shorty Awards on
  21. ^ "#EmergingComedian finalists on how Twitter has changed their careers". Official Shorty Awards Website. 2011-11-15. Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ Dave Emke (April 29, 2013). "Local teen wins award for anti-suicide work". The Journal. Retrieved January 23, 2015. 
  25. ^ Shea, Danny (February 26, 2013). "HuffPost". Huffington Post. 
  26. ^ a b Ngak, Chenda (9 April 2013). "Shorty Awards 2013 honors Michelle Obama, Jimmy Kimmel". CBS News. Retrieved 30 April 2014. 
  27. ^ "And the winners of the 6th Annual Shorty Awards are…". Shorty Awards. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 
  28. ^ "6TH ANNUAL SHORTY AWARD IN JOURNALIST". Shorty Awards. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 
  29. ^ Ashley Lee (24 February 2014). "Justin Bieber, Lena Dunham, Jimmy Fallon Among Shorty Awards Finalists (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 

External links[edit]