The Obama for America 2012 team picked up another accolade Tuesday: a Webby award for the “breakout of the year.”
The Webbys, which recognize the best on the Web each year, gave its nod to the Obama campaign team for its use of “savvy political and tech genius” in using massive data banks to analyze and target voters across the country.
The campaign’s use of data included information on everything from magazine subscriptions to hunting licenses to evaluate how likely voters were to support their candidate and, as The Washington Post reported, the database itself has become a valuable asset for Democrats.
The Webby award committee — which includes Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, Arianna Huffington and Instagram creator Kevin Systrom — also honored Netflix’s original series, “House of Cards,” which picked up Special Achievement honors to recognize producers Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti and their decision to bring the original drama to the Web.
It was a good year for all kinds of Web video: Jerry Seinfeld picked up a comedic performance Webby for his performance on the Web series “Comedians Getting Coffee,” while Funny or Die won for two videos, “Charlize Theron Gets Hacked” and “The Wire: The Musical.” Justin Bieber also picked up another award for the social media launch of his “Girlfriend” fragrance, and Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe won Athlete of the Year for his outspoken tweets supporting gay marriage.
An unlikely candidate, the Australian rail safety campaign “Dumb Ways to Die” picked up the most Webbys this year with seven awards, including the committee’s and “People’s Voice” award for Best Viral Online Film and Video. People’s Voice awards, unlike the majority of awards, are awarded based on a popular vote.
Google Maps for iPhone also picked up the Webby and People’s Voice award for the “Best Use of GPS or Location Technology” as one of five Webby awards.
Hip-hop artist Frank Ocean also was among those who took top honors at this year’s Webby Awards, earning recognition as the Webby Person of the Year for coming out to his fans on his Tumblr account.
The awards committee said that Ocean’s decision to post a personal letter about his first love on Tumblr challenged “stereotypes historically ingrained in hip-hop and R&B music” and brought those issues into the national spotlight.
“The launch of his debut album ‘Channel Orange’ in parallel with his ‘Letter’ on Tumblr.com was a historic moment for both the music and social media industries, and for popular culture as a whole,” the award committee said.
The award earns Ocean a spot on a list of winners that represent the varied nature of the Web: Bjork, Prince and Al Gore also have won the title in past years.
The Webby Awards, which are noted for their five-word acceptance speeches, will air online at 9 a.m. May 22, in a ceremony hosted by comedian Patton Oswalt.
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