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Just as we were getting used to our Peabody success, we learned we won a Webby Award — yes, the “Oscars of the Internet” — for our site. Our fellow nominees included some heavyweights we think highly of: BBC Religion & Ethics, NPR’s This I Believe, Beliefnet, and Faith & Values Media’s Youthroots (our former underwriter).

There’s electricity in the air and Kate won’t stop buying food, everything from bagels and five tubs of cream cheese to yogurt-covered pretzels and cinnamon gummy sombreros. She said she would eat her hat if we won both awards in the same year… and so she did. ;)

In 2005, we were the first public radio program to win a Webby. Back then, it was more of a one-man show trying to create and expand an online identity for a burgeoning radio program with unbelievable content and an unrepresentative site: small images, swooping lines, baroque hues of gold and red with a visiomaticized (great term from Tufte) navigation scheme (Would you like to see a snapshot?). My intent was to defy those uninformed stereotypes, break the rules on image size and quality, bring a human perspective, and create content that paralleled the depth people were hearing on the radio.

In 2008, we have a different story to tell. The staff mindset has shifted and stepped up in unbelievable ways and contributed significantly to the effort — through blog posts, writing particulars, producing multimedia elements, etc. — a true group effort:

  • Krista writes a weekly essay exclusively for online use and even blogs on occasion. (I’m working on this busy professional to post more with less, but she always has so much to say that’s worthwhile.)
  • Kate is a blogging wunderkind who’s armed with an iPhone. She’s got the camera mastered. Now we need to put her vocabulary arsenal and vivacious sass to work and begin “tweeting/twittering” (look for that later this year *fingers crossed*).
  • Mitch, well, this guy does it all: accommodates my video requests, blogs, creates best-of playlists, produces narrated slideshows, you name it.
  • Colleen does more quietly and thinks in online ways from the get-go. Her interview with a choral director for a multimedia piece on the marginalia on Bach’s Bible is fascinating, along with her putting John O’Donohue’s reading of a poem to pictures. She blogs from the inside and from the outside (see post about her doggy Oban). The list goes on…
  • Shiraz and Rob are relatively new staff members, but these young whippersnappers (How old am I?) have already posted some incredible material. Shiraz blogs the news, religious conventions, and sci-fi like nobody’s business — not to mention recently producing a wonderful audio slideshow of black belts mastering acts of kindness in the ultimate test of skill. Rob is the Cliff Clavin of SOF. He has an uncanny ability to take disparate facts and little-known trivia and weave meaningful blog posts (cue entries on Mr. Rogers and the personality of numbers) and interesting anecdotes in each week’s annotated guide to the program.
  • Andy, the latest staffing addition. He’s only been on staff six weeks but has had a major impact in subtle and dramatic ways. He’s finally got our free transcripts to print within the margins — important indeed — and coded a dynamic mapping application that gives voice to hundreds of Catholic stories that would have otherwise been silenced in a database. It continues to grow.
  • And, even our interns have stepped up: Anna was the first production intern to contribute, and Alda has become a blogging regular, as well as a compiler of links and resources for each week’s program.

Honestly, we didn’t think we would win. We appreciate that our graphic design and navigation paired with our content was recognized as something special. Hoka-hey!

*UPDATE: Seki reminded me in the comments section about an idea we had. The beauty of the Webby Awards is that each winner can give a speech no longer than five words. I botched it last time, so I’m counting on you to make us look good, clever, intelligent… Add a comment to this post and the staff will select one of your suggestions to be spoken loud and proud at the Webby Gala on June 10 in NYC. This should be good.

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Inquiring minds want to know... what 5 words were used for the acceptance speech?

seki -- thanks for reminding me that I wanted to call out to our listeners and readers for their five words. Last time, I totally choked... and uttered six words (oh, the shame!): "Support your local public radio station." What have you got for us?

I'm going to update this post and write a new entry calling out for your best shots. Muchos gracias.

Hey all at SOF, congratulations! I got a few folk from this side of the Atlantic to vote too. Devoted BBC listeners all of us, we nonetheless abandoned local radio (for me BBC 4) for better Radio (SoF)... You deserve it all... hope the celebrations are mighty! Pádraig (Belfast, N. Ireland)

Thanks for the kudos and the petitioning. Although we came up short in the vote for the People's Voice Webby, the judging panel (even David Bowie) recognized our work. As you may know, Krista is a huge fan of the BBC (lots of radio dramas methinks) and I tend to steer more toward their forward-thinking, experimental online initiatives. They have some great blogs about their work.

Five words or less: Ha! In your face Beliefnet!

Please accept our heartfelt gratitude.

You are everything to me.

five words to accept: spirit fills hearts with thanks

I have two suggestions -

spanning the spectrum of belief

unconditional intellectual philosophical spiritually soaring

I have two suggestions -

spanning the spectrum of belief

unconditional intellectual philosophical spiritually soaring

''Faith speaks on all matters'

'Spirit matters in genuine matters'

'SoF explores spirit in life'

Peter Challen - no attribution needed

My contribution re. your award; FAITH: Freedom And Insight Through Hearing.

5 words:
Thank you! God nods, too!

Faith, Trust, Hope, Love, Persistence.

We are humbled. Thank you.

We are humbled. Thank you.

Team SoF Happy, Torch Continues

When in doubt, choose belief.

Echoing Sally Fields' gust of pure emotion upon receiving an Oscar, "You Love me ...
[My Five Words] "You really, really Love me!" Thanks SOF for the impact you have!

Speak Faith from your heart.

Speak Faith from your heart.

Speak Faith from the heart

5 words:
It is all about faith.

Mysterious ways, indeed. Good lord!

Here is a suggestion for a Webby acceptance speach:

"You really, really like me!"

Pretty original, dontcha think? : )

One last suggestion:
"Our name says it all!"

Webby 5-word acceptance Haiku:

Speaking, experiencing
Universal we.

Thanks to One and all.

Find good and praise it.

God's imaginary. Joke's on you!

How about, "We also won a Peabody."

A few offerings:

the flip side of doubt

expanding the horizons of truth

it's all about trust, stupid

A few offerings:

the flip side of doubt

expanding the horizons of truth

it's all about trust, stupid

Faith-filled people thank people faithful

Our gratiude abounds with faith.

Circumspection. Communication. Introspection. Faith. Thanx

Hope does not disappoint us.

Speaking of winning Webby-Wow!

funny stuff

Hi, Trent

Love the show. Here's my idea for the acceptance speech:

Faith in Digital Space Rewarded

Love is all there is.

Amen, Chanti, Shalom, Ooma, Amen

Amen, Chanti, Shalom, Ooam, Amen

My 87-year-old mother-in-law and I share a converstion about your show frequently. I think your acceptance speech for your Webbie should be, "We do it for love."

Listening to the podcast, and very grateful for it.

Congratulations on the Webby award.

You said there is a tradition of 5 word acceptance speeches, and asked for suggestions. I have been reading "the Power Of Babel" by John McWhorter, a delightful book about linguistics, and according to the book, there are several languages that pack an entire phrase into one word. Hungarian and Finnish have this property, and there are a few others, but the Inuit languages are the champs. They could pack a whole paragraph into 5 words.

So that's my suggestion, translate it into Inuit!

Here's an example from Wikipedia

I can't hear very well.

This long word is composed of a root word tusaa- - to hear - followed by five suffixes:

-tsiaq- well
-junnaq- be able to
-nngit- not
-tualuu- very much
-junga 1st pers. singular present indicative non-specific

I'd love to know if this works..

Enjoy your show immensely

Or you could do the hula and pantomime it with your hands... "I will Hula it" <10 minute long dance t hanking listeners, voters, staff & crew> "thanks"

I believe in the us.

I'm a faithful (so to speak) listener. Congratulations!

A suggestion for your acceptance speech: "God (or whatever) is great."

Our prayers have been answered.

Two are better than one.