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.

Share Your Reflection



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. jehars@optonline.net

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.

Many faiths, one welcome webby.

Oh my God! Thank You!

Full, rich, spiritual human interactions.

happiness comes from few desires

Knowledge speaks but Wisdom listens

together, searching, discovering, sharing, learning.

Five words or less: Faith's questions trump Reason's answers

Hearts hearing and heard here.

God does roll dice <pause> sometimes.</pause>

Trent the man!

"We love what we do - thanks."
or "Thanks for honoring our passion."
or "Our work is our passion."
"Our passion created this. Thanks."

Join conversations among open minds.
(I love your show)

Faith moves mountains -- look out!

Traveling hopefully is better than arriving.

Inspired by Robert Frost's poem below, my suggestion for your webby acceptance speach:
Glows there a website that wonders.

“Breathes there a bard who isn’t moved
When he finds his verse is understood
And not entirely disapproved
By his Country and his Neighborhood!” Robert Frost, 1961

five words: Five words are not enough

Sharing mystery, wonder, joy: thanks.

You've got to have "Faith!"


Five words are not enough

You've got to have "Faith!"

You've got to have "Faith!"

Your contributions are extraordinary!

Faith And Intellect Together Harmoniously

five words: our gods weave the web

My 5 word acceptance suggestion for your webbie is as follows:

"Wow, wow, wow! Thank you!"

Congratulations. What an extraordinary gift this program is.

Bob McNulty

Beyond answers are the questions

5 words; Enlightening "This Side Up" peaceably

Love your show. Thanks for being there.

"We Warmly Welcome Webby Win"

5 word acceptance: We could say more...but....
Imagine my gratitude this moment

Thanks. Hopefully, we'll be baaaaccccckkkkkkk!

Revised submission: Glows a website that wonders.
Jim Mc

5-word acceptance speech inspired by today's program w/ John Polkinghorne (elegantly simple)

L = GQ2 (squared)
God's Quirky Quarks = Life

Acceptance speech: Our barbaric yawp was heard.

And this audience might know Whitman!

Congratulations on a fine show and a much-deserved recognition.

Being here demonstrates being here. That phrase might reflect the depth of SoF online.

Brilliance Equals Brevity Squared

Faith meets technology. Understanding ensues.

I'm not interested in winning anything (or, at least, not Everything), so I figured I'd put in this (although I had to do some brutal pruning to get it down to five words, so its probably not eligible ... [enough, Ambrose]. OK.

"shockwalker: rainless wind of lightening"

Possibilities for five word acceptance speech (for well-deserved award!!!!):

Direct to soul through mind

From mind to soul

Revealing truths for peaceful mind

Peace of mind through revelations

*****Unfolding truths: peacefulness for soul

Peace in Soul from Truths
Peacefulness of soul from wisdom
Revealing truths: peace of mind


Certainly God rejoices and laughs.

Faith And Intelligence Together Harmoniously

SOF in five words.

"God Works in Web Ways" is my submission for the 5 word thank you/acknowledgement of winning a webbie, congrats!

disillusionment enlightens gradually

I heard on a recent podcast you're soliciting 5-word acceptance speeches for the upcoming Webby Awards. If it's not too late, here's one thought ...


Great show and podcast - I've very much enjoyed listening to these over the past year!

Take care, and congratulations!

Best show ever. Looking forward to its continued success. Here's my 5 word suggestion:

Together we communicate, understand, evolve

Best show ever. Looking forward to its continued success and broadcast. Here's my 5 word suggestion:

Together we communicate, understand, evolve

Without Faith, we are speechless.

My 5 words definitely would have to be, simply: "Faith Received what it Believes!!"

My 5 words would definitely have to be: Faith Receives what it Believes!!

How about:
First conversation, understanding, then mercy

Conversation, next understanding, then mercy.

Two suggestions for five word acceptance sppech for your well-deserved win abd fine programming:

Real religion is love expressed.
Speaking of Faith expresses love.

Thanks for all your good conversations.

Two suggestions for your five word acceptance speech for your well deserved Webby win:

Real religion is love expressed.
Speaking of faith expresses love.

Thanks for your thoughtful conversations.



My suggestion:

This award raises our spirits.

(pun intended)

2 suggestions for accepting your well deserved Webby:

Real religion is love expressed.

Speaking of Faith expresses love.

Congratulations! Your thoughtful conversations are true winners.

--Jim Williamson

Faithfully speaking, humble, honor, accept

My suggestion for the Webby acceptance speach:

G-d moves in mysterious ways.

acceptance is "won" by all
we have all won today
In gratitude, we all accept

we actually can thank god

We can't believe it! Thanks!

E=MC squared.

where E is elegance or eloquance
M is media
C is creativity squared (a very large number)

Perhaps not very original but:

"Thank God and thank you"

My suggestion:

Mysterious divine, online. Thank you.

Previously, I submitted: "We can't believe it! Thanks!"

But ... to really savor your time at the podium ... you might prefer: "We cannot believe this! Thanks!"

"We'd like to thank God."