Technology

The Webby Awards: This Year’s Best Sites and Apps

Update: Voting has ended, but it’s still worth checking out the apps and sites below – some of the best of 2014.

It’s almost 20 years since the Webby Awards first burst on the scene as the Internet’s version of the Oscars, and what started as a way to decide on the best websites now also honors mobile apps, games, social media, online film & video and advertising. The Webby Academy has sifted through thousands of entries to come up with shortlists in each category. Now it’s our turn.

While Internet biggies like Arianna Huffington and Tumbl’r founder David Karp determine the official winners, regular Internet users like us get to decide the People’s Voice Award in each category. Voting ends on April 24.

The Internet is our library, our school, our community, movie theater, radio station, art gallery, mailbox, roadmap, playground – and this is is our chance to show what matters to us. So go vote – all you have to do is register, then click through to see the nominated sites/apps, and cast your ballot. It’s a great way to find new and interesting digital experiences.

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Here are Senior Planet’s picks: from the most creative to the most useful, plus entries that add a senior presence to the youth-oriented Internet.

Selfless Portraits This web-based collaborative art project aims “to bridge the gap between technology and humanity by encouraging small, creative gestures between strangers across the globe.” You upload your Facebook profile photo; someone else makes a drawing of your photo; and you make a drawing of another person’s photo. Photographic and drawn portraits for each person are posted on the site side by side. Let’s see some (more) senior faces! Click here to visit the site; click here to vote.

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Map My Retirement Created by Prudential, this website tool calculates the difference that place and lifestyle choices make to retirement costs. Plug in your details, including the kind of activities you imagine doing in your retirement city of choice, and the site spits out your monthly costs in a number of locations for comparison. If the numbers seem high, it’s because inflation is included. Yikes! Click here to visit the site. Click here to vote.

The Alzheimer’s Event Last year, the Dutch Alzheimer’s Foundation had a smart idea for an awareness campaign: They took photos from people’s Facebook timelines, manipulated them and reposted them. Suddenly,  people were seeing themselves tagged in photographs at events that they didn’t remember attending. Watch the video by clicking here. Spooky? Yes. Effective? Definitely. Vote here.

#Let the Run Tell You Why An ad agency was asked to create a campaign in China for Nike, inspiring non-runners to fall in love with the sport. The team picked 74-year-old Mr. Sun, who was denied entry to the marathon due to his age and decided to defy the ban and run anyway. Watch the video below. Vote here.

 

George Takei on Google Glass Shortlisted in the Technology category is George Takei’s “Takei’s Takes,” a series on technology for digital immigrants. Check out Takei on Google Glass here. Vote for the series here.

Curiator Imagine if Pinterest were just for art – no pretty shoes, no baby blankets – just painting, sculpture, photography, etc. That’s what Curiator is. A social sharing site and app, it lets you curate your own virtual art collection, follow other people whose collections interest you, and collect from other people’s feeds. You can also follow guest curators from well known galleries and museums. It’s a good way to learn about art without leaving your computer. Click here to visit the site. Click here to vote.

How to Beat Box Up for your vote in the Education category is TedEd, a TED Talks spinoff that offers original educational video as well as videos that site users have made by adding links and additional text to videos they’ve found on YouTube. Unlike the usual edu sites such as Coursera, TedEd teaches some more offbeat skills and topics – among them beatboxing. Learn how to use just your voice to create instrumental sounds – watch through to the end to see how the real star of the video does it (hint: she’s a lot older than your typical beatboxer). Click here to visit TedEd. Click here to vote.

 

Several of the shortlisted sites and apps that we’re voting for have made appearances on Senior Planet:

“The Pixel Painter,” our Video of the Week about 97-year-old Hal Lazko, who was a typographer and graphic artist until he lost his eyesight. Now he makes beautiful pixel art on the computer. Click here to see the video and read about it on Senior Planet. Click here to vote.

Pandora, the site that lets you create your own “station” for a specific artist or genre – and then feeds you music based on your taste. Click here to read about Pandora and how to use it. Click here to vote.

Swiftkey If you’ve been reading our Aging With Geekitude column, you might know something about Swiftkey – for anyone who touch types, this app makes using a touchscreen keyboard much easier. Click here to read about Swiftkey (and some other great apps). Click here to vote.

“24 Hours of Happy” – the original music video that spawned several senior versions. Click here to see “Happy in the Seniorhood” on Senior Planet. Click here to vote.

AirBnB The hotel alternative, AirBnB connects you to an individual host in the place you’re visiting. Stay in a spare room, or rent someone’s apartment while they gone. Click here to read about it on Senior Planet. Click here to vote.

Voting ends on Thursday 24 – hurry! 

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