Emily at EURid Web Awards 2018 with Sally Bundock BBC Business News Correspondence
EURid’s .eu Web Awards are a highlight in my calendar each year. The awards recognise the leading websites under the .eu top level domain across five categories, and the awards ceremony is always brilliant fun.
I’m proud to chair the jury – a great collection of colleagues, the majority of whom are women. Lise Fuhr of ETNO is a well-respected figure in the Danish and international internet governance community. In her previous role leading the .dk registry, Lise co-chaired a key working group responsible for the transition of the root database IANA from the US government to the ICANN community’s oversight. Maria Rosa Gibellini of the European Internet Foundation provides liaison between the internet community and MEPs. Anne-Marie Eklund-Löwinder of the Swedish .se registry is a leading figure in promoting DNS security protocols and is a key-holder for the signed DNS root. Mark McFadden is a security and policy expert, with many years’ experience in standards development through the Internet Engineering Task Force, and the International Telecommunications Union.
Each year the short-listed websites are inspirational and beautiful. But there’s more to a good site than striking visuals. Site need to be coherent, with clear, consistent navigation so that the user intuitively knows what to do. The content of the site is also important - words, pictures, use of rich media - all these aspects help users to understand and engage. Sites also need to have good accessibility for those with disabilities (the same technologies also enable faster loading times, reducing the environmental impact of rendering a web-page) or those who are viewing a site on a mobile. The jury also reviews the cybersecurity of each short-listed site - is it jumping up automatically to HTTPS? As you would expect from EURid, the .eu registry, which supports the 24 official languages of the EU, sites which are available in more than one language are also appreciated by the jury.
Held at the Théàtre de Vaudeville in downtown Brussels, the gala event was organised by EURid’s Giovanni Seppia, who brings a sense of glamour and retro-excitement that’s not usually the hallmark of technical industry events. Last year’s entertainment was provided by the 1990s boy band Blue – all growed up now – and Hungarian pianist Kavasi. The awards were hosted by BBC World Business anchor, Sally Bundock.
Among the winners were a Lithuanian marketing company, a European project supporting future and emerging technologies, a smart cities project, a Brussel-based skin-care company, and a Greek cheese manufacturer. Social Europe impressed the jury with its incredibly rich and high quality content, focused on strengthening democracy through high quality policy discussions.
Macty.eu carried off a special award for technological innovation and gender. You can upload an image of garment, and the AI will find you similar items. Another favourite with the jury was Dodoni, the Greek cheese company which had mouth-watering pictures and great recipes, as well as a cute walking sheep icon!
For the winners, this isn’t just about getting a nice trophy and a good meal. EURid provides each winner with a high value advertising space at Brussels airport as well as a professionally-shot promotional video.
As a woman in a male-dominated industry, it was great to see so many women among the winners, from across business, journalism, and researchers.
I’m looking forward to chairing the .eu Web Awards jury again in 2019.
Emily Taylor is the CEO of Oxford Information Labs. She is an Associate Fellow of Chatham House and is the Editor of the Journal of Cyber Policy and co-founder of ICANN accredited registrar, Oxford Information Labs.
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