The Streamy Awards2008 was the year that web television finally came into its own. Watch streaming video over the internet (even just a few years ago) used to be an exercise in tenacity, filled with buffering errors, server timeouts and user profanity. I remember cursing out my shaky internet connection to get through early Rocketboom episodes or choppy Yacht Rock clips. But things have changed in the past five years, and today millions of people all over the world are streaming countless hours of web video every second.

It’s finally time to recognize web series and the people behind them with an awards show dedicated to this thriving creative community. So today we are announcing that Tubefilter has teamed up with some of the leading web video publications, NewTeeVee and Tilzy.TV, to co-host the 1st Annual Streamy Awards.

This will be the the first awards program of it kind to recognize web series—everything from scripted comedy, drama, reality, political, hosted—and the creative talent both in front and behind the camera. And the best part, there’s no charge at all (it’s free) to be nominated. Here’s how it works.

Nominations and Voting

Anyone can nominate their favorite web series, stars and creators starting today at Streamys.org in any of the 25 award categories. From the nominations, an independent non-profit organization called the International Academy of Web Television (IAWTV), will select the final nominees in each category. The most-nominated entries in each category will automatically be one of the final five nominees. There’s also an Audience Choice Awards that will go to the web series (of any format) that receives the greatest number of public votes. The winners will be announced live at the 2009 Streamy Awards Ceremony held in Los Angeles on March 28, 2009.

Award Categories

Overall:
Best Dramatic Web Series
Best Comedy Web Series
Best Hosted Web Series
Best News/Politics Web Series
Best Reality Web Series
Audience Choice Award

Directing:
Best Directing for a Comedy Series
Best Directing for a Dramatic Series

Writing:
Best Writing for a Comedy Series
Best Writing for a Dramatic Series

Acting:
Best Male Actor In a Comedy Series
Best Female Actor In a Comedy Series
Best Male Actor In a Dramatic Series
Best Female Actor In a Dramatic Series
Best Ensemble Cast
Best Guest Star In a Web Series

Hosting:
Best Web Series Host

Technical Awards:
Best Cinematography
Best Editing
Best Art Direction
Best Visual Effects
Best Animation
Best Original Music

Special Awards:
Visionary Award (honoring significant achievements web TV)
Best Ad Integration in a Web Series
Best Artistic Concept in a Web Series

Important Dates

December 19, 2008: Nominations open (today)
January 23, 2009: Nominations close
March 9, 2009: Audience Choice Finalists Announced
Second week of March: Final Nominees Announced
March 28, 2009: The Streamy Awards Ceremony in Los Angeles, CA

Since the Awards will honor achievements in 2008, eligible web series must have at least three installments released at some point in 2008 to qualify. And if you’re a web series creator, make sure you grab a Streamy Awards badge to encourage fans to nominate your series.

Inaugural sponsors for the Streamys include Blip.tv and TubeMogul, with more to be announced soon.