Now entering its 12th year, the Webby Awards decided to mark the event by highlighting 12 of the most “important, influential and beloved online videos of all-time.” Trying to reduce over a decade’s worth of content into 12 clips is no easy task, and overall, the for-profit awards ceremony that celebrates internet excellence made some great decisions.
Yes, "Narnia Rap" showed major media companies that there was value in YouTube, the "Star Wards Kid" taught us that fame isn’t always intentional, and Lonelygirl15 (Tilzy.TV page) proved that internet television could be just as engaging as programming on traditional TV.
These and the other nine selections are all well and good, but there’s a set of other obvious choices that the Webby’s overlooked.
Whether you think its good, bad, ridiculous, or all three, this fourth video effort from the comedy duo hailing from Carmichael, California both defined and embodied the term “user-generated content.” It also got Smosh a ton of press and even more views. From the time it was posted in November 2005, until it was removed due to a DMCA takedown notice in June 2007, the clip had been seen over 24 million times on YouTube alone.
If you ask 10 online content producers what influenced them to start creating shows on the web, 9 of them will tell you “Rocketboom.” The show has consistently produced quality, daily episodes for over three years since its beginnings in October 2004, spawned a number of niche off-shoots and imitators (including WallStrip, BoingBoing TV, Webb Alert, and Mahalo Daily), and inspired a number of would-be web video creators to say, “Hey, I can do that, too!”
Since November 2005, Brian Conley has been rethinking and revolutionizing how the world should obtain its news. Through Alive in Baghdad he’s shown the importance of citizen journalism and the power of having locals report local news.
An honorable mention could also be given to Man and Wife TV (Tilzy.TV page), the first internet series picked up by a major television network. But its episodes have yet to see air time on MTV, so it’s no "influential video success story" just yet.