Among this year’s Webby winners: Louis C.K., Bjork, Instagram, and New York’s own tech-loving mayor. Mike Bloomberg will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at next Monday’s ceremonies. And no, it’s not just for helping pull off two tech campuses and serving as cheerleader-in-chief for the city’s startup scene.
In a phone conversation with Betabeat, Webby President David-Michel Davies explained that the award is simply for “the work of a lifetime,” before quickly adding, “I don’t necessarily think that work is over.” We can’t imagine he’s just going to retire after the 2013 race, either.
It does sounds like those ubiquitous terminals are a big part of what earned Hizzoner the award. Said Mr. Davies: “A significant achievement in Mayor Bloomberg’s life is related to technology and certainly, you know, the founding of Bloomberg LP.” He added, “You think about what was happening in the world before 1991, that he imagined a private computer network where he could deliver financial information to help the financial industry make better decisions… it’s quite remarkable.”
So where does this particular winner fit into the grand scheme of Webby honorees? “There’s a recurring theme, which is people and groups and individuals who are using the Internet and the web and technology to further their art or their work.” Hence Louis CK is winning Person of the Year for selling a standup special through his own website, rather than traditional distribution channels, while Bjork will take home Artist of the Year for her use of apps and mobile tech “to express and give life to her music.”
“Mayor Bloomberg, I think, is no different,” said Mr. Davies. “He [used] technology to solve a business problem that he saw in the financial industry and ultimately he really transformed the whole industry because of it.”
Well, he is a little different, unless he’s more adventurous with his fashion choices and a whole lot freer with the profanity we generally give him credit for.
The mayor will appear at the Awards ceremonies, which will be hosted by Patton Oswalt and feature musical guests Passion Pit. Other honerees range from Pinterest to Ryan Gosling. The festivities will be livestreamed at the Webby website.
If the universe is feeling especially benevolent next week, we will be treated to some Gosling-Bloombito banter.