My Debbie Downer take on the Shorties

Woody Allen has been famously unimpressed by awards shows. This past Oscar season he said, “I have no regard for that kind of ceremony. I just don’t think they know what they’re doing. When you see who wins those things — or who doesn’t win them — you can see how meaningless this Oscar thing is. … I know it sounds terrible, but winning that Oscar for ANNIE HALL didn’t mean anything to me.” And that’s how I feel about The Shorty Awards.

The Shorties began in 2008 as a way to award people within the digital space and honor their online work, products, and influence or something like that. To be honest I’ve never been able to figure it out because it’s an awards show with a category for everything and everyone. Seriously. Some of the categories include “Anything Goes” and “Weird.” I’m down all the time for anything that fits either of those two categories all the time, but where do you draw the line? They might as well have a category called “The Internet.” There is also a “fake account” award, although this should be given without question to the Twitter spam account @horse_ebooks whose pithy tweets fall somewhere in between nonsensical and introspectively genius. Its tweets have earned it quite a fan following online (bonus link: turn any website into horse_ebooks with this bookmarklet).

On the other hand, it’s still good to see genuine people and artists out there getting recognition from an event that does attract mainstream press and buzz. In particular, the Shorties shines a positive spotlight on Asian American entertainers for whom web platforms have been a blossoming experience. The New York Times last year touched on this subject and mentioned that “[of] the 20 most-subscribed-to channels on YouTube…three belong to Asian-Americans” including Ryan Higa whose YouTube channel has over 5 million subscribers and whose videos have accumulated over a billion views total. He’s a nominee for Best YouTube Star for this year’s Shorties. I was also personally stoked to see Legaci, an Asian American R&B group, and Domtainment, a pretty hilarious comedy group (big fan of their thug suburbia rap “Straight Outta Dunwoody“), also being nominated in the same YouTube category.

In the meantime, be sure to nominate me next year for the category “Grumpy Old Man Blogger.” You’ll find me as a recluse in one of the cabins featured at Free Cabin Porn, my favorite Tumblr and vote for Best Tumblr for the Shorties.