WebMedia scoops European prize

Auckland developer WebMedia has beat out entrants from 40 countries to win the overall prize in the European Multimedia Association's EMMA Awards.

Auckland developer WebMedia has beat out entrants from 40 countries to win the overall prize in the European Multimedia Association's EMMA Awards.

WebMedia won the EMMA Gold Award of Excellence for its own WM3 website.

WM3 also won the awards' online marketing and advertising category – beating big-budget European projects for Mercedes and Helena Rubenstein. The site it recently completed for the Asian pop music venture Gogo.com won the EMMAs online music prize.

The EMMA judges said WM3 boasted "a spectacularly engaging interface with dynamic on-the-fly content generation. It contains stunning graphics, is compelling, engaging, fresh, and provocative."

They said it was "highly informative for both the web development and marketing information with brilliant content and visual convergence."

The judges in the music category said the Gogo.com site was "high impact with a functional interface. The visual/audio effects were spectacular in accomplishing the purpose."

WebMedia CEO Glenn Harding says he is particularly pleased to have won the marketing award with a site WebMedia created for its own purposes.

He says WM3 is largely a recruitment site, "addressed to our peers, rather than corporate clients. I think the win shows that there's commonality out there – you can build sites in New Zealand and Asia and have them understood in Europe. It's proof of concept for globalisation. And it's an endorsement of what we've been saying about the standard of work in New Zealand."

Categories were judged in Amsterdam by a 40-strong international jury. Jury chairman and executive director of the EMMA Foundation Roderic Leigh says 2000 "has proved a groundbreaking year for the EMMAs. They now have the widest reach of any digital media award event. We have confirmed our mission to encourage the creative, technical and professional development of the industry on a world-wide basis. In the end it's about making our business a better place to be - by rewarding quality and innovation and sharing insights and experience with like-minded professionals."

WebMedia co-founder Steve Hill and R&D director Ken Newell travelled to Amsterdam to join the judging panel. They were not allowed to judge categories in which they were entered, but Newell says he "came back so encouraged" by what he saw.

"Looking at other work made me realise that the attention to detail, QA and presentation we incorporated into our entries were by no means the rule. We sometimes make the mistake of thinking we can't compete in New Zealand, but we absolutely can."

The EMMA success follows WebMedia's recent overall win in the Interactive New Zealand awards, also for WM3.

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