At the Oscars this year, the organisers have requested the nominees to prepare two speeches and keep the longer one for later. The shorter one is what they will be called upon to make when they strut up on stage to smile their smiles, cry their tears and pick up their awards. Did they take a cue from the Shorties? And will my favourite nominee, Christoph Waltz, have something pithy to say on stage when he goes up to receive his award? (There’s no doubt in my mind he’ll do both.)
Maybe his acceptance speech will be so brilliant and succinct it might win a Shorty next year. But for that to happen, Mr Waltz will have to keep it down to less than 140 characters and pick up many more followers. Now you know what the Shorty Awards were given away for in a gala celebration at the Times Center in New York City on the night of 3 March 2010 (I was there, in spirit).
The Shorty Awards are like the Oscars of Twitter. They honour the people with the best, wittiest and most engaging tweets in categories that range from serious ones like government, health and politics to pastimes like music, culture, celebrities and the weird. In all, there are 26 official categories.
The awards are determined by a combination of popular vote and the members of Real-Time Academy of Shortform Arts and Sciences. The judges include heavyweights like MIT Media Lab’s director Frank Moss, president and CEO of the Knight Foundation, Alberto Ibargüen, and CEO of Creative Commons, Joi Ito. Much like in other prestigious award shows, The Shorties will be unveiled only at the awards ceremony. To vote or be voted for, you need a valid, active and public Twitter account. Campaigning is, as always, necessary to win a Shorty. My guess is that it’s only a matter of time before an Indian tweets, campaigns and votes her way to a Shorty next year.
PS: If you’d like to nominate me, my page is http://twitter.com/Armchairexpert. Jokes apart, is there an Indian on Twitter good enough to win a Shorty? Chetan Bhagat, Shashi Tharoor, Vir Sanghvi, Shah Rukh Khan, Karan Johar… you tell me.