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As the Net Visionary Awards deadline approaches, we speak to Social Media sponsor, Blacknight

Irish Internet Association's (IIA) Net Visionary Awards
Irish Internet Association's (IIA) Net Visionary Awards
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Nominations for one of Ireland’s old digital media awards, the Irish Internet Association’s (IIA) Net Visionary Awards, ends this Friday (July 29) and as the deadline approaches more details about the awards are being released.

Irish Internet Association's (IIA) Net Visionary Awards

This year they have added a few new awards, such as the Social Contribution, Best Rookie, Best Cloud Service, Best Breakthrough ‘Brick to Click’, and Best Open Data Initiative awards.  Although we have to say we are disappointed to see some awards removed from the line-up.  The Best Online Financial Service, Best Business Blogger, Best Business Video and Podcasting and Online Tourism Awards have all been removed.

Content has been thoroughly demoted this year with the removal of the Best Journalist, Best Business Blogger, and Best Business Video and Postcasting Awards.  This is especially disappointing considering the launch of The Journal late last year gave a much need boost to Irish journalism, while the closure of the Irish Blog Awards in March means Irish bloggers now have no awards ceremony of their own.

But returning to the awards in question, this year’s Net Visionary Award categories are;

  • Social Contribution
  • Best Rookie
  • Best Cloud Service
  • Best Breakthrough Brick to Click
  • Best in Digital Marketing
  • Best Open Data Initiative
  • Best Web Developer
  • Best Web Design
  • Internet Start-up
  • Best Mobile App Developer
  • Innovation Award
  • eGovernment Award
  • Best Use of Social Media
  • Best Online Trader

Nominations to these categories can be made on the Irish Internet Association’s website before Friday’s deadline and the winners will be chosen by a panel of six judges, John Beck, MD of PillarProjects; Dylan Collins, Founder of Jolt Online Games; Michelle Daly,Social Media Manager at Paddy Power;  Joe Drumgoole, Digital Entrepreneur; Donal McGuinness, CEO of Zapa Technologies; and Amy Neale, representing the National Digital Research Centre.  The winner of the top prize, The Overall Net Visionary, will be decided on by IIA’s Board of Directors, which includes representatives of Microsoft, RelEx, and Elucidate.

With the launch of Damien Mulley’s Social Media Awards earlier this year no category will be as hotly contested as the Best Use of Social Media Award.  And in a slight turn around, last year’s winner, Blacknight Solutions, will be sponsoring the category this year.  We asked Blacknight’s CEO, Michele Neylon, if he believed Irish companies have been successful in using social media as a promotional tool and if Irish businesses compare well to internationally, he said;

“I think some companies have truly embraced social media and are doing as good a job when compared with their international peers. Unfortunately, however, there are still a lot of companies that aren’t actually engaging, but are trying to use it in much the same way as the more traditional media. The Irish market is very small so it’s very hard to draw “fair” comparisons with the bigger markets such as the UK or US.

“Having said that, however, social media is a wonderful leveler – a small company that truly adopts it as part of their marketing and communication strategy can have as much impact as companies that are far, far bigger. Ultimately, even the really big companies can and do get it wrong as well, so it’s a pretty level playing field for now.

“If you look at the breadth of organisations and people that were nominated at the social media awards a few months ago it’s a good indicator of how different types of organisations have been able to adopt social media and using it to improve their relations with the public.”

We’ll have more when the winners are announced in Dublin’s National Gallery come September 30.

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Piers Dillon Scott
Piers Dillon-Scott is co-editor of The Sociable and writes about stuff he finds. He likes technology, media, and using the Oxford comma (because it just makes sense).