Petanque.org was nominated in the category 'Best Sports Reporting' in the prestigeous 2000 Europeean Online Journalism Awards. An award focusing on the combination internet technology and journalism and storytelling. Both excellent journalistic work and innovative use of technology was the main criterias used by the jury.
When we submitted Petanque.org to the competition we did not expect to come in considderation for a prize at all. To our big surprise we got this mail from Millverton Wallace in Net-Media in the end of June:
The shortlists for the European Online Journalism Awards have been completed. This note is to inform you that Petanque.org has been shortlisted in the following categories: Sports reporting for your entry : ("Petanque.org - The worldwide online petanque and boule community ') We will be isssuing a press release on Monday. The presentation ceremony for the awards will take place on 6th July at 7.00pm (the first day of NetMedia 2000). Venue: Oliver Thompson Lecture Theatre City University,Northampton Square, London EC1. All persons who've contributed to the production of the shortlisted entries are invited to the ceremony. Please send me their names and job titles as well as those of other management personnel who may wish to attend.
Well, after some confusing minutes we understood the fact that shortlisting means nomination. An the other nominees were The Official 2000 Europeean football championship website (www.euro2000.org), and BBC Sports Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport/default.stm). So here goes three internet junkies and petanque players with no budget (other than their own savings) and gets a nomination in 'Best Sports Reporting' where the competitors have million dollar budgets. Confused?
We had to have several brainstorms before we understood som of the mechanisms working here. You'll probably have som difficulties figuring it out yourself.
The official Petanque.org explanation
The internet is full of communities like Petanque.org. Fortunately we at Petanque.org share a passion for both internet and petanque. The combination of wanting to give the petanque players worldwide the best service, and a constant strive for cutting-edge use of internet technology actually made it. We use our knowledge about technology, communication, information systems and the internet to give the world of petanque players the opportunity to communicate and interact with eachother.
The journalist says
When we asked Milverton Wallace for an explanation, he gives the following comments:
Primarly the petanque.org site uses internet technology to give people who play petanque a very useable service. It is also very informative for those never have heard about the game. Me myself didn't know that a lot of people play petanque in Great Britain. The service has a lot lot of useful information, but the best part is the way that it is told. Journalism is all about telling stories, this is where the site scores.
When we ask Wallace what he tought about the budget difference between Petanque.org and the two other nominees he says:
Well this shows that you can do things if you want to. Online journalism isn't about fancy design and million budgets, it is as I said about storytelling. The Petanque.org site scores one a simple but easy interface, and the fact that you manage to give the users what they want and what you feel that they need.
So when it comes Petanque.org, we have succeded in a way few us even dreamed of when we started up two years ago. One thing is for shure: We'll give it a second shot next year.
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The world wide petanque and boule community, by and for users.