A Short History of the Shorty Awards

In less than two months, the Shorty Awards became a social media success story in and of itself.
Fast Company Magazine

Third Annual Shorty Awards

A star-studded group of presenters kicked off the third annual Shorty Awards ceremony at the New York Times Center on March 28, 2011. In a mere three months, 2.5 million unique individuals had visited ShortyAwards.com and tweeted more than 750,000 nominations. The Daily Show’s Aasif Mandvi hosted the whirlwind awards ceremony, which was streamed live and uncensored to an enormous online audience.

Acclaimed actor Kiefer Sutherland, comedian Jim Gaffigan, Miss USA, CNN’s Ali Velshi as well as duo Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara were present to announce the Shorty Award winners in several categories. Celebs that included Neil Patrick Harris and Conan O’Brien created special videos for the show. Performer Amanda Palmer turned the year’s best-known tweets into song.

Outstanding content producers from such social media sites as Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and Tumblr gave short speeches. And for the first time, brands and agencies were honored for their innovative professional work on social media campaigns and marketing.

Second Annual Shorty Awards

For the second ceremony, the Shorty Awards ceremony moved from Brooklyn to Manhattan and took the stage at the New York Times Center on March 3, 2010. Hosted by CNN's Rick Sanchez, winners and special guests at the short and wacky presentation included Cory Booker, William Shatner, Sesame Street's Grover, Ted Leo and Stephen Fry. An audience of over a million visited ShortyAwards.com and a hundred thousand watched the live ceremony online via Livestream and YouTube. While sipping the bourbon cocktail of the night, guests marveled at the upsets, including an appropriately weird Kanye moment in the #weird category.

Watch the full ceremony and video highlights from the event on our blog. The Second Annual Shorty Awards website is archived here.

First Annual Shorty Awards

Started in 2008 by the tech startup Sawhorse Media, the first annual Shorty Awards ceremony was a lively event at the Galapagos Art Space on February 11, 2009 in Brooklyn, New York. CNN anchor Rick Sanchez hosted the event with special guests MC Hammer and Gary Vaynerchuk. A motley crew of winners flew in from around the world to attend the ceremony. Shaquille O'Neal made a virtual appearance, and the #advertising category winner revealed her true identity for the first time.

Read more about the event and watch video from the ceremony. The First Annual Shorty Awards website is archived online here.