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SXSW Interactive Awards 2011

The SXSW Interactive Awards uncovers the best new digital work, from websites to web applications and beyond, while celebrating those who are building tomorrow’s online trends.

Founded in 1997, this competition was initially known as the SXSW Web Awards.

Compete for a chance to win industry exposure, tech-related prize packages, bragging rights and acclaim from fellow trend-setting developers at the awards ceremony in March, 2011.


The Interactive Awards are all about the newest / freshest / most innovative trends, products and developments in the new media industry. So, every year, SXSW updates the categories (and the format) to reflect this mission.

Categories for the 2011 event are as follows:

  • Activism: Green and Non-profit projects that are striving to make the world a better place.
  • Amusement: Games, humor, memes and all the stuff that is weird for the sake of weird.
  • Art: From traditional photography to non-traditional performances, this category focuses on web-based collections of life, society and culture.
  • Business: Devoted to the promotional needs, functions and services of for-profit businesses.
  • Classic: While the SXSW Interactive Awards focus on the best new internet destinations and digital experiences, this category is devoted to projects that launched before 1 January 2010.
  • Community: Social networks and wikis that have quickly developed an extraordinarily active multi-user community and an exceptional following of users who assist with content development.
  • Educational Resource: From elementary school learning to advanced technology-related tips, these are destinations that help you learn.
  • Experimental: These are cutting-edge and trend-setting destinations that are pushing the envelope and challenging our perceptions of the web.
  • Film/TV: Projects related to actors, television, films and the film industry, as well as destinations that offer streaming video content.
  • Kiosk/Installation: Projects that live outside the standard browser experience.
  • Mobile: Sites, applications and experiences for handheld and portable devices.
  • Motion Graphics: Animations, cartoons, and other intriguing content built using applications such as Adobe Flash.
  • Music: Projects related to musicians, bands, and the music industry, as well online radio and other destinations that offer streaming audio content.
  • Personal: The blogs, portfolios, pet projects and personal collections of individuals who are displaying their work and passions online.
  • Social Media: Users and campaigns that are creatively connecting and sharing their experience.
  • Student: This category is devoted exclusively to the student designers who are refreshing this industry with new talent and new ideas.
  • Technical Achievement: These are the projects that are re-inventing and re-defining the technical parameters of our online experience.
  • People’s Choice: The online public’s favorite finalist site from the competition. Voting begins when the finalists are revealed in late January.
  • Best of Show: The judges’ favorite finalist website from the competition.

All submissions are evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Visual Design: The appearance of the site. The eye-candy. Is it graphically intriguing?
  • Creativity: The unique and innovative approach. Does the site have something no one has seen before?
  • Content: The information. The goods. Is the subject matter fascinating?


In addition to the glory and bragging rights among your industry peers, the “Best of Show” and “People’s Choice Award” winners receive premium prize packages with numerous tech-related goodies. Finalists in each category receive two complimentary registrations to the SXSW Interactive Festival and SXSW Interactive Awards Ceremony, and winners in each category receive a unique trophy and prize package.

Keep in mind that just by entering the website competition, you are given the option to register for SXSW Interactive at the lowest rate until February.


  • This year’s competition is open to all sites launched or redesigned in the calendar year 2010. The only exception is the “Classic” category, which consists of sites launched before 1 January 2010.
  • Finalists in each category will be notified in late January, 2011.
  • All sites and digital projects sent to the SXSW Interactive Awards are assumed to be completely operational at the time of submission.

How to enter?

Submit your entries via the official online entry form.

Entry fee

  • Application fee until 15 October 2010 – $10
  • Application fee until 10 December 2010 – $25