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Webby Awards cite 'Planet Bob' as ‘Official Honoree’

April 15, 2008

The Webby Awards, the leading international honor for the Web, cited “Planet Bob” as an Official Honoree, a distinction that recognizes work exhibiting remarkable achievement. “Planet Bob,” a joint video production from Arizona State University’s International Institute for Species Exploration and Media Alchemy, Inc., uses humor to draw attention to the serious subject of biodiversity and the science of taxonomy. Combining live action, state-of-the-art animation, and the vocal talents of venerable TV host Hugh Downs and others, “Planet Bob” presents the mysterious, exciting – and surprisingly funny – side of taxonomy.

Hailed as the "Oscars of the Internet" by the New York Times, the Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet, including Web sites, interactive advertising, online film and video, and mobile Web sites.

"The Webby Awards honors the outstanding work that is setting the standards for the Internet," said David-Michel Davies, executive director of the Webby Awards. "The Official Honoree selection for ’Planet Bob’ is a testament to the skill, ingenuity and vision of its creators.”

“The ‘Planet Bob’ video was a great team effort between ASU and Media Alchemy,” said Erik Holsinger, executive producer and president of Media Alchemy. “Dean Quentin Wheeler gave us a wonderful opportunity to use comedy to effectively explore both a very serious environmental issue and a complex science.”

“The Web site and the video ‘Planet Bob’ represent new ways to present taxonomy and biodiversity, in a creative fusion between academia and popular technology,” said Wheeler, ASU vice president and dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Professor Wheeler also is the founding director for the International Institute for Species Exploration (

The 12th annual Webby Awards received nearly 10,000 entries from more than 60 countries and all 50 states. Out of the more than the 10,000 entries submitted, fewer than 15 percent received this honor and were deemed an Official Honoree. The awards are judged by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a global organization that includes David Bowie, Harvey Weinstein, Arianna Huffington, Matt Groening, Jamie Oliver, Vinton Cerf and RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser.