A local website has been nominated for the 2006 Webby Awards — the leading international honour for Web sites — and needs your help to win. SJDWorld.com, founded by Stephan Johnstone in February 2004, is dedicated to bringing Bermudian art, poetry, graphic design and creativity to the world.The site is nominated in the Best Student Web site of 2006 and is up against four other Web sites.

Winners of the Webby Awards are determined by the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences, a global organization with a membership that includes musician David Bowie, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, The Body Shop president Anita Roddick, Simpsons’ creator Matt Groening, Real Networks chief executive officer Rob Glaser, and fashion designer Max Azria.

The site is also a contender for the People’s Voice Awards, and that’s were you come in. Anyone can vote online for SJDworld at peoplesvoice.webbyawards.com before voting closes on May 5. The winners of the awards will be announced on May 9, 2006 and honoured at The Tenth Annual Webby Awards in New York City on June 12.

Run by Johnstone and edited by Danny Wicks, SJDworld features work by a new artist every month and includes work by local artists, poets, photographers and graphic artists as well as several features created by Johnstone to showcase his own design work. Johnstone says he first created the site as a way to expose his own work as well as that of other artists. After only five weeks, the site had gotten more than 1,000 hits and over 40 people had signed the guestbook. As the site — and interest in it — grew, Johnstone redesigned the site to encourage people to visit. Being nominated for the Webbys has helped tremendously as well. Johnstone said in an e-mail: “Being a nominee for the webbys has been like they shone a flashlight on us.“All of a sudden SJDworld went from 80-150 visits a day to between 250-400 a day and links to the site started to pop up on other sites all around the world all with in two days of our nomination.”He adds, “We would also like to let Bermuda know that we are always looking for talented artists, designers, poets or anyone with a creative bone in their body as features. So if you can do anything creative, please email us samples of your work to guestartist@sjdworld.com.”

By Leah Furbert
Bermuda Sun (Local Newspaper)