Congratulations to Roger Ebert being chosen as person of the year by the Webby Awards. The Webbies, which celebrate Internet achievement, have singled Ebert and his blog for “raising the bar for online journalism” (read more here). This is fantastic news, and we’re so proud that the winner isn’t one of those typical web-savvy, 20-something, silicon-valley, apple-guru geniuses. It’s someone (almost) completely different.Ebert is a man with immense skill and knowledge, going back a couple of generations – who managed to migrate from the ‘old’ media, into the new century, with new technologies, and he makes it look easy. Take a look at his blog (way more popular presence than the dwindling TV show that ABC has triumphantly ran into the ground). Follow his Twitter account to read honest, reasonable, well-argued opinions. Not factoids, not knee-jerk emotional responses, but valid opinions, ones that result in conversations, exchanges. No wonder he’s got 140k followers, and that number grows every minute. Ebert gets it.
He has successfully (and quickly) embraced the new technologies, to keep doing what he’s done for decades – share his love of film. Discuss that love, analyze it and win people over. The blog is a hit, twitter account is buzzing with responses from aroudn the world, and yes, I shelled out $5 a year for his exclusive newsletter, and you know what – it’s worth every penny.
Roger, you don’t know me, even though we’ve met a few years ago at TIFF in Toronto, congrats on getting this award, on bringing more awareness to film, and in a way to our way of thinking as a people. I do appreciate your opinions on politics and art as well as film. You’re a marvel to read, and learn from. Keep it up, Roger.