They came to praise the survivors, not to bury the departed dot-coms. They chuckled at Amazon.com's four-word acceptance speech "Our stock is rising" when it took honors for top online commerce site at the sixth annual Webby Awards in San Francisco last week.
But mostly, the guests kept quiet or stayed home. In keeping with the Internet's rapidly shrinking aura, this year's Webby Awards moved from the Opera House to a smaller arts museum and drew an audience of hundreds, instead of the thousands that attended in the Web's go-go years.
Members of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences judged the low-key event. Big winners included the search engine Google (www.google.com) which walked off with the highest overall marks, the Onion (www.theonion.com) for humor, and Yahoo Finance (finance.yahoo.com). Yahoo and the Onion were among 10 sites that swept both Webby categories judged awards and the "people's voice" honors, the latter based on online balloting open to the digital hoi polloi.