I'm happy to announce the winners of the 2008 Webware 100. These are the 100 top Web apps, 10 each in 10 categories, according to Webware users and the fans of the products that were finalists in the awards.
Over 1.9 million votes were cast for the 300 finalists this year. These finalists were selected (by Webware editors) from a pool of over 5000 qualifying nominees. But the 100 winners were selected by popular vote. These winning 100 products represent the best of the Web, according the people who use it.
As with the 2007 awards, the majority of votes, 88% this year, were cast for winning products. Of the ten categories, the most popular in terms of votes cast was Browsing. However it's worth noting that one of the entries in that category, , drove an inordinate amount of votes by putting a vote-driving popup in the software itself. Even after we had the popup removed, though, Maxthon easily garnered a winning number of votes.
If you subtract the initial Maxthon Effect votes from Browsing, by far the most voted-in category was Social, just like last year. And again,got the most votes in the category. However, competition in this space is heating up. Gaia's 136,000 votes, while well ahead of the 91,000 it won last year, represented only 34% of the votes cast in the Social category, compared to 60% last year.
Just slightly more than half of all the votes cast in the Webware 100 went to the top 10 vote-getters. Six of these top 10 are no surprise at all:, , , , , and . But the other four may not be as familiar to most Webware readers:
The least active voting category was Productivity (64,000 votes), but the winning product with the smallest number of votes was, to my surprise, the useful and popular, in the Commerce category. It got 1,095 votes. Unlike last year, there were no winners with fewer than 1,000 votes. The average number of votes per winner: 16,675.
Repeats and disappointments
Many of the winners this year were also Webware 100 winners last year, although the tough competition did knock some of last year's winners off the list (thankfully, otherwise the results would be quite boring). Next year we'll do more to give startups and new products a chance to win an award.
And personally, I really wanted Blist ( ), which is brand new, to win an award, but being great isn't enough to win a popular vote -- you have to be known.
Rafe's Top 10
We kept editorial influence out of the Webware 100 voting, but now that the results are in, I can pick my favorites of the winners. My criteria: Useful, interesting, fun, or some killer combination. And not the same thing that everyone else will pick (Google, Flickr, Facebook, etc.). Here they are:
- iTunes a run for its money, except that it doesn't sell annoying DRM'd content.
- Picnik, not a Webware 100 winner) that is redefining what you can do on the Web.
- And finally, my guily pleasure: . This is the Home Shopping Network for geeks. Addicting, clever, and occasionally it even has good deals.
What do you think?
Each of the Webware 100 winner pages has an open comment thread. We're using Disqus, our , to run this. Unlike posts on the rest of Webware.com, you don't have to register to leave your feedback on the Webware 100 winner pages. So go wild.