Jimmy Fallon, Trent Reznor earn top Webby Awards

The late-night comedian and Nine Inch Nails frontman, along with "Family Guy" creator Seth Macfarlane, top the list of winners. Also: Twitter snags "Breakout of the Year."

There are literally dozens of categories in the annual Webby Awards--too many, if you ask some--covering pretty much every niche of digital media. This year's winners, announced Tuesday, are quite a lot to scroll through.

The list of top honors, however, is short.

This year, the Webby Awards' Person of the Year is former "Saturday Night Life" cast member Jimmy Fallon, whose new "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" has brought Twittering and gadget fandom to the network-TV crowd.

The film-specific Person of the Year award goes to "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane, who has partnered with Google on an animated Web series and whose creations consistently rank at the top of Hulu's most-watched clips.

The Artist of the Year accolade is for Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor. A vocal critic of the mainstream music industry, Reznor has been skeptical of "innovative" digital distribution efforts and most recently lashed out at Apple on his blog for turning down a Nine Inch Nails iPhone app.

A new category, Breakout of the Year, joins the Webbys this year. It's been awarded to--surprise, surprise--Twitter.

The fact that the Webbys' top awards go to known entities isn't new. Its highest honors tend to go to mainstream celebrities who have built their fame offline and have then turned to the Web as a sort of experimental platform. Last year's Person of the Year awards , for example, went to comedian Stephen Colbert, director Michel Gondry, and Black Eyed Peas frontman Will.i.am for his YouTube sensation "Yes We Can" in support of Barack Obama's presidential campaign.

The Webbys ceremony is set for June 8 as part of Internet Week New York.

 

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