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Version 3.0 of Webware 100 is already under way

Thanks to Webware readers!

Thanks to the readers who contributed to the Webware 100 challenge in order to get a free all-access pass to Web 2.0 Expo, we now have a bunch of really good ideas for improving the Webware 100 awards program for 2009.

The two winning ideas (that are getting passes to the show) are:

1. Allow nominees to submit screencasts. I love this. We'll limit the pitches to 30 seconds, and we'll only ask for them from the finalists (not all the nominees), but this will be a great way to add some depth to the voting process.

2. Highlight the rookies. A few users wanted to know which of the finalists' products were actually new. We'll work on a way to both flag the new guys for next year and to highlight the rookies who are Webware 100 winners. We may even create a special award for the newbies.

Another idea we liked: have more categories. I hear you on this one. It was tough to fit all the products into 10 categories, and we had to make some tough choices to make it work at all. For example, we killed the "mobile" category outright this year, the logic being that mobile is a platform, not actually a category, and apps in particular categories such as "video" may (or may not) be mobile. Even so, I would have liked to have a mobile bucket, and we'll try to figure out a way to put it in for 2009.

On the other hand, another interesting idea was to kill the categories entirely and have 100 undifferentiated winners from a pool of several hundred finalists. I kind of like that, since so many products span categories, but I fear that the bigger the pool, the more the big fish would take over the voting, and the harder it would be for Webware 100 voters to find their personal winners in the big mosh pit of finalists.

We'll contact the winning readers with details on their passes very shortly. As I said in the original post, only the first people to submit the winning ideas get the passes.

Again, thanks to all who contributed. And don't forget to check back here on Monday, April 21, at noon Pacific Time, when we announce the winners of the 2008 Webware 100.