SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The Internet industry's premier awards program -- the prestigious Global Information Infrastructure (GII) Awards -- will recognize organizations that are utilizing the Internet to create a profound effect on the way that people live, work, learn and play. This year's winners will be announced at the 4th Annual GII Awards ceremony on December 14th at the Westin, St. Francis Hotel, San Francisco, CA in conjunction with the ZD Internet.inc. Nextravaganza conference. The gala awards ceremony will be emceed by comedienne Paula Poundstone, and a special keynote address will be delivered by Peter Boit, vice president, eCommerce Business Solutions Group, Microsoft Corporation. Additionally the awards will be celebrated on Monday, December 13th with a special concert by world-renowned jazz artist, David Sanborn. More than 500 total entries were received in ten categories which include Arts & Culture, Children, Commerce, Community, Education, Entertainment, Government, Health, Netpreneur and News & Media. Sixty awards finalists were recognized for their innovative use of technology to improve business, and society. The finalists and semifinalists were selected by a panel of 350 judges who are recognized experts in their respective fields. The final round of judging will narrow the field to one winner in each category. The 60 finalists represent the very best in web-based applications and other networking technologies. "The GII Awards honor people in all areas of society and industry who use the Internet to create extraordinary results, from making money to making a difference," said Melanie McMullen, general manager of the GII Awards and The Standard for Internet Commerce. "The GII Awards are the world's leading forum to define, recognize, and promote best practices and new models in the application of Internet and network technology." "The GII Awards confirm our own brightest hopes: that the positive uses of high technology will truly open up new opportunities for all Americans and improve our quality of life," added Al Gore, vice president, United States. Finalists include the following organizations, which are all linked from www:gii.com: Arts & Culture: JustOriginals.com; The Museum of Web Art, Philly2nite.com; Solemates: The Century in Shoes; The Turing Game: Exploring Cultural Identity Online; and TURTLETRACKS: Native American Youth Newsletter. Entertainment: Beatnik.com; Comedy Central's World of South Park, GalaxiWorld.com; Hollywood Stock Exchange; Kodak Picture Playground online; and Quokka Sports. Children: AllowanceNet; Children of the Moon; GirlsAreIT!; Interactive Educational Internet Journeys; MaMaMedia; and MY HERO. Commerce: Autobytel.com; E*TRADE; E-LOAN; InsWeb.com; Preview Travel; and Federal Express. Community: Band-Aides and Blackboards: The Social Fabric of Disease; CompuMentor; Join Together Online: Reducing Substance Abuse, Gun Violence; Match.Com; QuitNet: Helping Smokers Quit; and Suite101.com. Education: AT&T Learning Network; Education Future Center; EF Englishtown.com; Globalearn.com: Technolgy and Cultural Awareness in Classrooms; Interactive educational Internet journeys; and the National Digital Library Program of the Library of Congress. Government: Virtual Warehouse for Surplus Property Distribution; County of Alameda, CA, Website; Envirofacts: Empowering Citizens through the Envirofacts Warehouse and Applications, Environmental Protection Agency; Mecklenburg County, NC GIS Public Access; National Digital Library Program of the Library of Congress; and ServiceArizona: Online vehicle registration renewal service. Health: BabyCenter.com; AIDS Education Global Information System (AEGiS); Interstitial Cystitis Network; Mayo Clinic Health Oasis; QuitNet; and Yo, It's Time For Braces. Netpreneur: CookExpress.com; Garden.com; i-drive: digital file management; ImproveNet; iPrint.com; and Works.com. News & Media: Firehouse.Com: A Web Community for the Emergency Services; Join Together Online: Reducing Substance Abuse, Gun Violence; Microsoft TerraServer: Exploring Online Aerial Views of Earth; U.S. Air Force Online News; Upstream Online: Business to Business and e-media Group; and Workforce Online. The GII Awards will be presented in conjunction with ZD Studios' Nextravaganza conference which will feature Internet experts, visionaries and celebrities exploring the developments, challenges, and opportunities of the Internet in the new millennium in an enlightening and entertaining environment. The unique format of an established and respected awards celebration combined with a thought-provoking conference offers senior executives a rare opportunity to network with industry luminaries, to learn and to discuss the role of the Internet in their businesses' future. Sponsors include IBM, Mercer Management Consulting, Microsoft, Pervasive Software, Pixelon and Qwest International. Media sponsors include Businesswire.com, Inter@ctive Week, Internet Week, PC Week, Upstart, Telephony, Business Wire, E-Business Advisor, ZDTV, ZDNet and Yahoo! Internet Life.Complete awards information is posted on the GII Awards site at www.gii.com. For media/analyst registration or additional information, contact Jennifer McClure at 650-578-6996 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.zdinternetinc.com . About The GII Awards The GII Awards program is a non-partisan, private-sector initiative sponsored by leading corporations, organizations, publishers and government agencies. The GII Awards program is dedicated to helping people reach new levels of prosperity, community and health in the Communications Age by learning from others whose efforts and accomplishments serve as models of excellence. The GII Awards is currently the world's leading forum to define, recognize and promote best practices and new models in the application of Internet technology. About The Nextravaganza Nextravaganza is presented by ZD Studios and GII. Nextravaganza represents the third event in the ZD Studios' ZD Internet.inc series, an information source for executives looking to harness the power of the Internet to transform their businesses. ZD Internet.inc resources encompass a series of conference programs and partnerships with ZD's major technology media. Future plans also include community-building interactive forums and downloadable content through ZDNet, the top-rated Web site for technology news, information and entertainment. About ZD Studios As a division of ZD Events Inc., ZD Studios is dedicated to creating custom marketing programs for IT marketers in addition to some of the most attended, and highly regarded conferences and seminars in the industry. These face-to-face solutions are developed by a vast resource of resident experts who have access to the global resources of Ziff-Davis including publishing, events, research, Internet, television and education, as well as the industry's most sought after experts, opinion makers, and celebrities. This flexibility, combined with a solid foundation of experience, places ZD Studios as a leader in developing successful, creative, face-to-face marketing programs for today's leading technology companies. About Ziff-Davis Ziff-Davis Inc. is a leading media and marketing company focused on computing and Internet-related technologies, with principal platforms in print publishing, trade shows and conferences, online content, television and education. Ziff-Davis provides global technology companies with marketing strategies for reaching key decision-makers. Ziff-Davis has two series of common stock, one which is intended to track the performance of its Internet business ZDNet (NYSE: ZDZ), and one which is intended to track the performance of the ZD Group (NYSE: ZD), which includes print publishing, trade shows and conferences, education, online learning, product testing and television businesses, and an 83% retained interest in ZDNet. NOTE: ZD Studios, the ZD Studios logo, the ZD logo, Nextravaganza and the GII Awards are trademarks or registered trademarks owned or used under license by ZD Events Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Ziff-Davis Inc., and may be registered in the United States and other countries. Other product company names mentioned may be trademarks of their respective owners.
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