Whether you thought of it as the first year of the third millennium or the last year of the second millennium, 2000 was a rich time for purveyors of feature stories. Today, Southern California Living publishes postscripts to the tales of some we've profiled in the previous 12 months. Together, the stories give a glimpse of the startling range of life that has been chronicled in these pages.
The Nasdaq has taken a dive, dragging many a "dot-com" with it, and San Francisco isn't the Internet boomtown it used to be. But the glass is still half full for "digital diva" Tiffany Shlain ("From the Valley of the Geeks Comes the Digital Diva," July 7), the 30-year-old who brought glitz and glamour to the home of computer nerds five years ago when she created the only awards show for Internet sites that matters, the Webby Awards.
Now that the unrealistic dot-com dreamers are gone, Shlain said in an e-mail interview, the Internet is returning to its roots, and to the people who first looked to the medium for its sociocultural potential, not for a fast buck.
"It's similar to when an earthquake happens in California. All the fair-weathered people who moved here under false pretense of paradise will leave after they feel the possibility of destruction. Those who really love California for all its beauty--and its risks--will stay."
During the summer, she made several trips to L.A. to meet with studio execs interested in putting the Webbys on TV. There have been no deals yet, but in September, Shlain was hired to be an Internet correspondent for ABC's "Good Morning America," where she has reported on everything from faith online to Internet holiday shopping.
Shlain strives to make Webby night reflect the changing nature of the online industry, so this year's event may not be as lavish as 2000's, which featured a pre-party at Grace Cathedral and a post-party in Nob Hill's Huntington Park. But the awards themselves won't be affected by the market correction, she said.
"We never awarded sites based on their stock price, traffic reports or who funded them," she said. "Now that those measures are no longer in the mix, the criteria the Webbys judge by [content, design, function, navigation, structure and overall interactivity] will mean more."