The shortlist for the UK Association of Online Publishers (AOP) 2006 annual awards reflects the boom in user-generated content over the past 12 months, and showcases the new projects that digital media publishers have developed to embrace the trend.

The Guardian’s CommentIsFree blog initiative was shortlisted in three AOP categories: Consumer Editorial Team, Design and Launch, and its user-driven Weekend Photo Prize project was shortlisted in the Cross-Media Project category.

Channel4’s Four Docs bluetooth-driven documentary showcase, and The SEA’s user-generated video content learning service, www.myartspace.org.uk, were shortlisted in the Innovation category.

BBC.co.uk/radio1, Guardian.co.uk, NewScientist.com, NME.com, Reuters.co.uk/worldcup, RunnersWorld.co.uk, Soundjunction.org, TopGear.com, and WSJ.com will compete for the coveted AOP award for Website 2006 – consumer.

Accountancyage.com, BrandRepublic.com, Building.co.uk, CatererSearch.com, Edie.net, Gazetteers.com, Silicon.com, and Tes.co.uk will battle it out in the AOP Website 2006 – Business category.

The AOP online publishing awards 2006, now in their fifth year, are designed to celebrate and reward excellence in all aspects of digital publishing and are established as a showcase of the most innovative and high-quality online content in the UK. The awards will be presented at a celebratory dinner on 4 October at the London Hilton on Park Lane, following the annual AOP online publishing conference, themed Content Evolution.

Alexandra White, director of AOP, comments: “The rich diversity and sheer scope of ambition evident in the 2006 shortlist demonstrates the degree of innovation and creativity that is happening in the UK digital publishing industry at the moment. Many of the entries are incredibly smart and perfectly demonstrate the intersection of content and technology.”

The awards attracted a record number of entries in 2006: more than 230. Of those, 108 entries from 46 companies were shortlisted and will battle it out across 14 categories.

With endorsement from IPA Digital, AOP re-introduced a category to reward the best online advertising campaign this year, for which Agency Republic, Emap Performance, i-Level, Manning Gottlieb OMD, Profero, and Reuters Group were all shortlisted.

Guardian Unlimited has had the highest number of entries shortlisted at 12, closely followed by Emap with 11. Digital publisher CNET Networks has had seven entries shortlisted.

To view the shortlist in full, visit: www.ukaop.org.uk/awards.

Ends

About AOP
The UK Association of Online Publishers (AOP) is an industry body representing online publishing companies that create original, branded, quality content. AOP champions the interests of approximately 160 publishing companies from diverse backgrounds including newspaper and magazine publishing, TV and radio broadcasting, and pure online media.

Members include AN Digital, BBC, BSkyB, Channel 4, CMP Information, CNET Networks, Condé Nast Interactive, Dennis Interactive, The Economist Group, Emap, Financial Times, Future Publishing, GCap Media, Guardian Unlimited, Haymarket Publishing, Independent Digital, IPC Media, ITV Online, News International, Reed Business Information, Reuters, Telegraph Media Group, Trinity Mirror, VNU Business Publications and Which? In addition, PPAi (Periodical Publishers Association Interactive) retains a corporate seat on the AOP Board: representing the interests of magazine publishers online.

Together AOP members publish around 1,828 products (AOP Census 2006) and their websites have a combined audience of almost 20m users, or an active reach of 68 per cent of the entire internet population (source, Nielsen/NetRatings, Q4 2005).

AOP presents a unified voice to industry and Government, specifically to address issues and concerns relating to all areas of online publishing. AOP publishes original research, hosts forums, conferences and events, covering a range of topics from paid-for-content, subscription models and data protection, through to copyright, content management, new technologies and audience measurement.

The AOP Online Publishing Conference & Awards 2006
The AOP autumn Online Publishing Conference & Awards is its annual industry event. It attracts the biggest names in digital media to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the industry and celebrate outstanding achievement. The 2006 event will be held on 4 October at the London Hilton, Park Lane.

The event is supported by ABCE, Brand Republic, Deloitte, Doubleclick, HCUK, IPA, Jellyfish, Madgex, Miva, New Media Age, Operative, PPAi, Websidestory and Yahoo! Search Marketing.
For more information visit www.ukaop.org.uk/events

Contact:
Charley Hayes
immediate future Ltd
0845 408 2031
pressoffice@immediatefuture.co.uk

Published on: 12:00AM on 6th September 2006