Europe Shouldn't Let Silicon Valley Have all the Parties

By Nicolas Roope on at

As a Gizmodo reader you already know what technology is all about. You come here because you love tech and the amazing transformations it performs. You love it because it makes life easier, better, or at least more amusing. And you love the way that technology offers hope for solving some of the big problems in the world, like people not being able to watch a video on a big enough telly.

At The Lovie Awards we love tech too, but generally the internet part of this universe. That said, the net now seems hell-bent on squirting itself all over the physical world so I guess pretty soon it will actually be everything.

This week we've been very proud to announce the winners of the third annual Lovie Awards for brilliant, innovative, interesting, internet things from across Europe.

When we figured out a way to judge in key European languages, we suddenly started seeing all these amazing things start to surface that we'd never seen before. You forget that the internet has borders. They're not physical of course but language forms a massive barrier to visibility. Google does a great job weeding out returns in other lingos but in effect the net result is that there are as many different internets as there are mother tongues. In the UK it's even easier to miss the Euro-web because we're in such close quarters with the US web scene.

If Europe had the same PR agency at Silicon Valley we'd all be in a very different place. When you shine a light on the great things being invented, created and crafted here, you quickly realise we're truly world class, we're just doing things differently and with the quirks and qualities valued in other Euro exports. Take music for example. Last.fm, Spotify, Soundcloud are all world leaders and all baked in EU's oven.

When you look at the diverse section of winners, you spot thoroughbred brands in there like Huffington Post UK, Monocle, Adidas, and Dazed & Confused, next to pure-play hard hitters strutting their stuff such as Google's Your Tour (- de France coverage), and the much-loved Hailo app.

Big names stand side-by-side with nascent startups like cute IOT parenting device family BleepBleeps and rampant digital art newbie S(Edition). The Lovie Awards sees all in internet land and thus doesn't overlook the juvenile juices flowing through its fibers. The eye-mangling Catleidoscope and German viral pranksters All Eyes on S4 and Streetpong round the story nicely.

This year we've seen a huge surge in video content in our entry numbers. 4G speeds on mobile devices, domestic TV web-video consumption on the rise and a general coming of age of key distribution platforms mean that suddenly brands, personalities and production companies are all over video. Everything from long form video muso docs from the likes of Noisy, to artful fashion film features on Nowness to La Redoute's innovative Vines. New categories and flavours of video are emerging online without the narrow commissioning constraints of broadcast, so suddenly creativity is exploding.

Finally, we're stunned to see how charities, activists and campaigners are seeing the awards as a great way to garner further attention and recognition for their causes and excellent work. London based zero-commission fundraising startup Believe.in is barely out of the gate and it's got a gold trophy in its hand. Greenpeace's Into the Arctic is hugely ambitious and resolved web campaigning at its most enlightened.

If you like these tasters and want some more then have a dig through the winners and People's Lovie winners to see what other European awesomeness is in store. It might make you laugh, and perhaps may draw a tear. Either way you'll become a proud citizen of the Euro-web and will never look at that sparkling ring of stars the same way again. Hurrah!

Join the fun in November when winners pronounce their "Declaration of Lovie" on Youtube. Until then, ciao, adios, auf weidersehen, au revoir and laters.

Nicolas Roope is the Jury Chair at The Lovie Awards, not to mention the Founder and ECD of Poke London, and the man behind Hulger and Plumen. You can follow him on Twitter here.

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