Congrats to BIMA winners, now can we have a cool tech awards please?

Hearty congratulations to the winners of the annual awards for the British Interactive Media Association, otherwise known as the BIMAs. In summary, Channel 4 New Media won the “Grand Prix” for 4oD* (the On demand TV catchup service) while ad agency Publicis Dialog won two, and agency GT three. Channel 4 won for the “ingenuity and simplicity of this new interface.” That’s handy because the BIMAs “aim to recognise and reward creative excellence in interactive design”. There were twenty-three awards in total. Army Jobs (by Publicis) and the Interactive Dive Cage at the Bournemouth Aquarium (by Flaming Pear) was commended for “challenging conventional thinking on how we interact with media.” The rest of the winners you’ll find here on Friday.

The BIMAs are 23rd years old and are described as “the only significant digital creative awards in the UK which celebrate digital creative excellence and best practice”. And it’s fair to say the enthusiasm and energy of chairman Paul Walsh have put them back onto the map. But they are one of the many awards for online media/marketing/creative in the UK. The NMA Effectiveness Awards “recognise those companies that have a deep understanding of the potential of interactive media.” The Interactive Media and Marketing Awards “recognise and celebrate the most effective examples of marketing and advertising using the internet, mobile and interactive TV.” Not dissimilar again are the Revolution Awards which “reward the best in digital marketing.” Then there’s the Association of Online Publishers Awards for “excellence in all aspects of digital publishing”. And until recently there was even the Bafta Interactives, but they were closed last year in favour of a video games award. (Film people still having trouble with the Web, it seems).

In other words, there are a lot of cool, sexy awards ceremonies for media and marketing online in the UK, and let’s be clear, they are all wonderful in their own special way, and recognise the prodigious talent we have on those areas. I’ve even been known to chair the odd awards event myself…

But, equally, there are not many UK cool, sexy awards which recognise cool tech companies, like LastFM, a great British story which did not win a BIMA (admittedly they may not have fit into this particular awards), but did build an amazing business and sell to CBS for £140m in the last year. That’s an amazing achievement, and I bet you there will be plenty others like it which may not fit into a traditional ‘media’ or ‘marketing’ category but which do deserve to be recognised.

In the tech industry the best we seem to be able to come up with in terms of a “glammed-up” awards party is the British Computer Society IT Industry Awards. Or a beamed-in, rambling version of the Webbys.

I think it’s time for a Crunchies over here, don’t you?

*Note: Channel 4’s 4oD internet service uses exactly the same technology (Kontiki Delivery Manager and Microsoft DRM) as the BBC iPlayer, as does the Sky Anytime service. Kontiki is a US company owned by VeriSign. Perhaps the Grand Prix should be shared?