NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stephen Colbert, whose U.S. presidential campaign was cut short, came out a winner on Tuesday when he walked away with a Webby award as the Internet's "Person of the Year."
Other special achievement winners in the 12th annual Webby awards, known as the "Oscars of the Internet," included Black Eyed Peas' frontman and songwriters will.i.am, recognized as "Artist of the Year," and French filmmaker Michel Gondry, who took home honors as "Video Person of the Year."
The Webby awards, which honor excellence on the Internet, are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a 550-person judging academy. Winners will be honored at ceremonies on June 9th and 10th in New York, and, as always, will be limited to just a five-word acceptance speech.
Colbert won the highest honor for "the innovative way he has used the Internet to interact with fans of The Colbert Report."
Among other Web achievements, a campaign by Colbert's fans made his show's official website the top Google search result under "Greatest Living American" and his "One Million Strong for Stephen T. Colbert" Facebook group attracted more than 78 members per minute in its first week.
Last year Colbert, who plays a pugnacious, egomaniacal talk show host on Comedy Central, cut short a playful run for the presidency after his requests to be on the South Carolina Democratic and Republic primary ballots was rejected.
The NYTimes.com, The Onion, National Geographic, Flickr and ESPN.com were among the other Webby award winners announced on Tuesday.
Reporting by Paul Thomasch; Editing by Tim Dobbyn