The [Association of Online Publishers](http://www.ukaop.org.uk/events) have announced four new categories for their Online Publishing Awards.
  • Use of video
  • Best podcast
  • Digital creativity
  • Online community.

Obviously the online video is pretty interesting to me and given the recent comment that video seems to generate it’s good to see awards embrace it.

So I was keen to see the criteria they had set for the award.

This new addition reflects the explosion in web video content and is open to both consumer and business titles. Factors taken into consideration will include innovation in video use, quality of content, technical delivery and return on investment. Entrants should make clear how they measure financial success, and how this compares with planned objectives.

The specific entry requirments include:

  • If applicable please give monthly page impressions and state whether ABCE audited
  • If applicable please give monthly unique users and state whether ABCE audited
  • If applicable please give details of registered user figures and state whether ABCE audited
  • Innovation and creativity
  • Quality of content
  • Technical delivery
  • Measure of success

So we see a very clear attempt to recognize the impact of video. But when I read that* “return on investment”* as one of the criteria, it’s a very clear indication of the motivation that’s driving the industry to do it.

That’s not a criticism of the awards. I’m sure they reflect the state of the industry and it’s nice to see and emphasis on the innovation, creativity and technical delivery. In fact the Digital Creativity award seems to be their to encourage it.

This new award is designed to showcase the best in creative thinking on the web, unconstrained by commercial imperatives. Judges will be looking at the quality of the idea, finesse in execution, suitability to the medium, success against objectives and benefit to the target audience.

Even in this category though, one of the requirements for submission are details of the* ‘measure of success’.*

You cannot deny that everyone is asking the question ‘how do we measure success online?’
I’m looking forward to with these awards is an opportunity to see where the industry thinks it should be and set out just how we start to answer that question.

What worries me is that in an industry so obsessed with the bottom line, fast return and tied so slavishly to minute-by-minute metrics, the overriding “measure of success” of these awards will be, to put it bluntly, how to manage ratings and return before creativity and innovation.