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The ballot box is open

Bobs-2014_Milestoneposting_VoteNow_600x240pxIt’s your turn! Our international jury put together a list of the 154 nominees for The Bobs 2014. Now you can look at the finalists in all 14 languages and have until May 7 to vote for your favorites. You decision will determine who wins the People’s Choice Awards.

We’d like to take a moment to thank our fabulous jury members for their hard work – The Bobs wouldn’t be possible without them. They sorted through the list of over 3,000 submissions and found the most impressive, creative projects and again this year we’re thrilled to have excellent finalists.

Ever heard of the Wool War One?

With commemorations for its centenary happening, everyone has, of course, heard of the World War One. But what about Wool War One? That’s the name a French knitter has given to her project in the Most Creative and Original category. Other nominees include The Intercept, where revelations from former NSA contractor NSA Edward Snowden are being reported and made public. There’s also the censorship circumvention tool Lantern.

The Bobs is in 14 languages, but you don’t need to be a mega-polyglot to see what’s happening in another language – the team here has translated descriptions of all the nominees so you can take a trip around the world of online activism.

Simple voting rules

Have a look at the nominees then vote for your favorites. Between now and May 7, you can vote to decide on the winners of the People’s Choice Awards once per category per 24 hours. If you need it, there’s more information in the Rules.

While you’re voting, our jury members will be working to decide the winners of the Jury Awards when they meet in Berlin in May.

All of the winners of The Bobs 2014 will be announced on May 7. Jury Award winner will also be invited to pick up their prize at a ceremony that will be part of the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum on June 30.

Thanks for the submissions! Voting starts April 2

Voting Starts April 2Thank you all very much for all the suggestions you made to The Bobs 2014. This year there were over 3,000 submissions made to the contest.

What’s next?

Now it’s up to our international jury to sort through all your the blogs, projects and campaigns you suggested and put together a list in all of The Bobs’ categories. We’re giving them a few weeks time to do it.

Get inspired!

You’ll be able to see all the candidates in all the categories on April 2. Mark your calendars because that’s when you’ll be able to scroll through 14 language’s worth of interesting and inspiring people’s work from around the world. Even when you can’t read the language, our descriptions and a good look at the site will give you the gist of what makes the finalists something worthy of The Bobs.

April 2 is also that day we’ll open online voting for the People’s Choice Awards in all the contest’s categories.

Jury Awards

The Bobs’ jury members will get together for two days of discussions starting on May 4 to decide on the winners of the 2014 Jury Awards. They’ll dig into the details of each of the nominees before reaching their verdict in the six multilingual categories.

So now all you can do is take a deep breath and wait – you’re next move will be April 2. Until then you can follow us on Twitter @dw_thebobs or Facebook.

Submit your candidates to The Bobs 2014!

Submit a site or project to The BobsThe time has finally come – the 10th edition of The Bobs is on. You have until March 5 to submit the blogs and websites you find interesting and inspiring to the contest. Submissions are welcome in 14 languages.

It’s our 10th anniversary but don’t let that make you think we’re going to mess with something that works. The Bobs is still all about recognizing the hard work done online and off to promote freedom of expression, human rights and civil society.

Who can take part?

Short answer? Pretty much anybody. Long answer: websites and projects have to be in one of The Bobs’ 14 languages (Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, English, French, German, Hindi, Indonesian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Ukrainian), everything in The Bobs also has to be available to the public (no passwords here people!).

Nearly all 20 categories are open to any format of work you can imagine. Whether it’s YouTube channels, Facebook pages, blogs, Twitter or other microblogs, or podcasts – show us the creative projects that are grabbing – and holding – your attention. There is just one exception (there’s always one exception), our main category, the head honcho of the contest – Best Blog – is open, as the name implies, only to blogs. Read the Rules if you really want to dive into the fine print.

Multilingual on top

Our international jury will get all of your submissions. This year Erkan Saka of Turkey, Renata Avila of Guatemala, Alexandre Youssef from Brazil, Florian Ngimbis of Cameroon, Victoria Siumar from Ukraine, Allissa Wahid of Indonesia and Rohini Lakshané of India are joining the jury for the first time. English jury member Georgia Popplewell – and the other returning members of the 15-member panel – will be showing them the ropes during the jury’s meeting in Berlin to decide on this year’s Jury Award winners.

You’ll also get a chance to show your support for your favorite finalists – when we get that far – in an online vote. Wondering just when all this is going to happen? Have a look at the Timeline.

Jury winners invited to Germany

We will announce all The Bobs 2014 winners for both the Jury Awards and the People’s Choice Awards (as decided by your votes) right here on this website on May 7. Then the jury winners will be invited to Germany to receive their prizes as part of Deutsche Welle’s Global Media Forum in Bonn. The focus of this year’s conference, which runs from June 30 – July 2, is “From Information to Participation – Challenges for the Media.”


If you’ve read this far then there is probably someone you want to talk to about The Bobs – so do it! This year’s hashtag is #thebobs14, and you can keep up with us or let us know what you think on Twitter and Facebook.

Now more than ever


The 10th edition of The Bobs will start on February 5. At the stroke of noon (German time), will open for submissions in 14 languages in this year’s 20 categories. We can hardly wait to see what you’ve got in mind for inspiring projects and dedicated people from around the world this year.

You’ll have four weeks time to make submissions to the contest then we’ll forward them all on to our international jury members. They’ll be the ones with the daunting task of choosing finalists.

We’re happy to welcome Erkan Saka from Turkey, Renata Avila from Guatemala, Alexandre Youssef of Brazil, Florian Ngimbis from Cameroon, Victoria Siumar of Ukraine, and Rohini Lakshané of India to our jury. Jury members – new comers and returnees – present their language’s nominees to other juror at the meeting in Berlin. The Bobs switches up some jury members every year to give the award a breath of fresh air and new ideas. But it’s so hard to say good-bye and to make sure we never lose track of anyone, we’ve collected all The Bobs jury members since way back in 2004 in spot – the History page. These are people we think you’ll also want to check out and keep up with.

You can peruse the History to see 10 years worth of The Bobs jury and user prize winners. Unfortunately, some of the sites are no longer online. Sometimes the people running the sites decided to take them down on their own. Sometimes, however, it’s because the people who ran the sites have been or were locked up by authorities. This is the somber side of The Bobs. Whether it’s past winners, nominees or other activists, far too often we get reports of arrests – and worse – affecting the people we’re glad to know. One reason we started The Bobs in 2004 was because we have felt the recognition that comes with an international award like The Bobs can help protect people by making it clear to the authorities that the world won’t forget what they do.

The Internet has seen some major changes in the decade that The Bobs have been around. It’s developed into a medium and place that has an effect on everyone’s life and cannot be ignored. Events in recent months have also shown how the Internet is used to keep people under close surveillance by governments and intelligence agencies in ways and on a scale the public did not expect.

These revelations represent one of the reasons why this year – possibly more than ever – we feel it’s crucial to show that the Internet is about more than being watched. The Bobs want to demonstrate the ways the online world gives people interesting and inspiring ways to spread and improve freedom of expression and to participate in the democratic process.

We are looking forward to seeing your submissions!

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