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iHP.net, Young Developer Award-Winner

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Site » A Night At The Dottie Awards
October 10, 2002 - Last night, the awards ceremony for The Dottie Awards took place at The Crest Theatre in California's state capital, and iHP was lucky enough to be chosen as 1 out of 5 finalists for the Young Developers category. And this is out of 700 total nominees, remember, so you can imagine how surprised I was for iHP to actually be chosen. Below are just a couple of pics that my dad took while I went up on stage to accept the award (if the digital camera auto-focused faster, I'd have more pics).

When I entered the auditorium, I was impressed by how big it actually was on the inside (as opposed to its size from the outside). I wasn't sure if there was actually 500 people in the place, but it sure was close enough, which suddenly gave me the feeling that these awards weren't exactly small. And when I finally found a seat near the front, I quickly browsed nervously through the magazine-like program that was handed out. And, startling me, I discovered that the Young Developer award was the second category to be announced! So, I just sat back, waiting...continually browsing the program nervously...and waiting...until at last, the ceremony started. Now, the host (one of the news anchors of my local news station) came out, introducing all the founders of The Dotties. Okay, during this point, I was getting just a tad bit more nervous, considering there was a lot of people. And after the "pre-real-award" (The Dottie Jr.) was handed out, I started thinking to myself, "Okay, if I don't win, I wouldn't have to go up in front of all those people, but if I do win, that'll be cool, and I'll have to go in front of all those people."

And then, the first category was finished...

Hey look!—it's iHP.net on a 25+ ft. big screen!!!

Alright, right through the announcing of all the website finalists for this category, I could feel my heart pumping faster, while I kept anticipating the good or bad that was about to happen. And to be honest, I couldn't help but snicker (nervously) at the thought of 500 people seeing a Harry Potter website. Not that I'm ashamed or anything! It's just sorta funny, when you compare it to all these other, mostly-business and other non-profit organizations. Nonetheless, I heard mixed reactions; some cheering and some laughing (non-mocking). And when Kevin Webb finally announced my site as the last finalist, I cringed (nervously, if you will) and was a bit shocked at the very mention of..."And the winner is...The International Harry Potter Fan Site!" I kept laughing, not believing they had actually said the site's name.

Myself with the previous Young Developer winner, Kevin Webb, looking funny.

And so, I walked up to the stage to the—surprising—sound of somewhat heavy cheering from the crowd as I was suddenly blinded by all the really bright light and flashing cameras (no, I'm not exaggerating). When I looked over at Kevin to see why he didn't hand me the award, I realized after a couple seconds, considering I was dumbfounded at the time, that he was posing with me for people taking pictures. After that, he handed me the award and Miss Sacramento Valley (I had no idea they had Miss pageants for little cities) told me I could say a couple words, if I liked.

Blinded by the light.

I knew that I wasn't going to leave the place without saying something, so I walked up to the podium and said—my voice sounding weirder on electronic devices—"This is really crazy! I never expected this, but I just wanna say, thanks!" Then I walked off, relieved from the blinding light. It was a shame that the folks in charge of The Dotties didn't tell us, finalists, to prepare anything to say, because if I had known ahead of time, I would have said, "You're never too old to like Harry Potter—Harry Potter forever!!!" at the end.

Dan, Rupert, and Emma were nice enough to accompany me to the awards, sporting their costumes. This photo just proves how big Dan's grown!

And throughout the entire rest of the ceremony, I obviously wasn't so nervous anymore, now that I knew who had won. I even found myself grinning broadly with the award in hand.

Its home on my bedstand. Crystal ball, crystal ball, tell me the coolest site of all...

Well, there she is—ain't she beeeautiful? Hmm, now that I think about it, I don't think Trelawney's crystal ball can top this baby!!

This time next year: 2003 Winner


UPDATE: Okay, so it's June 2004 right now and I didn't enter last year's competition. Maybe next time? =)



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