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Finally — A way for those who wax poetic on Twitter to be recognized for their witty banter. Like officially. Indeed, it’s time for the Shorty Awards.

The Shorty Awards honor the world’s top Twitterers. From now ‘til midnight December 31st, you can nominate as many people for as many categories as you’d like. Yes, that’s right, you can create your own categories. The New York-based organizers — Sawhorse Media’s Lee Semel, Greg Galant, Adam Varga, and Aaron Taylor-Waldman — will eliminate categories that don’t have enough nominees.

You can check out the leading nominees and categories on the award site’s homepage. The five people with the most nominations in each category will go on to become finalists, which will be reviewed January 5th to the 14th. In late January, the winners will deliver their 140-character acceptance speeches — which, although fitting for Twitter, don’t provide quite the challenge to one’s creativity as as the Webby’s 5-word acceptance speeches (the speech I gave for’s 2006 Webby: “Thanks, I’ll update my resume.” Ah, good times).

Tweet on to others

But just before the egomaniacal of you start planning your own world domination, there’s a catch. You need to Tweet out your nomination (which may not stop some of you, but I’m just saying). And, yes, you might inadvertently win in the #egocentric category.

The other catch for folks on the West coast — or anywhere other than New York, for that matter: The award ceremony for winners will be held in NYC.

The Shorties, in short

Here’s an abridged version of the rules listed on the official site:

  • To nominate someone for a Shorty Award, fill in the fields on the site or send a tweet similar to this: @shortyawards I nominate @someone in category #news because… The organizers have asked that you don’t submit this default Tweet. You won’t only look stupid, but your nomination won’t count.
  • The text of the Tweet is completely up to you. As long as it contains “@shortyawards”, “@someone” and “#category,” you can be as creative with the rest as you like.
  • You can’t nominate the same person more than once for the same category. Also, you can only submit one person and one category per Tweet. If you want to nominate someone in multiple categories, you have to send multiple Tweets.
  • If your friends are lazy, you can send them a link that puts the words right into their Tweets (see example).
  • If your account is private, your nominations won’t count (shocker).
  • If you change your Twitter username, any nominations under your old username won’t carry over.

Currently the #1 trending topic on Twitter search — with hundreds of nominations pouring in by the hour — The Shorties are already catching fire. Now if only Twitter was to have a nifty Flickr-esque “interestingness” algorithm I (and the contest judges) can use to sort out the best nominations (hint hint).

In the running

Take a look at these recent nominations to wet your palate:

The Shorties are the brainchild of Sawhorse Media, which is also responsible for the neat “Flickr my background” app that allows you to automatically import your latest Flickr image into your Twitter background.

You can find me on Twitter here along with VentureBeat writers MG Siegler, Eric Eldon, Dean Takahashi, Anthony Ha, Chris Morrison and Dan Kaplan. Oh, and there is a VentureBeat account (for posts) as well. Feel free to nominate any of us for anything — as long as it’s good.

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