These webpreneurs know their onions

The Realex Fire Web Awards are "not like any other awards ceremonies," said its host, radio DJ Rick O'Shea. "There are no stiff ties, no €100 tickets, people haven't stuffed themselves with dinner. We throw sweets at them, we fire cannons at them, it's different to other things you get dragged to every year."

At this year's awards, at the Four Seasons hotel on Wednesday, guests chatted, tweeted, networked and partied. Some of Ireland's best websites, blogs and online businesses scooped awards, including Joe.ie, Bonkers.ie, Nialler9, Brand New Retro, Bridges of Dublin, Childline, Fusion and Street, the AA, Hit the Road and SexSiopa. Oh, and The Irish Times won best online publication.

"Ten years ago, technology would have been a niche area, but now it's affecting everything," said John Kennedy of Silicon Republic, which won Best Technology and Science Site. "The internet is an economic enabler," said Kennedy. "I think we need to see more Irish firms embracing it."

"I'm a stand-up comedian, and because there are so many comedians out there, this is a differentiating factor for me," said Cormac Moore, founder of satirical web- site The Potato, Ireland's answer to The Onion: "It's a good platform to build my profile. And to have a bit of craic."

The Social Network - Kevin Courtney Meadhbh McHugh

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