The Short Rundown

How to Make a Nomination (i.e. Vote)

  • From or on Twitter, send a tweet like this: I nominate @Username for a Shorty Award in #category because... [add reason here]. 
  • You can nominate anyone who has a Twitter account for a Shorty Award (which recognizes everything they do on other social networks too).
  • Be creative with the reason. A tweet without a reason for the nomination will not be counted.
  • You can vote in one of the Featured Categories or make up your own Community Category by editing the category hashtag.
  • Certain categories such as Real Time Photo of the Year have special rules or different ways of voting.  Check each category page for details.

Important Dates

  • Nominations open: January 7, 2013
  • Nominations close: Extended to February 18th. The #KeepGoodGoing category will be extended to February 24th
  • Awards ceremony: April 8, 2013 in New York

How Winners are Selected

  • The finalists (the top 6 most nominated candidates) from the most popular, interesting and relevant Featured Categories will be presented to the Real-Time Academy, who will choose which finalists win the Shorty Award for each of these categories.
  • While number of nominations determines who the finalists are, it’s only one factor The Academy uses in choosing the winner (see considerations below). Fill out your Shorty Awards profile to tell The Academy why you should win.
  • Separately, whoever receives the most nominations in each Featured Category will be honored on as the Shorty Vox Populi, a special distinction for the peoples’ choice.

What the Real-Time Academy Considers When Choosing the Winners

  • Quality and originality of content on all social media platforms.
  • Innovation in using social media in new ways.
  • Impact made on the world.
  • Engagement with followers, fans, friends and foes.
  • Support received through passionate Shorty nominations.

Pro tip: Take the Shorty Interview and embed a campaign video to show why you fit the bill.

How Categories are Selected

  • Because social media is so expansive, the Shorty Awards has thousands of categories -- dozens of featured categories created by the Shorty Awards team and tens of thousands of community categories that anyone can create.
  • In order to keep the Shorty Awards reasonably short, winners in every single category can’t be recognized by The Academy. The most popular, relevant, and interesting categories will be submitted to The Academy for judging.
  • How can you increase the chances of a category getting selected for judging by the Real-Time Academy?
    • Get as many relevant nominees involved as possible.
    • Get more people to make nominations in that category.
    • Stay positive and avoid negative campaigning.
  • Community categories that become popular and include relevant, interesting nominees might be promoted to Featured Categories.

The Long Official Rules


  • Nominations must be relevant to the category and fit within any criteria listed on the category page on
  • You can only have one nominee and one category per nomination tweet.
  • You may vote for additional nominees or categories as often as you like.
  • Voting for the same person in the same category more than once simply replaces the text of your original vote; it does not count as an additional vote.
  • If you change your Twitter username, any votes you received under your old user name may not carry over.
  • You can delete any nomination you receive by clicking the "delete" link next to that nomination on
  • You can also tweet shorter nominations like this: #shortyawards @username #category [add reason here].
  • Nominations that are not relevant, or do not fit within the criteria listen on the page for a category will be removed, or moved to a more relevant category, at the discretion of the Shorty Awards officials. Click on the category names to see the criteria.
  • Retweeted nominations and tweets starting with @replies don’t count toward the rankings.


  • Any person or organization with a valid and active Twitter account can send and receive nominations.
  • Nominators must have been active Twitter users well before the start of this year’s Shorty Awards.
  • Votes originating from new Twitter accounts or accounts used primarily for Shorty Awards voting will automatically be disqualified and will not count toward the rankings.
  • If a person controls multiple Twitter accounts, nominations can only be made from one of the accounts.
  • If you or your organization controls multiple Twitter accounts, you can only campaign or become a finalist under one of them for a given category. The Shorty Awards team may remove, recategorize, or disqualify nominees that show evidence of campaigning under multiple affiliated accounts.
  • We reserve the right to disqualify nominees that do any of the following: violate trademarks, infringe copyrights, impersonate others (except in the #fakeaccount category), invade privacy, make threats of violence, promote illegal activities, promote pornography, spam others, use bots, scripts or other automated means for voting, engage in abusive behavior, promise anything of value in exchange for a nomination, or otherwise violate the friendly spirit of the awards.


  • If a community category becomes popular and has enough compelling finalists, it could become a featured category.
  • Nominations in certain Special Awards categories may have special instructions. Read each Special Award page to find out how to make nominations in one of those categories.
  • Please note that there may be exceptions to the rules here for certain featured categories that supercede the general Shorty Awards rules. Please see the category pages for details.
  • The Shorty Industry Awards categories are for brands and agencies, and have separate rules.


  • Nominees are welcome to campaign and encourage friends to vote for them.
  • Offering anything of value in exchange for Shorty nominations is not permitted.
  • Automated prompting of votes within a web or mobile app (e.g. a screen prompting users to tweet a Shorty nomination) is permitted so long as tweeting the nomination is optional, and the app requires the nominator to compose their own unique reason for the nomination. Prompted nominations that are prefilled with a reason are not allowed.

Auditing and Rankings

  • The Shorty Awards use several algorithms to automatically disqualify nomination activity that appears to be intended to game the system or come from irregular accounts.
  • The Shorty Awards team also performs human reviews of a selection of the votes.
  • We also perform periodic audits to check if our system is being gamed. Contact us if you see any suspicious activity.
  • A final vote audit occurs after the voting period ends.
  • Irregular accounts include ones that use bots, scripts, issue repetitive automatic votes, appear to have been created specifically for Shorty Awards voting, or exhibit other behavior that violates the spirit of the awards. We encourage users to report any suspicious activity to [email protected].
  • Nomination counts and rankings may fluctuate as audits are performed and nominations are removed that do not comply with the official voting rules.
  • Nominations that are incorrectly formatted, do not include a reason, or appear to be identical tweets automatically generated en masse will not be counted for the rankings (though they may continue to display on the Shorty Awards site). Nominees who notice these kinds of votes should encourage supporters to resubmit those votes in the correct format.
  • All decisions relating to vote counts and categorization are made at the discretion of Shorty Awards officials and are final.

Winner Selection

  • The six nominees with the highest rank in a selected Featured Categories at the end of the nomination period are the Shorty Awards finalists in that category.
  • In case of a tie, all of the nominees who tied will be included as finalists.
  • Academy members are not allowed to decide on categories in which they are finalists.
  • To determine the Shorty Award winners, The Academy members use their own judgment and take into account the number and quality of nominations each finalist received in addition to the Shorty Profile and campaign video.
  • Nominees must submit contact information online here so award organizers can contact them if they become a finalist.

Shorty Vox Populi

  • The finalist who received the most votes in selected Featured Categories will be declared the Shorty Vox Populi and honored on the site.
  • Selected featured categories that do not generate enough relevant candidates or result in enough interest may be eliminated with no Shorty Vox Populi declared.
  • In case of a tie for most votes, all finalists who tied will become Shorty Vox Populi.

Awards Ceremony

  • An awards ceremony will be held in New York City to honor the Shorty Award winners from the categories that were presented to the Real-Time Academy.
  • Because the Shorty Awards ceremony must be short, not all of the categories will be presented onstage. However, all Shorty Award finalists will be honored online and encouraged to attend the ceremony to #humblebrag about their achievements.
  • A limited number of tickets are now available to the public. Get tickets here.
  • To learn more about the ceremony, check out our video highlights.


All information submitted through the Shorty Awards is subject to our privacy policy. To review our privacy policy click here.

Administrator; Release; Limitation of Liability

The Shorty Awards are administered by Sawhorse Media, LLC (“Sawhorse”), which will be entitled to make all final decisions regarding the awards in its sole discretion.

Sawhorse reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to suspend or cancel the Shorty Awards at any time. By participating in the Shorty Awards, whether as a nominee, a voter or otherwise, each participant agrees to release and hold Sawhorse and its employees, officers, directors, shareholders, agents, representatives, affiliates, advertising and promotion agencies, consultants and legal advisors, harmless from any and all losses, damages, rights, claims and actions of any kind in connection with the awards, including, without limitation, personal injury, death, and property damage, and claims based on publicity rights, defamation, or invasion of privacy.


User Submissions; Appearance Release

Any and all content submitted by a voter, a nominee or any other participant in the Shorty Awards is referred to in these Terms of Service as a "User Submission." Each participant shall be solely responsible for his or her own User Submissions and the consequences of submitting them. By submitting a User Submission, the participant represents and warrants that he or she owns or has the necessary licenses, rights, consents, and permissions to his or her User Submissions (and all content included therein), including the right to authorize Sawhorse to use the User Submissions in the manner contemplated herein. By submitting the User Submissions to us for public display, the participant hereby grants us an irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the User Submissions in any media formats now or hereafter created and through any media channels now or hereafter created.

In addition, any person who attends the awards ceremony or any other event associated with the Shorty Awards hereby grants us the irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free, sublicensable and transferable right to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display and perform any audio recordings, photographs, video or other images in which such person may be included that are taken at such event, whether accurate or distorted in character or form, without restrictions to changes or transformations, in conjunction with such person’s own name or a fictitious name at our discretion, or no name at all.

The use of any trademark, service mark or logo of Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube or any other media outlet is not meant to imply such media outlet’s endorsement of, or affiliation, with The Shorty Awards in any way.