Twitter won an Emmy

Twitter won a technical Emmy, and it’s receiving the award Thursday at CES. It was chosen for “Innovation in improving engagement around television in social media.” A bit more of a mouthful than “Best Actor.”

This is Twitter’s first ever Emmy. The news was highlighted during Twitter’s CES panel on how media and entertainment companies should use the service, which Marketing Land liveblogged.

The Engineering Emmys are exactly what they sound like — an awards show for the non-red carpet strutting members impacting the television industry. Technology and cable companies are nominated for a range of daring technical feats like “Secure Accelerated File Movement over IP” and “Development of Low Latency Video Streaming Live Captioning Systems.” It’s super sexy.

They’re granted to techies, “for engineering developments so significant an improvement on existing methods or so innovative in nature that they materially affect the transmission, recording or reception of television.” Some might snort at the idea of Twitter transforming the nature of television (I’m looking at you, Tom Krazit), given that it hasn’t quite reached the scale of the common TV viewer.

But as Twitter’s CES panel showed, that hasn’t stopped Hollywood studios and agencies from mining the application for consumer insights. For example, the producers of upcoming hacker movie Blackhat shifted their marketing strategy after seeing Twitter conversations about the Sony hack. Xbox TV uses what’s trending on Twitter to recommend current live shows to people.

The categories of the engineering Emmy Awards change every year, depending on the technologies pioneered by companies in the past. Previous well known Silicon Valley winners range from Netflix (for its personalization technology) to Apple (for its mobile television ecosystem).

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Emmys 2010 Review: The Two-Screen Experience

With social media shown to improve ratings for awards shows and tech-savvy Jimmy Fallon hosting, it’s little surprise that last night’s Emmy Awards had enough going on to warrant two-screen viewing. But did seven different live-streamed angles on the backstage action improve the show?

Emmys 2010 Online: Your Tweets Read By Jimmy Fallon Live

Are you surprised to learn that this year’s Emmy Awards aren’t going to be live-streamed online anywhere? Of course not. But the social media surrounding the ceremony is growing denser: Twitter and live-streaming initiatives are in the process of gearing up for Sunday’s ceremony.

Where to Watch the Emmys Live

NOTE: For those searching for the 2009 Emmys, check out our more recent coverage here.

The Emmy Awards aren’t exactly friendly to those wanting to tune in from the web. It’s not my idea of a good time to download a PDF of nominees. But there are a few options out there for those of you who want to follow the action online or alongside your TV. And embedded in the post are some of the prep videos from each of the outlets — click through on them to find more clips as they’re uploaded.

For video, your best options are probably TV Guide (it also has a Hulu account for ease of use) and E! Online (which is also live-blogging and showing the red carpet action on TV).

John Hodgman is there Twittering as are many others (though perhaps less humorously). There’s live chat at TV.com when the actual awards start. TV Squad is live-blogging, of course, as are Give Me My Remote, The LA Times’ The Envelope, News.com.au (for an international take!), and TIME’s Tuned In. If you have any more good resources, let us know in the comments.