Meet the 2012 Denver #WebAwards winners

We came. We saw. We tweeted. Last night, Westword hosted the third annual Denver Web Awards, our celebration of Denver's greatest digital minds. In September, we put out a call for you, dear readers, to nominate your favorite online projects, and a team at Westword spent more than a month whittling your suggestions down to our final entries across categories featuring news, arts, food and music.

See also:
- Denver's Best Instagram Account 2012
- Meet the 2012 Denver #WebAwards finalists
- Twenty best Instagram photos from the 2012 Denver #WebAwards
- Fifteen best tweets about the 2012 Denver #WebAwards

Best Sports Blog: Denver Stiffs
Denver Stiffs is not only pretty; it’s prolific. An affiliate of sports-blog network SB Nation (which is responsible for the blog’s slick look), Denver Stiffs features game previews and recaps that are both in-depth and readable. And the reports aren’t regurgitation: Stiffs bloggers attend practices and interview players and coaches. Most impressive is this blog’s active stable of commenters. Even on election day, when most folks were thinking about Obama v. Romney, a post about the Nuggets v. Pistons game that night garnered 64 comments in an hour. God bless America.

Best Political Blog:
Conservative blog has kept up with independent investigations, and in today's media market, it's a bit of a rare gem. Most recently, reporter Todd Shepherd unearthed White House e-mails about the Department of Energy's loans to bankrupt company Abound Solar, pushing forward a political controversy that made its way into the pages of the Denver Post and other mainstream outlets and became a GOP talking point against President Obama in the final weeks of the race. While we might not always agree with the slant, we appreciate the persistence and the doggedness. Keep on digging!

Best Activist or Advocate Blog: New Era Colorado
During an election year in a swing state, few topics are as valuable as voter rights and information. On its website and via social media, New Era Colorado tackles both the facts (where and when to vote) and the fun stuff (where the parties are) on a regular basis while informing potential voters about the issues and linking them to outlets where they can find more extensive resources. The nonprofit's mix of topics both humorous and serious makes for a friendly and informative online voice.

Best Marijuana Dispensary or Activist on Social Media: Leafly
Combining mainstream aesthetics with accessible and concise information, Leafly's social media presence transcends the stoner-bro culture that turns off so many skeptics of MMJ and offers an inclusive world that's comfortable for all members of the cannabis community. Whether it's news about an exciting new strain, low-cost deals on ounces, or updates on the battle against marijuana prohibition, Leafly Dispensary's Facebook and Twitter pages are comprehensive sources for all you need to know about the (other) Denver nuggets.

Best Athlete on Social Media: Missy Franklin, Olympic swimmer
The Olympics as seen through the eyes of a teenage girl: That was what adorably giddy swimmer Missy Franklin’s tweets provided to her fans at home in Colorado. She shared a photo of herself in front of the Tower of London, one of the red-white-and-blue fingernail paint she wore for her races and one of her new Olympic rings tattoo. And she “just died” when Justin Bieber tweeted his congratulations on her gold medal in the 100-meter backstroke. Absolutely. Adorable.

Best Politician on Social Media": John Hickenlooper
He might not tweet a lot, but when he does, his tweets can be quite endearing, especially coming from the politician who holds the state’s highest office. Governor John Hickenlooper, @hickforco, recently tweeted out a photo of his bloody face — not actual blood, but rather the makeup he put on for the zombie crawl in Denver. Another adorable tweet from the brewery-owner-turned-politician came after his Democratic National Convention address this year, when he said, “Whew! Speech done. Avoided sweating too much. Now let's get President Obama re-elected. #DNC2012.” We award Hickenlooper (who's known for sometimes saying funny or silly things in real life) this honor as a bit of a challenge, too: Tweet more, guv.

Best Denver Twitter Account: Denver Center For the Performing Arts
The Denver Center for the Performing Arts oversees a complex of theaters and venues for the arts-seeking public. Much of what it has to offer might be taken for granted if it weren’t for the Twitter account keeping theater revelers up to date with news of upcoming shows, coverage of current performances and open invites to panel discussions. Corporate Twitter accounts are often just robots of tweeting, but the DCPA responds quickly to questions and interacts with patrons as if they were talking on the phone. This personality gives new life to an otherwise tech-run device, making it easier for Twitter patrons to learn important details about ticket sales, upcoming events, and what to look for in the multiple theaters on whose behalf the account tweets.

Best Boulder Twitter Account: Boulder Parking
It might not sound exciting, but it is. The organizers at Boulder's official parking account have taken a simple concept – routine car Tetris – and made it even simpler, with regular updates on the city's best and blocked spots as construction and gridlock change. Now, smart social-media users can experience the feeling of pulling into that oddly convenient spot on demand, thanks to the simple (and often strangely funny) tweets of @boulderparking.

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