If you were there last night, thank you for coming to the first-ever Westword Web Awards party at Casselman's, 2620 Walnut Street. The room swelled (see full slideshow from the Web Awards) to about 400 bloggers, photographers, shameless self-promoters and artists, who tweeted about the thing all night. As promised, below is a full list of winners and top nominees.
Oh, and that wasn't Steve Jobs last night. What's a party without a good prank? But g'hed and tell everybody that's Steve Jobs in the photo with you. The actor was none other than Rand Moritzky. He's available.
Blogging: Best Neighborhood Blog: Unseen Denver.com A "street view of Denver presented by locals," the people behind this blog stop take photos of the things we drive or walk by every day: street art, stickers on electric boxes and more. Each post is tagged with a specific neighborhood; it may not come as a surprise but most of the spotted artworks showcased on UD are from Cap Hill. Nominees: danvur.blogspot.com, denverinfill.com, denvermade.com, 5280blog.blogspot.com, divacowgirl.blogspot.com, goss-grove.blogspot.com, rottenapplepie.blogspot.com, brokeindenver.blogspot.com/
Best Sports Blog: All things Avs. Yes, the Denver Post. But in blogging, value is show in things like comments, retweets and Facebook shares, which makes Adrian Dater's Avs blog a prized possession for Avalanche fans. Nominees: fcdenver.org/blog, southstandsdenver.com, milehighreport.com, denverstiffs.com, ralphiereport.com
Best Personal Blog: Burningdownthehouseblog.com "A touching, incredibly well-written blog by a woman whose house has burned down twice -- once at the age of twelve and again in the Four Mile Canyon fire earlier this year. No persona, just enthralling entries from a rare perspective." Nominees: redheadwriting.com, blog.caligater.com, datingdad.com, bieske.blogspot.com, bigdummydaddy.blogspot.com, chelseatalkssmack.blogspot.com, divacowgirl.blogspot.com, harusami.com/wordpress, hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com, radicalkaizen.com, thislivelyearth.com, lakehouseracine.blogspot.com, mysocalleddenver.blogspot.com, phillipholland.com, disasterandgrace.blogspot.com, talkthirtytome.com. weblog.chrisgrundemann.com, denverfrank.weebly.com, greghollenback.blogspot.com, sixfeetofsnow.com, theink.blogspot.com and trailerparktrollups.com.
Best Political Blog: ElephantJournal.com Sustainability to yoga, ElephantJournal.com covers more than just politics and it's updated often, making it a go-to for Denverites with a wide variety of interests. Nominees: theironmike.com, blog.ariarmstrong.com, coloradopols.com, coloradoindependent.com, coloradowins.org, completecolorado.com, facethestate.com, blogs.denverpost.com/thespot, peoplespresscollective.com, politicscolorado.blogspot.com, huffingtonpost.com/denver, truthpluslies.com.
Best Activism Blog or Site: FightWithFood.org (Darren Lyman, president) A "grassroots organization dedicated to ending world hunger," this Englewood-based blog has all the resources available for those looking to lend a hand. Nominees: blog.westandfirm.org, blog.thereleafcenter.com, the1010project.org, womennewsnetwork.net, freerangelongmont.com, kimsidwell.com, mountainstateslegal.org, plantsanimals.org, thegrazingmind.com, coisoc.org, and combathumantrafficking.org.
Best Sex Blog: toywithme.com Bracingly honest and humorous talk about the sex lives of real people. It's like having a few totally awesome female friends who always tell it like it is. Nominees: empoweredsex.com, godonnybrook.com/home/category/snl/denvers-most-fuckable-rockstars, provocateurerotica.com.
Food and Drink: Best Food Blog: Denver on a Spit This category received dozens of nominations. But it goes to Denver on a Spit for writer Mark's approachable writing style and his chronicles of eating out in Denver. He also covers closings of restaurants like a reporter writes an obituary, and lastly backs up his words with plenty of food porn. Nominees: ruthtobias.com/denveater, baconandotherbadhabits.com, BigWorldSmallKitchen.com, culinary-colorado.blogspot.com, frenchpressmemos.blogspot.com, blackboardkitchen.com, denverfoodguy.blogspot.com, denverhappyhour.com, ramblingspoon.com/blog, thedenverfoodstory.blogspot.com, vinolucistyle.com/blog, obsessivepalate.blogspot.com, zachisstillhungry.com, denbbq.com, jennandbeer.com and userealbutter.com. Best Bar Blog : Geeks Who Drink Add getting drunk on a work night to showing off your massive knowledge of useless pop culture ephemera and you have a recipe for good times. The blog does a good job of making it sound like as much fun as it actually is. Nominees: happyhourmary.com, 303go.com, topshelfguide.com, denversixshooter.com, morrisonholidaybar.com, lodomagazine.com.
Best Food or Drink Video: Wine Not? A Video Wine Tasting w/ Magic Cyclops and GoDonnybrook.com. "The Donnybrook Writing Academy's first episode of Wine Not? A Video Wine Tasting, brought to you by Mondo Vino: There are many wine tasting shows on the internets, but none will make you really understand the true varietals of life like Wine Not. Little can be said about this show or its host, Rich LeFevre, but what can be said is that iPhones are useless against its powers. Rich LeFevre critiques a merlot, guest starring Magic Cyclops." Nominees: here , here and here.
Best Restaurant Site: Watercourse Foods Everything a restaurant website should have: personality, a picture of what the place is like, community involvement, social media integreation and yes, the holy grail of restaurant websites -- menus that are not in PDF form! Congrats, you vegetarian code-writers. Nominees: atlaspurveyors.com, cremacoffeehouse.net, hushdenver.com, osteriamarco.com, loladenver.com, tavernhg.com, tag-restaurant.com and backcountryprovisions.com
Best Use of Twitter by an Eater: Sarah Gore (@Sarah_Gore) Taking a strong STANCE on the Customer Experience. Creating sparkpoints that inspire. Dining in Denver's best. Cooking clumsily at home.. Nominees: @gourmetglee, @monkandmao, @TheDenverDish, @searchdenver, @lifted and @jjwonder.
Best Use of Twitter by a Bartender: Ryan Conklin, http://twitter.com/#!/DenverBartender. Tweets both positive and negative, Conklin uses twitter the way most restaurant writers should -- with an informed professional tone. Nominees: @SandyTrap4, @seankenyon, @thebitterbar, @rackhousepub and @Hula_Moon.
Best Use of Twitter by a Chef/Cook: http://twitter.com/#!/frankbonanno "Keep it Simple." It's his twitter bio and his cooking philosophy and it applies perfectly to both areas. Bonanno posts updates like "Pie shop is open! Just pulled the applies pies out of the oven..." that, if tweeted by a regular person, might be mundane. But by him, it means you should thinking about stopping by. Nominees: @sweetactionic, @seel303, @VinoLuci, @JensenDCummings and @lawrenceyee
Best Use of Twitter by a Food Truck: @CakeCrumbsTruck People call him the cupcake guy and for a good reason. Twitter is essential for food trucks and Sean of @CakeCrumbsTruck gets it better than most. Congrats! Nominees: @bikerjims, @gastrocart, @SteubensTruck, @deluxe_st_food and @DenverBiscuitCo.
Arts, Culture and Music Best Music Blog: One Track Mind Free music is great. Smart, informed commentary on music is great. Put them together, on One Track Mind, and the result is, uh... double great? Whatever -- the result is a blog that's worth checking daily. Nominees: phatphlogblog.blogspot.com, popularlemonade.com, artistroster.com, causeequalstime.com, gotbassmusic.com, blogs.denverpost.com/reverb, delta-slider.blogspot.com, dubrocksyndicate.blogspot.com, minesblog.com/music, thissongissick.com, tometotheweathermachine.com and minesblog.com/music. Best Arts Blog: AlwaysOverserved.blogspot.com There were several good nominations for this category but it goes to http://alwaysoverserved.blogspot.com/ for its wonderfully irreverent comics posted every few days on a schedule that keeps readers guessing but coming back for more. It's not Arts with a capital A and that's why it stands out. Nominees: artistspotlight.blogspot.com, denverhandmade.org, dbartnews.com, creativitytour48.com/blog/, horseshoemarket.blogspot.com, illiteratemagazine.com, changethethought.com, joyengine.com and themovieadvocate.com.
Best Use of Twitter by an Artist: Debbie Clapper, AKA @gneural Her Twitter bio? "Rulers are for chumps." I also think rules are for chumps. For thinking outside the box, and for her diverse selection of status updates on Twitter, Debbie's a person to follow, if you're into the arts or not. Nominees: @artbynemo, @AverageJoeArt, @gneural, @OM_SUN, @pictureplane, @sugarcollider, @TheBigKlowsowski, @themaincourse and @thesigntologist.
Best Use of Twitter by a Rapper: MC Sole. He's actually on the westcoast right now, so he can't accept his award, but this Denver MC seems to get the web and how to connect with his audience better than anyone. Nominees: @makindents.
Best Club Site: http://lotusclubs.com Club websites are often infrequently updated, include outdated -- or worse, incorrect information -- and generally lead somebody anxious to get out of the house to another website. Not so with LotusClubs.com. It's a one-stop site for four clubs. It's also updated, sometimes several times daily. Nominees: casselmans.com, hi-dive.com, therobustoroom.com, betanightclub.com and tavernhg.com/soiled_dove.
Business: Best Use of Facebook to Promote a Business: Elephant Journal on Facebook. Updated often -- some may complain its too often -- EJ's Facebok presence certainly is powerful. Nearly 30,000 fans can't be wrong. Nominees: Andrew Hudson, Atlas Purveyors, Camelflage, Denver Browns, Dumb Friends League and Paramount Denver.
Best Use of Twitter to Promote a Personal Brand: DJ Mada DJs are their own publicists. Sure, they may have people who book their shows, but they're a one-man operation. DJ Mada is, as he puts it, "paid to party," but he works even harder to keep his fans in the loop through Twitter.
Best Use of Facebook to Promote a Personal Brand: Redhead Writing Ah Facebook: Some would say it's the home of unpopular thoughts and blunt advice. Which is why Redhead Writing's Facebook page -- a mix of linkbacks to her site and external content that's within her universe (The Daily Show, the Onion) makes it a page to follow and one of the best Facebook brand extensions in Denver. Nominees: @RedheadWriting, @DenverFrank, @Colorado_Mom, @stevemartintogo and @MileHighCheap.
Best Start-up: Tweety Got Back "A maker of background themes for Twitter pages, Tweety Got Back has partnered with behemoths like NASA and Someecards.com to become a ubiquitous presence lurking behind everyone's favorite 140-character obsession. They also get points for caving to public pressure and producing a Justin Bieber theme." Nominees: reapermachines.com, Camelflage LLC, Colorado Safe and Vault, Colorado Vault & Safe Deposit Box Co., COUTUREColorado, Denver Media Watch, Denverfuntimes.com, Fromthehipphoto.com, http://gutcheckit.com, movementstrategy.com, topshelfguide.com, DailyDealsForDenverMoms, sinisterministries.com, PikeResearch.com, PerformanceMMA.com, sliceoflime.com, Splik-it, Swarm Collective, The Pampered Paramour, TidWid Entertainment, blueriotlabs.com, closely.com, cougarlimousine.com, denverboulderingclub.com, mountainthreads.com and thrivesocialmedia.com.
Best Service (iPhone, Website): MileHighOnTheCheap.com This site takes on the incredibly popular deals trend with gusto, making it at least one site online local consumers should stop. Nominees: ahjobslist.com, AndrewHudsonsJobsList.com, bloggingwithbeth.com, AllThingsPrivatePractice.com, hcrealms.com and textvsticket.com.
Best Locally Built iPhone App: RedLaser "This app, created by local company Occipital, makes lasers sexy again. The app allows users to scan barcodes on items and track down the best price for it online. Thriftastic!" Nominees: iSCENEyou, Peak Meetings and Picture Frame.
Best Marijuana Dispensary Blog or Website: The Releaf Center. Maintained by the staff of the dispensary to provide information about the evolving medical marijuana marketplace, it's updated often and includes both in-house ad material as well as political news. Nominees: connect2cannabis.com, tgtree.com, thecliniccolorado.com, inharmonywellness.com, puremmj.com, Thchealth.com and theherbalcure.net. Best Use of Social Media by a Sports Team: Denver Nuggets Social media is about hustle as much as it is about clever tweets or timely Facebook news. The Denver Nuggets strategy seems to work in time with its on-court play. Run by Movement Strategy, the Nuggets on Facebook and Twitter keep in touch with fans, with only a slight filter that makes you think its run by a PR firm. Nominees: Denver Browns, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rapids.
Best Denver Ski/Snow Twitter Account: @ColoradoSkiUSA, aka Colorado Ski Country. With 22 member resorts, CSCUSA is the heart, soul and voice of Colorado's ski industry, happily tweeted to you by Jenn.
Best Resort Site/Social Media Presence : Loveland Ski Area, @LovelandSkiArea on Twitter. With video and pics, and snow updates daily, skiers who head to Loveland will know what to expect, and if they're not going, they still know what's going on on the hill. Nominees: Vail, Eldora.
Individuals: Best Tweet of the Year: http://twitter.com/sugarcollider/statuses/9760975297 The tweet: The way I will describe Internet to my kids and/or 72 cats someday is 'It's like microfiche and tapeworms had radioactive babies' "The year 2010 will be remembered as the year we all got creeped out by the Internet. We tell strangers where we are, what we're doing and then walk to the movie theater to watch movies about popular websites. This tweet sums up just how terrifying the web is."
Best Facebook Status Update of the Year: http://www.facebook.com/charleslpayne/posts/902583618133 The status update: Just read that 70 million of our hard earned American hours are spent playing FarmVille every week. Could this be the recession? "Everyone is worried about FarmVille. We all know someone who plays it, but no one knows why. This status update demonstrates its uncanny power: FarmVille will ruin us all."
Best Shameless Self-Promoter: Waylon Lewis -- @elephantjournal "No one works harder than Waylon Lewis when it comes to slipping links into your lunch. The man is a driven communicator and would ordinarily be exiled from the state, but his vehicle of expression (Elephant Journal) actually wants to save the world. Elephantine exemption!" Nominees: Adam Leech, Andrew Hudson, Carissa Passerella, David Booker, Erika Napoletano, John Baxter, Leah Charney, Patricia Sommer, Peter Black.
Best Twitterer: Aimee Giese -- @greeblemonkey "Aimee blends photography, maternal anecdotes, biting social media savvy, bespectacled sass and a cute-as-a-button avatar to create one of Denver's most entertaining, informing and valuable Twitter accounts. Click follow -- you'll rub your tummy with satisfaction." Best Blog Post of the Year: Maes okays yanking negative Facebook posts. In a year where politicians did this often -- Sarah Palin perhaps the most obvious example -- this local version of social media censorship was called out often. This item by the Denver Post showcases a local angle on a national trend. It wouldn't make the print version of papers, but that doesn't mean it's not worth reading by a long shot.
Best Westword.com Commenter: DenverScener@gmail.com Ah yes, his grumpy calling-out of musicians, writers or promoters showed no allegiance to factions or sides. For stirring the pot on Backbeat the past few years, and generally remaining anonymous while doing so, Scener is our Westword.com commenter of the year.
Best Local Celebrity Twitter Account: Tim Tebow. Yes, Tebow. He's just downright boring at times, but he's Tim Tebow. Tebow. So we follow him. They should rename it Tweeber instead of Twitter.
Best Fake Local Celebrity Twitter Account: @NotJayCutler How do we keep up with Twitter accounts of athletes who've gone to other cities? We can follow their real Twitter accounts, but that's no fun -- just look at Tim Tebow -- or we can follow accounts like @NotJayCutler. "Holy shit, I'm playing right now." is a prime tweet from October 24.
Best Denver Redditor: http://www.reddit.com/user/pholland167. A member of the one-year club on this web community, He's a frequent commenter on the site. Kudos sir!
Best Denver Digger: http://digg.com/vtbarrera. Nearly 100,000 diggs on the social news site, 3,528 comments and dozens of front page stories on the site. Victor Barrera.
Best Denver Farker: Marc, the man behind Denver's Fark parties.
Public Affairs: Best Use of Twitter by Government Agency or Politician: FreshCityLife It's a library program that has a lot of interesting public events, and the feed is pretty lively and helpful.
Best .Gov Website (Best governmental website or department): http://denverlibrary.org/ Government Websites are notorious for being confusing labyrinths of dead links, old information and as full of as much bureaucracy as well, the actual government. Just ask any reporter doing an investigative story. However, that stops with library websites, where information is easy to find, plentiful and, dare we say it, helpful and easy. The Denver Public Library is no exception when it comes to user experience.
Best Use of Social Media by a Campaign/Policy Effort: Ryan Johnson of HickenlooperforColorado.com. Campaigning in 2010 is as much about social media as it is about stump speeches. Johnson proved he's more than capable during the last Colorado Gov election, helping turn a mayor into a governor. He kept it positive and kept Hickenlooper's voice in the e-mails. Well done.
Multimedia: Best Flickr Pool: http://www.flickr.com/groups/denverzoo/ This group is 250 people strong and includes 4,450 images, all from the Denver Zoo. You could spend hours clicking through and examining the photos -- which is not to say you shouldn't go to the zoo itself. And is it a just a PR tool? Not really, as they spell out: "This site is in no way endorsed, supported by, nor affiliated with the Denver Zoo. No representation is intended."
Best Designed Site : Red Citizen Design Is it any surprise a website designing company has the best-designed web site? With bold graphics and attention-grabbing construction, the moving parts of Red Citizen Design still remain seamless.
Best Photo of the Year: http://www.flickr.com/photos/artofthepresent/4971329079/ Watchers of the FourMile Canyon fire. The composition of this shot is dreamy, with two women watching the fire in the valley below. For its storytelling ability and artful composition, this is our favorite online photo of the year. By Drew Levin.
Best Local YouTube Video: Was there any question this year? Yes, Colorado Girls is our winner. Whether you hated it or loved it, you couldn't argue with the 781k views it received.
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Best Talk Podcast : Denver Diatribe. A newsy, magazine-like podcast that covers a variety of topics, DD is akin to a city magazine that's on the air, or rather, through the wires: "A weekly podcast about culture, news and stuff as it pertains to Denver, CO, the most interesting city between Omaha and Salt Lake City." Nominees: southstandsdenver.com, johndoeradio.com, one-track-mind.com/category/the-hidden-track-podcast, Tokin Daily -- State of the herb address.
Best "Potcast": Cannabis news and views -- and action! John Doe Radio is a weekly podcast on the policies of pot.
Lifetime Achievement Award: Merton. Yes, Merton, the improv piano player whose videos went viral, got him on international news and yes, even earned him his own Wikipedia page that wasn't deleted immediately. Congrats, sir.