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2011 Denver #WebAwards winners announced!

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Westword recognized the best of the local Web again in 2011 with the Denver Web Awards, held on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 at Casselman's. Below are the winners for this year; here the 2011 Denver Web Awards finalists. -- Nick Lucchesi

Colorado Peak Politics is Denver's Best Political Blog

Because of the secret-secret nature of this blog, it's not entirely clear where it's based. But we're awarding it Denver's Best Political Blog anyway, because, hell, we're in Denver and we read it – especially when we're in the mood for some conservative snark. Digging into the criminal record of Pueblo state rep and congressional candidate Sal Pace and discovering not one, but two (!!) arrests for public urination? Brilliant. Calling him Rep. Sal Pace (D-Urination)? Even more brilliant. -- Melanie Asmar


Denver #WebAwards

Lynn Bartels is Denver's Best Journalist on Twitter

Lynn Bartels has been providing blow-by-blow insight into the doings and dealings of Colorado politicians for decades. Now she also does it in 140 characters, tweeting a combination of news and commentary. A recent example? Her response to radio host and author David Sirota, who just couldn't let his wife's loss in the Denver Public Schools board race go. Twoth Bartels: @davidsirota David, Move On. Dot Org. -- Melanie Asmar

Mindy Crane and Stacey Stegman from the Colorado Department of Transportation are Denver's Best PR Flacks on Twitter.

Okay, okay. We know texting while driving is illegal. But tweeting while driving? Oh, @ColoradoDOT, you make it so tempting. Want to know if the chain law has been lifted on Wolf Creek Pass? Tweet CDOT! Need to know which alternate exit to use when part of I-25 gets shut down because of an accident? CDOT's Twitter is there for you, providing traffic updates and answering questions promptly...you know, so you don't miss that exit. -- Melanie Asmar

Mike Henderson is Denver's Best Bartender on Twitter

@MikeHendersonCO, who tends bar at Root Down, sure likes his spirits. And he's not afraid to do some shameful self-promoting, either, luring drinkers to his watering hole with tweets promising hard-to-get New Glarus beer from Wisconsin and a new drink called the Beet Down. (LOL). But he's not all biznass, all the time. The guy also has a sense of humor, as is evident in this tweet: “Are your Mojitos gluten-free?” #onlyincolorado -- Melanie Asmar

The Redheaded Slut is Denver's Best Sex Blogger

The Redheaded Slut is a self-described “kinky Stepford wife.” She's also a no-holds-barred sex blogger with a sense of humor. Her posts are often funny and easy to read, even for those not familiar with the jargon of the kink scene. Take this snippet from a recent post: “I'm going to throw an ice cream fetishist party. It's only going to be for hardcore dairy aficionados. The lactose-intolerant need not apply. Aren't a fan of cones? Don't show up. Not into sprinkles? Get the hell out. Fro-yo lovers? What. The. Fuck.” -- Melanie Asmar

Kirsten Evans's High Altitude Planking is Denver's Web Photo of the Year

This photo is badass. Not for its superior use of composition and light or because the photographer used the correct F-stop or whatever, but because the woman in the photo – one Kirsten Evans – is a fearless motherfucker doing what fearless motherfuckers do: planking at 14,265 feet. Somebody get this lady an award. -- Melanie Asmar

Phish Show Parking Lot Fight is Denver's Most Viral Local Video of the Year

This video is gruesome. A skinny shirtless guy covered in blood faces off against a clearly upset (and much bigger) guy with a graying ponytail while onlookers in the parking lot of a September Phish show at Dick's Sporting Goods Park shout things like “You're gonna go to fucking jail, dumbass!” The video spread like wildfire, inspiring hundreds of comments, dueling Facebook pages and a Westword cover story. -- Melanie Asmar

Queerradical.com is Denver's Best Activist Blogger

Few people would probably ask the same person for sex advice and political interpretation, but the anonymous Queer Radical has the answers to both. With clarity, insight and brash humor, Queer Radical covers topics that will intrigue, infuriate and maybe even annoy you, and does it with brave and creative aplomb across the board. Maintained by donations, the site is an Internet commentary on the sexual revolution penned by a truly sassy online revolutionary. -- Kelsey Whipple

Boulder's Best Twitter User is @downtownboulder

Group-run public city accounts don't have to be boring. There's a reason Downtown Boulder boasts more than 7,000 followers: Its short, straight-to-the-point updates cover both the basics and the deep cuts of events, openings, concerts, restaurant news and the mildly awe-inspiring span of goings-on near the city's Pearl Street Mall. But pay careful attention to the hashtags here: They often betray the real opinion (read: sarcasm) of an otherwise perfectly polite account. -- Kelsey Whipple

Photos: 2011 Denver #WebAwards party

Occupy Denver is Denver's Best Social or Political Campaign

With no tents or structures allowed and regular run-ins with the police, it would be understandable if Occupy Denver struggled to keep the world updated on the movement. But that's hardly the case: The group has occupied Twitter, Facebook and its own easy-to-use website since the beginning of its reign downtown, and all three provide a functional, readily comprehensible approach to a city that the Daily Beast recently voted the angriest in America. -- Kelsey Whipple

Denver's Best Eater on Twitter is @IndieEats

Thanks to dues paid in the hospitality world, @IndieEats' bite-sized chunks of culinary information are served with insider knowledge that makes them both fun to read and easy to chew. The account details the trials and travails of regular foodie encounters while consistently interacting with other Denver food-lovers to create a rewarding and diverse weekly exchange of news and ideas from both kitchens and dining rooms. -- Kelsey Whipple

Denver's Best Food Truck on Twitter is @quieroarepas

This conversational Twitter guide reveals the personality that's possible from only the friendliest of food trucks. Quiero Arepas provides detailed updates and directions to its daily locations while politely adding apologies (and traffic updates) when it occasionally runs late. Always upbeat, its users aren't afraid to add some silly to its salsa: One recent tweet shared the music video for Devo's "Whip It." -- Kelsey Whipple

John Moore is Denver's Best Arts Blogger

Although he started his career at the Denver Post in 1993 as a baseball editor, John Moore has since become both synonymous with and incredibly successful in the theater world. Moore, who was recently named one of American Theater magazine's twelve most influential theater critics, has spent the past decade maintaining painstakingly comprehensive and wonderfully creative coverage of local theater, with none of the stereotypical pretension that would keep people from finding a niche, exploring it and ultimately loving it. -- Kelsey Whipple

Tanner Spendley Runs Denver's Best Flickr pool

During his unpaid tenure as a freelance photographer, Tanner Spendley's stunning and emotional photos have crossed such mainstream media outlets as Fox and CNN. His most recent work centers on the widely varying scenes at Occupy Denver, where he lends simplicity and immediacy to violent outbreaks and peaceful protests alike. Spendley demands no payment for his work, which is readily available on both his Flickr page and his personal website. He asks only for the opportunity to share it. -- Kelsey Whipple

Photos: 2011 Denver #WebAwards party

@Smotus is Denver's Best Twitter User

We are living in serious times. There's that 2012 election, for starters, and Harold Camping's still around to continue predicting the end of the world. And, oh, yeah, the economy. So for best tweeter, we need someone who's serious. Seth Masket is an associate professor of political science at the University of Denver who writes for HuffPo, blogs about how the Dark Knight relates to the War on Terror, gets mentions in the Washington Post and tweets things like "I will pay a Politico employee $40K to harass me." -- Jenny An

Big World, Small Kitchen is Denver's Best Food Blog

With one of the most professional-looking independent blogs on the web, great photos, and the web savvy to include easy-to-print recipes, it's hard to quibble with Kazia Jankowski's Big World Small Kitchen. The blog mostly covers what the culinary-school-educated writer is cooking, accompanied by lovely, minimalist photographs, but it's her narratives about how cooking, eating and life are connected that cinches this win. Okay, one quibble: More updates, please! -- Jenny An

TAG has Denver's Best Restaurant Website

TAG's website has everything a restaurant website should have: There's luscious food porn, an easy-to-find menu that's not a .pdf, and the hours ― including happy hour, or, as they call it, “social hour” ― are brilliantly located at the bottom of the page. Links to the Denver restaurant's OpenTable page, Twitter and Facebook profiles and a Yelp! page are handy, as well. And the fact that it doesn't blare cheesy jazz or adult contemporary the second you open it? Glorious. -- Jenny An

Forkly is Denver's Best Locally Built Food App

You're hungry, so what do you do? Denver-based Forkly lets you know which restaurants are close by, tells you what other eaters thought of the food, and provides a phone number you can call with a tap. For the directionally challenged, there's even a map. Places like Great Divide offer perks for hard-core Forkly users, and who doesn't love free beer? -- Jenny An

South Stands Denver Fancast is Denver's Best Podcast

South Stands Denver Fancast is a sports podcast that's a fun listen even for non-sports fans. There are the standard play-by-plays and personal speculations about pro-sports, but there's also plenty of pop culture and shit talk for the rest. Hosts John Reidy (of the A.V. Club's Jock Itch fame), Colin Daniels and Aaron X. Mikulich throw in sex euphemisms whenever they get the chance, especially when they're talking Tebow. -- Jenny An

Denver Off the Wagon is Denver's Best Booze Blog

When it comes to a stable of booze writers, Denver Off the Wagon is a band that's tough to beat. Mix some of the city's best bartenders, chefs and enthusiasts with a healthy shot of expert knowledge and the behind-the-scenes scoop on what's happening in the Denver booze scene, and you've got a site that's not safe for consuming before happy hour. You've been warned: It will make you thirsty. -- Jenny An

@VagTalk is Denver's Best Artist on Twitter

Denver-based comic-book artist and poet Sommer Browning is really fucking funny. Whether it's a twitpic glimpse of her book Either Way I'm Celebrating, which details the things she's belligerently against (iced coffee, flip-flops, therapy and getting her picture taken) or a charmingly irreverent statement like "Modern day vampire test: See if their fingers can activate an iPhone," cue the girl crush now. Not particularly for the faint of heart, VagTalk's humor is sometimes dark and dirty, but you probably already figured that out. -- Jenny An

360 Panorama is Denver's Best Photo Phone App

Whether you want a sweeping panoramic photo of the Rockies or one of your tiny cubicle, 360 Panorama, from Boulder-based Occipital, can do that. Turn it on, spin around, and your iPhone (or iPad) will have a panoramic image ready within twenty seconds. Bonus: The app makes it easy to Facebook, Tweet and e-mail the stunning view from the fourteener you just climbed or the depths of your boredom in the office. -- Jenny An

@Isisspeaks is Denver's Best MC on Twitter

If the daring gaze from her big brown eyes doesn't draw you in immediately, her bio ("I can give it to you but what you gon' do with it?,” from Method Man) surely will. Isis Speaks is the artist to follow on Twitter. Honest, direct, cultured and funny, Isis – also a Westword Music Showcase Award winner – is an emerging MC on the hip-hop scene. Her joking and easy demeanor have garnered her respect from many of her peers. Usually riffing on music (she loves Nina Simone), style (hates men with mohawks), and womanism (she's a staunch feminist), Isis makes Twitter a much more entertaining place. -- Ru Johnson

@KdjaBoVe is Denver's Best DJ on Twitter

KDJ Above is a DJ who's figured out how to make Twitter work for him. Using his timeline to promote his endless gigs (on any given night, he's likely to be spinning somewhere in the city), his mix show and his quest for good music, KDJ Above's tweets are fun-filled and easy to follow. There's an equal amount of promotion, conversation and links to good music. He shares what he's listening to, previews tracks he plans to spin at the club, and keeps a solid stream of hip-hop running through the timeline on a daily basis. -- Ru Johnson

CobraConda's "BBHM$" is Denver's Best Music Video on YouTube

"BBHM$" (shorthand for "Bitch better have my money"), CobraConda's highly explicit video, is an homage to the vices these guys admire – namely, sex, drugs and, well, partying. From the scenes depicting fellatio to the brazen cocaine consumption, the clip pushes the envelope of what is acceptable for music videos and offers a birds-eye view of hedonism in the flesh.

-- Britt Chester

Photos: 2011 Denver #WebAwards party

Club Vinyl is Denver's Best Nightclub on Facebook

It's not out of the ordinary to see constant promotional updates from clubs; after all, it's their job to promote their shows. Vinyl goes even further by posting random photos, quotes and links to pictures of the venue's events on Facebook. With a commanding social-media presence, Vinyl does a fine job of engaging club-goers, with unique promotions such as photo contests for patrons, who have the chance to be named “Fan of the Month” and receive free bottle service on a night of their choosing. -- Britt Chester

EpicMix is Denver's Best Locally Designed Smartphone App

For skiers, snowboarders and people who generally enjoy the mountains and snow, EpicMix is the ideal application. It logs ascended vertical feet, awards pins for accomplishments, allows users to post photos and keeps all the information online, so you can constantly check to see who's close to winning (if it was a contest) most days on the mountain. Basically, it's Foursquare, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all compressed into one easy-to-use application. The only drawback is that it only includes Vail Resorts affiliated slopes, so you Mary-Janers and Aspen adventurers are S.O.L. (Snow Outta Luck). -- Britt Chester

StagePass is Denver's Best Locally Designed Music App

This smartphone application was just released, but it's unparalleled on the open market (recording studios use this technology). StagePass allows you filter all your music through a certain algorithm so that the audio sounds exactly as it would if you were actually at one of the featured venues. Are you sad that your favorite band has yet to grace the stage at Red Rocks? Fear not: StagePass allows you to hear that super-underground indie band just as if they were rocking the Rocks. Comprising more than 45 venues so far, StagePass will continue to update its featured venues so you can re-create that one memory from that one show at that one place. -- Britt Chester

The Ralphie Report is Denver's Best Sports Blog

The Ralphie Report's coverage of the struggling CU Buffs football program this year has certainly been a challenge for its writers, who for all their support of the Buffs have to call it like they see it on the field. That said, this SB Nation blog keeps readers engaged with pre- and post-game coverage and the usual SB Nation standard of live game threads, making it an information-heavy distraction from a team that's rebuilding. -- Nick Lucchesi

Colorado Dispensary Services has Denver's Best Use of Social Media by a Medical Marijuana Dispensary or Activist

The world of medical marijuana is often ahead of its more traditional peers when it comes to reaching out to patients via social media, providing news updates and the latest in MMJ policy from around the country. With a robust Facebook presence, CDS posts updates several times daily and matches that pace with its Twitter account, @cdscenters. The competition in the MMJ marketplace is as, um, high as that of any other industry in Colorado, but CDS leads the pack. -- Nick Lucchesi

@JohnElway is Denver's Best Sports Team on Twitter

Now, before you cry foul because John Elway isn't technically a team, but a person (albeit a larger-than-life one around these parts), know that tweets from @JohnElway provide front-office insight about the Broncos in a way we wish all pro-sports team Twitter accounts did. While @Denver_Broncos may shill merch sales or its own @BroncosTV brand, Elway tweets about what's going on out there on the field. For casual and obsessive Broncos fans alike, he's a must-follow. -- Nick Lucchesi

Ski & Snow Report is Denver's Best Sports Phone App

This app is our winner this year for one reason: “Powder Alerts” function, which allows a user to set up an alert that will notify him when snowfall in his favorite ski area has increased. Want to know when the high country's gotten more than four inches? You'll be alerted ― hopefully with enough time to call in to work that day. -- Nick Lucchesi

@matt9duchene is Denver's Best Local Athlete on Twitter

Tim Tebow may get all the attention, but the Denver athlete with the most entertaining Twitter account is Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche -- if for no other reason than this: Duchene doesn't just use Twitter as a PR tool, nor does he use it for self-aggrandizing or shit talk. Instead, he uses it like the rest of us do. Case in point: His live tweets of the Country Music Awards. Duchene's updates on the CMAs probably annoyed some of his followers, but that just makes him all the more one of us. “Sorry if I annoyed anyone else as much as @TJGaliardi, the CMAs are just a big tv night for me haha.” It's okay, Matt. We're still following you. -- Nick Lucchesi

Robert Chase is Denver's Best Westword.com Commenter

The comment sections of websites, as recently pointed out by Jason Sudeikis as the Devil on SNL, were surely created by Satan. Chock-full of name-calling and personal insults, they are nevertheless what most people read first. Don't lie – you know you do it. Yet Robert Chase, who seems to post only disagreements with other commenters across all parts of the site, is this year's Champion of Commenting, for his volume of comments on issues large and small. Troll on, Robert, troll on. -- Nick Lucchesi

@DenverPolice is Denver's Best Social Media Use by a Public Service

Lieutenant Matt Murray is the officer behind the active @DenverPolice Twitter account, which, in addition to publishing “Overnight” updates about car wrecks and robberies, also takes a pro-active approach to defending its policies, the most apparent being the posting of a poll on the department's controversial use of photo-radar cameras, in which Murray went after the local Fox affiliate for a report the department felt was unfair. This unfettered access to the pulse of a police department should be recognized for its rarity and refreshing nature. -- Nick Lucchesi

Photos: 2011 Denver #WebAwards party

Visit Denver is Denver's Best Civic Phone App

Some of us, when traveling to a new place, stick to the national apps to tell us where to eat, spend our days and drink away our evenings. But for those who want to immerse themselves in a city for a a few days, especially if that city is Denver, downloading the Visit Denver app for iPhone, Android or the sometimes-awkward-to-carry iPad is worth it. With categories like Free Events, Music, Kids, Science, Sports and Theatre, the app allows you to have fun like a tourist while harnessing the know-how of a local. Then go a step further and talk to the locals while you're here. We're friendly ― promise. -- Nick Lucchesi

This Song Is Sick is Denver's Best Music Blog

An early sign that your blog has made it is when the traffic to your site crashes the servers. That's what happened to Nick Guarino's This Song Is Sick electronic-music blog, when the Boulder-based blogger released an exclusive Big Gigantic song in May. The second sign that your blog has made it is when the imitators – who shall remain nameless here – spring up. What makes This Song Is Sick sing is its run of releasing exclusive tracks – seemingly the best strategy to get visitors returning to your blog daily. -- Nick Lucchesi

Peter Black is Denver's Best Shameless Self-Promoter

First things first: This is a tongue-in-cheek award, given to the hustling-est promoters in Denver, who are pushing their parties, releases, artists or anything else they put their weight behind. That promoter this year is Denver DJ and promoter Peter Black, whose Denver After Dark electronic-music festival this past August was a big hit for its attendance and curated selection of white-hot local music talent. -- Nick Lucchesi

@ChrisParente is Denver's Best TV or Radio Personality on Twitter or Facebook

Sure, as an entertainment reporter, Chris Parente has more leeway to be himself on Twitter and Facebook ― more so than, say, this town's established, ultra-serious reporters. And who would want it any other way? But Parente doesn't just relax and enjoy his status as the token zany TV guy. No, no. His thoroughly entertaining Twitter and Facebook fan pages include these recent gems, which perhaps best sum up his access: getting slapped by Regis Philbin and posing with Miss Piggy and Kermit. Parente's affable style translates well to social media, as he doesn't come off as too serious. -- Nick Lucchesi

Penny Parker is Denver's Biggest Foursquare Addict

Ever met Denver Post gossip columnist and blogger Penny Parker in person (say that three times fast)? That's okay, she'll probably friend you on Foursquare – the addicting social check-in game – anyway. With more than 1,800 check-ins under her belt, Parker seems to be out and about as much as anyone in Denver. And she should be: How else would she land those scoops? -- Nick Lucchesi

Photos: 2011 Denver #WebAwards party

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