Here are the winners of the 2011 Denver #WebAwards in the category we're loosely dubbing "news," which means Westword scribes report on the happenings in these beats, right here on Latest Word. These are the winners only; for a complete list of finalists go here: "Here are your 2011 Denver #WebAwards finalists." View the complete list of 2011 #WebAwards winners.
Sports Blog 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.
Political Blog 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.
Activist Blogger 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.
Best locally built Phone App of the Year 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).
Use of Social Media by Medical Marijuana Dispensary or Activist 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.
Local Athlete on Twitter @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 irritated 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.
Page down for more winners! Denver's Best Twitter User @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."
Boulder's best Twitter User 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.
Westword.com Commenter 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.
Social Media Use by Public Service @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 proactive 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.
Best Podcast 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.
Journalist on Twitter 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.
Page down for more winners! PR Flack on Twitter 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, CDOT, 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.
Sports Team Twitter @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
Social or Political Campaign 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.
Sports Phone App 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.
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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.
More from our Web Awards category, from November 2010: "We had a party and tweeted about it: Westword #WebAwards winners!"