Masters of Cyberspace

The Press hands out its first Houston Web Awards.

"I'd started other projects before, mainly things that I hadn't had a passion for, and over the course of time I would just lose interest in them. I can go days without sleeping because there are so many things that I want to incorporate, create and share with the people that stop by my blog and communicate with me. I enjoy doing what I'm doing," Alanis says.

What Alanis says follows a common thread throughout every conversation we had with Beck, Nielsen, Karnavas. Keep it fun, keep it simple and above all, enjoy what you are doing.

Blurbs by Jeff Balke, Craig Hlavaty, Mandy Oaklander, Brittanie Shey and Katharine ­Shilcutt

Social media has been a lifeline of opportunity for Merritt Beck and her marketing and design firm.
Photo by Jeff Myers
Social media has been a lifeline of opportunity for Merritt Beck and her marketing and design firm.
Juan Alanis covers Houston's pop culture scene in Spanish and English, rejecting 
traditional media 
notions about what it 
is to be Mexican or Mexican-American.
Photo by Jeff Myers
Juan Alanis covers Houston's pop culture scene in Spanish and English, rejecting traditional media notions about what it is to be Mexican or Mexican-American.

Best Local Activism Site

Despite ultimately losing the battle to keep KTRU's alternative format and Rice campus location, the people behind the movement were organized and their Web site was a well-oiled extension of their effort, which probably should be expected; these are Rice grads after all.

Best Start-Up Blog

This rapidly growing blog/social calendar Web site features near constant updates on a very wide range of Houston-area events. The site ramped up quickly through tight Facebook integration and incessant Twitter and e-mail promotion. It's certainly one to watch.

Best Sports Blog

Crawfish Boxes

In a city filled with a lot of media-affiliated sports blogs but not very many independents, Astros fan-run blog Crawfish Boxes stands out. Unlike most fan blogs and Web sites, Crawfish Boxes is professional, frequently updated and highly informative.

Best Sex Bloggers

Mr. and Mrs. Gentlenibbles

Gentle Nibbles is a Houston swinger's Internet oasis. The husband-and-wife pair grew up religious in the Bible Belt, but now they pen hot stories, polls and sex advice for the swinging set. Even if you don't subscribe to swingdom, stop by for a few minutes of addictive browsing. It'll be the sexiest education you've ever given yourself.

Best Flickr Pool

Houston Museum of Natural Science

Any organization can set up a Flickr pool and solicit fans or members for shots to be milked for publicity or ad purposes (heck, even we did it.) But the Houston Museum of Natural Science stands out for creating not just a group but a community, complete with photo challenges, meetups and opportunities to get one's photos critiqued.

Best Use of Video in Entertainment

Keep Houston Rich

The story of Houston's mixed bag of a personality could take words and words to tell, but Keep Houston Rich manages to tell it in short video snippets, complete with a little snark, as the name implies. From Frederica von Stade's final performance at Houston Grand Opera to a time lapse of a Metro Trail being dressed in red plastic wrap, it runs the gamut of all that makes this city rich — culturally, that is.

Best Wi-Fi Spot

Bungalow Coffee
1219 Marconi, Houston

Hidden around the corner of Montrose and Dallas in an adorable bungalow and dawrfed by high-rises, this unassuming spot offers coffee and free Wi-Fi in what feels like your best friend's living room. But it's not the locally roasted Java Pura that reined us in. In addition to free Internet access in a subdued environment, the cafe also lends out iPads to customers.

Best Real Estate Blog


It's the only blog brave enough to take on both the Robin Hood Condos and the Ashby High Rise and still survive with a healthy dose of sarcasm. Gus Allen and his team of tipsters and dedicated commentors often has us muttering to ourselves, Who knew real estate could be so fascinating?

Best-Designed Site

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts

Clean white backgrounds and gray and red text highlight nostalgic art and a gorgeous header that looks hand-­lettered. The Mitchell Center's Web site is so cool it could have been designed at Bauhaus. Its simplicity isn't skin-deep, though. The site is drop-dead easy to navigate, putting the emphasis on the performers, not on the playbill.

Best Use of Facebook to Promote a Business

MMM Cupcake

Most of our Facebook friends bore us with inane little motivational quotes, pictures from vacations we can't afford and maddening Farmville gaming updates. The MMM Cupcake truck is actually doing the Lord's work by telling Houstonians where the truck is posted up at so you can snag a few of its desserts all over the city. This is one profile you won't want to "hide" on your feed, though your personal trainer probably wishes you would.

Best Twitterer

Merritt Beck

If you need the straight dope on what's hot in fashion, either the kind you wear or the kind you live in, peek into the world of one of Houston's best PR pros in the business by following Merritt Beck. Coupled with her blog, Manolos and Martinis, Beck is a veritable fountain of style info all over social media. For women, she can be a beacon in the stormy world of do's and don'ts, and for guys, she helps explain why it sometimes takes an hour to leave the house.

Best Breaking News/Bloodhound Twitterer
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although your magazine is on line - & for the formost decent to read while traviling you shouldtry web awards every printing day as an online service ,.//www,wleroy91@yahoo,.com


Thank You Houston Press for your attention to Houston's CYBERSphere and for recognizing our work on the Hugos' Restaurant Website. -Sincerely, DFXden


Any awards for KPRC? Their great reporting broke the story that went international: a pit near Houston with dozens of bodies; kids, adults, some mutilated.

Of course they tweeted it without a source, saying they'd cover it on the 5pm news.Turns out it was a call-in from a psychic. Nice work KPRC!



There is NO SUCH thing as a "first annual" event. Annual means yearly- a first ever event is not annual and should NOT be referred to as annual until the second year. Why does everyone make this obvious error? Why is it being made in a newspaper of all places? Is there no proofreading or editing done at the Houston Press?


By far the best Television/Movie/Music/Pop Culture Blog is then again I'm biased.


Congrats to all the winners! But I wonder what criteria is used to choose the winners? For example Best Use of Video in Entertainment. Was this based on video quality, number of views, original content, number of videos, creativity? I am a little surprised on how they won using YouTube generated content which anyone can do and does not take much work to paste a url. It's much harder to actually go out and do the actual footwork, edit your own content using thousands of $$$ in equipment and software. More attention should have been paid to originality, creativity and quality in this decision. Here are a few comparisons on original content and the work involved in covering Houston through original video content:

Lawndale Art CenterHouston Center for PhotographyFamous Houston Interior Designer Kelly Gale AmenYao Restaurant and Bar Pick any Houston Event

I do understand it is the first one but let's put a little more thought into this guys.


Oh boy this will only fuel Kylejack, the shat stirrer!! Ha ha! Don't forget the tweet about Sue Lovall's son smoking pot during his shift at El Real, and yesterday's gut funny tweet about....ready....he tried to get the lic. plate numbers of a USPS (UPS) truck driver for honking at a lady working out on Washingto...Oh the thought! Women insulted everywhere! Thank goodness we have this crime reporter on the beat!!!


...whatever, go back to Jr. High usage class and complain to your teacher who might give you a gold star. Bet you heard this on the same podcast I listen to...


hahaha he should get the award for most overexposed and self-congratulatory private citizen


Sorry, but this is a very simple thing and I tire of seeing it constantly used incorrectly, especially in "journalism"...RIDICULOUS.

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