The 2012 Houston Web Awards

The Houston Press rides the wave to the next group of winners.

Jenny Johnson

@JennyJohnsonhi5

As we march into the final run of this presidential election year and things heat up between the Republicans and the Democrats on social media, Houston's own Jenny Johnson would like to remind us all in the most politely and uncharacteristically non-profane way that sometimes it's all right to shut the hell up. Seriously, no one cares who you are voting for, Mr. IT Guy. Now make with the cat pictures.

Houston Texans linebacker Connor Barwin relaxes in his downtown apartment with his father's old acoustic guitar. Don't worry; he's not quitting sacking QBs for the coffeehouse circuit.
Sherman Hatton
Houston Texans linebacker Connor Barwin relaxes in his downtown apartment with his father's old acoustic guitar. Don't worry; he's not quitting sacking QBs for the coffeehouse circuit.
Christian Palmer strikes a serious pose in a Montrose thrift store.
Lisa Ramirez
Christian Palmer strikes a serious pose in a Montrose thrift store.

Best Musician Twitter

Tianna Hall

@tiannahall

Tianna Hall juggles an active singing career — you can catch her regularly at Sambuca downtown — with having a young child and generally being awesome. The jazz singer, wife and new mother makes everything she does sound either glamorous as hell or hilariously cute. It's also a good insight into the life of a working vocalist in Houston, and not just a rapper or a rocker, though we're sure that Tianna can rock if she wants to.

Best Musician Facebook

Nick Gaitan

www.facebook.com/nick.gaitan

Few things make us wish we had pursued the dream of being a working musician more than the Facebook feed of Nick Gaitan of local swamp-rock and Tex-Mex group The Umbrella Man. The band's leader and award-winning bassist doesn't just show off where he's going or where he's been; he also keeps us educated. If you follow the UM page and his personal one, you'll get a rich musical history delivered hot and fresh to your feed. And he has cool friends.

Best Arts Blog

Great God Pan Is Dead

thegreatgodpanisdead.blogspot.com

No gallery opening is too small for Robert Boyd, so long as it is within about 100 miles of Houston. Boyd, whose art blog The Great God Pan Is Dead has been around and discussing local (and national) art since 2006, manages to break down the creative works he views into layman's terms and can find value in even the most tired artistic tropes and clichés. Toss in his background in the comic books industry and you have someone who never takes art too seriously but who is capable of taking a critical look at even the most lowbrow works.

Best Pinterest

Houston Museum of Natural Science

pinterest.com/hmns

If Pinterest is dominated by women and companies seeking to market toward them, then the Houston Museum of Natural Science's account is a breath of fresh air. The museum does post occasional self-promotion, but with boards like National Puppy Day, Under the Sea and Bugs, Beautiful Bugs, the account offers something for everyone on the young social networking site, from the girly-girl to the biggest science nerd.

Best Use of Online Fund-raising

Aurora Kickstarter

www.kickstarter.com/ projects/897029472/grow-aurora-picture-show

Even before the microcinema moved out of the old church on Aurora Street, they'd long outgrown their office space just north of The Menil Collection. Screenings and happy hours at the Montrose-area house were cram-packed. When a new location was finally decided — an artists' studio at 2442 Bartlett Street that would have enough room for kids' education programs, screenings, Aurora's video library and offices — all that was left was to furnish the place. So Aurora began a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $5,000, to be used to purchase office furniture at Ikea. As of early June, 83 contributors had donated a total of $6,102. Aurora's first event in its new home will be the annual Extremely Shorts Film Festival at the end of June.

Best Tumblr

Hipporacle

hipporacle.tumblr.com

Tumblr is probably the most attention-deficit form of blogging, but that doesn't mean a Tumblr site can't be well curated. Blogger Fox Marie posts up to 50 times a day, a barrage of images of her handmade Native American-inspired jewelry (which is for sale), life as a barista in the Montrose, mermaid art, hypersexualized photography and occult imagery, and, of course, the obligatory GPOY or two. She's like the artistic, mystic younger sister your mom never had.

Best-Designed Site

Houston Arboretum and Nature Center

www.houstonarboretum.org

It may not be slick and snazzy. It may not use Helvetica and have gobs of white space. But this Web site for Houston's favorite green space works exactly the way a Web site should — all the information you need quickly is available on the home page, including contact info, calendar listings, news and events, and menus to the rest of the site. Because you don't need to spend any more time than necessary surfing a Web site when you could be outside instead.

Best Hashtag

#occupyhouston

Agree with their perspective or not, the Occupy movement was one of the biggest stories of the last year, and though Houston's own group got a somewhat late start, they managed to maintain interest and threads of communication with hoi polloi, mainly through Twitter, long after New York's Zuccotti Park had been cleared. Use of the hashtag peaked around November 8, when police arrested protesters for erecting a tent-link tarp at Tranquillity Park, and again a few weeks later, when a rogue non-Occupier fired shots into the crowd and was subsequently shot by police. Though use of the tag has waned, it still gets at least one Tweet a day.

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2 comments
Huh...
Huh...

Seriously? Plonk? They update their FB page every 10 days. If HP qualifies that as good communication with their fans, they should try writing a story every 10 days and see if that system works better for them.

Throwaway
Throwaway

Conner is douchey. There was a long line to get into Little Woodrow's before the rugby game at the Dynamo Stadium. He tried to cut straight to the front with about 7 other guys. The bouncer refused, thankfully.

 
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