The 2012 Houston Web Awards

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

Best Use of Crowdsourcing

St. Arnold's Divine Reserve hashtag hunts

Christmas comes but once a year, but since 2005, Houston's oldest microbrewery has released 11 versions of its single-batch, limited-edition brew. And on Divine Reserve release day, if you have any hope of securing a six-pack or a case, you'd better be following Houston-area beer nerds on Twitter. Why take the day off work to wait in line at the Downtown Spec's? Just set up a Twitter search for #DR12 or #divine12 (which sources tell us should be quite soon) for tips on out-of-the-way grocery stores with cases and local bars that plan to tap kegs.

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 Use of Facebook by a Business

Cactus Music

If you're sick of hearing about that awesome in-store with free beer featuring tomorrow's hottest band that all your friends went to but you didn't, well, why aren't you following Cactus Music on Facebook? Houston's beloved record store and sometime art gallery posts new releases, videos of performances and giveaways, and helps promote local bands that are also on Facebook. Like them, and you'll never be out of the audio loop again.

Photo of the Year

What I Saw When I Sneaked Inside the Astrodome by Swamplot Tipster

It had been five years since the last major event inside the Astrodome, so when an anonymous photographer and Swamplot reader saw an open gate to the neglected mid-century masterpiece during the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, he or she took a chance. The resulting photos revealed moldy and torn Astroturf and a litter-strewn building that looked more like a storage facility than the Eighth Wonder of the World. The covert pics also set off a media frenzy, leading first to KHOU's sanctioned peek at the stadium and, ultimately, a 20-strong public tour for local reporters and talking heads.

Best Blog Post

Texans Chick: A Modest Texans Proposal

Any story on the Internet that allows comments, particularly of the more controversial sort, tends to devolve into complete madness, which is why whenever we find a story that chooses decorum over insanity, it's important to take notice. Stephanie "Texans Chick" Stradley has had to endure more than her fair share of comment fights over the years — including some with members of the media — but this post on the offseason for the Houston Texans is almost, dare we say it, polite. Bravo.

Best Instagram Feed

Imelda Bettinger


Too often, Instagram is a storehouse of photos of food, children, weird signs and weak attempts at pseudo-artistic photography, particularly of the self-portrait variety. Imelda Bettinger, a fine photographer in her own right, always seems to mix it up, and, more important, her images are consistently great.

Best IRL (in Real Life) Gathering

Geek Gathering geek-gathering

An extension of KPFT's long-running tech show, Technology Bytes, regular Geek Gatherings have always been something of a sight to behold. Nowhere else can you find a mix of people that includes both the relatively normal and the "I spend most of my time in my mom's basement drinking orange Fanta" nerds. As a show co-host once said, "It's both the social and antisocial media."

Best Local App

Houston Emergency Radio

Many locally developed apps are done for commercial purposes and are offshoots of brick-and-mortar businesses, but Houston Emergency Radio is neither. A slick and easy to use conglomeration of police- and fire-band radio throughout southeast Texas, not only is this handy in an actual emergency, but it can be seriously entertaining, particularly in the wee hours of the weekend.

Best Sports Fan/News Twitter

Lance Zierlein


Co-host of 790 KBME's Big Show, Zierlein is everything you want in a tweeter. He's funny, responsive and doesn't waste his entire feed on links to his own stories or podcasts. His live, in-depth commentary during games is fascinating, and because he is the foremost authority on the NFL draft in the city, his feed is a must-follow February through April. And follow his Southern gentleman alter ego, @SECGuy, for laughs.

Best Politics Blog

Marc Campos's Daily Commentary

There are plenty of good political blogs that cover the issues of the day, but nothing puts you inside the machinations of Houston politics like this literally daily blog from longtime political consultant Marc Campos. His insights into the grind of local and state politics are as fascinating as they are entertaining.

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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.


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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