The 2013 Houston Web Awards: The Best Of Online Houston

Fox26 newscaster Isiah Carey got over his embarrassment and learned to embrace the power of social media. He’s among this year’s winners, all creative users of the latest technology.

"If you write a really interesting article about the Rockets, I'll follow those people," he added. "That's probably your best bet."

Jenny Johnson didn't choose to be on Twitter. It was a requirement of her job as a television news producer. "I signed up for an account because we were all supposed to," the winner of this year's Best Twitterer award said. But once she was on the social network, the budding comedian went to work posting her material. She quickly gained a following, especially after Patton Oswalt mentioned her in his feed. But her Internet fame didn't explode to the level it is today until she began poking fun at celebrities.

"I think most people who have read an US Weekly or any other celebrity magazine have thumbed through it and made wise-ass remarks," she said. "But I have to admit, for me, the celebrity retweets are the lowest form of joke writing."

Rockets GM Daryl Morey thinks social media is a great way to attract free agents and connect with fans.
Aaron M. Sprecher
Rockets GM Daryl Morey thinks social media is a great way to attract free agents and connect with fans.
Jenny Johnson has fought with Chris Brown, become friends with Patton Oswalt and built a new career in comedy for herself all on Twitter. Rosales stylist
Jenny Johnson has fought with Chris Brown, become friends with Patton Oswalt and built a new career in comedy for herself all on Twitter.

Her very public Twitter assault on rapper Chris Brown last year caused the Grammy winner to go ballistic. It was so bad, he was forced to delete his feed. As a result, Johnson's follower count swelled to more than 400,000. More recently, she was named Twitter Queen at the second annual UN-Verified Twitter Awards. Her king? Patton Oswalt.

"Since [Oswalt mentioned her in his feed], I have become friends with Patton," Johnson said. "He's been a great deal of help to me with my comedy writing career." Now a former television news producer, she's going from 140 characters to writing her first book of essays based on tweets and working on a television pilot based on the character she created on Twitter. Despite her sometimes acerbic tone, Johnson draws the line at "hitting below the belt."

"There's no glory in attacking a person's physical appearance or wishing harm or death on someone," she said. "One guy wrote to me that he hoped Kim Kardashian had a miscarriage. I was actually appalled by it. That's a truly horrible thing to want for another human being."

Of course, not all celebrities on Twitter are the subject of her jabs, and even though she has become a celebrity herself, she's genuinely surprised when she finds out someone famous is following her. "About a year ago, I told my mom Slash and Flea follow me," she said. "To this day, I'm fairly certain she thinks Slash and Flea is some kind of shampoo I use on my dogs."


Compiled by Olivia Flores Alvarez, Jeff Balke, Cory Garcia, Jef with one F,Mai Pham and Brittanie Shey

Best Instagram Feed


David A. Brown is a wonderful photographer and an accomplished artist. He even picked up a Best Photographer award from this publication in 2011. But his focus on geometric shapes in everyday objects on his Instagram feed is not only fascinating but a particularly interesting approach to the complicated relationship between professional photographer and cell-phone camera technology.

Best Online Video

"Montrose Rollerblade Dancer"

At the end of April, local videographer and documentarian Alex Luster surprised and delighted Houstonians with his playful look at Juan Carlos, the dancing rollerblader who entertains passersby on Allen Parkway and throughout Montrose. The video was created for a KUHF contest, but it quickly went viral and brought the world's attention to a uniquely Houston personality.

Funniest Twitter Account


The staff at this publication always knew Shea Serrano was talented and funny. The world is now getting a close-up look at his talent through his writing for national publications, his cartoon collaborations with rapper Bun B and the Tumblr on which he recounts conversations with his students. But if you really want to get to the soul of Serrano's wit, you follow him on Twitter. His tweets about his twin sons (Boy A and Boy B) are enough to keep you entertained for hours.

Best Local Sports Personality Twitter


Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey grew up with computers and studied computer science at MIT, understands the language of the Internet, and sees the real value in being a part of it. And though he does use Twitter for responding to media reports and chatting with fans, he believes there are bigger reasons to be on there. "All the players are on Twitter now," he said. "Worst case, it helps you understand them better. Best case, you can use it in a way that lets fans directly interact with potential free agents."

Best Local Sports Fan Twitter


Sports fans can be an annoying lot, filled with righteous indignation and an over imagined belief in their abilities to do what professionals have been doing for decades. But when a fan learns to channel that rage into humor and genuine insight, he becomes like @deathbysexy. With more than 25,000 tweets, the vast majority about local Houston sports, he can be found live-tweeting any sporting event of consequence, and we're better for it.

Best Media Personality Twitter

Isiah Carey

Isiah Carey surveys his followers, takes Instagram photos of his red pants and posts about his visits to the dollar store, and his best-known saying (which he got from his mother and grandmother) is "The devil is busy." Whether it's crime or the high cost of gas, he covers a broad range of stories while trying to make sure he doesn't cross the line between sharing a personality and expressing an opinion. He covers the serious business of the news but isn't afraid to employ his sense of humor when appropriate.

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