When we wanted to celebrate the best of San Francisco's digerati, we turned to you, the readers of SF Weekly. You nominated more than 300 bloggers, app makers, and Twitter accounts. We then asked you to help us narrow the field to the finalists. In one week, we got more than 37,000 votes, and we pulled the top three from each category into the finals. (Except for the Readers' Choice awards, for which the polls are still open. Go vote now!)
Now, we're happy to announce the winners.
Once we had our finalists, we turned to an all-star crew of judges to help us. Our judges were:
With their expert help, we present our finalists and winners for the SF Weekly Web Awards 2011.
Best Breaking News Twitter
"The Appeal is not afraid to, you know, tell it like it is, for lack of a better cliche. They always get the story first and do it without self-conscious or affected writing." -- Brock Keeling.
Best Local Politics Blog
Winner: Usual Suspects
"The US is a master of aggregation. They've got such a profoundly nerdy addiction to local political news, it is both scary and incredibly useful." -- Beth Spotswood.
Best Media Personality Twitter
Winner: Brian Wilson (@BrianWilson38)
Winner: "Brian Wilson is a fucking legend. Who can resist his thoughts on dubstep and celebrities shaving their beards?" -- Kevin Montgomery
Best Public Transit Blog
Winner: Muni Diaries
"Such a great idea and so well executed. It's always interesting and sometimes exciting, much like the smells on the Muni." -- Issac Fitzgerald.
Best San Francisco Giants Blog
Winner: McCovey Chronicles
"Mere words cannot describe how much this site shines. It oozes the frustrating relationship one must have in order to be a Giants fan. A must." -- Brock Keeling.
Finalists: Andrew Baggarly's Extra Baggs
Best Band Twitter
Winner: Zoe Keating (@zoecello)
"I'm a fan of all these artists, but Zoe does the best job actively engaging with fans, spreading interesting news, and keeping her Twitter followers plugged in to what she's up to." -- Eric Steuer.
Best Local Concert List Site
Winner: The List
"The List -- it's a staple of the Bay Area underground, it's noncommercial, and it covers everything from small house shows to huge festivals. That's how the S.F. music scene should be." -- SF Weekly music editor Ian Port.
Best Local Music Website
Winner: The Bay Bridged
"The Bay Bridged offers the best coverage of the bay's vibrant indie rock scene, hands down. The live sessions they produce in collaboration with Oakland's New, Improved Recording studio are super cool." -- Eric Steuer
Best Music Venue Website
Winner: The Independent
"The Independent's site is clear and easy to use. It makes finding info about upcoming shows and buying tickets quick and painless." -- Eric Steuer
"I especially like the Bay Bridged Podcast's local theme episodes, which focus on things like new music coming out of the East Bay and bands that started out here but have since moved away." -- Eric Steuer
Best Food Blogger
Winner: Eater SF
"Because I find that they post stories that are interesting and timely." -- Iso Rabins
Best Food Vendor Twitter
"311,000 people can't be wrong. And as I recall, HS tweeted out some elaborate multimedia staff Halloween costume coverage in past years, so I wanna see what happens this year." -- Anthony Myint
Best Local Source for Food Porn
"Tablehopper. There's no contest." -- Iso Rabins
Best Restaurant Website
Winner: The Beast and the Hare
"The Beast and the Hare because they realize that their customers do not appreciate Flash websites and PDFs. Their website is clean, simple and to the point." -- Iso Rabins
Winner: Jen D. (thedukeofsf.yelp.com)
"I like the idea of reviewing yelpers and in fact I think someone should make a meta-Yelp site where each review can be reviewed, and each reviewer's reviews are then weighted based on their score and their number of reviews. For now, I read a few reviews from each of these yelpers and I think Jen D. has a reasonable point of view, is pretty food focused, and has been to a lot of worthwhile places." -- Anthony Myint
Best Arts Blog
Winner: Fecal Face
"Fecal Face is San Francisco's connection to the actual (read: professional) art world -- it takes artists seriously, but never overseriously. With lots of sharp-looking, useful features including long-form interviews, shorty update blog posts, and its reliably high-quality calendar, FF is our choice for Best Arts Blog." -- SF Weekly Assistant Calendar Editor Hiya Swanhuyser
Best Arts Twitter Account
"Good. REALLY GOOD. (Sorry, coffee has not kicked in yet.)" -- Reyhan Harmanci
Best Events Website
"FunCheapSF is so wonderfully convenient, especially for anyone bored and antsy after work. Johnny's always got a ton of easy options, and once he posts something, you know it'll have a fun, interesting crowd." -- Beth Spotswood
Best Fashion Blogger
"Fashionist sticks to the basics without going overboard with the editorial. What we're left with is a daily dose of San Francisco's beautiful boys and girls showing off their original styles with a quick interview talking about what we're seeing. It's a tried-and-true formula, but Mai kills it." -- Kevin Montgomery
Best Local Online Cartoonist
"Susie's unique blend of reporting, humor, and illustration brings the news to a new audience." -- Beth Spotswood.
ONLY IN SF
Best Do-Gooder Website
Winner: 826 Valencia
"As a Suckster, I think I'm supposed to snicker at David Eggers for his twee altruism. Yet his 826 Valencia project's site does good the right way, avoiding the chest-thumping mission statements and stock photos in favor of simple directions on how to get involved." -- Owen Thomas
Best Flickr Pool
Winner: Guess Where SF
"Guess Where SF covers everything a local photo pool should, including graffiti and sightings of inflatable air dancers, with the added challenge of testing your knowledge of local landmarks." -- Kevin Montgomery
Best Instagram Account
Winner: Doctor Popular (docpop)
"When Doc Pop posts an Instagram, I always click through." -- Isaac Fitzgerald
Best Kickstarter Project
Winner: Longshot Magazine
"Anyone who's worked on a magazine knows the best work happens in the last 48 hours before print deadline. Why not condense the whole deadline into that time frame, and avoid the fruitless month of procrastination that precedes it?" -- Owen Thomas
Best Locally Made App
"I've been taking digital photos since 1995 -- anyone remember Apple made cameras that weren't installed in phones? But the process of putting the photos where others can enjoy them has always been painful. Instagram turns that pain into pleasure." -- Owen Thomas
Best Local Government Site
Winner: San Fransisco 311
"The best thing about SF 311 is @sf311, the helpline's companion Twitter account, which responds matter-of-factly to the most passive-aggressive microblogged complaints." -- Owen Thomas
Best Medical Marijuana Dispensary
"Avoiding the unkindness of bud jokes, Sparc is to pot dispensaries what One Medical is to regular doctors' clinics: clean, modern, and user-friendly." -- Owen Thomas
Best Neighborhood Blog
Winner: Mission Mission
"Other sites try, and fail, to copy Mission Mission." -- Brock Keeling
Best S.F. Landmark with a Twitter Account
Winner: Karl the Fog (@karlthefog)
"If San Francisco's fog had a name, it would definitely be Karl with a K. I can't explain it, but that is so dead on, it's shocking." -- Beth Spotswood
Winner: It's Getting Rude in Here
"What defines Tumblr is its eclecticism and surprise. Lady Miss Kate lives up to tumblogging's promise." -- Owen Thomas
Congrats to all our nominees, finalists, and winners.
Wait, what's that? What about the Reader's Choice awards? The polls are still open, and votes are still being tallied. We'll keep 'em open right up until our SF Weekly Web Awards party on Sept. 9, from 5 to 9 p.m. at 111 Minna, and announce the winners there.
Want to make sure you're part of the fun? You can snag a ticket over here. Word on the street is there'll be an open bar. Hope to see you there!
We've got a full list of nominees on the next page.