So The Houston Web Awards are THIS THURSDAY! And we are SO excited! We will be there be boppin around and meeting all the peeps of the internets that keep Houston so interesting on the world wide web. It’s something that I have personally looked forward to since last year when it first began. Of course in true PrettyRiot fashion, we had a few questions for the kind folks at Houston Press. We wanted to know MORE about the awards ceremony for the technological culture that has completely captivated Houston! Brittanie Shey (HP Web Editor) took the time to answer a few questions for us….
Tell us a little about how the idea for Houston Web Awards was conceived.
It actually started with one of our sister papers, but to be honest, the Press has been recognized nationally with helping to lead the union of traditional print journalism and online journalism with our blogs, some of the past events we’ve had and our handling of social media. Plus, Houston has such a rich and diverse technologically-savvy social media community. We thought it was only right to give back to that community in this way.
How do you think the internet and social media effect Houston business and community?
Houston is a great example of the power of social media, and there are tons of examples. Here are just a few: the #SLGT (support local, grow together) movement; the way some of our favorite professional athletes are connecting with fans on Twitter; The Bloggess raising thousands of dollars in gift cards for families in need; Aurora Picture Show taking to Kickstarter to raise funds for their new headquarters. Sometimes Houston seems like such a big city, but social media helps it feel a lot smaller and intimate.
It is amazing what Twitter can do! Who is your favorite Houston Tweeter (?) and what advice would you offer the newbie Twitter folks?
It’s not fair to name favorites but I personally think the Twitter community in Houston is the strongest (as opposed to Facebook, Tumblr or other social media sites, which all have their own value). Last year it seemed like there were a ton of local parody Twitter accounts popping, which was super fun. And no matter what you’re into, there is a micro-community of like-minded people on Twitter. Just look at how tight the local music community is, or the foodie community, stand-up comics and improv community, art community, running or cycling community. There are too many to list, honestly. For n00bs, I know it can seem overwhelming, but Twitter is like a hot tub at a party — dip your toe in, stay a while, have some conversations, then leave when you want to.
It seems a few categories have changed since last year’s inaugural web awards. Will some of the categories continue to change from year to year?
That’s one of my favorite things about the internet — it’s like the Wild Wild West. It’s always changing, and in many ways it is ephemeral. Pinterest, for example, has been around for a few years, but only in the last 12 months or so has it really taken off, and there are some great Houston-based Pinterest accounts now. So yes, as new things like that pop up we definitely want to recognize them. I think that’s part of why the Press itself has been recognized as a leader in online journalism — we’re willing to roll with the changes.
What can one expect from this year’s Houston Web Awards party?
Last year was a lot of fun. It was special and important to us at the paper to get to meet in person all the people we interact with daily online. This year, both Bun B and Connor Barwin will be hanging out and presenting, and for being two of Houston’s larger-than-life personalities, they are both extremely nice and laid back. Theresa from 94.5 The Buzz will be there, and Sean Pendergast, who are both very hilarious people. We’ll have drinks and light bites inside, plus food trucks selling outside. Food trucks are a perfect example of social media’s power, since many of them use Twitter and Facebook to broadcast their whereabouts. But mostly it’s a chance to hang out with the smartest and brightest people in the Houston online community.
Follow Brittanie Shey on Twitter @BrittanieShey
For more details or ticket information CLICK HERE