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2013 RFT Web Awards Winners

Categories: Media

WEBSITES

Best Website Design
STL Design Week

The judges say: The highlight of last September's St. Louis Design Week just may have been its website. With bright sunny colors, twirling weather vanes and an art-deco rooster as a mascot, the site resembles a freaky farm of the future. There are details galore, but somehow nothing feels cluttered. Interface is a breeze, too, with large calendar panels making it easy to navigate the happenings for this annual event.

Finalists:
Ces and Judy's
Jonathan Gayman Photography
Pastaria

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Best Club/Concert Website
The Firebird

The judges say: The Firebird website has risen from the ashes over the years. Long ago, it was a depressing hole. Users had to muddle through a clunky calendar and parse crazy font colors. Now, though, this phoenix helpfully treats readers to robust information about booked artists, a blog full of Spotify playlists and photos, easy contact info and a thorough list of tech and equipment the club offers to bands.

Finalists:
An Under Cover Weekend
LouFest
The Pageant

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Best Restaurant Website
Pastaria

The judges say: Restaurant websites are traditionally like a bowl of pasta: chaotic and messy. When Gerard Craft's Italian eatery Pastaria opened in Clayton in September, it already had a website. That already put it leaps and bounds above many St. Louis restaurants. Designed by the creative team at Atomicdust, pastariastl.com features clean, succinct design. Through enticing photography and typography, a user is able to efficiently navigate the site, and basic information such as hours, menus, location and contact info are all readily available. Links to active Twitter and Facebook accounts give users a way to find out what's going on at the restaurant on any given day, as well as interact with the restaurant, which is as refreshing as it is important.

Finalists:
Franco
Guerrilla Street Food
Home Wine Kitchen

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Best Mobile Website
Guerrilla Street Food

The judges say: When the pick-up counter of your restaurant is on wheels, it's hyper-essential that you're Web savvy. But Filipino food truck Guerrilla Street Food hits it out of the park with its social media and website. Not only does Guerrilla offer valuable information such as a schedule of its whereabouts up to five days in advance, but its contact information and menus are easy to find and clear to read. Gorgeous food photography entices, and minimal, navigable design ensures users find what they need without popping aspirin in the process.

Finalists:
KDHX
Pastaria

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SOCIAL MEDIA AND COLLECTIONS

Funniest Twitter Feed
Chris Ward
@wardcrap

The judges say: Self-proclaimed "above-ground pool ladder salesman" Chris Ward's Twitter feed is unrelenting. Mocking, sarcastic and oftentimes self-deprecating, Ward's favorite prey is other Twitter users. Such as his tweet to @MyloHateSuckaz that goes "Real quick: How long have you been Sucka Free and what advice can you give to recovering Suckaz addicts." Painfully dumb puns also abound on Ward's Twitter feed as does facetious advice and a recurring obsession with having his "pudding" tickled. We suspect this is either a euphemism for something dirty or actually involves caressing Snack Packs. It's up to Chris Ward to solve that mystery. Disclaimer: Chris Ward was a judge for this year's RFT Web Awards. He left the room during the judging for this category.

Finalists:
@__candypants
@idanladd
@mattsebek
@meggitymak
@mrhallas
@removeyourpants

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Biggest Twitter Twerp
Mark Bland
@markbland

The judges say: Be it shameless bragging, heckling or nitpicking, Mark Bland's tweets all carry a similar theme: They are twerpy to the max. But then you don't become the host of the "most popular mod/lib radio show in 8 Midwest states" by pulling your punches. No, you do it by crawling under people's skin to the point that they'll either tune you out or begrudgingly respect you. Count us among the latter.

Finalists:
@pttheIslander
@stlsocialgroup

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Best Use of Twitter to Promote a Business or Organization
Charter Communications
@charter

The judges say: Until last month, Charter had one of the most responsive Twitter teams in the country. Wondering why your installation dude was running late? Interested in a new cable package? Internet still gone four days after a storm? If you tweeted it, Charter came running. But then in December Charter decided to yank its social-media teams dedicated to customer service. Oh, sure, the cable company still exists on Twitter, but good luck getting a helpful drone to respond. So this year's Twitter award is an acknowledgment of what Charter once accomplished and, hopefully, incentive to return to its former glory.

Finalists:
@loufusztoyota
@robustwinebar
@schlafly
@spacearchitects
@stlfta

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Best Use of Twitter to Promote a Personal Brand
STLVegGirl
@stlveggirl

The judges say: The success of promoting anything on Twitter is in updating frequently and engaging often, both strengths of Caryn Dugan's @sSTLVegGirl account. When Dugan created her Twitter account in 2009, it was purely as a resource to connect with vegetarian and vegan communities local, regional, national and global to learn all she could about eating a plant-based diet. At the time she was assisting a plant-based cooking instructor in St. Louis, and soon she herself was a resource for others curious about plant-based eating. In 2012 Dugan launched STLVegGirl as a full-service business offering cooking classes, nutrition and education courses, personal counsel, restaurant consulting and personal chef services. She credits Twitter for connecting her with a larger plant-based community and helping to grow her brand -- and in turn, grow awareness, acceptance and access for others interested in plant-based eating.

Finalists:
@cookingkid
@mattsebek
@publiceyestl
@stlwinegirl
@thecubiclechick

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Best Use of Facebook to Promote a Business or Organization
Humane Society of Missouri

The judges say: Some may think that cute kitty photos swayed our decision in this category, but the Humane Society of Missouri deserves more credit than that. Pet-care tips, fan photos and letters, behind-the-scenes pics and videos, media appearance recaps and quality events also anchor the organization's highly engaging Facebook presence. In December, HSMO smartly developed a companion page dedicated to Trooper, the pup who was severely injured after being dragged by a truck for more than a mile. By putting Trooper in the spotlight, HSMO raised local, national and international awareness about animal negligence and adoption thoughtfulness.

Finalists:
American Patriot Beer
Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis
Feast magazine
KDHX
LockerDome
Rock Uniform

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Best Digital Photo Collection
This Is St. Louis

The judges say: This blog provides an intimate look at everyday street scenes in our beloved city. A couple holds hands downtown, a man hula-hoops in Tower Grove Park, a bartender serves a Budweiser in a bar in Soulard. These beautiful, simple photographs -- paired with captions that are sometimes short and sweet and other times mini interviews -- are snapshots of the people and culture that make this city tick. The product of a collaboration between the St. Louis Beacon, Jarred Gastreich Photography and St. Louis for the Love, the site's layout is clean and easily digestible.

Finalists:
Corey Woodruff Photography portfolio
Found on Cherokee blog
It's Alright, Ma blog
Missouri History Museum Pinterest collection

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Best Pinterest Board
The Upcycle Exchange

The judges say: Tens of thousands of followers pinning and re-pinning its projects can't be wrong. The Upcycle Exchange (3206 South Grand Boulevard) uses Pinterest to share creativity in myriad forms through do-it-yourself projects complete with tutorials that inform and educate. Its Pinterest board is a resource for its followers, and in that way, a valuable extension of this arts-and-crafts store's mission.

Finalists:
Feast magazine
Fresh Encounters
Missouri History Museum
Tidy Mom

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Best Use of Social Media for Civic Campaign
Face Off Against Hunger -- Atomicdust

The judges say: Most people stuff their faces; they don't photocopy them. The folks at Atomicdust aren't most people, though. They turned their late-night workplace shenanigans into a force for good when they began beckoning digital socialites into the office for some hot action with a Xerox machine, promising to donate $5 to St. Louis Food Outreach for every face scanned.

Finalists:
#midtownfire response for housing, pets and donations
RallySTL
#STLforSANDY

>>But wait, there's more! Apps, memes, video, crowdfunding and overall strategy.>>


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