Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Austin American Statesmen: Texas Social Media Awards

"Wow!" is all I have to say. I started in a pool of 125 REALLY smart, clever, funny people that put a lot of blood sweat and tears into their work and I've now gone to "Hollywood" and moved on to the final group of 25 award winners. A few of these folks are good friends, some are folks I follow and are inspired by, all are people that a well-deserving of the Austin American-Statesman's first-ever Texas Social Media Awards. [link to article thanks to Peter Kim]

From the press announcement...

Judges for the winners were Internet Editor Robert Quigley, food writer Addie Broyles and technology culture writer Omar Gallaga. An overall Texas Social Media Award winner will be announced at an awards show and party on March 15 at Ballet Austin's downtown building (501 W. 3rd Street). The public is invited to honor and celebrate with the winners. Tickets are on sale now for the event, which will include a cocktail party and an awards show. You can buy them here: https://www.tickets.balletaustin.org/public/

They 25 winners are as follows (in alphabetical order):

  • Henry "Rizo" Adaso, Houston
  • Joshua Baer, Austin
  • Perry Belcher, Austin
  • Michael Chapman, Austin
  • J.R. Cohen, Houston
  • Michael Cote, Austin
  • Jenn Deering Davis, Austin
  • Sam Decker, Austin
  • Lori Falcon, Abilene
  • Kyle Flaherty, Austin
  • Matt Glazer, Austin
  • Lisa Goddard, Austin
  • Michelle Greer, Austin
  • David Guenther, Austin
  • Kami Huyse, Houston
  • Cali Lewis, Dallas
  • David Neff, Austin
  • Erica O'Grady, Houston
  • Bryan Person, Austin
  • Connie Reece, Austin
  • Benn and Lani Rosales, Pflugerville
  • David Silverman, Houston
  • Aaron Strout, Austin (that's me)
  • Paul Terry Walhus, Austin
  • Michael Williams, Austin
New friend (via Twitter) Robert Quigley, Internet editor and social media coordinator at the Statesman, had this to say about the process, "there were many great nominees. Every person on this list of 25 is a leader in social media not only in Texas, but in the nation. Texas has taken the lead in this fast-growing field, and these are the people who have made that happen." 

FYI - The Statesman's Twitter efforts have gained national attention. The main account, @statesman, is one of the top 10 most-followed newspaper Twitter sites in the nation. The Statesman has more than 40 staff members tweeting the news.


  1. Given that three of the 25 are recently from Boston, would it be too much of a stretch to say you're making Austin a better place? Or is it the other way around?

    BTW here's a link to the Statesman article, seems to be missing above: http://www.statesman.com/search/content/life/stories/other/02/18/0218social.html

  2. Thanks Peter. You should have been in this group too even though you're split time at this point. We'll make sure we lobby for a special exception next go around. ;)


  3. Congrats to you too and I look forward to meeting you as well! Yeehaw for Texas awards! ;)

  4. Congrats and to second Peter's comments, it's great to see Boston fitting in so well in Austin!

  5. Congratulations Aaron! Well deserved! :)

  6. Thanks all! Really tickled to be in such great company.

  7. Aaron, the truth is that Austin is smart enough to recruit Boston's best and brightest. :-)

    I already know many of the people on this list, and now I look forward to getting familiar with the work of other social media peers. You're one of those people I feel that I already know, although I'm not sure if we've ever met in person. I just know you as Heather's brother. (She says for most people it's the other way around. :-)

  8. Connie - so true about Austin being smart enough to recruit Boston's best and brightest (although I'm not sure I'm ready to put myself in that category yet). LOL

    I don't believe we've met in person yet but it's only a matter of time. Although with the conversations we've had on Twitter etc., who needs F2F? ;) BTW, Heather (my sis) always speaks fondly of you. It's funny because you're right, many times she's introduced as "Aaron's sister" although she can certainly stand on her own and then some.

    Aaron | @aaronstrout

  9. If I had told you a year ago that we'd be on a list of Social Media Awards winners for *Texas*, there's no way you would have believed me. In fact, I don't think I'd have believed it myself.

    Congratulations, Aaron. Look forward to hanging with you at the awards ceremony in a few weeks.

    Bryan | @BryanPerson

  10. So true, Bryan. So true. And congrats to you. We will definitely hang out that night! ;)