Brand & Martínez for September 18, 2012

Who will win the LA Weekly Web Awards?

The Eastsider LA

A screenshot for one of the L.A. Weekly finalists in the Best Neighborhood Blog category: The Eastsider LA

Thousands of online nominations made it to the L.A. Weekly for the magazine's third annual Web Awards.

I'm one of the judges for the competition. The winners will be announced tomorrow, Sept. 19.

A Martinez recently sat down with me to discuss a few of the finalists of the 21 categories.

Among my favorites for "The Best Neighborhood Blog" are The Eastsider LA and WeHo Daily.

Jesus Sanchez, publisher of The Eastsider, is doing a tremendous job of reporting on East LA, which includes neighborhoods like Lincoln Heights and Los Feliz. He covers everything from real estate and crime to missing pets. The Eastsider is a terrific example of an effective hyper local blog.

Another category that caught my eye: "Best Online Do-Gooder." The award goes to "websites with a conscience." My top picks are City Watch L.A. and the sites Hardly Normal and Invisible People. The last two are run by Mark Horvath.

Mark puts a compelling human face to the city's chronic homelessness problem. There's very little desperation. No sappy music. Instead his videos are without pretense. Just him, a camera, and another human being telling their story. Some of these videos are truly uplifting. One woman he interviewed recently has so much hope. Mark is a real hero and I love what he is doing on many levels.

Another category is "Best Public Safety Twitter." My favorites are @LAscanner and @venice311. The scanner phenomenon is really blowing up here in LA, and LA Scanner is funny, intriguing, and makes your realize there's a lot of shenanigans going on in our fair city that no one really knows about unless they're tuned into the right channels.

A and I also talked about foul-mouthed comedienne Jenna Marbles, the hugely popular YouTube sensation, in the "Best YouTube Star" category.

I wish I could embed one of her weekly rants in here, but her language (and some of her topics) are devilishly NSFW. Just search for Jenna Marbles on YouTube though and you will see not just all of her videos but the reaction she gets from the YouTube community.

There's a reason she has more than four million subscribers - not views - subscribers (including me). She is sharp, witty, insightful, and her vids are quick. You're never bored.

Here's the list of Web Award nominees. Who do you like?


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