Posts tagged ‘blog’

February 27, 2012

We Win!

Best Local Blog

How bad is it when you’re so busy you don’t know this is life in austin & aspen has won an award until TWO DAYS after it was announced? Pretty bad.

But still badass!

We won a “Best Local Blog” award from The World Media Awards, which recognizes successful bloggers and publishers from across the globe. To see all of the 2012 winners, visit the World Media Awards website at People from around the world submitted their favorites and the WMA team of judges evaluated all of the finalists.

Murray Newlands, founder, says, “I am thrilled to help shine a spotlight on some of the best blogs from around the world. I think it’s important to hold up examples of bloggers and publishers doing great things.”

Thank you all for your loyal readership, lovely comments, and continued support! You rock, and we all win!

August 31, 2011

Guest Post: World Media Awards

Today I welcome World Media Awards founder Murray Newlands for a guest post explaining the awards: a way to recognize top bloggers, writers and publishers, influencers, innovators and strategists as the latest talent in online marketing.

5 Reasons Why YOU Must Participate: The 2012 Media Awards

There are a lot of excellent bloggers and publishers doing exceptional work, and those who stand out deserve to have their work recognized, associate with each other, and see their readerships grow. That’s why the World Media Awards exist—to recognize and reward great contributions to media from bloggers and publishers.

In my own career, I’ve learned and benefited so much from others that I wanted to help build some way to give back to an industry I love show appreciation to the up-and-coming leaders. The World Media Awards will culminate in a 1-day event in San Francisco that will celebrate the best in blogging, forums, publishing and media from around the world.

So if you are a world-class blogger, why should you enter?

1. Get Recognized- You Deserve It🙂

You put a lot of work into making your blog amazing. You know it and your readers know it. The World Media Awards is a way for you to get authoritative credit from other bloggers and industry experts. That recognition will help you grow your readership, make fresh collaborative connections, and hopefully have great moments that make all the late nights even more rewarding.

2. Meet Other Bloggers Who Care

Blogging, forums and most other on-line media is about conversation and interaction, but sometimes it’s easy to end up trying to hide away behind a monitor in your office or home all alone. Meeting other bloggers and publishers keeps the fire lit and the conversation going. When you enter the World Media Awards, you’ll be listed alongside other bloggers and publishers who put the same level of delight, attention and effort into making their blog top notch.

3. Expose Yourself to New Partners

If your blog or forum is part of your company, being part of the World Media Awards will increase your exposure by putting your name in front of the thousands of visitors to our site and the award ceremony. That means you can find out who else is doing very good work, strut your own stuff, and expand your network of contacts and collaborators.

4. Make Yourself Irresistible to Clients

What helps your chances at winning that next pitch more than growing your network? Telling that network that you just won a World Media Award. Winning an award shines a light on your accomplishments, and it serves as an example of the commitment, engagement and exacting standards you apply to your work. 

5. Be Part of the Beginning of Something Big

Because 2012 is the first year for these awards, you have the one-time chance to be the inaugural winner and set the standard for the World Media Awards in your category. Getting in on the ground floor of these awards will open opportunities for you as a blogger and a publisher.

The bottom line is, the World Media Awards will shine a spotlight on the year’s most prosperous bloggers and publishers, and on the businesses and companies that serve and interact with them.

Now is your chance to be one of them.

The sponsors include Growmap, Pace Lattin, VigLink and Trancos. Media partners include Adrants, Bloggeries, MediaVision, The Affiliate Marketing Awards, Read Write Web, My Blog Guest, Web Traffic Control and FeedBlitz.

World Media Award judges include Steve Hall, Sarah Austin, Chang Kim, Julie Wohlberg, Pierre Zarokian, Ivka Adam, Cheryl Contee, Krystyl Baldwin, Adrian Harris, Jeremy Wright, Rob Bloggeries, Dave Duarte, Tanya Alvarez, Dana Oshiro, Tom Foremski, and Judith Lewis.

hashtag #wmads on Twitter.

Murray Newlands is author of How to Make a Blog Book and Online Marketing; a User Guide. He is also founder of the Affiliate Marketing Awards. Born in the UK, he now spends his time in San Francisco and New York. Murray works for Audience Mindshare and consults for Trancos Ins as well as being an advisor for VigLink. Actually he is working on his new book: The Email Marketing Book.

*** is officially entered! I know many readers also write their own blogs, so please enter! We’ll have a community crossing its fingers for everyone!

October 15, 2010

Blog Action Day: WATER

Cathedral Lake in Aspen, Colorado

Blog Action Day is an annual event that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day. This year, the focus is WATER. I freakin’ love water. I love to drink it (at least 8 glasses a day), I love to bathe in it, I love to swim in it, I love to watch my dog try to swim in it, I love to watch it run down the windowpanes when it rains, I love to boil it for tea, I love to splash it in my dog’s face and see how she reacts. Water is awesome.

But lots of people waste water (long showers? running water while you brush your teeth? c’mon, those are OLD habits) and lots of people waste money on bottled water ($15 billion on disposable bottled water) and I want to help change that by raising awareness. Here’s the Blog Action Day ’10 pledge:|Start Petition

Here’s my favorite article I’ve written at about WATER (with reusable water bottle reviews!).

Ways to connect: @blogactionday / #BAD10

Last year’s topic? Climate Change. Click here to read my post on 100 Effects of Global Warming.

October 1, 2010

JOIN My Chemical Breakup

It all started when I read this book: No More Dirty Looks. I ended up creating’s My Chemical Breakup Challenge. For the month of October, join me and give up toxins in your beauty products! Leave comments on the blog, tweet with the hashtag #mychemicalbreakup, or post videos of your debacles trying at-home hair rinses (coming soon, from me)!

My Chemical Breakup Challenge

Risk smelling bad, having oily hair, your makeup smudging, and generally looking less than perfect all the time … but have lots of fun, try new products, and become a healthier, happier YOU!

So I’m a damn hippie. You try to avoid it, but you just can’t living in Austin …

These are the products that stayed … well, only the few on the left (mascara, brush, oil) are technically good for this month … but I can’t give up my Latisse permanently! I need long eyelashes!

These are the products that were, erm, flushed.

June 14, 2010


What say you, interwebs? To accommodate the Austin and Aspen posts, I thought it’d be prudent to have three posts displaying in the primetime spot on the site. If you RSS read, you do not probably care. If you don’t, however, hello!!

Since the new design is all suave-eh, say adios to my sweet but awfully wonky header graphic (and thanks to my bro for a little teeny rework). R.I.P.:

You will be missed, little graphic.

February 13, 2010

You can stop hearing about CrossFit now …

Well, that’s probably a lie. But I’ve started an entirely separate blog just about my training for CrossFit, so I’ll at least be mentioning CrossFit LESS on this blog …

Check me out:

You can now return to your regularly scheduled life in Austin updates.

November 6, 2009

Weekend Fashion & Shopping

Friday, Saturday, Sunday … it’s a shopaholics’ (or casual fashionista’s) fantasty!

Saturday: Runway to Heaven fashion show

Runway to Heaven Austin

I’ll be live-blogging/tweeting my reactions to the show up onto the wall behind the models as they walk down the runway, so this is going to be super cool. But what will I wear?!

Friday: 2ND Street District Holiday Give & Get Kick-off

Every Friday afternoon in November, 2ND Street District businesses are rolling out the holiday cheer with a Holiday Give & Get.

For $25, you get special VIP savings, free gifts, a chance to win holiday spending money and the opportunity to support one of four much-loved Austin non-profits: Art Alliance Austin, Austin Dog Rescue, Bikes for Kids or Capital Area Food Bank. $20 goes directly to the charity of your choice and $5 will go toward a raffle including holiday spending money and hundreds of dollars in gift certificates to 2ND Street District businesses. The drawing will take place on December 3 at the 2ND Street District holiday parties.

Today’s featured non-profit is Art Alliance Austin. They’ll be at 2nd Street’s gallery d selling tickets to Art Night Austin: E.A.S.T. (the official preview party of the East Austin Studio Tour, taking place Nov. 12) and personalizing holiday greeting cards by E.A.S.T. featured artist GladeMade. We’ll also have an Annie Ray photo booth on site, so bring your kids or pets and snap some holiday photos to share with friends and family.

Sunday: Shop 787 event

Yeah, I’ve been hyping it all week, but it’s here!


All Weekend: Settlement Home Garage Sale

This year’s Settlement Home Garage Sale is Nov 6-8 at Palmer Events Center. A family tradition (wrote about it here), I highly recommend you check it out … there are awesome find waiting to be discovered!

Sale Days

Friday 10 am – 7 pm – Admission is $5 at the door
Saturday 10 am – 5 pm – Free Admission
Sunday 10 am – 2 pm – Free Admission
Closed from 2 pm – 3 pm
Sunday Bag & Box Sale 3 pm – 5 pm – Free Admission

July 30, 2009

Blogger Accountability: An Update from the Responsiblity Project

Last weekend, the SXSW-meets-Bonnaroo-meets-a-Sample-Sale of the female blogosphere happened: BlogHer ’09. BlogHer, simply stated in their tagline, is a “Community for Women Who Blog.” More thoroughly explained, BlogHer is:

“Founded in February 2005 as a labor of love by three bloggers, BlogHer’s mission is to create opportunities for women who blog to pursue exposure, education, community and economic empowerment. Today BlogHer is the leading participatory news, entertainment and information network for women online, reaching more than 14 million women each month via annual conferences, a Web hub (, and an publishing network of more than 2,500 qualified, contextually targeted blog affiliates ( BlogHer Inc. is run by its three co-founders and has backing from Venrock, the Peacock Fund and Azure Capital Partners.

Colloquially defined, super-blogger (and, coincidentally, frequent giveaway-er) MizFit describes the conference as: “The blogger mayhem that was Chicago.” What’s the big deal about all this, you potentially-non-blogger types ask?

Well, the Responsibility Project, created by Liberty Mutual, did a survey at BlogHer of many of today’s top-ranked bloggers that focused on accountability and responsibility in blogging. (The Responsibility Project aims to be a catalyst for examining the decisions that confront people trying to “do the right thing.”)

175 bloggers were surveyed. They said:

98% of surveyed bloggers believe it is acceptable to receive a free product

87% of surveyed bloggers believe it is okay to write company-sponsored posts

A majority of bloggers mentioned transparency, disclosure and honesty as key caveats to receiving free product and writing sponsored posts

84 percent said honesty is a key trait of a responsible blogger, followed by transparency (66 percent) and reliable sources (56 percent)

And here is a link to more information, including video interviews of bloggers who participated in the survey:

As a part of the overall discourse about what on earth to do with blogger ethics (first addressed by me here, remember me scoffing at the FTC trying to regulate bloggers?), this survey is interesting and important.

But as a part of the overall picture of bloggers, I’m not sure that this survey really even matters. I think the numbers are misleading. They surveyed all women, all at a conference about blogging. These aren’t the armchair quarterbacks of the blogging field, these are the marquee names, the involved and active bloggers who were either invited to present a panel or chose to pay $400 for a pass to the conference. As an example, one of the featured videos is from a General Motors blogger. Of course she believes in responsibility and accountability–her company has TRAINED her, as one of their bloggers, to do so–to mind her manners, so to speak. That isn’t to say that she wouldn’t have an internal sense of ethics, but it is to say that she couldn’t have used manners she never learned. And that she isn’t really a fair survey respondent.

The FTC proposed guidelines to address the people that aren’t getting trained, that don’t have a clue about journalistic ethics let alone blogging ethics, that are just writing because they want to and writing about something they got for free because they got it for free. It’s not even necessarily that they’re irresponsible as much as that they’re ignorant–literally, uneducated. So surveying the trained, the Brett Farves (finally retiring for good?) of blogging, is like asking Farve is passing is easy. Of course it is. He’s been doing it all his life.

So I’m back to my original stance: proposed guidelines make sense as a model for education but make absolutely no sense as a vehicle for enforcement. So whatever money is to be spent “enforcing” is much better spent educating. That is, creating a sense of responsibility in people who don’t even know that they’re supposed to have one about this particular topic.

Disclaimer: Liberty Mutual sent me the information about their survey.

June 4, 2009

A Band on Tour: Achachay!

I’m excerpting (ok, stealing in its entirety), a blog post I love below. It’s from Achachay!, a band touring the US in support of lowering the drinking age and promoting their music. It happens to be my little bro’s band, but even if it wasn’t, these blog posts about mishaps and adventures on the tour are some of the most engaging, funny, and well-written accounts of life on the road I’ve ever read. Read this sample, then click to for more–he posts almost daily!

Day 6: FLORIDA! My name is Florida!

It was 3AM by the time we had loaded up and pulled out of the Celtic’s lawn parking lot. At least seven hours from Atlantic City Florida and one broken headlight still waiting to be replaced, it would seem as if we had quite the night ahead of us. Surprisingly, the 330AM-1130AM drive passed without incident. I felt electrified the whole time until about 7 when I decided to drink a Red Bull. I felt absolutely no increase in awareness, concentration or energy. Instead after about 20 minutes I felt an intense crash and had to pull over to switch drivers. Ryan and I flopped into the aft cabin while Roni and Michael dutifully moved into the front seats. Unbeknownst to sleeping Ryan and Jordan, Michael fell immediately back asleep and left Roni driving at 730 by himself. Fortunately, and despite our best efforts to the contrary, Roni still hasn’t shaken the corporate lifestyle and remains an early riser.


Ryan cools his head

Florida was a dream. It was so awesome catching up with JP, my friend from studying abroad in Spain who I hadn’t seen in almost three years. His band Saltwater Grass was also incredible. They’re a six piece in the vein of String Cheese Incident and Widespread Panic – but a little funkier. Great energy, great jams, I just had to dance to the music. Plus they’re all a bunch of really nice guys. In fact all of JP’s crew was really cool. From the moment we arrived rubbing sleep from our eyes they welcomed us, hung out at the beach with us, throwing frisbees, running around like fools, and guiding us to the best fish tacos I’ve ever had. Atomic Flying Fish Tacos in Atlantic Beach Florida are a must – upon mentioning them right now Ryan erupted “those were awesome!”

What could be better? Catching up with old friends, going to the beach, eating delectable food, playing music, dancing to another great live act, and going to a hilarious after-party. Yeah after the show we all headed over to a house and got rowdy. And by rowdy I mean we sat around telling ridiculous stories and making up songs about people at the party. Hoff from Indiana – we’ll never forget what you do with baseball bats.

I can only speak for myself, but hanging out with JP made me realize that I am living my dream. Not just because we’re getting to showcase our brilliant Achachay! compositions in front of new people every single night, but because I get to travel around the country catching up with old friends and meeting the people they love. From Aaron and Evan and Anna and Darren and Clory and Beth and the whole Houston crew to Julie and Lea in New Orleans, to JP in Florida and Meeker in Raleigh, and all the people in the Northeast and Midwest that I can’t wait to spend an afternoon with, this lifestyle is indeed exactly how I want to spend my time.

Two more interesting tidbits.

(1): We got in the paper!!!

(2) The Fly’s Tie specifically asked us not to mention lowering the drinking age. Crazy right? I understand that they get a lot of pressure from the local fuzz and have to be really hard on IDs and whatnot, but we’re not supporting illegal behavior. We support changing the legal rights of adults. So we kept mum about it. I mentioned that there was something we normally talk about that we couldn’t and people should check out website to find out more. Barely anyone even asks us about it. More on that soon.

Regardless we’ll definitely be back to the Fly’s Tie, and we’ll definitely be playing with Saltwater Grass again.

Funny, poignant, easy to read and love. What more could you want in a blog? Visit for more.

January 21, 2009

Cissi’s RSS: Free Desserts & Wine Specials

When networking isn’t really your thing (or after you’ve gotten your fill of business cards), check out The Cissi’s RSS (Really Sweet Syn) Feed Event

Cissi’s Wine Bar (1400 South Congress) invites the Foodie Blogosphere, Twitters, Facebook subscribers and Yelp yelpers to enjoy some RSS (Really Sweet Syn) in its warm, roomy, Wi-Fi ready wine bar that just opened in Austin’s so-cool SoCo. This sweet night of decadence takes place tonight from 7 to 10 pm.

The RSS Feed features Cissi’s acclaimed pastry chef, Faith Hoi Yan Chan, and her critic approved (and drooled over) sweet treats such as hot Belgian Ale Doughnuts, which were recently featured as one of Austin Chronicle’s Best Bites: Sweet Bites of 2008. Original desserts such as the fancy Tangerine Financier (a dessert that puts the recess in recession), Roasted Peanut Macaron with Caramelized Banana Ganache and the Mini Sacher Torte will make a sneak peak at the blogger bash but will be formally introduced to the bar menu in mid- to late-February.

Guests can mosey on to the sidebar for complimentary Kohana coffee creations and 1/2 price wine, including $5 discounted glasses of the Terregaie Prosecco and Coume del Mas Banyuls Blanc, tasty dessert wines. Each was chosen by Cissi’s sommelier Nat Davis to perfectly compliment each confection.

Walk ins are welcome, but guests can pull page rank by reserving their spot at: I’ve been wanting to scope out Cissi’s, so I can’t wait to stop by for a treat!

Menu for the RSS Feed:

Belgian Ale Doughnuts: Warm Beer Toffee Sauce, Peanut-Fleur de Sel Toffee

Tangerine Financier: Browned Butter Almond Cakes infused with fresh Tangerines

Roasted Peanut Macaron with Caramelized Banana Ganache: Crisp and chewy Almond & Peanut Sandwich Cookies with a Caramelized Banana White Chocolate Ganache

Mini Sacher Torte: Small Bite-sized version of the classical Austrian dessert. Dense layers of chocolate cake with housemade Apricot Preserves and Dark Chocolate Glaze served with a side of “Schlag” or whipped cream as is done traditionally.

I’m planning on checking it out (who can turn down dessert?) but also planning for it to be a madhouse, as all of the local press has publicized it … my advice? RSVP!!


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