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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Vote in Our Inaugural Best of Milwaukee Web Awards

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If you have been closely following Wisconsin's ongoing budget battle, there's a good chance at some point you turned online for the latest updates. You probably did the same as you followed the Green Bay Packers' run to the Super Bowl, or while you prepared yourself for February's historic blizzard.

The Internet has long been a prime source for up-to-the-minute information for breaking events like these, but over the last few years it has increasingly offered something else just as valuable: connections. Social networking services like Twitter and Facebook have linked businesses with customers, causes with activists and friends with friends. In Milwaukee they have provided us with information we need (like school closings) and information we didn't know we needed (like Brewers relief pitcher John Axford's surprisingly accurate Oscar predictions), and the city is a closer-knit, better-informed and just plain more fun place because of them.

For over 20 years, the Shepherd Express has recognized Milwaukee's culture, cuisine, sights and characters with the city's oldest, largest and most prestigious readers' choice poll, the Best of Milwaukee Awards, but we felt the city's vibrant, tightknit and rapidly growing online community deserved its own awards. That's why the Shepherd Express and expressmilwaukee.com are proud to announce our inaugural Best of Milwaukee Web Awards, the city's first online honors.

Through Wednesday, March 23, we invite readers to vote at expressmilwaukee.com for their favorite blogs, websites, Twitterers and Tumblrs. This is your chance to toast the Twitter accounts that keep you most informed—as well as the ones that keep you guffawing through your workday—and to show support for your favorite online sources for local news, sports, music, fashion and nightlife. (To avoid the obvious conflict of interest, expressmilwaukee.com will be ineligible for these awards, though we certainly appreciate the thought.)

We'll announce and honor the winners on Tuesday, April 19, with a public party and networking event at 7 p.m. at the Wherehouse, 818 S. Water St. There will be free food, entertainment and giveaways, and plenty of chances to put a face on some of those friends you follow on Twitter.

Please click here to vote.

The complete list of winners will be published in the Shepherd Express on Thursday, April 21.