• BEST WEBSITE
    • Metropulse.com
    • We’re not worthy. No, really, we’re not—our old website really sucked and our just-launched revamp is a work in progress with features yet to be added and improvements still to be mapped out. Worst of all, we didn’t post the letters to the editor. And we don’t have movie times up and running yet. And we opted not to post News of the Weird since it’s already available at newsoftheweird.com. As one helpful forum-poster noted, why should we even bother continuing to publish the paper at all in light of these personal insults? We have failed you, Knoxville (or at least the six or seven people who’ve issued ultimatums to us), but we will work hard to earn your online love. Keep checking back. (C.T.)
    • Best Website Runners-Up:
    • KnoxBlab.com, knoxnews.com, thebruceisloose.com, wbir.com
    • BEST BLOG/BOGGER
    • KnoxViews.com
    • Success is the best revenge. The progressive blog KnoxViews.com came into being after an entirely embarrassing affair in 2005 starring Metro Pulse’s former owner, Brian Conley. After Conley pulled the plug on Metropulse.com’s own online forum, MetroBlab, the community of posters there migrated to a server hosted by the mysterious blogger South Knox Bubba. Annoyed by some crude criticism of a Metro Pulse article that appeared there, Conley sent Bubba an e-mail that seemingly threatened to “out” Bubba by revealing his true name in print. Bubba responded by outing himself as Randy Neal and then later quitting his blog. A sad ending—until a year later when Neal decided to re-enter the online fray and let his liberal opinions fly under his own name at KnoxViews.com. With a ready team of authors, it’s a daily must-visit for anyone looking for a smart dissection of state and local issues. (C.T.)
    • Runners-Up:
    • alittleknoxvillian.blogspot.com, instapundit.com, thebruceisloose.com
    • BEST LOCAL DISCUSSION FORUM
    • KnoxBlab.com
    • Have a few extra hours at work to kill? Looking for a black hole of a time-waster to keep the boredom of real life at bay? Visit the third and latest incarnation of the long-running ’Blab at KnoxBlab.com, a combination discussion forum, social network, entertainment guide, sounding board, intellectual exchange, free-form bullshitter extravaganza, and lesbian cheerleader fantasy camp. The ’Blab is mostly Knox-centric, but its regular posters include ex-pats in New York, Boston, Florida, Baltimore, and South Korea—many of them musicians, scenesters, and a few former Metro Pulse-ers— and a handful of out-of-town weirdos who’ve stumbled into the site. Topics range from local restaurants, bands, and services to gardening, presidential politics, CDs by the Japanese art-metal band Boris, post-colonial Harari, and barely legal Russian tennis players. This will kill downtown! (M.E.)
    • Runners-Up:
    • KnoxViews.com, knoxgothic.com, knoxnews.com
    • BEST LOCAL MYSPACE PAGE
    • myspace.com/djslink
    • DJ Slink, aka Heath Shinpaugh, has been around for more than 15 years and has presided over regular dance nights at nearly every club that ever mattered during that time: the Underground, Fiction, the Boiler Room, Lord Lindsey, and the Electric Ballroom. His music is made for the dance floor—chopped-up, sliced-up, mashed-up house with robotic vocals and 4/4 beats. And there’s plenty of it available on his MySpace page—a half-dozen or so rotating tracks and mixes. Slink (also voted Best Local DJ) knows how to work his MySpace friends, too. His favorites are a mix of locals (TouchParties, the Johnson City dance club Chrome, and Saint Tattoo) and heady big-time dance-music players (Kid Koala, DJ Shadow, and the Stanton Warriors). (M.E.)
    • Runners-Up:
    • myspace.com/dirtyguvnahs, myspace.com/metropulse, myspace.com/rebelhair
    • BEST LOCAL WIFI SPOT
    • Old City Java
    • Enough jokes about people bringing their laptops to coffee houses already. Whatever. Get over it. Nobody’s trying to impress anybody. We’re just living our lives. It’s 2008 and we all take our work wherever we go, OK? So stop being a jerk about it. It goes without saying that people expect connectedness with their caffeine nowadays. Old City Java, which also won Best Coffee House for the gajillionth time, provides it along with a friendly, relaxing atmosphere. And while you’re hunched over some spreadsheet (or, more likely, your MySpace page), the good folks at OCJ will make sure you don’t go hungry, with an all-day breakfast menu and a selection of goodies from nearby MagPies bakery. And unlike some other wired-up coffee joints, it also offers the satisfaction that comes with supporting a small local business. (C.M.)
    • Runners-Up:
    • Panera Bread (North Peters), Panera Bread (Bearden), Panera Bread (Cumberland Avenue)
    • BEST LOCALLY PRODUCED ONLINE VIDEO
    • “The Bruce Is Loose”
    • Somewhere in between a commercial jingle and a classic-rock anthem, “The Bruce Is Loose” is the theme song for thebruceisloose.com, a University of Tennessee men’s basketball fanboy website. Performed by the Sons of Bruce, a motley collection of what seem to be recent UT grads in orange blazers and white headbands, the video appears to have been shot (at least in part) during a half-time performance at Thompson-Boling Arena and the song sounds like it’s based on equal parts Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll” and the fist-pumping part of Todd Steed’s catalog. And at under two-and-a-half minutes, it’s just the right length. (M.E.)