#influenceSD–why didn’t I think of that?

At what point does a new industry need an awards event to unite its movers and shakers and celebrate their achievements? In the case of new media in San Diego, the answer is clearly right now!

#influenceSD, cofounded by locals Matt Browne and Melani Gordon, basically fills a gaping void in the local social media community.

With more than 3,000 votes cast online for over 315 nominees, it also seems to me like there’s been a pent up demand–has me kinda wondering, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

I’ll bet there were a few folks who did think of that, but kudos to Matt and Mel for making it happen!

Smart move too. Social media spending is on track to reach $3.1 billion by 2014. And sponsors for this event so far include NBC San Diego, HP, LendingTree, Tech Zulu, and Tap Hunter. 

While there’s money to be made from blogging and social media campaigning, most bloggers I know do it for the passion. They love to write or to share information on their subject. That’s the true beauty of #influenceSD: giving these individuals a chance to shine and be recognized in a big, public way! 

So congratulations to all the nominees to date for Blogger of the Year  (click the category link to go vote and show some love!):

 Nate Ritter w/ Perfect SpaceHolly Kolman of mobiEnthusiast.mobi,  Happy Healthy Hip Parenting,  The Good Badger, Brian Storms, Chris Morrow – iReporter @ CNNA Room With A View (@DrapesGirl), LeadCriticShindo Terebi (@shindotv), Steffan Antonas’s Blog, Morgan Witt of Strictly SocialThe Peg Is In, Crosby Noricks of PR Couture, Jennifer Van Grove of Mashable, Dave Brown of HolidayMatinee.com Chris Carmichael of SDRadioSarah Carr of socialADDICT, and Gina Trapani of Smarterware.

There’s also a Blog of the Year category for blogs where more than one person contributes — like this one, the San Diego Metblog, which could use your #influenceSD love too! (Sorry, couldn’t help myself! Speaking of myself… throw a little love this way too.)

I’ve enjoyed finding new blogs and people to connect with as a result of #influenceSD. For that reason alone, there’s a ton of value in being nominated, and it’s an excellent way to honor the people behind the content you like most.

It’s not too late to nominate in any of the categories but voting ends at 3 p.m. March 24. The five nominees with the most votes in each category will advance to a judging process. Winners will be announced at the #influenceSD awards event April 7 at Anthology. Tickets are $25 and available at EventBrite.

Krys Justice

Doors open at 6 p.m. with red carpet starting at 6:15, pre-show entertainme
nt by Southern California R&B recording artist Krys Justice begins at
 7 p.m., and the awards program kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Local media personalities like Sam the Cooking Guy will present the awards. Music will be performed by Beyond Category with additional entertainment from the finalists in the #influenceSD Entertainment and Music category. Tickets can be purchased for $25 at http://influencesd.com with a portion of all ticket sales benefitting Father Joe’s Villages.

To nominate, vote or reserve tickets for the awards event, I think you know where to go by now: http://www.influencesd.com. And if you’re not already, follow @influenceSD and the hashtag #influenceSD on Twitter to stay up on the event. You can also join the #influenceSD Facebook fan page.

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