Website Awards

Website Awards: Best Websites, Apps & Blogs of Note

Posted by Liz Dean on Mon, Mar 05, 2012 @ 02:43 PM

Once a month we like to highlight websites, apps, and blogs in our  Stevie® Awards Update Email Newsletter to help make your day a bit more interesting and enjoyable. Here are this month's "Apps, Websites and Blogs of Note:"

  • Image App Store                             
    A store that enables app users to interact directly with images, from Luminate.Stevie Awards Logo
  • brainpickings                     
    A site that styles itself as "a modest, curiosity-driven exercise in vision- and mind-expansion."
  • ImageThief                        
    A blog on life and business in China from Will Moss, Director of Communications Asia-Pacific, Motorola Mobility.
  • Quora                  
    An information network that delivers answers and content from people and professionals who share interests or have first-hand knowledge of a topic.

Know of other great websites, apps, or blogs? Nominate them for one of our blog awards, website awards, or app awards. The 2012 American Business Awards, the premier business awards program in the U.S.A., are now accepting entries. (The entry deadline for the corporate awards program is March 28, download your entry kit here.)

Topics: business awards, corporate awards, app awards, website awards, American business awards, blog awards, stevie awards

Website Awards: Four Blogs & Apps to Help You Stay Organized

Posted by Liz Dean on Fri, Jan 27, 2012 @ 10:13 AM

The Stevie Awards don't just confer blog awards, website awards, and app awards; we also like to highlight blogs and websites once a month in our Stevie Awards Update email newsletter that we think will help make your work day more interesting. Our latest "Blogs & Web Sites of Note" include:

  • Brazen Careerist              
    Advice at the intersection of work and life from entrepreneur and career guidance counselor Penelope Trunk.
  • Drew's Marketing Minute                       RSS Feed resized 600    
    How to create a happy customer, from marketing agency veteran Drew McLellan.
  • Gist                       
    Gist brings your contacts into one place, allowing you a full view of your network and making it easy to find anyone, anytime.  They even offer FREE Blackberry Smartphones.
  • MyLeadResponder                        
    MyLeadResponder makes it fast and easy to close more leads quickly by combining the flexibility of email with the immediacy of a phone call. MyLeadResponder even gives you instant, organized lead response that you can access anywhere. From $49.95 per month.

Have a favorite website? Nominate it for a website award! The 2012 American Business Awards, the premier business awards program in the U.S.A. are now accepting entries. (The entry deadline for the business awards program is March 28, you can download your entry kit here.)

Topics: business awards, app awards, website awards, American business awards, blog awards, blog award

Best Websites, Apps & Blogs of Note

Posted by Liz Dean on Fri, Dec 30, 2011 @ 12:36 PM

Every month we bring you the latest best websites, new apps, and winning blogs findings to make your work day more dynamic and pleasant. Check out our recommendations:

Work Matters
Stanford Professor Bob Sutton's blog on management and related topics.Stevie Awards Logo

Global Economic Trends
A blog on global economics from registered investment advisor Mike Shedlock.


MightyMeeting allows users to store presentations and demo videos in the cloud and access them anywhere and anytime from the web, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad or Android smartphones. Free.

Worn out by the holidays? This app plays office sounds like keyboard typing, mouse clicks, a stapler, and various other sounds that allow cubicle workers to take a nap while their colleagues think they are hard at work.  Available for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. 99cents.

Which websites, apps, or blogs would you recommend?

Topics: best web sites, business awards, website awards, stevie awards, web awards, best websites

13 Specialty Website Awards Categories in the 2012 ABAs

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Wed, Dec 21, 2011 @ 05:34 PM

Social Media LogosWe want to highlight 13 specialty website awards categories that may be of interest to web and interactive professionals applying to The 2012 American Business Awards. Our specialty web site awards offer recognition for innovative web design, outstanding commercial uses of the web, and successful social media outreach.

The ABAs are the top awards program in the U.S.A., and feature a wide range of categories to honor achievements in the workplace. The entry deadline is March 28. Get your entry kit here.

The ABAs' specialty categories for the best websites include:

  • Best Interface Design
  • Best Software Programming/Design
  • Best Writing/Content
  • Best E-commerce Site
  • Best Home Page
  • Best Investor Relations Site
  • Best Overall Web Design
  • Best Online Press Room
  • Best Training Site
  • Best Video Site
  • Best Facebook Page
  • Best Google +1 Group
  • Best LinkedIn Group or Page
  • Best Twitter Feed

The ABAs also feature 34 industry-specific categories for your web site entries.

Your entry submissions to these categories should include:

  • An essay of up to 100 words describing the site's purpose and achievements to date
  • A link to the site, which must be attached to your entry through our attachment/link uploading tool.  If your site is not publicly available (i.e. private or password protected), upload a video of up to three (3) minutes that demonstrates the features and functions of your site.
  • Optionally, you may list creative and production credits for your site - a list of the people and organizations that contribute to its development.

There is no eligibility timeframe for these web site award categories; all sites are eligible for an award, regardless of start date.

How will your organization be highlighting its online successes in The 2012 American Business Awards?

Topics: business awards, website awards, stevie awards, best websites, web site awards

Best Websites, Apps & Blogs of Note

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Mon, Sep 19, 2011 @ 03:17 PM

Stevies 2011Once a month in this space we bring to your attention several best websites, apps, and blogs that we think will help to make your work day a bit more productive and enjoyable.  Here are this month's recommendations.

QuickOffice Mobile Suite: Quickoffice will open any Microsoft Office file or document and allow you to make quick edits from your phone. While the app can be used to create documents, it is far more useful for small work tasks while you are on the move. Available for iPhone, iPad, Android, and more. From $14.99.

Glympse: A way to share information about your location with anyone for a specified period of time. Available for iPhone, Android, Blackberry & more. Free.

Hyperthinker: Blog from Brussels-based ZN, a communications agency for global organizations.

Pink Slip: Maureen Rogers posts comments on the workplace, business, management, the economy, lay-offs, etc.

Topics: best web sites, business awards, website awards, stevie awards, web awards, best websites

5 Best Website Tips From Walmart

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Thu, Jun 16, 2011 @ 11:50 AM

Suraya Bliss is Senior Director of Digital Strategy and Communication at Walmart in Bentonville, Arkansas, and recently chaired the final judging committee for the Creative categories in The 2011 American Business Awards. Here she shares knowledge gained from the creation of one of the largest employee websites in the United States.

Suraya BlissEvery week, in every state in America, 1.4 million associates head to work at Walmart. That’s a lot of people—in fact, nearly 22 percent of the U.S. population knows someone that works at our company. So you can imagine what a challenge it is to connect all these associates with news, information—and even with each other.

In March 2009, Walmart launched, a password-protected social-media site for our U.S. associates to access from their home computers. is the result of careful planning, research, collaboration, and constant content refreshment.  Through its development we have learned a great deal about what makes an internal social-media site successful, and I’m happy to share some of our experiences to help other communicators connect more deeply with their own employees.

Let me start by telling tell you about Then I’ll share a few points about how we got to where we are today.

Initially developed as a website to provide information to associates, has evolved to become much more. Today we use the site to communicate new initiatives; involve associates in company programs and events; gather feedback about operations, marketing, and advocacy; and function as a change-management tool.   At its core, strives to:

- serve as a single destination for associates to get information about the company and access key applications such as work schedules, discounts, benefits enrollment, educational opportunities, and jobs;

- educate associates on issues that impact the company, local stores, and one another (for associates who want to engage in issues, the site provides tools that help them get involved);

- provide insight into opinions and ideas of associates that help the business create and drive more effective initiatives and communication;

- Reduce costs and increase efficiency.

How did our team develop a site that went from zero to over 1.3 million users in 24 months?  Following are some of the key principles.

Start with the End Users’ Wants and Needs
In 2007, we conducted research to find out how best to reach associates using the most effective messages and channels.

Our research identified three themes that best build pride and engagement with associates: family, community, and opportunity.  These three pillars are woven throughout, and have been used to develop an associate communications framework in channels ranging from the company’s magazine, Walmart World, to corporate memos. 

We also asked associates questions about what channels they trusted, and what new communications tools they were interested in using.  We were pleasantly surprised with the results:

- 81% of associates wanted information about the company when not at work, but did not want another corporate information site written from the home office’s perspective;

- 78% were interested in connecting with other associates;

- 79% said they would use social networking tools if they were available.

In the study, associates told us that they wanted to join the conversation and contribute to matters that affected them and the company.  These results led us to develop a digital strategy with heavy emphasis on social-networking functionality.

We knew that it would be a challenge to create a website for associates that would only be available off the clock but that would engage associates enough to keep them coming back. 

To accomplish our goals for the site, the team remained strongly focused on user experience.  The key organizing principles for the site were crisp, intuitive design; user-centric content (giving users what they wanted to receive, not just what we wanted to publish); active content (giving users a lot to do), and prominent placement of associate-generated content.

We continue to ask associates what they want on the site through on-site polls, blogs, and discussion topics.

Think Big (But Be Willing to Start Small)
When we launched in March 2009, was a modest site with little social-networking functionality.   We had basic content, profile creation, and chats.  Although we knew we wanted to do more, we were concerned that taking an all-or-nothing approach would leave us with nothing.  As the comfort level grew with social networking and user-generated content, however, so did the associates’ use of 

Once the site was proven it was time to get bigger.  To grow we needed traffic, and to get traffic we needed a hook.  Fortunately we had a strong partnership with our benefits team, who were looking to update their website.  We gained traffic, they gained new functionality, and our associates were one step closer to a single source for content.

We worked with the benefits team to add popular applications such as online pay stub and special discounts to the mywalmart site.  Together we increased our traffic from 100,000 to 600,000 users.  Within weeks we had requests from other business units to integrate into, the associate apparel shop; associate volunteer and charitable-giving programs; sustainability programs; and other initiatives are all now integrated into the site. 

More recently, in partnership with our operations team, we rolled out online schedules for our associates.  Operations needed a channel with high traffic—and with over 900,000 associates by that time visiting our site every two weeks, fit the bill.  Once again, partnership proved to be a win-win situation.  Since we started displaying schedules on, our repeat traffic has grown from 78% of the user base visiting the site every two weeks to 85% returning every week.  Currently there are 1,330,215 registered users.

Whoever Aggregates Best Wins
We understand how precious time is for our associates. We didn’t want them to have to choose between and other social sites; so, rather than considering Facebook and Twitter competition, we looked at them as an opportunity.

Recently, we developed a widget that brings content from our company’s Facebook and Twitter pages right onto Associates can now comment and share stories on these other sites without ever leaving

We continue to identify content and sites that are relevant to associates and present them on  With each such addition, becomes more and more of a true “one-stop shop.”

Make It Easy to Contribute
A lean corporate team oversees all aspects of   As the site has evolved and more users visit the site more frequently, the demand for fresh content has grown and we increasingly rely on business units to provide material.

Rather than developing and publishing everything ourselves, we have created a content-management system that allows approved users to create and publish their own content.  To help coordinate our communications efforts, every two weeks we meet with key stakeholders—including corporate communications, marketing, global associate communications, and others—to develop a publication calendar. 

This structure provides coordinated content for as well as for other corporate communication channels. 

Keep it Relevant
Keeping content and functionality relevant and customized to associates’ needs is key.  Our communications strategy is grounded in presenting user-generated content first, then providing context with company facts and information for support and reference. This approach is apparent from the very first view of our homepage. Associate-authored blogs, forums, and videos send a clear message that the site is first and foremost about the associate.

Throughout the site we continue to provide significant space for associates to focus on their perspectives about the company’s culture and activities and to share their stories.  Once we address associates’ interests and concerns with content, we are then able to effectively ladder the messages up, moving the content focus from local to national to global.

As continues to evolve, we are working to position content so that it resonates even more with associates.  We’ve started customizing content based on geography and job codes as appropriate.

We are also creating communities on the site that cater to different interests and demographics, such as communities for volunteers, military families, diversity groups, and others.

Looking to the Future recently celebrated its second anniversary and is helping connect associates from New Hampshire to Hawaii.

The site continues to evolve and we are looking to bring to our international associates in the near future. In the meantime, we learn more each day: what motivates our associates, what they need from our company, and what else we can do to engage them.

About Suraya Bliss
Suraya Bliss followed an unusual path to her role as Senior Director of Digital Strategy and Communication for the world’s leading retailer, Walmart.  After graduating from the College of Charleston, South Carolina, with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Bliss worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala, helping subsistence farmers and their families improve their living conditions.  She also earned certification as a Wilderness Education Association Leader on an expedition through the Grand Teton Mountains, and volunteered for the Colorado Forest Service maintaining the Poudre River Trail.

In her first position with Walmart as Director of Internal Communications, Bliss built a new department responsible for strategic internal communications.  In partnership with several departments, Suraya worked to develop the company’s global purpose statement: “Saving people money so they can live better.”

In her current position, Bliss plays a key role in shaping Walmart’s corporate strategy for a presence in the digital world, building community and creating efficiencies through the development of new tools and platforms. Bliss spearheaded the first use of social media for employees through a website——that enables 1.8 million Walmart U.S. associates to connect with the company and each other. The site has won several awards, including a Neilson Norman Best Intranets 2010 and a Stevie Award for Best Design and Interface.  She is currently working to extend the reach of social media to connect employees globally. Bliss has also been a leader in bringing together multiple external digital properties under one platform, significantly improving user experience.

Before joining WalMart, Bliss worked for DaimlerChrysler for six years. Her responsibilities included media relations and strategy development supporting marketing efforts. She managed safety programs and led the team that created and launched “SeatCheck,” an innovative and effective child-safety communications initiative that won a Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Silver Anvil Award; and “Fit for a Kid,” which received a PRSA Award of Excellence.

Bliss’s diverse experience also includes work with Carlson Marketing Group, where she was responsible for on-site event logistics and execution for a diverse client base; The Jewish Community Center (JCC), where she served as a Fitness Director and Program Developer; and the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), where she was an examiner and trainer

About Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at 9,029 retail units under 60 different banners in 15 countries. With fiscal year 2011 sales of $419 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. Walmart strives to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy, and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting

Topics: suraya bliss, walmart, business awards, website awards, web awards, best websites Wins Web Award from the Stevie Awards

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Wed, Nov 24, 2010 @ 01:40 PM

Jennifer RotnerElite Editing is a New York–based full-service editorial company, offering proofreading, editing and writing help for businesses, academics and individuals through the website The company earned one of the website awards in the 2010 Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the global competition for women entrepreneurs, executives, and the organizations they run.  Company owner Jennifer Rotner accepted the Stevie at the awards dinner in New York on Friday, November 12 2010.  See her acceptance speech here. allows users to upload documents and pay instantly so that, no matter the deadline, their work will be delivered on time and error-free. The site also functions as an extensive writing resource, offering an invaluable list of articles, links and writing tips that is constantly evolving, with new, original content added daily.

The next opportunities to win web awards and blog awards from the Stevies include the website and blog awards categories of The 2011 American Business Awards, and the web awards categories of The 2011 International Business Awards.


Topics: business awards, website awards, stevie awards, web awards, web award, website award, web site awards, web site award, awards web