The year's not quite over yet, but it's close enough and I'm not sure we can take much more excitement. (I'll update and bump if there are significant new developments).
So without further ado, here's the KnoxViews Year in Review with a few random arbitrary awards thrown in by our crack panel of judges (me). I'm sure there's lots of great stuff I've missed, so feel free to add your own awards and observations in comments.
• Top Story of the Year: Without a doubt, the Knox County term limits controversy, Black Wednesday, and the subsequent KNS lawsuit. There are more than 150 articles on KnoxViews and thousands of comments in discussion among some of the smartest, best informed, and most engaged pundits in town. We have compiled it all into a special section to be preserved for future historians.
• Shining Star Award: Knox County Commissioner Mark Harmon, for promoting open government and bringing integrity and signs of intelligence to County Commission, and for his outreach as exemplified by his willingness to speak out and participate here at KnoxViews.
• Howard Beale Memorial We're Mad as Hell Award: Knoxville News Sentinel editor and Citizen Jack McElroy, for taking on Knox County Commission in a lawsuit over Sunshine Law violations, and winning.
• Best Addition to the Local Lexicon of Politics: "Buffooned", as in "This buffoons me." Runner up: "McCartney Hearings." And remember, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!
• Stupidest Prediction: R. Neal, for "2008 Prediction: Fred Thompson v. Al Gore in 2008, with Gore winning by a slim margin if he can get 600 more votes in Florida..."
• Funniest Blog Post Derailment Trainwreck: The Regal Riviera opens this week!
• Stupidest and Most Hilarious Blog Blowup of the Year: It's the END OF KNOXVIEWS! (a/k/a the "great Stalinist purge")
• Most Prodigious New KnoxViews Blogger: Carole Borges, a great writer with lots of opinions she's not shy about sharing. (Memo to Carole: Decaf. Look into it.)
• Best new Knoxville Blogger Russ McBee. He drives a bitchin' Mini Cooper, too.
• Favorite KnoxViews Token Republican: That would be CBT, of course.
• Most Welcome Progressive Newcomer: Recent East Tennessee transplant Elrod.
• Blogs Showing Up on Local Government Radar: Not that it's necessarily a good thing, but we direct your attention to KnoxViews for being mentioned in a prominent lawsuit, and BlountViews for being singled out by the county mayor (assertions by Michael Silence notwithstanding).
• City of Knoxville Head Cheerleader Award: Bill Lyons, for his participation at KnoxViews representing the City to keep us all informed with facts and behind the scenes details.
• South Knox Bubba Memorial Community Activist Awards: Rachel, for her tireless work on behalf of Island Home and the South Waterfront Project, and Up Goose Creek for representing for Vestal and the rest of South Knoxville.
• Deep Throat Award: This goes out to all our KnoxViews anonymous sources. You know who you are.
• Best Local Hipster Chat Forum: KnoxBlab. When KnoxViews gets too serious, or you're feeling old, check out what these kids today are up to.
• Weirdest Local Blog You Should Be Reading But Probably Aren't: FortSanders.net. For example: Japanese Bikini Rodeo Pie Fight, Wanted: Stoner boyfriend, Tractor Square Dancing, Pinkerton Brand Novelties... you get the idea. It's hit or miss, but there's usually something pretty funny.
• Top County Commission Gunslinger Award: That would be Lumpy, of course.
• Raw KnoxViews Stats for 2007 (projected): 2,400,446 visits, 8,291,562 page views. That includes humans, spiders, bots, and crawlers. The actual number of human visitors by way of web browsers and RSS readers is about 60% of that, best we can tell. There were 3,111 posts and 25,731 comments (so far).
• Old Dog New Tricks Media 2.0 Guru Award: Knoxville News Sentinel Online Managing Editor Jack Lail and his team, for the KNS website makeover and enabling new features such as online video backpack journalism and lots of new blogs as part of reinventing a local newspaper to keep it relevant. Oh, and for banishing "registration required" to the dustbin of "that's so 20th Century" history.
• Hellraising Troublemaker Award: Tie between Betty Bean and Sandra Clark, the tabloid bully girls at the Halls Shopper for keeping their ear to the ground and spreading all the gossip and lies fit to print while only occasionally getting called onto the Scripps carpet.
• Mainstream Media Blogger Pioneer Award: Michael Silence, for recognizing early on the expanding role blogs would play in mainstream media, and for supporting local blogs and bloggers and bringing them in to the mainstream media fold.
Porter Wagoner, Tom Snyder, Tammy Faye, Ken Kirchman, Richard Jeni, Judge Ray Lee Jenkins, Coach Ray Mears, Molly Ivins, Art Buchwald, Dr. William O. Butler, Bill Pinkney, Kurt Vonnegut, Helen Hill, Evel Kneivel...
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