Best Of 2009 Nerd Stalker Awards Announced



WINNERS:

Startup of the Year - 99designs (See the Nerd Stalker interview here)
An awesome solution for a business or individual looking for a logo, twitter design, or website design. It's one of those great ideas that you kick yourself for not thinking of. The idea is simple you commit to paying x amount for a design, then the 99designs community is able to submit designs for you to choose from. Once the selection of designs is made so is the transaction.
We selected 99designs as our startup of the year for having everything a web application should a great user experience, business model, team and execution. A very big congratulations to 99designs for being selected as the first ever Nerd Stalker startup of the year for 2009.

Best Cloud Backup - Backblaze (See the Nerd Stalker interview here)
The best kept secret in the online backup space, Backblaze is hands down the best solution out there. The pricing for the unlimited backup space is extremely competitive and the set up is a virtual no brainer. All internal and usb external drives are backed up, you can select whether you want Backblaze to manually back up or it can automatically passively back up. If you ever need to restore Backblaze offers your data via web download or DVD/USB hard drive FedEx.

They hide the complexity but do not remove it, if you're so inclined you can go with the option heavy approach as well. Backblaze is the measuring point where other solutions need to get to, then we can talk.

Best Twitter Desktop Client - Seesmic Desktop
A Twitter client is a surprisingly personal decision that brings out a fierce loyalty similar to what I've seen in sports team enthusiasts. It is with great deliberation that we have selected the Seesmic Desktop client as winner of the Best Twitter Desktop Client category.

We knew Seesmic was serious about this space when they decided to become the first to support a feature that we would now take for granted, that being multiple Twitter accounts. We now see the release of a very impressive native windows client as well as a maturing AIR application for other operating systems. And although we have labeled this as a Twitter solution to be honest they have great Facebook interaction as well.

Where the Seesmic Desktop really shines is in it's ease of use without compromising features. We think this application has found the perfect balance of being a solution for the casual user or the professional marketer.

Best Twitter Bookmarklet - Hootsuite Hootlet
Another great way to push messages out to twitter is via the browser bookmarklet. For those who love to share URL's, the Hootsuite Hootlet is the best bookmarklet around. One of our favorite features is the recent Ping.fm support which means that you can now push your share to virtually any service. Of course they have the Ow.ly url shortener format, a nice character count, vote feature, and personalization top bar which frames a website.

Best Communication Aggregator - Threadsy
We had nearly given up on the concept of looking for an application that could corral all of your communication applications. Time and time again we heard of apps that claimed to be your one stop site for twitter, facebook, im, yahoo mail, gmail and more. We were certain this nirvana was never to be, then we stumbled upon Threadsy.

While Nerd Stalker was covering startups in Brazil we decided to put Threadsy through the paces. We were dependent on various internet cafes and did not take our laptop to Brazil so a web solution would be ideal. Sure enough we were absolutely blown away by it's elegance and intuitiveness. At about the same time we were using a pre-released Google Chrome on a mac as our primary browser and nearly everything was perfect. Most issues we had with it have been addressed and they seem to be really on top of bug fixes and adding relevant features. So a big thank you and congratulations to the Threadsy team.

Best Web Application For The Elderly - Famililink
We really appreciate the amount of attention, research, and testing Famililink has done to their web application for the elderly. I have relatives who are intimidated by the internet and dealing with things like email, photos and video so I had a great test base to go with. I can say the increased font size, use of colors, large tabs and action triggers are fantastic. But the best part of Famililink is the ability to co-manage a persons account. If grandpa is unable to deal with something you can login with your own account and help him out provided you have set permissions to do so an absolute awesome feature. It is an early product and we look forward to see how it matures but they seem to be a great path. Now if they could just do something about that name.


Best Sharing Application - AddToAny (See the Nerd Stalker interview here)
We have to admit AddToAny was one of the first Nerd Stalker interviews we did so we have a soft spot for the one man team. AddToAny is a crazy simple sharing web app but in the event you have a question you can contact resident smart guy Pat Diven and he will quickly turn around an answer to you. The amount of services it allows one to share with is insane.


Best Webinar Solution - DimDim
Remember when we all envied the only webinar game in town, WebEx? Mainly due to the fact that we could not afford it, suddenly hobbled freemium competitors began popping up. Then they began developing quite nicely to the point where not only small business's and individuals started converting but the enterprise did as well. DimDim has been there the whole way from it's rather crude beginnings to becoming a direct threat to the WebEx empire. In both feature set and price DimDim is a no brainer.