Mambo News

The Tech News Awards

Posted on Jul 9, 2013 in Technology

First Place: Wired.com When it comes to news about the technology world, Wired.com is the go-to website for in-depth coverage of current and future trends in technology.  Not only do they offer real-time news about events in the tech world, but also their impact on business, entertainment, communications and other areas of the world outside of tech.  The site also features a host of blogs on a variety of topics as well as publishing their own awards, called the Vaporware Awards. With sections including gear, science, entertainment, business, security, design, opinion and video, Wired.com covers every aspect of technology that a reader could ever want.  The site itself was originally the online counterpart to Wired magazine, which is a full-color monthly magazine.  However the site split off when the magazine was bought by Condé Nast Publishing in the 1990’s and became its own entity, publishing daily online content.  However, when the website was bought by the magazine’s owners in 2006, the two were reunited at long last and the site once again features content from the magazine. Second Place: TechCrunch.com TechCrunch is a site focused on information technology, and more specifically the companies within that sector.  It features technology news and analysis, but also large quantities of information on the companies operating within the information technology sphere.  The site includes sections on startups, mobile, and gadgets, but also includes quick links to tags for popular companies such as Apple, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, Google, Microsoft and NSA. TechCrunch also sponsors Crunchbase, which is a free database of the companies, people and investors that make up the technology industry.  The database can be edited by anyone and therefore is constantly being updated.  It features over 150,000 companies and 172,000 people, making it one of the most comprehensive databases of its kind. Third Place: Gizmodo.com Although not as far-reaching as the other two, Gizmodo.com is known as the absolute authority when it comes to gadget news and digital culture.  It follows more of a blog format than the other two and focuses primarily on design and technology.  It is a subset of the Gawker Media network run by Nick...

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Best Photo Sharing Website

Posted on Jul 8, 2013 in Arts

Best Photo Sharing Website

Winner: PhotoBucket.com When it comes to photo sharing, there is no shortage of websites on the internet that will help you accomplish this aim. However, none of them manage to combine ease of usability with quality at the same level as PhotoBucket. The site contains many features that were designed with its users in mind, as well as allowing for the sharing of large quantities of photos with ease. Due to its widespread use and relevance to the largest amount of people, PhotoBucket has won the Mambo Award for Best Photo Sharing Website. The first advantage of PhotoBucket is its ability to connect to a myriad of devices and medias, including computers, mobile devices and even Facebook. This allows for easy photo storing all in one place, as well as removing the worry about photo backup since they will all be stored remotely. PhotoBucket also features a comprehensive editing tool that makes it practically painless to edit large quantities of photos. They also have a Stories feature that turns photosharing into a narrative, allowing collaboration with friends and family. Lastly, PhotoBucket has adjustable privacy settings that give the user the option to share their photos with everyone, a small group of friends or even keep them entirely private. Runner Up: Instagram Although Instagram is widely popular and now integrated with Facebook, it remains a social media driven application that is meant more for sharing a single picture with all of one’s social media friends. It is extremely effective for its given purpose; however it is less useful to the general population as a photo sharing site. Therefore, it receives the runner up title in the competition for Best Photo Sharing Website. Instagram’s most unique feature is its plethora of digital filters that are available to apply to any picture before sharing, giving its site a more artsy feel. It also confines its photos to a square shape, similar to a Polaroid image, contrasting it with most other photo sharing sites. It recently also incorporated the ability to share 15-second videos, moving it further away from the traditional photo sharing...

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Sports Website Design Awards

Posted on Jul 8, 2013 in Sports

Sports Website Design Awards

Sports websites have to walk a difficult line – they need to express the motion, power and spirit of sport while also accomplishing the goals of the site itself. When perusing websites in this genre, it immediately becomes clear that custom backgrounds are a cornerstone of the industry, but that each subgenre has their own structural design based on their objectives. Whether it’s a sports news site looking to impart large quantities of information or an athlete’s personal website conveying both his/her abilities and personality, the structure of the site can make or break a sports website. To this end, we’ve picked out the best in each subgenre of sports websites based on both design and structure, as well as the degree to which they’ve fulfilled the objective of their respective subgenre. Best Athlete Personal Site: Rory McIlroy Although not as popular a sport as some of the others played in America, it was one of golf’s rising stars whose website takes home the prize for Best Athlete Personal Site. Rory McIlroy’s website has a simple but intriguing design that is very aesthetically pleasing. With a series of black and white photographs taking up the main page, he defines himself in five congruent sentences. “I am a golfer. I am an athlete. I am a fan. I am a son. I am Rory.” Best Sports News Site: Fox Sports News Despite the wealth of information contained on the homepage of the Fox Sports News website, its clean design allows for easy navigation without overwhelming its visitors. The ticker along the top gives scores of current games, while links to specific sporting pages are easily accessible. The news itself is dominated by a single article with a photo, complimented by a sidebar of recent headlines. This combination brought the title of Best Sports News Site to Fox Sports. Best Sports Team Site: BP Team USA While an unlikely choice for Best Sports Team Site, the award goes to the website for BP Team USA. Made up of BP-sponsored Olympic athletes, the BP Team USA website functions as a fully-featured site during the Olympic season, with athlete bios and up-to-date news information. However, in the off season, it is beautiful in its simplicity. It consists of one visually stimulating background picture with a giant countdown: “Days Until Team USA takes on the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.”...

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Best Healthy Living Website: FitSugar

Posted on Jul 2, 2013 in Health

Best Healthy Living Website: FitSugar

When it comes to living a fit and healthy lifestyle, there is no shortage of websites out there to help you achieve your goals.  From health magazine sites to diet meal-plan sites, women especially are bombarded with sites claiming to help you lose that weight or get those abs, but few realistically help you get there.  Most ignore the balance needed to feasibly lose weight and get fit, instead focusing on one aspect of healthy living, such as diet or exercise alone.  However, before giving up on fitness altogether, you should check out the few websites that promote an overall healthy lifestyle change – such as the winner of our Best Healthy Living Website: FitSugar. FitSugar is a subset of the popular website PopSugar, but with a complete emphasis on fitness and healthy living.  The mark of a good fitness website, FitSugar contains section on workouts, healthy living, weight loss and inspiration from various sources, including celebrities.  The presentation of the information is what sets FitSugar apart from its competitors, with easy to follow slideshow workouts, complete with self-explanatory pictures.  Featuring many bodyweight and no-equipment workouts, FitSugar removes the ability to make excuses such as “I can’t get to the gym today” or “I don’t have the right equipment to workout at home.”  They also offer yoga and Pilates routines for a more relaxed road to fitness, as well as myriads of healthy recipes, especially lower calorie versions of popular meals to make healthy eating more enjoyable. Runner Up: Greatist Following close behind FitSugar in the race for Best Healthy Living Website was Greatist, a similarly health-focused website.  It has a great layout with only three main sections: Fitness, Health, and Happiness.  We love the inclusion of happiness, because isn’t that the true goal of anyone striving for weight loss or fitness? The happiness section includes inspiration, ways to deal with stress, as well as tips for better sleeping and keeping healthy while having a social life.  Their health section is mostly focused on recipes and nutrition, but also features a section on alcohol that gives tips on how to drink without overdoing it and sabotaging a diet.  The fitness section is also nicely broken out, with sections for cardio, interval training and yoga, thereby offering visitors a choice of their favorite method of fitness....

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The Online Shopping Awards

Posted on Jul 2, 2013 in Shopping

Best Bargain Fashion Website: ASOS.com ASOS not only hosts an adorable and affordable selection, but it is constantly updated and the sheer size of their product offering will make you dizzy.  They are constantly having incredible sales and their search function makes it easy to stick to a budget, since you can filter search results by price as well as type. Best Vintage Vibe: NastyGal.com NastyGal offers a variety of vintage items including denim vests and varsity jackets to wear over the rocker tees that they’re best known for.  They feature some easily affordable articles as well as splurge-worthy dresses, tops and pants from luxury brands such as Yves Saint Laurent, Dolce & Gabbana, Moschino, and Burberry. Best Swimwear: Everythingbutwater.com While shopping for swimwear online may be daunting, Everything But Water has perfected the art of finding the ideal fit for you.  Their Perfect Fit Finder takes into account your body type and preference, then returns a personalized shopping experience that only includes suits that fit your specifications. Most Unique Way to Buy Unmentionables: TrueandCo.com Taking the swimwear personalized model to the next level, True & Co quizzes potential customers on their favorite bra, body shape, desired fit, and preferences before displaying any products.  Based on the answers to the quiz, they curate a personalized shop of bras that accounts for sizing variations across different brands, while fitting into the customer’s preferences.  They are so confident in the desirability of their choices that they offer an option for risk-free, at-home try on.  Pay a refundable deposit, choose three bras to try on at home, plus they’ll add two more they think you’ll love, and then you simply return the ones you don’t want, free of charge. Best Return Policy: Zappos.com Zappos is the perfect website for those of us who like to buy now, decide later, because they offer a 365 day return window.  As long as the product is unworn and includes the original packaging, the site will offer a full refund.   The shipping is even prepaid if you log on to your Zappos account and print out the label. Fun fact: If you happen to place your order on February 29th (during a leap year), you actually have until the following leap year to make your return – meaning four years...

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Most Comprehensive Rich List: Born Rich

Posted on Jul 2, 2013 in Business

Most Comprehensive Rich List: Born Rich

The American public has always harbored a fascination with the rich and famous, spawning an entire industry of gossip magazines and websites focused entirely on the lives of these celebrities.  Where they live, what they wear, where they go and what they eat are all subject to scrutiny, with the general public consuming every scrap of information regarding their living habits.  One of the frequent topics of curiosity is just how much money these people have, partially to put it into perspective and partially because the average person can’t even fathom controlling that much money.  This widespread interest in celebrity wealth has given birth to a variety of websites keeping tabs on the net worth of some of the world’s richest people, including lists of the richest of the rich. Receiving the award for Most Comprehensive Rich List is a site called Born Rich, which not only catalogues a celebrity’s net worth, but also what they do with it.  Each celebrity’s profile includes a list of homes and estates, yachts, planes, or cars, and even favored holiday destinations.  As a nod to decency, the site also features any charities that a certain celebrity might support.  The widespread set of features is not the only reason for this site taking home the gold; they are quite comprehensive, featuring in-depth profiles for even lesser known celebrities and other wealthy individuals. Take Vikram Chatwal for example.  An Indian-American hotelier, his estimated net worth is $450 million; clearly much more than the average person will make in a lifetime, but a sum that pales in comparison to the $73 billion boasted by members of the site’s top 10.  However, despite his lack of renown, Vikram’s profile is still a full-featured affair including pictures and information about his life and preferences that Wikipedia doesn’t even touch upon. It is this commitment to excellence and thoroughness that puts Born Rich a step above similar websites.  Any site can feature profiles on Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, but many aren’t dedicated enough to fill out their lower ranks. The idea of tracking the earnings and spending habits of famous people may seem tacky to some, but at least if you are going to do so, commit to doing it...

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Best Fictional Blog: Manka Bros. Studio

Posted on Jul 2, 2013 in Recreation

Best Fictional Blog: Manka Bros. Studio

When searching online for information about any large Hollywood event or incident, it’s likely that the searcher will stumble on a blog about the topic by Khan Manka, Jr.  Whether he’s blogging about attending Chelsea Clinton’s wedding or being the keynote speaker at ComicCon, Manka is apparently present at some of the country’s most exclusive events.  His coverage of Herbert Allen’s annual (and very private) Sun Valley retreat features accounts of famous executives behaving in ridiculous manners, including drinking heavily and arguing over trivial matters.  Now if you’re thinking that these claims seem a little unlikely and wondering exactly who this Manka guy is, you’re not alone. Real coverage of these events never mention his name; he exists only in the blogosphere as the fictional chairman of the “world’s largest media company,” Manka Bros. Studio.  According to its website, the studio specializes in theatre, music, television, publishing, etc, but all of the projects seem destined for horrible failure, such as “Haunted Alligators: A Manka Classic Movie.”  In reality, Manka is a fictional media baron, son of Bulgarian immigrants, and the creation of John Perry, an executive at Warner Bros. Started in 1991, the blog may be one of the longest running inside-jokes, as Manka still posts almost daily and gets a few thousand visitors a month, mostly from Hollywood insiders. The blog often pokes fun at bad decisions made in the media industry, as well as the media moguls who make said decisions, with a precision that only comes from witnessing them firsthand.  The site details the operations of a company that is humorously similar to how a real media company is structured, with divisions for movies, TV, publishing, music, theater, religion, theme parks and children. Like any respectable media conglomerate, Manka Bros. has a plethora of projects in the works. It plans to launch an awards show where Manka productions are expected to secure several wins, despite the current upheaval as they fight off a hostile takeover by a larger rival. Runner Up: Fake Steve Jobs Fake Steve Jobs was originally an anonymously written parody blog, until then-Forbes editor Daniel Lyons was outed by the media.  The blog was written in first person and caricatured the Apple CEO, painting him as caustic and arrogant.  Lyons was able to maintain anonymity for just under a year, despite rampant speculation about the writer’s identity.  The blog gained widespread popularity partially because it filled a vacuum, as the real Steve Jobs avoided unscripted conversations with the press as a...

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Best Department of Commerce Website: South Carolina

Posted on Jul 2, 2013 in Government

Best Department of Commerce Website: South Carolina

While every state has a department of commerce, or its equivalent, not all of these departments have their own functioning websites containing useful information.  Some have no website at all, while others have a website including only the bare minimum of functionality, therefore being of very little use to the common person.  As the general function of a department of commerce is to promote economic growth, it is important that a good DOC website provides information on its prominent industries, promotes the state as a worthy place to do business, and offers resources to current and prospective business owners. The South Carolina website for its DOC fits this bill in every respect, which is why it receiving the award for Best Department of Commerce Website. With a section entirely devoted to “The SC Advantage,” the website highlights plenty of reasons why South Carolina should be the first choice for your next business venture.  There is also a large and easily navigated resource section, in addition to a business network area.  Between the two, they house an extremely comprehensive overview of the many resources South Carolina has to offer a potential businessperson, as well as useful tools for current business owners who the state hopes to retain. However, setting them apart from the crowd and earning them the first place spot are their separate microsites for the most prominent industries, including the aerospace and automobile industries.  The aerospace industry microsite includes a list of every airport in the state, while the automobile site features all of the manufacturers in the area, with a spotlight on the three biggest contributors to the state economy. These bonus features go above and beyond the call of duty for a DOC website and earned South Carolina the top spot. Runner Up: Washington Earning an honorable mention in the runner up position was the DOC website for the state of Washington, which also has a great many features and resources.  Although the Washington website holds an even more thorough database of resources than South Carolina, along with a myriad of services and programs for the current business owner, they are doing little to attract new business.  By not promoting their state, they are crippling future economic growth in favor of maintaining current relations.  The lack of industry-specific information also made the website less desirable as an official Department of Commerce...

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