Site of the Year: Pinterest
With Pinterest currently attracting five times as many women to the site than men, 2013 has been a banner year for pin-board-style image-sharing network. Capturing 15 per cent of the social-media traffic out there (just below Twitter's 16 per cent, and topping Instagram's 13 per cent or Tumblr's six per cent), Pinterest has built a strong community with users frequenting the site multiple times a day and engaging with the content on mobile devices, their home computers and tablets.
On the marketing side of things, retailers see huge opportunities to connect to customers and use those frequent visits to the Pinterest site as a way to build brand awareness and hopefully make it easy for you to go from "pinning" something to your board to buying it without much hassle.
Video of the Year: Miley Cyrus -- Wrecking Ball
Runners-up: Pharrell Williams -- Happy; Rob Ford's Crack Video
With over 425 million views, the most talked-about video of the year had to be Miley Cyrus's risqué clip for Wrecking Ball. Looking to shed her former imagine as Disney's Hannah Montana and solidify herself as a contemporary pop artist, Cyrus dominated headlines after her performance at the MTV Video Music Awards with Robin Thicke and has kept herself in the spotlight much of the year with high-profile appearances on shows such as Saturday Night Live and controversial interviews where she references drug use and other un-Disney-like activities. While critics of her twerk-filled performance at the VMAs panned her use of African-American dancers as props and couldn't accept her being naked for most of the Wrecking Ball video, Cyrus has continually showed that she doesn't care what people think and isn't going to tone down her act because the public can't accept her new image.
While much of her outlandish behaviour comes across as attention-seeking and shallow, you have to give her credit for the amount of ink she has managed to generate and her willingness to forge her own path.
App of the Year: Tinder
- Runner-up: Snapchat
If you combine the best parts of Hot or Not and location-based services and add some gamification elements, you have the red-hot dating app Tinder. With a simple concept that sees users swipe through pictures connected to Facebook profiles and get matched with other Tinder users who are in the area, the app drills down to dating basics.
Tinder isn't for everyone, but it appeals to the instant gratification and attraction so prevalent in our culture.
Web Tool of the Year: Feedly
When Google unexpectedly killed off its iGoogle home page and RSS reader, many web users were left scrambling to move their carefully curated list of website feeds to a new platform. Feedly not only handles content beautifully on the web, its mobile apps are simple and intuitive, making it a clear choice for discerning users.
Game of the Year: Grand Theft Auto 5
Looking back, it won't be the next-generation console wars that defined the year, but the sprawling, detailed world that Rockstar Games created for the latest iteration of their blockbuster hit series Grand Theft Auto. Sure, some games may have sharper graphics or better gameplay, but few can rival GTA 5's immersion factor, which takes over when you start binging on extended online sessions of the game with players from all over, or when you dive headfirst into the single-player story mode.
Anthony Augustine is a freelance music, technology and pop culture writer who spends way too much time in front of a computer. Got a site you think he should see? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him at twitter.com/anthonya.