San Diego's Most Influential

Awarding those who get it right - that's the premise behind #influenceSD, an awards event created to celebrate those who are not just signing up for social media accounts but changing the way they do business by using it.

Dozens of nominees are in the running for awards to be handed out by a panel of judges but just being nominated is good for bloggers who live in a world where they can be lost among new competitors popping up every second. 

“It really stemmed from an SDBloggers meetup,” said one of the organizers Matt Browne. “We did an event recognizing a contribution in our community, it was well received, and it felt really natural to extend it and include more businesses, brands, and bloggers.”

Browne, along with Melani Gordon, planned an event for April 7 and after, will take the #influence events on a six-city national tour.  He's secured San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco so far. The other three cities will be announced soon.

Each finalist will be up for a national #influence Award.

Those in the running are either self-nominated or nominated by a colleague, said Browne. “We've seeded the awards with a handful nominees of bloggers we knew and we've watched it grow to more than 250 by word of mouth,” he said.

The nominees blog, Tweet or post about subjects ranging from politics – Councilmembers Todd Gloria and Carl DeMaio currently lead the pack --- to family, sports, music or nightlife.

NBCSanDiego is among those nominated in the Best Use of Social Media by Traditional Media category alongside our media partners the North County Times and NBC San Diego photographer Spencer Thornburg for his blog The Cutting Room Floor.

Jennifer Van Grove regularly contributes on NBC 7/39 News in the Morning. She writes for Mashable and is nominated for Blogger of the Year.

“I think it’s really great that we have a way to celebrate local talent doing innovative things with sm and nm and I’m honored that I’m a part of that event,” said Van Grove.

You can vote or submit nominees anonymously through the group’s site. “There's value in registering too,” said Browne. “If the nominees you submit accrue votes (or points) you earn karma points. The person with the most karma points will get a surprise the night of.”

The “night of” is April 7 at Anthology in Little Italy. Tickets are now on sale for nominees only. You can request a password to the event through @influenceSD on Twitter.

In the interest of full disclosure, is one of the sponsors of the awards ceremony and has provided a judge for the panel. --Ed.

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