It’s that time of the year again!
What are the Brass Crescent Awards? Created in 2004 by Shahed Amanullah and Aziz Poonawalla, they are named for the Story of the City of Brass in the Thousand and One Nights. Today, the Brass Crescent – bloggers, artists, writers – is the modern equivalent of 1001 Tales – our stories are not about genies and sultans, but our faith, our culture, and our identity. The Brass Crescent Awards exist to promote our modern storytellers, who are forging a new synthesis of Islam and modernity, and are the intellectual heirs to centuries of philosophy that were the hallmark of Islamic civilizations past. Islam transcends history, and the Brass Crescent is forging history anew for tomorrow’s Islam.
This year the BCA are revamped with categories more focused on how people use the web in the social media era. Of course we still have Best Blog, but there are new categories like Best Instagram Feed and Best Hashtag. The blogsphere isn’t the only footprint of Muslims online anymore and the BCA has been evolving right alongside.
Here are the category descriptions this year in full:
BEST MUSLIM BLOG: Even in the age of social media, blogs are still alive and relevant. Which one does everyone still need to read? This category honors the most indispensable, Muslim-authored blog there is. Period.
BEST FEMALE BLOGGER: The woman’s voice is often unheard, unless we make extra effort to listen. And online spaces are filled with talented and important voices. Which blogs best represents those voices and are deserving of attention?
BEST ARTICLE OR BLOG POST: Even in a world of social media, people still tend to share links to actual articles or posts that connected with them in some way. Which article or blog post provoked the most discussion this year?
BEST WEBSITE: Some of the best platforms to express Muslim identity are traditional websites that convey information in both traditional and innovative ways. Which websites did the best job this year in contributing to Muslim online spaces?
BEST MOBILE APP: Mobile apps allow you to take an experience with you, and can connect you with communities, information, and events. Which mobile apps are designed to best enhance the Muslim experience?
BEST CAMPAIGN OR INITIATIVE: We now have multiple tools to help organize people, raise funds, and bring awareness to situations that need our attention. Which campaign best exemplified Islamic values and made the most difference?
BEST TWITTER HANDLE: Twitter has become a powerful tool to project ideas, organize for change, and influence the influencers. Which Twitter feed has done this in creative, consistent ways over the past year?
BEST HASHTAG: Hashtags can be used on any social media platform to convey so much more than the sum of their letters: a social campaign, meta commentary, or layers of sarcasm. Which hashtag grabbed the attention of the world?
BEST TWEET: Sometimes a sentence of 140 characters or less can travel the world and touch millions of people in only a matter of hours. Which tweet from last year made an impact that generated a vital conversation?
BEST PHOTO OR GRAPHIC: Whether it is an unfiltered iPhone 6 photo, a filtered Instagram post, a creative infographic, or a Photoshopped composite, which one of these spoke the proverbial thousand words to its viewers?
BEST MEME: They are so simple to make – a photo with words on top and bottom – but they convey ideas and humor effectively over social media. Which ones really strike a nerve or funny bone among digital Muslims?
BEST PODCAST OR VIDEO BLOG: It’s one thing to put out great online content – it’s another thing to do it on a regular basis and keep people continually entertained and/or informed. Which podcasts, video blogs, and YouTube channels make the cut?
BEST VIRAL VIDEO: These days, anyone can take a GoPro, a laptop, and a copy of FinalCut/Premiere and make something amazing. What short video took creativity to a new level, spread like wildfire, and made people laugh or think?
BEST INSTAGRAM FEED: Instagram is not just for foodie pictures anymore – it is used by journalists, small business owners, and celebrities. Which Instagram feed is the most creative and engaging online photo feed?
Nominations are open until September 10th so get your picks in!!