You know what I hate about review and tourist sites? It’s too much information about the wrong kinds of things. Sure, sometimes I want to know whether the restaurants I’m selecting from have good reviews. But more often than not, I look outside and think, I wish I knew the best bar with an amazing patio (because it’s Austin and the weather is always glorious) or I wish I knew what restaurants served the best of my favorite dish. Well, when there is a need, there is a market. And where there is a market, you will find a company that does it first, and in this case, does it exceptionally well.

Welcome to, where you can find the best of anything and everything Texas. From music to restaurants, the site offers real time information on what people think is the best in their cities. At BestofTexas, you don’t have to slog through bad reviews about an establishment to find one that has great reviews. When someone squawks about their favorite margarita place, you know he or she isn’t talking about okay margaritas. They are talking about great margaritas.

Founder and CEO, Carrie Layne, who is passionate about the online media space, knew that there was a need. Particularly as a tourist, she remembers calling up friends and trying to figure out what was the best thing in any city she visited, and wondering why there wasn’t a site that offered a comprehensive answer.  With a little push from Hurricane Ivan (read her story here), Layne formed her BestOf companies answering those very questions.

So what’s the next big BestOf? It’s BestBuzz, a SoLoMo (social local mobile) application which just launched this Friday at SXSW. With BestBuzz, companies directly target consumers by providing real time special offers using QR code technology. As part of the BestBuzz marketing package, BestBuzz takes care of all of the companies online media needs, from social media, web presence, to online marketing. Companies receive directed and positive feedback, which they can showcase through the use of buzz widgets on their websites. Companies can also add media, edit listing information, and pull real-time social reach tracking information. For consumers who download the BestBuzz application, users can buzz about their favorite places, add photos, share with friends while getting special offers for buzzing in.

And what’s the buzz around BestBuzz? Considering that the BestBuzz-sponsored SXSW interactive party ‘Appy Hour’ attracted the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal to their Grammy award-winning musical lineup of Play-N-Skillz, DJ Krave, and Inertia, the buzz is pretty fantastic.

For more information about BestOfTexas or BestBuzz, visit or


What do you think of BestOfTexas and BestBuzz? What are you ‘BestOf”s for this year’s SXSW?