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The criteria of "not under construction" is a little vague and could give you some trouble. All good sites are ALWAYS under construction. The web is a dynamic place and static, unchanging sites quickly die. Generally, this is interpreted to mean, "it's not obvious that your site is under construction". Signs which read "under construction" are virtually always an immediate flunk. Be careful with criteria of "no broken links". Do you mean your going to check every single link on every page? That could be quite a task! Or do you mean only internal links - still, check them all could be a huge undertaking. Perhaps you just mean "everything that I click on works."
And that's how it works ... you look through site and compare it to each and every one of your criteria. Keep a checklist and mark passes and flunks (unless one flunk means "no award", in which case you don't need a list). If site has too many flunks, it does not get award.
All right, what do you do if you run across a site which meets your criteria but which you find morally reprehensible? It you subscribe to theory of ethical awards programs, you grant award - and then you update your criteria. You could even adjust your criteria to say "no sites which are morally reprehensible to me" if you want. Or you could get more specific and say "No sites which promote animal cruelty".
Remember to think of your criteria as a sort of contract with people who submit their sites for awards. You are explaining them what you are looking for. Presumably, they read your criteria and only submit their sites if they believe that they pass. (This is often not true - most award submitters really never read criteria, but lack of ethics on one person's part does not imply that lack of ethics is okay).
Should you notify people who do not win your award? NEVER. Let me be fully and completely clear about this - NEVER UNDER ANY CONDITIONS, WHETHER REQUESTED OR NOT, SEND BACK CRITICAL COMMENTS TO ANYONE WHO HAS APPLIED FOR YOUR AWARDS PROGRAM. NEVER. After all, if you apply your criteria to letter it should be obvious why site didn't win award - it didn't meet criteria.
There is nothing more devastating to a webmaster than getting back critical comments, especially when those comments are not anticipated. It's one thing to be in a classroom environment and receive feedback, it's entirely a different matter to have a professional webmaster tell you your site is horrible or even that "navigation needs work".
Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets. This website includes over 1,000 free articles to improve your internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge. Web Site Address: http://www.internet-tips.net Weekly newsletter: http://www.internet-tips.net/joinlist.htm Daily Tips: mailto:internet-tips@GetResponse.com