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Once I received a comment from an awardmaster who told me, in a very long email, that my site was great but since I do not accept psychiatric sites into my own awards program he could not award me an award. Keep in mind his own criteria did not mention such a restriction. I was so furious. How dare this pinhead make that kind of comment?
I remember another woman who had a beautiful site with some non-traditional navigation (it was some floating squares and was absolutely gorgeous). She didn't get an award and received a response from awardmaster which said her navigation was terrible. She was upset and posted a note to a newsgroup asking for a site review. Before long, she got back a dozen responses, some negative some positive. She was so confused, discouraged and unhappy. Nothing good came from comments.
I've known many beginning webmasters who are just starting out. Of course their GeoCities and Tripod sites are lacking ... but heck, these people are beginners. What do you expect? Telling them they didn't get award because, well, their site failed all 26 criteria points just will not make any friends and, believe me, will not help anyone.
Okay, what about honorable mention awards? Lord, I hate these ... this is a wonderful way of saying, "your site was only a little bit sucky". Come on, either give out award or don't, but please don't hand out honorable mentions.
My opinion: honorable mention awards are product of amateur awardmasters. Don't include them in your program.
So what should you do about those who do not win? It's simple ... don't do anything. No matter how much time you spent judging site, just put it aside and resist any temptation to "help" or "give some advice". Move on to next web site without looking back.
If webmaster sends a note asking (and this has only happened to me once), well, then you can either (a) ignore request or (b) just send a quick note saying it didn't meet criteria. You can suggest he read criteria again and in, say, a few months he can resubmit his site. Don't get into any details, even if he asks and says that he wants to know. Believe me, he really doesn't.
The bottom line? Keep you negative comments to yourself.
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