Awards Programs: Handling The Losers

Written by Richard Lowe

Sometimes it's an easy decision, sometimes it's more difficult. Occasionally you find a site which onrepparttar surface looks very good and you spend hours looking it over, comparing it to each part of your criteria. Believe me, it's those last one's that hurtrepparttar 131987 most -repparttar 131988 site is gorgeous and wonderful, but ... it just does not meet your criteria.

So what should you do? Should I send a note torepparttar 131989 webmaster to fill him in on what I found that was not correct? Wouldn't he or she want to know? These questions go through my mind every time I look at a site which applies for one of my awards. Should I tell them what's wrong?

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 torepparttar 131990 letter it should be obvious whyrepparttar 131991 site didn't winrepparttar 131992 award - it didn't meetrepparttar 131993 criteria.

There are lots of reasons not to tell webmasters why they didn't get your award.

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 thatrepparttar 131994 "navigation needs work".

Let's say you do send a quick note which explains, "your navigation was difficult to comprehend." Well, nowrepparttar 131995 webmaster has to send you an email back asking "what do you mean?" After this, you might spendrepparttar 131996 next week trying to explain what on earth you meant. Wouldn't it be better to be working on your web site, doing your job or taking your kids torepparttar 131997 circus? The odds of you winning this discussion are very low.

More often, you'll sendrepparttar 131998 note and get back an incredibly hostile response. You have not made a friend.

And even more often,repparttar 131999 webmaster will not send a note back to you at all. You will never hear from this person again. Butrepparttar 132000 unkind words will stick in his mind. He or she will be hurt or unhappy.

Once in a while, your words may discourage what could have been a good webmaster. You may return torepparttar 132001 site a few weeks later and find it gone ... and you will never know whether it was your comments that did it.

Awards Programs: Ethics

Written by Richard Lowe

One ofrepparttar characteristics of an excellent awards program isrepparttar 131986 presence of solid ethics. This is very important as all awardmasters must understand that they weld a certain amount of power over their fellow webmasters. They haverepparttar 131987 power to cause individuals to blossom and become better at their tasks. Conversely, they can easily cause discouragement and despair which can lead to much evil.

That's probably one ofrepparttar 131988 most important facts to remember about being an awardmaster - you haverepparttar 131989 power to help or to harm. Use that power wisely and you will give people pleasure, reinforce their self-worth and perhaps make them better webmasters. Use it unwisely, and you could even cause them to stop creating web sites altogether.

Don't believe me? Take a look at this note from someone who won one of our awards:

"Hello Mr. and Mrs. Lowe, I want to thank you fromrepparttar 131990 bottom of my heart forrepparttar 131991 "heart and Soul" award! I cried when I saw it, as I had given up on it! My health is taking a downward plunge, therefore it means a whole lot more! You just can't imagine how informative and useful your newsletter is to me. Hangrepparttar 131992 superstitions; Fridayrepparttar 131993 13th is lucky for me! :o) Mrs Lowe, I hope this letter finds you in good health! God Bless"

Wow! Now that's having an impact on someone's life!

This is why it is very important to be completely ethical when you run an awards program (we are talking about real website awards programs here, not those that simply giverepparttar 131994 awards to whoever applies). What makes an ethical awardsmaster?

First and foremost is a desire to be constructive at all times. Never give any kind of criticism. Some awardsmasters give advice when specifically asked - personally, my recommendation is to stay away from this practice. Why? Unless you are very, very good at giving advice without making it seem like criticism you are bound to cause someone to become discouraged and upset. Really, your goal is to award good works (and you define what is a good work), not to give out advice.

You should have a well written set of criteria which more or less explains exactly why a site did not win. There really is only one answer torepparttar 131995 losers - "look atrepparttar 131996 criteria. Compare your site torepparttar 131997 criteria, point by point, and it should become obvious why you did not win."

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