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awardprogram articles - ask the experts 21st Jun 02

What can I do to entice top webmasters to apply for my award?

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First of all we need to define what we mean by "top webmaster." Generally the top webmasters are those who set high standards and maintain them. Sometimes these standards are judged objectively by awards organisations, and top webmasters receive accreditation that reflects their standards. On other occasions, webmasters are judged by their peers and the title "top webmaster" is attained as a result of a consensus of opinions.

So how do we entice such people to apply for our awards? Firstly, you have to set your own standards as high as possible and make sure you continue to meet them. I am not suggesting that to attract a top webmaster you must be using the state of the art technology, although it never hurts. At the very least, however, you should adhere to some of the more basic principles of design, such as consistency, functionality, and clarity.

Think to yourself, "would I want an award from a site with half the links failing to function and created by a webmaster who thinks a flashing yellow text on a fluorescent mauve background is the height of good design?" (Rushes off to upload a new background.) If your answer is "no," then why should a top webmaster be any more attracted to an award from such a program?

Secondly, and this may seem somewhat superficial, the award graphic itself may attract a top webmaster. Or, to make it sound a tad less superficial, a poor award graphic may deter the potential applicant. On the other hand, perhaps it's not as superficial as it sounds. This is allied to the issue of standards. A good awards graphic can reflect (or at least give the impression)  that standards are being maintained.

Thirdly, affiliations with certain award organisations may entice top webmasters. If the top webmaster is part of the same awards organisation that you belong to, then attaining your award may result in points being awarded to the webmaster. Sufficient points can result in accolades or accredited awards. This may be a sufficient inducement, or at least it can give pause for thought.

Three ways have been discussed above. In reality, however, the answer to the question "What can I do to entice top webmasters to apply for my award" should be "the same thing that would entice me to apply for an award."

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