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The Elysian Site Award


Awards are the most pleasing thing when you're a webmaster and happen to receive any. Awards reward you for all these long hours and days and weeks you've been working on your site, and the even longer time you spend thinking about it, deliberating upon how to improve it, how to create a worthwile place on the world wide web. That's neither an easy task nor is it always fun. There is no day on which I'd not think about discontinuing my web site, and each day I renew the decision to keep it going. Because it's worth it.

Receiving an award is like somebody telling you to go on. To keep your head up and think positive. I'm very grateful to those who have given me awards in the past, for they helped me go on. Now I'm going to do the same - giving out an award myself, thus trying to reward sites I consider worthwile, even elysian places.

However, the strangest thing seems to be that a lot of sites which give out awards seem not to deserve one themselves, a lot of awards being just junkware thrown out to simply draw visitors to the award granting site; web sites with dubious design considering themselves competent to judge good design while not being able to create a decent site themselves. This won't happen here, as far as I can make a judgement. This award won't be a cheap one. It's nothing to be thrown away, nothing easily gathered. Only by that it can be assured that receiving such an award is indeed a rewarding experience.

Thus following are the guidelines by which I will judge the sites in consideration for an award. Please don't apply before making sure your site qualifies.

July 29th, 2000


Web design still means "design" - a fact often ignored by webmasters, which then is often helplessly accepted by web users. But also a fact which will not be rewarded with this award. Content and form depend on each other, they have to be in equilibrium and unity, not in conflict with each other. Good content in an ugly wrapping will not shine as brightly as it deserves, but also, good design holding defunct content will eventually reveal a product as a piece of empty and big-mouthed trash. Of course, a unity of form and content could also mean that both are crappy. But as I'm going to reward good quality sites, such a unity would not qualify unless it's intentional and satirical.

That's basically it, that's all to say. But to make my judgement seem less arbitrary, I will put this general thought into practice by making things more explicit.

To qualify for the Elysian Site Award, a site needs:

  • original and appealing content, not just a collection of links

  • a more or less consistent theme and concept behind the site

  • a certain size and discernible work effort, not just a handful of pages

  • a corporate identity and graphical unity

  • a more or less visible logical structure behind

  • a consistent navigation with a certain ease and finesse

  • the text being readable on the background

  • a general user-friendly approach

  • a certain decency

  • relevance for contemporary society

  • regular updates or at least regular maintenance

  • the possibility to provide feedback

  • a copyright information for copyrighted material

To qualify for the Elysian Site Award, a site rather should have:

  • an own URL and e-mail account, no free servers (as spending money directly translates into sincerity, devotion and - hopefully - longevity)

  • content in languages I can understand, preferrably English

  • a screen resolution of 640*480

To qualify for the Elysian Site Award, a site rather should not have:

  • frames

  • blinking text

  • animated GIFs

  • a general overuse or lack of graphical elements

  • Flash screens or any other unnecessary gimmicks

  • an overuse of Java

  • background music

  • a deterring color scheme

  • a screen resolution larger than 800*600

  • broken images

  • broken internal links

  • too many broken external links

  • orphan pages

  • too many ads

To qualify for the Elysian Site Award, a site must not have:

  • illegal content

  • stolen material

  • content deliberately hurting the rights and the dignity of others
    (with the exception of satire, but it should be obvious it's satirical)

You will find a certain benevolence on my part, but I cannot just throw this award out. You have to deserve it. This award is not for free. You don't have to pay any money for it, neither do you have to sign my guestbook in return. But you have to pay with time and imagination. I cannot guarantee that you win, and should you not receive this award, try harder. Improve your site, re-apply again.

It is my sole and individual decision to grant this award to sites which I consider to deserve it. My estimates and criteria are subjective, and I reserve the right not to grant this award. But if you feel you fulfill above criteria, feel free to apply.

July 29th, 2000

How to Apply

To apply, send me an e-mail with the following information:

  • your name

  • name of your site

  • your site URL

  • some reasons why you think your site deserves this award

... presupposed, of course, that you have read and met the guidelines. Good luck!

July 29th, 2000

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