Whereas awards for graphic design, art direction, and advertising routinely honor the finest work in their respective fields each year, awards for web work disappoint.
Your typical web awards are a commercial enterprise first, last, and always. Companies pay to enter work, pay to attend, and pay for their awards. The same thing happens in graphic design, art direction, and advertising shows, of course, but those shows mean something because they are juried by the top practitioners, and everyone in those fields who does great work submits it.
By contrast, people writing and designing the most important websites and applications tend to ignore web competitions. They neither judge nor submit. This has a distorting effect in two directions. And that is why, if you view the results of a typical juried web awards show, you may see work you’ve never heard of, and that doesn’t strike you as particularly good, carrying the day.
The .net magazine awards 2009 are a rare exception, put together by people who actually live and breathe the web. I’m honored to be one of this year’s judges. I’m even more delighted to see who I rub shoulders with in that capacity. Most of all, I applaud the list of worthy nominees. Voting for the .net “best of the web” closes 12 October 2009, but why wait? Vote today.