No real notable web agencies there, no web evangelists, certainly no one that blogs publically enough for me to find them. I wouldn't be surprised if a large proportion of that €300 PER SEAT!!! was going to each of them.
Any contest which claims to be the "best of the web", but charges for entry, in my book is a marketing/advertising rip-off.
My site's never going to win awards, and I'm old enough and ugly enough to have long since recognised that.
Still didn't stop the marketing people cold-calling looking for a €400 "entry-fee", singing about how much exposure as a short-listed candidate would be worth.
( and what of all the naive suckers with poorer designed sites who shelled out but didn't come within an asses roar of the short-list )
So the "Spiders" is only a contest between those websites who will pay, -not a real contest to determine Ireland's BEST websites.
And, I'll bet, there'll never be a category for "best affiliate website", as highlighting affiliates defeats the "pay-us-for-exposure" raison d'etre for the Spiders in the first place.
I'm not even bothered about the fact that you have to pay to enter. My main problem is that there's no transparency with the scoring so that we can see if the judges are being objective and if they're competent enough to vote based on the defined criteria.
Most of the judges aren't our peers. Why the hell would we want them 'judging' our sites?
I know they are not transparent with the ultimate scoring, but I'm genuinely asking: which awards are, and what does that look like? Are there awards that tell the shortlistees their final marks? I'd be fascinated to see that because I don't think I've come across that before.
I'm unfamiliar with previous years, but I know that for this year, for the category my client is in, they were at least extremely clear on what the judging criteria would be. That's good, at least, because it's quite hard to put together a submission if you don't know what they're looking at.
What does it look like? It looks like a set of criteria for each category, carefully conceived, as well as completed score cards for each judge based on those criteria so that any potential wrong decisions can be called into question. It basically holds the judiciary to account.
For example, how can a business chief competently judge a 'best design' category? How can someone who isn't a Web accessibility expert judge a 'most accessible website' category?
It's all very easy to achieve but I suspect no Irish awards will ever have the balls to be completely transparent lest they be called up on their bull****. The judiciary for each category should be experts in each category. Otherwise who are they to judge?
Awards should be judged on success not on memebrship to certain bodies or based on who you play golf with or how large your brown envelope is ( Im sure your local politicians or brown envelop veterans could help here haha)
Every year its the same old same old - good companies are too busy to put themselves forward, so only larger agencies have the access staffing for all the paper work involved.
I think a companies customers should put them forward and state why they should be elected.
Any coder can do himself a good site, but doing this consistently for customers and getting them good SERPS is something different.
OK thats enough for me I have to put myself forward for an award haha