Awards, related "gala" (defined by Merriam-Webster as: a public entertainment marking a special occasion 2) capitalized : a medium-sized apple with crisp yellowish-white sweet flesh and a red skin or a golden skin with red striping - take your pick) dinners and surveys, are a mixed bag.
Most awards and surveys are designed for commercial promotion by the sponsors and the trick with awards is to have enough lollipops to go around to generate attendance and subsequent media hype - Treasurer of the Year, when you have only two competitors and so on!.
Property service MyHome.ie brags today that its latest Golden Spiders award makes it "the all-time record top winner of the annual awards which have become known as ‘The Internet Oscars’ in Ireland."
MyHome.ie MD Jim Miley was one of the judges of the awards and two of his fellow judges were Brain and Eamonn Fallon, founders of rival property site Daft.ie. It's a small market.
It's also stretching things a little to term the awards, "Internet Oscars".
In 1996 there were approximately 50 entries. In 2006, it was estimated that up to 1,000 companies would pay to apply for the awards.
Maybe the Spiders should get an Oscar for longevity, as a rival "gala" awards ceremony complete with black tie requirements, apparently bankrupted the sponsoring publication, at the height of the dot.com hysteria!!
The State television service RTÉ, which is a sponsor and has the most extensive Irish web service, won 3 prizes.
It is not exactly subject to the same commercial demand and pressures as other Irish sites. So in a small market, is it a big gaisce that it would win an award?
Ireland's biggest bank AIB won the Best Financial Website Award. One of its competitors was shortlisted even though it does not offer internet banking.
During the dot.com period, superlatives and "digerati" were as common as "legends" in sports. The Spiders have their "Internet Hero" and the Irish Internet Association still has its "Net Visionary" awards.
The foregoing does not of course mean that say Clearscape does not merit its Web Design Agency Award.
So you might wonder, what is this w...er ranting on about?
Finfacts last paid for an entry application in 2001 and one of the sites that had been shortlisted in the Best Financial Website category, had been online for 3 months. A cursory query of the principal search engines, could have revealed what a big presence it had on the web.
So much for credible criteria!
As Groucho Marx said : I would never join a club that would have me as a member or alternatively from Duck Soup: I've got a good mind to join a club and beat you over the head with it!