Brothers Plaque for Helpware Excellence
is an award primarily for web sites that give back to the Internet community.
We are particularly looking for sites that provide free help and assistance
in any subject matter, especially if it benefits the Net newbie. This award is
given in the spirit of Helpware, first coined by Jim Wilson of the
Here is the pledge:
"The Gazette is not free. It is Helpware.
Each week you must help one person on the web who has less
knowledge than you. Pick a newsgroup posting or an email each
week and help that person even if you have to visit their site to
find the best answer or do a little research and get back to
them. Trust me, this will make you feel better, and will help a
lot of people get their sites running better. OK, you're on your honor."
Sites with pornography, racism, or offensive content need not apply.
Do what you want with your site, you just won't win this award.
The same goes for sites with excessive profanity. We have no problem with free speech, but
that's just not Helpware.
Consider your site's reason for being. Are you really making an effort
to inform, or are you simply a part of the "rush to the Web?" This award is
about Helpware, so not all types of sites will qualify.
Does your site look good? Is your overall layout and design pleasing to the eye?
Is it original? If you designed it for a specific browser release, tell us that in your
Good navigation is very important. Are there links to all your pages on each page?
Is it easily understandable? Do more for your guests than making them have to use the "Back"
button on their browser.
Is your content interesting, compelling, comprehensive, and useful?
Will we want to bookmark your site?
Are there any misspelled words and/or grammatical errors? They WILL be noticed.
We don't like to see any spelling errors, especially on business sites. We're picky that way.
Sometimes it takes more than an automated spell-checker program.
Do your pages take forever to download? Don't count on us to wait very long.
Are you using too many animations just because they're cool? Have you compressed your graphics?
Did your site cause our browser or operating system to crash?
While maybe not your fault, some people do it on purpose just to be funny.
Do you use "height" and "width" attributes in your "img" tags to speed loading
and improve formatting? It's a good habit to get into.
Do you have music? Can we turn it off? Is it worth the extra download time?
We like music, but if it plays full-blast or doesn't compliment the page, why bother.
You shouldn't have any internal broken links or missing graphics.
Review the site yourself before we do.
Are there any "Under Construction" signs? We don't want to see them.
Sites are always under construction. If your site is truly not finished, you shouldn't
be submitting it for an award yet.
Do you keep the content on your site current? If it hasn't been updated
in months, it's stale and falling behind everyone else.
Are your graphics original? A site comprised primarily of graphics obtained from other
sources will not earn the Gold. If your graphics (or scripts, or music, or whatever)
are not original, did you give credit where credit is due?
Are you stealing bandwidth? If you don't know what this means, go
If we see that you are stealing bandwidth, we will promptly throw out your application.
Remember that some webmasters have to pay for data transfer.
We're very fond of dynamic HTML, by the way.
If you're using Java applets, are they really worth waiting to see? For example,
there is a clock on the taskbar and on the wall, why do you need to tell us what time it is?
If your site relies on Java, do you make this clear on the opening page?
If we're going to have to wait for the browser's Java Virtual Machine to load, it's nice to
know that up front.
Does any text on your page blink? This is truly annoying. Try to find
another manner of attracting attention.
Is your text readable against your chosen background, and big enough for us to read
without our bifocals? Remember, we're balding, round-bellied oldtimers.
Are you using frames? If so, do you use them responsibly? Do your outside links
get stuck in your frames? We're not frames fans, but if it adds to your presentation, OK.
Is there a consistent look to your site, or is each page starkly different?
Does it jump from one domain to another because your ran out of disk space? Did
you actually have a plan, or just copy a dozen different pages you liked?
Do you sPeLL wOrDs LiKe tHiS? Don't bother submitting your site if you do.
By the way, what is with this anyway?
If you are using the free hosting services like Geocities, Tripod, or
Angelfire please turn off the popup ads. We know you know how. It's just pure laziness if
you don't, and big deductions in our grading scheme.
Most of the above considerations are somewhat flexible. For example: if your pages look
fantastic, we will tolerate slow-loading, and we'll wait longer than we normally would.
If your page helps us, you really get bonus points. All righty then, if we haven't scared
you away, go to the requirements page.
4.0 Browsers Hover
Older Browsers Click
The Internet Brothers have implemented
hierarchical menus for navigation. Easier done than said. In
our effort to be friendly to all browsers, the menu tree
is functional with version 4 or greater of both the
Netscape and Internet Explorer products.
above, hovering over the button will open the menu for
these browsers. But if you have an older product, don't
fret, we'll send you to the scum page. Just click the