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THE MULLEIN AWARD
I cruise the
net for accessible information, when I'm not out hiking and
observing nature. I see sites that are pretty photographs of
nature; sites that are heavy with interesting information;
sites that are personal and fun and ones that make you think
(See my own Links page). It's rare to find all
these qualities in a single site, but for those that have
them (and more), I've created the... <sound the
Besides dedicated to
presenting some learning aspect of nature as above, Mullein
Award sites are also:
(Not commercial sites) of amateur or professional
naturalists (my definition).
browser-specific. Info on the web should
try to be available and visible to the greatest amount of
people, irrespective of the purchase they made a year
ago. Besides, to me, "Best viewed with" signs are
advertisement, not information.
- Reasonable in
their download time. I know it's tough to
balance graphics and text (i struggle with it daily), but
a graphic should have its reason for being, not just
because it's pretty.
- Easy to
"Where was that bit about bird nests?"
- Family-friendly. Kids should be welcome.
And just 'friendly' in general. I like to sense the
person behind the keyboard.
- Content-rich. Of course, it's what *i*
consider to be content.
- Updated on a
reasonable basis. Depending on the kind of
site, updating is important.
Color balance, readability, and overall 'feel.'
Qualities in a site
that can hinder award winning:
- Advertising. Display of a few
tasteful and unanimated banners is reasonable, but
shouldn't get in the way of a site's purpose. Banners for
Exxon and pyramid schemes are inappropriate for a nature
- Music. I listen to my own music
while i'm webbing, thanks. Options to turn
on music are acceptable,
understand that some sites come and go and change
locations, but it's only reasonable that if you liked
these sites enough to link to them, you'd check them on a
regular basis for your own edification.
- Errors. Spell-checkers are
grand, aren't they? Spelling it 'The Mullien Award' isn't
a good sign. I know i make mistakes, but a lot of people
should learn the difference between "your'"and "you're"
(to give one example).
- Flash. It should be obvious
that I'm not hung up on flashy graphics and java, but
neither am i scornful. The use of multimedia to teach, or
bulletin-boards to foster dialog, or snappy graphics to
draw visitors in, are fine.
- Theft. Must be your original
Front-End. Now remind me why to get
into a site i have to click on a fancy "Enter Here" with
large graphic to download?
- Offensive or
illegal content. Racist and misogynist
comments will disqualify a site. Speak your mind on the
web, but don't expect anything from me except a 'back
button' push. Worse will go to people who hinder the
future of free speech on the web by posting illegal
Sites that are run
by organizations and commercial sites, however informative
and pretty, are not eligble for this award.
It's certainly not
mandatory that the site display the Mullein Award
logo, but i bestow it as an honor, even if
the site decides to display it, a link to this
page, or this site would be gratifying to me to
know that it was in some small way appreciated.
Either the one at the top of the page (which is a
bit large, i know), or either of these smaller
Wow! Are there ANY sites that
I'm not sure
qualify if i stumbled on it. Yes, those are tough criteria,
but what's the sense in presenting an award if it doesn't
have high standards? I like the fact that we are in the era
of personal publication, considering that printing presses
and Xerox machines were illegal in the U.S.S.R. not too long
ago. I want to help the web be a better place.
If you'd like to see
sites that have won this award, go to my Mullein Award
winners page. Also, on my links
winners are noted.
Note: Signing my
guestbook isn't necessary; in fact, it's impossible.
Hey! I do a webpage... How can I apply for
this prestigious award?
By having a nature
site that's exemplary and thoughtful. Hopefully, I'll find
it, despite the fact that search engines, by their own
admission, index as little as 20% of the whole internet. If
you know of a nature site that you love, or run one that you
think is worthy, go to my Suggest