Back in the wild and woolly early days of the internet -- the late '90s, early 2000s, before spam-friendly
Google algorithms, before the loathesome existence of SEO consulting, before "social networks" prefabbed,
homogenized, and ironically depersonalized personal websites -- folks had to learn a little HTML coding,
build their own websites from scratch, and then try to make their sites known by trying to get them listed
on a hundred different search engines and search directories and, especially, by reaching out to the
owners/webmasters of every other site they could find, personally asking for a link exchange.
That was social networking! How quaint it all seems now. And how preferable!
One other way to publicize your website was to win an "award" given out by another site and to
hand out awards from your own site. The mutual free advertising was the object -- it was just an
alternative sort of links exchange -- although some missed the point and made you jump through hoops
with intrusive questionnaires and draconian "rating" systems, ignoring quality of content and awarding
only sites stuffed with browser-crashing animations and gimcracks, while others just posted an award
image and said "take it, it's free." Most were somewhere in the middle, requiring a modicum of skill
and content, but the happy upshot was frequently a friendly exchange of several e-mails, and the mutual
discovery of some genuinely interesting stuff at each others' sites as well as an appreciation for the work
each webmaster had put into their own little place on the ol' interweb.
While taking a nostalgic surf, recently, around the 'Net as it once was -- through the magic of the
too-little-known but marvelous and indispensible Internet Archive Wayback Machine and the diligent
work of the Reocities project -- we found the well-preserved remains of many old internet acquaintances
freeze-dried in their archives, but linking only to what's now a decimated landscape of "404" craters
where those sites once stood, obliterated when monolithic freehosting services like AOL and Yahoo
pulled the plug on those services back in 2007 and 2008. A sad vista! But then, networking our way
through literally hundreds and hundreds of ancient websites, we also found a handful of sites still active,
or at least still on-line, some familiar, some new to us, some still doin' it after ten, twelve, fifteen years
or more -- and a few still collecting and/or handing out website awards.
Since Baseball Games is all about an antiquated, hands-on, old-school way of doing whatever it is
we do here -- from our antique generic baseball boardgames to our primitive basic HTML website --
we thought we'd take another swing at that bygone pastime of soliciting and distributing internet awards.
In a moment, the results of that trial...
WIN OUR AWARD! Kids! Be the first in your internet neighborhood
to collect this snappy "Big Hit" award from
Baseball Games! It's free!
Here's all you have to do --
Answer these three simple questions:
1) is your site no longer active, with most of its links dead?
2) is it a $p@m site or link farm with no real content?
3) does it promote fascism, racism, bigotry, misogyny, hatred,
violence, intolerance, religious extremism, gambling,
naked greed, outright ignorance or stupidity, or cruelty
to animals or children? (That includes any of those things
hypocritically attempting to masquerade as "patriotism"
or "piety" or "righteousness.")
-- and if you can honestly say "no" to all three, you may already
be a winner!
Four other categories are not eligible -- "gun nut" sites (we're
okay with sites endorsing background checks, waiting periods,
and non-military-grade ordnance), sites promoting dog or cat
breeding (please, adopt a stray or pound/shelter animal instead),
and, somewhat unfortunately, porno sites (only because most
other sites won't award sites that link to those in any way).
In an uncharacteristically generous gesture, websites that aren't
in English and those that pointlessly and annoyingly disable
right-clicking are not disqualified, unless they're guilty on
That's pretty easy! We don't care if you're the grandma in Iowa
with the most basic little freeserver site or you're the designer of
the glitziest, most fantabulous fashionista site on the entire web
-- as long as you've put some time and effort and content and
personality into your site and you think it qualifies by the simple
criteria above, just send the URL of your site to our overworked
webmaster [ Butch7999(at)aol.com ], and we'll actually visit your
site and e-mail you our award (without the "SAMPLE" on it).
All we ask is that if you put it up somewhere on your site, you
display it full size (a modest 297x186) and link it back to us.