|Gaining the "Spotlight" position is not
easy, nor is it intended to be. Here are some of the major areas we consider:
For Web Sites
- Most importantly, content. Does the site have
an actual purpose or is it just another website? Are there plenty of well organized
files? Links? Message Board? These are pretty much the basics; any
additional and original ideas that add to the uniqueness of the site are always a
- Layout / Professionalism / Presentation. The
overall look of a site can be the key to having users return again and again to your
site. Is the site professionally done? Is it clear that the webmaster has put
a good deal of time and energy into the site? More importantly, is the layout of the
site logical? Many sites have plenty of excellent information, but are presently
poorly. If the site is difficult to navigate, all that time and energy are wasted
because the user can't find what he/she is looking for. Here's a tip: look for
criticism. If you never get any, you either have a perfect site or, more likely, you
won't know what other people would really like to see. Listen to suggestions.
- Variety. This is important for attracting
programmers from all realms. Try not to stick to just games or just applications,
for example. Always be on the lookout for new sections to add to your page (without
it becoming cluttered, of course). Also, static sites will never become
popular. If the site is exactly the same for three years, who would return for a
second visit. A true sign of excellence is when the same surfers repeatedly visit a
site to see what's new.
- Purpose. What is the purose of the
program? Is it useful? Entertaining? If I download it would I get any
use out of it? For applications, the program should serve a real purpose that people
might actually use (i.e. Paint programs, file managers). Games should obviously be
entertaining, but they should also intrigue and interest the user.
- Originality. This is especially important for
game makers. Although there are occasions where the programmer's aim was to imitate
an old classic, with the thousands of games in existance today, a truly original idea is
something to praise. Dont' be afraid to experiment a bit. For applications,
there are plenty of ways to be original. Include options the other guys don't offer,
etc. Be creative and have fun with this one!
Look. They say don't judge a
book by its cover, but this is not true for programs. No matter how amazing your
algorithms may be, look can, in some cases, be everthing. I've seen good programs
that were only lacking in graphics. This is really a pity because they simply don't
look impressive. On the other hand, I've seen programs which are fairly simple in
nature, but so graphically stunning that they rate nearly off the charts. Graphics
aren't the place to get cheap. If you put time into the look it can pay off.