While I'm not going to debase myself by squealing "You like us! You really really like us!" on global television like some ill-advised actresses have done in the past ... it is nice to receive praise and acknowledgement for hard work, even if it's nothing but a little 100x100 pixel gif. (Still, though, it'd be nice if some of these awards had a big, fat check attached to them, instead of generally being a way to get me to plug their web sites for free.)

A bunch of web.people started sending me gifs and logos and emailing huzzahs, which was nice. But I hate seeing homepages that are festooned with these things all over their front page, as if they were a ribbon-covered Soviet leader watching a military parade pass in front of the Kremlin. And it seems like a lot of those sites are so content-free on their homepages that I wonder how they ended up getting all those awards anyway.

I certainly don't mind getting them, though, so I thought I might as well put them somewhere. And putting them on a nicely hidden page like this one generally foils any intent they might have had to get free advertising on my homepage. So, that said, here are some of the folks who have been kind enough to say that this Web site is A Good Thing (we'll list the ones who sent me little gifs first):

* Wow ... the editors of the Encyclopaedia Brittanica say that they've selected this site as "of the best on the Internet when reviewed for quality, accuracy of content, presentation and usability." Flattery will get you everywhere, particularly when you're someone like the EB.

* The site got a mention in GourmetSpot, "the food portal of the web", and they sent me a gif.

* FamilyFirst, a "family-friendly" newsletter, featured us in their June 21 issue. (Gee, we're family-friendly as well as Family-friendly! :^)

* The Eatery, "the place for all things edible", chose us as a Blue Ribbon Site Award winner. The site features recipes, restaurant reviews and culinary links and news.

* PlanetRider, "The Best Travel Sites" directory, gave us its "Three Balloon - Best Travel Site" award. Their stated mission is to find and promote the best travel publishing and resources on the Net, and they said that we're one of the best they've found. Thanks!

* The ABCs of Parenting Directory have given this site (specifically, the Recipe Page) a four-star rating. The directory is "devoted to providing websurfers with reviews and ratings of the absolute best websites of interest to families and parents-to-be." Lots of this stuff is great family food 'cause it's cheap to make and feeds a legion, 'specially red beans 'n rice!

* Food And Wine Online's Site of the Day for August 16, 1998. This is the site formerly run by the late Chef Gary Holleman, who was kind enough to include my site in his book Food and Wine Online back when it was but a wee fledgling lad of a site. It's nice to get this acknowledgement again, from the folks carrying on what Gary started. Thanks, y'all!

* Discover It! listed us, and said that only "the best of the web" gets there.

* Links2Go named us a "Key Resource" in their Food/Cooking section. They've got the Recipe Page, the Acadiana Restaurants page, and my Bajan chicken recipe listed, but I only got notified about the restaurant listing ... go figure.

* An Apple a Day, a daily showcase of Apple and Macintosh technologies and web pages, named us a "Cool Apple" for July 1998.

* Dinner and a Movie gave us their Editor's Choice award. They were a pretty nifty site -- listing oodles of neighborhoods in dozens of cities, they help you find a good restaurant that's near the movie you want to see, or they'll even make suggestions. I used to hit this site all the time, but it seems defunct now; they haven't had any new movie information loaded in months.

* NetGuide has selected us as a Platinum Site - "one of the best on the Web," they say. "The Platinum Award recognizes Web sites that meet our stringent criteria for overall excellence. NetGuide has screened over 100,000 URLs and reviewed more than 50,000 sites and our Platinum Award goes to only 5,000 of the Web's best sites." Hey, that's only 5,000 out of about 65,000,000! They gave me an overall rating of five out of five stars, five stars for content and personality, and four stars for design (well, true, the design does need work ... it's coming!). Thanks! Here's their review.

* The internet Epicurean has named us a "Tasty Site" award winner, and made us "Click of the Week" for the week of February 3-10, 1997.

* HomePC Magazine has named us one of the Top 500 Sites on the Web, in their 1996 year-end issue. Woohoo! Beer and donuts are on me!

* WebNow Magazine (formerly IWay) declared us a winner in the Culture category of the Fall 1996 I-Way 500, a quarterly ranking of the best 500 Web sites in the world. In fact, The Gumbo Pages was ranked Number One. These guys actually made and sent me a plaque. It's the only tangible reward I've ever gotten for doing this site. Well heck, it's better than just a gif. I hung it up on the wall.

* Heh. The Point's Survey is long gone, dead and buried, along with the Point's site, logo, name, reviews and everything else. Lycos absorbed them and finally killed 'em. Too bad, too; they were pretty good at finding good content in the early days of the web, until their little 5% logo started getting a little too commonly seen on site after site. I'm also fond of this little gif because it arrived in my emailbox on a day that I was horribly depressed, and it helped. A little. Here are my original comments from 1995:

"We're one of the "Top 5% of All Web Sites", as chosen by Lycos' TOP 5% (formerly The Point Survey). About 95% of the sites on the entire web seem to sport his little gif, making it seem that the bottom 95% constitutes the top 5%. I have yet to figure this out. Anyway ... check out their review of the site; I think it's kinda funny. 'For confirmed hedonists only', indeed!"

* We're a four-star site as named by The McKinley Group's Magellan Directory. We used to be a three-star, but apparently we were promoted. I guess you'll have to imagine the fourth star in the gif, 'cause they never sent me another one. Here's the listing.

* Keith Ammann used to hand out the Simpliciter Excellence Without Excess award, "dedicated to the recognition of Web authors who have succeeded in creating profound, informative, intelligent and entertaining pages without the use of extraneous graphic devices that reduce accessibility, usability, efficiency and depth of content." Their web site says about us: "This site (my first pick, for what that's worth) really exemplifies the Simpliciter philosophy." Wow, cool ... thanks. (Unfortunately, Keith has stopped giving out the Simpliciter award, primarily because there just aren't any web sites like this anymore. It's all whiz-bang plug-ins and Java and Shockwave ... yes yes yes, but does it have any content?? The awards listing page is gone, but he still has a cool homepage.

* We were named as one of the Top 10% of Cooking Sites by Mega Bites Software.

I don't really keep track of the rest of this stuff anymore unless someone tells me about it or sends me a clipping, but anyway ... The Gumbo Pages and The Creole and Cajun Recipe Page have recently been featured in print and on the Web:

To all of the above folks ... thanks!!


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Chuck Taggart (e-mail chuck)