Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The best of the best

There's some breaking news in the B2B world...and in a change from the all-too-common news about layoffs and debt problems, today's news is good news.

The American Society of Business Publication Editors has announced the finalists for Magazine of the Year, Web Site of the Year, and Multi-Platform awards.
My congratulations to everyone who made the finals.

No one who pays attention to the B2B press will be surprised by the list of finalists. Many of the magazines (Builder, CFO, PCWorld) have become perennial favorites. Many of the Web site finalists are also from the list of usual suspects (Computerworld, MacWorld, CFO.com, EDN, etc.)
There are, however, a few lower profile Web properties that made the finals.
Among the notables -- ere.net, the blog, news and community network devoted to the human resources industry, nominated for Web site of the Year, and BioPharm International, the online operation of Advanstar monthly magazine BioPharm International, nominated for the Multi-Platform Award.
I'm a fan of ere.net, and I'd urge you to take a look at it.
On the other hand, as much as I like BioPharm's Web property (and there are a few things to like), I'm not going to suggest that you look at the site. And I'm certainly not going to link to it.
That's because BioPharm's site contains a ridiculous page of legal nonsense about who is, and who is not, allowed to link to it. That page includes the nonsensical claim that the company "may at any time, in its sole discretion, without cause, revoke your right to link to any pages on this Site."
Now if there's one thing we've learned in the past few weeks from AP's silliness, it's that there's an ongoing debate about what constitutes "fair use" when quoting someone else's copy. But there is no such debate about the legality of linking. Thus, although it seems clear that the editorial staff of BioPharm "gets" the Web, I think it's a safe bet that the legal department does not.
So, in protest, I'm not going to link to the site. Why would I do anything that would boost the site's incoming links, lift BioPharm's standing with Google and make it easier to increase advertising rates?
I'm also going to suggest that the judges at ASBPE pass on giving the prize to BioPharm. Why would an organization that is seeking to illustrate best practices on the Web give an award to a site that stands in opposition to the very idea of linking?
Besides, if ASBPE wanted to link to the winners of its awards, it might incur the wrath of a misinformed lawyer.

You can see the complete list of finalists on the ASBPE home page.
The winners will be announced next month in Kansas City at ASBPE's annual convention. I have the honor of being the keynote speaker this year.
If you're going to be there, stop by and say hello. Remember, however, that I may at any time, at my sole discretion, without cause, revoke your right to say "hello."

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