Dust Off the Trophy Shelf

I don’t put a lot of stock in awards.  I’m not sure why, but they’ve never meant much to me.  That’s not to say that I’m a loser who never wins things.  I have a crate full of journalism awards and even an Emmy nomination.  But I’ve always gotten more satisfaction from knowing that the general public values my work, and not just a hand-picked few.

That said, I’ve decided to note here that the Chicago Architecture Blog has been chosen as one of the “Best Chicago Blogs” by the Tripbase web site for 2011.

What does it take to win a Tripbase award?  Apparently, it helps to exist.  Beyond that… I’m not sure.

You see, there are a lot of web sites out there that hand out “awards” to other web sites so that those web sites will proudly display the award using their award code.  Behind the scenes, what happens is that Google sees the award code, and assigns extra importance to the awarding site.

In other words — most of these web awards are just scams to look better in the eyes of Google and get more internet traffic.

Do I know that this is Tripbase’s motivation?  No, but the “awards” section isn’t linked to the main sections of Tripbase’s web site, and the only way to see it is when it includes the inducement for webmasters to copy the awards code.  Both of those are pretty big tip off.  Also, some of the web sites that Tripbase has awarded in 2011 haven’t been updated in months or years.

So, why am I displaying this?  Partly as a warning to others.  Partly to shame Tripbase.  And no, by writing this article, I didn’t fall for their “link juice” scheme.  The image above is hosted on my server, and does not contain any Tripbase code.

As they say on NBC… “The More You Know.™”


I asked Tripbase more about the award.  Specifically, “What exactly are the requirements to receive a Tripbase award?  Who chooses what sites are awarded?  Based on what criteria?”

Here’s the reply I received:

The criteria is simple, catches the eye, delivers what readers need and is original.

We had a panel who decided upon the top ten out of thousands of sites. We had researchers who gathered together all of the sites, and left the rest of the work so a number of people from the general public.

Best Regards,


Do with that what you will.

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at chicagoarchitectureinfo@gmail.com.

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