Camen Design

c share + remix

When Is CSS Not CSS? When It’s in a Gallery

The Internet, the great place of near-enough freedom that it is, allows for people to game the system, the stupid and the ill-informed. I’m never one who is too fussed about this because I’m not likely to fall prey to such ruses. What really irks me though are websites that have CSS in the name, yet have bugger all to do with CSS.

A website of Photoshop-bukkake is perfectly harmless enough if designers are into that, but when I came across “The CSS Awards”, a website that apparently awards CSS, it sounded more on form.

Well, sounded. In reality, looking at the entries, it’s clear that CSS has nothing to do with the selection process.

Submitting your site to The CSS Awards is not free. You pay a minimum 7€ fee for consideration, but they also offer a €27 service that includes automated submission to 50 CSS galleries (25 when I last looked). The price was also never €50, that was added afterwards. Snidey.

Because I wanted to prove a point I decided to pay for professional service. Surely, a site called “The CSS Awards” would recognise my site, written in HTML5 and using CSS3 without IDs or classes or divs or spans.

Actually submitting my site let me discover just how shady/shoddy this operation is.

I submitted my site on the 11th of February and it was approved on the 12th. On the 17th I had a batch of e-mails come in from different ‘CSS’ sites, obviously part of the automated submission process.

See if you can spot something similar with all of these e-mails:

submissions@minimalexhibit.com

Thank you for submitting a site to Minimal Exhibit. We rely on submissions to maintain the quality of the site, so your participation is greatly appreciated. Please be aware that only a percentage of submissions will actually be published to the gallery. Due to the number of submissions that we receive, we are unable to notify people when their submission is published. If you would like to stay up-to-date and see if your site is published, please subscribe to our RSS feed or follow us on Twitter.

submissions@foliofocus.com

Thank you for submitting a site to Folio Focus. We rely on submissions to maintain the quality of the site, so your participation is greatly appreciated. Please be aware that only a percentage of submissions will actually be published to the gallery. Due to the number of submissions that we receive, we are unable to notify people when their submission is published. If you would like to stay up-to-date and see if your site is published, please subscribe to our RSS feed or follow us on Twitter.

submissions@cartfrenzy.com

Thank you for submitting a site to CartFrenzy. We rely on submissions to maintain the quality of the site, so your participation is greatly appreciated. Please be aware that only a percentage of submissions will actually be published to the gallery. Due to the number of submissions that we receive, we are unable to notify people when their submission is published. If you would like to stay up-to-date and see if your site is published, please subscribe to our RSS feed or follow us on Twitter.

submissions@typeinspire.com

Thank you for submitting to TypeInspire. We rely on submissions to maintain the quality of the site, so your participation is greatly appreciated. Please be aware that only a percentage of submissions will actually be published to the gallery. Due to the number of submissions that we receive, we are unable to notify people when their submission is published. If you would like to stay up-to-date and see if your site is published, please subscribe to our RSS feed or follow us on Twitter.

submissions@blogdesignheroes.com

Thank you for submitting a site to Blog Design Heroes. We rely on submissions to maintain the quality of the site, so your participation is greatly appreciated. Please be aware that only a percentage of submissions will actually be published to the gallery. Due to the number of submissions that we receive, we are unable to notify people when their submission is published. If you would like to stay up-to-date and see if your site is published, please subscribe to our RSS feed or follow us on Twitter.

The owners of The CSS Awards either own or work with a group of developers that just churn out templated galleries under different names and rake in the profits.

It looks like “The CSS Awards” should be renamed to “The Photoshop Awards”.

The biggest shock was when I received an e-mail from another ‘CSS’ site, who referred to me using the cardholder’s name on the card I had used to make payment! I was stunned. The CSS Awards is handing out personal credit card info to third parties because they were stupid enough to get the name fields mixed up in their automated process.

To add insult to injury, I was even rejected from one of the ‘CSS’ sites!

Hi,

Thank you for submitting your site. We checked out http://camendesign.com and although it had merit, we have decided not to include it in our gallery at this time.

I replied:

Sure, fine, your choice. :) I find it odd though that a site that has CSS that many have called a work of art, isn’t good enough for a site that has “CSS” in the name. What, you don’t appreciate CSS3 without IDs or classes, or DIVs or SPANs? Or is your site just about screenshots and has begger all care for the code? So, what does “Superior CSS”*, mean?

Kroc Camen

And again they shot me down.

Due to the high volume of submissions we receive, we can only feature sites that have really striking qualities. An accepted site needs to be bring something special that will really “wow” people. While your site is clean and organized, it really needs to stand out from the rest. I’m sure you understand.

What I understand is that you’re full of it.

I could link to a hundred more “CSS” galleries, many that even feature HTML5 but don’t even use HTML5 on their own site, nor even a jot of CSS3.

It Is Time for the Real CSS Awards

“The CSS Awards” is a fraud and a dishonour to the art of HTML & CSS. It awards sites with nothing but text-images. No web fonts, no SVG, no CSS3.

The Internet needs an awards scheme for examples of awesome source code and markup. An awards scheme that is not biased, that does not require users to pay to be listed, and recognises code over screenshots. I can’t make such a thing myself (I’m already stretched to my limit with projects), but I would be willing to put myself forward as a judge for such a thing.

We need to start recognising the incredible talent out there that makes programming and markup into an art form. I have long been striving to demonstrate that code is art and this website’s source has consistently been described as a thing of beauty. I want to see more, many more examples of staggering, eye-watering beautiful source code that redefines what’s possible. “The CSS Awards” are not doing that and it’s time for change. PhotoShop, DreamWeaver and image slicing should never, ever be rewarded.

Code is art. Let’s make it known.