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PIA Press Release
2009/02/10

Agusan Norte named finalist in 2009 Philippine Web Awards

By Robert E. Roperos

Butuan City (February 10) -- The Provincial Government of Agusan del Norte was named one of the three finalists of the Philippine Web Awards (PWA) for this year.

In an email sent to Agusan del Norte provincial government, the PWA is cordially inviting the local officials to the awarding ceremonies where the winner will be finally revealed. The event will be held at Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, 4th floor Podium RCBC Plaza in Makati City on February 27, 2009 at 7:00 in the evening.

The competition is composed of three elimination rounds evaluating the best website for each category. From the original seven entries in the past elimination rounds, three made it to the finals in the E-LGUs-Province category: The Official Website of the Provincial Government of Bataan, Provincial Government of Agusan del Norte Official Website, and the Province of Cebu Website.

In a written statement sent to PIA, Agusan del Norte Governor Erlpe John Amante said that the scores from the previous rounds will be disregarded and scoring will start from scratch. "The PWA Committee has selected new panel of judges from the industry to evaluate the nominated site", he said.

Moreover, Gov. Amante said the official PWA Finalists' Badge is now posted on their website at www.agusandelnorte.gov.ph to promote the site in the People's Choice Awards and for the judges' identification purposes.

The judges will rate the entries based on four criteria: Content, Design, Usability and Functionality. The awards organizers, after close consultations with Web Designers, Developers and Internet professionals, affirm that these four criteria are important in judging Web site excellence. Depending on the category, various weights for each criterion will be applied.

A flashy site has no real value if it has no content to offer. And by content, PWA don't mean the texts or articles alone; it can be images, multimedia elements, or even a collection of tools, data or links. In considering content, judges are asked to determine if the content matches the goals and nature of the Web site. They are also tasked to look at the tone of writing, the frequency of updates, and the depth of information. Content should be informative, engaging, persuasive, useful and/or entertaining depending on the nature of the site. The articles should be well written, and with correct grammar and spelling.

Design refers to appearance. It includes the use of graphical elements, such as images, color, white space and typography. Visual design is important in grabbing visitors' attention but it should not be at the expense of overall user experience. A flashy site may take too long to load fully that it defeats its purpose. The design can be restrained, even minimalist, and still be considered good if the nature of the site calls for it. Like with other media, consistency and appropriateness play a part in determining what good Web design is.

Usability means proper organization, layout and navigation. As in building a house, a great site's blueprint sets the foundation. A well thought out information architecture how content is organized and linked enhances user experience, making it easy for visitors to navigate the site and find the needed information quickly and easily. A well-designed, uncluttered page layout leads users to the information they need.

Functionality enhances how a visitor uses the site. It includes optimized code, working scripts, and use of the interactivity. It means fast loading of pages, live links, working forms, relevant search results, and seamless transaction processing. It also pertains to the proper use of plug-ins and multi-media. Interactive features engage the user to participate, which can be in the form of forums, chat rooms, polls, games, and quizzes. Outstanding functionality is relevant and adds value; it is necessary that everything in the site works.

Aside from the judges' ratings, testing and voting on-line are part of the critera. Casting of votes can be made at www.philippinewebawards.com or by texting WEBBYSVOTE55 and send to 2955 for Smart and Talk and Text. For Globe and Touch Mobile subscribers however, just send to 2973.

Other categories featured this year are Arts and Portfolio; Blogs; Celebrities and Personalities; Community and Portal; Corporate; E-Commerce; E-Government; E-LGUs-City, Province and Municipality; E-services; Entertainment; Lifestyle and Leisure; Magazines and Zines; Organizations; Personal; Schools; and SMEs.

The Philippine Web Awards (PWA) is an award-giving body that annually recognizes the best Filipino-created web sites and honors the individuals and teams behind them.

PWA continues to attract participants here and abroad and gain support from main industry players. Over the years, the PWA remains true to its mission of honoring outstanding Filipino talent in the field of web design and development.

The finalists and winners not only garner appreciation from their peers, but also career growth and bigger business opportunities. (PIA) [top]

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