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Contest for holiday-dressed sites

The Silicon Valley chapters of two Internet organizations sponsor a contest rewarding festive home page decoration.

2 min read
Get out that virtual tinsel.

It's time for the first "Homepage for the Holidays WebAwards," being offered to folks who have, as the contest name would imply, decorated their home pages for the holidays before December 14.

The Silicon Valley chapters of the Association of Internet Professionals (AIP) and Webgrrls International are cosponsoring the project to bring some attention to their organizations and to, well, have some fun.

AIP, which meets the third Wednesday of every month, decided to come up with some ideas to promote this month's special meeting in which members of AIP will be able to meet organizations that need Web volunteers, said AIP's Hans Cathcart.

Thus was born the holiday contest.

The idea actually was inspired by another Web site, Cathcart said. "A few years back, Arizona State University for Christmas had snow falling onto the logo. They had Christmas lights all over their site. It gave the site a neat feel to it," he said. (Incidentally, the page is decorated with lights this year and features free holiday email cards users can send to each other.)

"People go out and dress up their own street with tinsel, put Christmas lights on the houses," he said. "Some have started to do that with the Web."

Representatives from corporations and elementary schools as well as individuals have entered the contest. For instance, Orchard Hill Elementary School has dressed up its page along with a company called Clear Ink.

Corporate sponsors have lined up behind the contest, offering prizes including 3Com PalmPilots, U.S. Robotics 56-kbps modems and Big Picture video kits, memberships to the AIP, a year's worth of free Web site co-location and hosting services from GlobalCenter, complete conference passes to CNET's Builder.com conference in April (CNET publishes NEWS.COM), and EmblazeCreator 2.5 from Geo Publishing.

The contest is open to anyone who has a Web page. As word trickles out, entries have come in from spots as local as Silicon Valley and as far away as Germany and Australia.

"I've been getting about a submission an hour the last couple days," Cathcart said.