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The Decline of CSS Showcases September 9, 2005 – 9:29 p.m. – Permalink

CSS showcases are some of the most encouraging and yet some of the most debilitating sites available in the world of Web standards. I recently read a three–part collection of entries in Simon Collison’s blog that showed the benefits and failures of CSS showcases.

Unfortunately, CSS showcases are some of the worst influences possible upon a fledgling Web designer. They discourage those who have spent months, maybe even years, working on their standards–compliant sites, only to be turned away. It’s disheartening to see people who submit their sites over and over again thinking that there is a slight glimmer of hope that they will somehow be accepted.

I’ve been through that stage several times. Once with my old pal Long Word Central and this site. Of course, I’ve been fiddling with this for who knows how long and I’m preparing to send it into all the major CSS showcases again. Contradictory you say? Look at the last post. Come on.

Unmatched Style logo.

Why do we do this? Why do we continually mess with our sites just to get them on a stupid thing called “CSS Vault” (no harm intended, Scrivs), just to get a low ranking (in the case of Unmatched Style) or get nasty comments (in the case of Stylegala)?

It’s the thrill of competition, of being held above the rest that strengthens our goals. But it is the worst possible influence on any Web designer who just wants to be featured once. I made myself a goal this year to be featured on at least one CSS showcase. I’ve already achieved that goal, but not in the way I would have liked.

Another point to make is the cruelty people exhibit on commentary. If you could just see the kinds of rude remarks people make on CSS showcases, sites that actual people with actual hearts put real effort into, you would most certainly want to kill the person who was dumb enough to say that. All accusations of plagiarism and copying are usually false.

But the people running the sites have their faults too. Sometimes people just do not understand the effort that gets put into Web design, even those who run the best and the most brilliant showcases like Alex Giron and Ryan Latham. There are thousands, maybe even millions of standards–compliant sites out there. There are hundreds of designers who wish their site was in one of those big huge pictures in CSS Thesis or CSS Import.

And I’m one of them. This weekend I will be submitting my site to twelve different CSS showcases. Hopefully they will be accepted.