Huh?! BOTW has a “Free Queue”?!
Yeah, it’s a deep dark secret. Everyone knows BOTW only accepts paid submissions, right? Naah. If somebody has a hobby they’re passionate enough about to create a site for, or a charity creates a site to help out people in need, expecting them to pay for review would be harsh, not to mention avoiding such sites for lack of a review fee would contribute to holes in the directory’s ontology.
Criteria? Non-commercial sites ONLY
I’ll repeat this a few different ways to avoid misunderstandings, but the criteria are listed clearly in the signup process so if you miss it, you can catch it there. The free queue is NOT for commercial sites.
Repeat: Sites engaged in commercial enterprises are not accepted. A scholarly site about “Flora in the USA”, probably qualifies. A pictorial site named “Flora DOES the USA”, probably doesn’t, but someone may give it a long look to be sure. Seriously, just submit sites that qualify please.
Define “Non-Commercial Sites” Please
Thank you for asking. I’m sure there are many possible ways of defining that, but the bottom line is we will consider entry based on the following criteria…
BOTW considers the following sites “Non-Commercial”
- personal home page about an individual, musician, or artist;
- community websites about the community, local sports, dance, movies, parks, and more;
- local non-profit organizations such as those involving neighborhood associations and volunteer opportunities;
- school websites from kindergarten through college;
- places of worship such as churches, temples, synagogues, sanctuaries, mosques, shrines and more.
And of course, there’s the safety line that says…
“Please note that the above listed are the minimum site criteria only, and BOTW editors use additional factors in deciding whether of not to accept your site for inclusion.”
Translation: Meeting the base definition of “non-commercial” doesn’t guarantee entry. We DO still review for quality.
How Do I Submit to that Queue?
-1- Go to the category in which the site *best* fits
For example, that research scientist who created “Flora in the USA” could submit here: http://botw.org/top/Science/Biology/Botany/.
-2- Hit the link at BOTTOM… “Submit a site to this category”
-3- You see 2 boxes. Click one on right, “Non-Commercial”
-4- You Now See the Instructions and Criteria (4 Part)
Read the four parts, which clarify the criteria for acceptance and the instructions for submission. If your site qualifies, hit the “Submit” button.
Then go through the process of filling out the blanks, just as you would on any directory submission. Title it correctly and write a reasonable and concise description. If the editor sees a need to change these, they will, but the better yours is, the more likely it might get used.
Congrats, you just submitted a site to Best of the Web entirely free of charge.
Other things to remember about the free queue
- Unlike commercial submissions, there is no guarantee of when it will be considered.
- Blogs may NOT be submitted to the BOTW Dir (free or otherwise), but there is already a free option in the BOTW Blog Directory.
- Submitting multiple times not only doesn’t increase your chances, it probably reduces ’em.
- Submitting to the wrong category slows the process. Just take my word for it.
- Did I mention yet that sites that don’t fit the criteria aren’t considered? 🙂
The free queue is a courtesy extended to those that build sites for reasons of courtesy. It is NOT a black hole, the sites sent to it ARE considered for inclusion, they just don’t get the guarantee of speed available via the commercial queue and they do have to fit the criteria.
As always, *neither* queue guarantees acceptance if the site doesn’t pass inspection for quality. Anyway, if you have a site that fits the criteria I absolutely advise submitting it to the free queue unless you just have to have it listed inside the timeframe offered to clients.
By the way…
If on reading the criteria for acceptance to the non-commercial queue you discover your site does NOT qualify as “non-commercial”, hit the back button to get to the two boxes again, and hit the button that takes you to the Commercial submission queue. We like those too. 🙂
Have a great day. ~ Rob