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Hot! Directory

1. New Site Submission

The Hot! Directory is our member's directory. To be listed you must join HitExchange. The directory also contains some honorary members who are chosen by our staff for their excellence. But you may not request to be considered for it.

The directory shows members who are currently active. New members are not listed until approved by our staff. And when an existing member is put on hold for more than 3 days, the site will be delisted until it becomes active again. Terminated or suspended accounts (e.g. account placed on hold for rules violation) are immediately delisted.


2. How are the categories organized?

The categories are organized in a hierarchical structure. At the top level the categories are broad, but each successive level becomes more specific. As the number of sites grows, we will further divide existing categories into deeper level of sub-categories. An abstract category is one that only contains sub-categories, such as those at the top level.

All commercial sites must be listed in the 'Business' category. We have two definitions for commercial sites: (1) the site represents the web presence of a company or corporation and (2) the site sells goods or services. Such commercial sites may list outside of 'Business' only when it offers free content.


3. What are Hot! sites?

HitExchange members vote to determine the Hot! site for each category. To be eligible to become a Hot! site, a member must be active (not on hold) and receives at least 50 votes. Ten Hot! sites are chosen every week in each category.

Once elected, the Hot! sites are featured on the front page of their categories. When someone enters a category, the Hot! sites will be seen first. Their 'Info' buttons become red to make them stand out in the listing. Non Hot! sites have blue 'Info' buttons. Even when Hot! sites are no longer Hot!, their 'Info' buttons will remain red for 30 more days.


4. How do I vote for Hot! sites?

To vote for Hot! sites, you must be an active HitExchange member. After you login, go to any category in Hot! Directory to begin voting. You have one vote per category. Browse through the member list and visit some of them.

When you are ready to vote, click on the Info button for that site. It will lead you to its profile page where the site's category listing has a Vote button next to each category. Click on one to cast your vote in that category. If you see a Switch Vote button instead of a Vote button, then you have already voted for another site in that category. Click on Switch Vote will change your vote to this site.

If you do not see the Vote or Switch Vote button, then you cannot vote for the site. Here are some possibilities: (1) the site is not an active member, e.g. it is on hold, suspended, or terminated, (2) the site is a honorary member, or (3) the site is already a Hot! site. Find another site in the same category to vote for.

Some restrictions are necessary to prevent swinging votes. You cannot vote for a site if it is already a Hot! site in that category. Once a site becomes a Hot! site, if you voted for it, then your vote is "locked in." You cannot change your vote until the site loses its Hot! site status.


5. Rewards for Voting

When you vote for a site and it later becomes a Hot! site, you will receive two hit credits as reward. With 300+ categories, you could earn a lot of hit credits this way. The votes are re-counted every Wednesday, but you don't need to re-vote every week. All votes are carried over from one week into the next, until you change or withdraw the vote, or if your site is delisted from the Hot! Directory.

Here are some fine prints to the election rewards. If a Hot! site's owner also voted for your site, then it is called "reciprocal voting" and you will not receive reward hit credits from it. We disallow it for obvious reasons - to prevent members from conspiring to vote for each other. Also, rewards are given only for the first time that a site becomes Hot!. If the site remains Hot! for the second week, you will not receive additional reward. And your vote in that category is locked in while the site remains Hot!.

You also do not receive the reward when a site is re-elected within 30 days of its previous Hot! status. However, it doesn't mean you should change your vote as soon as a site is no longer Hot!. Since it was voted Hot! once before, it may become Hot! again after 30 days, at which point you will receive more reward.

Tip: If you vote with genuine effort 3-4 times a year, you should be able to receive a steady stream of hit credits from your votes every month.


6. Search Tips

You may enter:

  • Account number, e.g. "HX100250"
  • Category code, e.g. "76" or "76-82"
  • Full URL, e.g. "http://www.hitexchange.net/"
  • Words to search for, e.g. "message board poll"

Words: Capitalization and common words are ignored, e.g. mEssAGE is the same as message, and the, a, he, and she are all ingored by the search engine. Words must contain at least 3 letters to become part of the search.

Exclusion: You may enter an exclamation mark "!" before a word to exclude it from the search. For example, enter "Disney !World movies" to find sites about Disney movies but exclude those that has "Disney World" in its title or description.

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