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WebRing News
15, October, 2002

Anniversary

October is anniversary month for WebRing. For all who stuck with us from before, during, and finally post-Yahoo! we offer a heartfelt THANK YOU for hanging in there, making suggestions, and keeping WebRing alive and vital. Recall for a minute what the system was like this time last year just before migrating from Yahoo! and how it has evolved in one short year. We hope the past year has been good for you, it has been for us!

System Enhancements

There two very significant enhancements being release simultaneously, so announcements have been sent to those who have elected to receive email alerts.

Automated ring Adoption - We've developed an automated ring adoption program to assist in adopting out the thousands of rings that were partially migrated from yahoo but since abandoned, or never managed in the first place. We will be placing all of these rings up for adoption by members. In order to control any ensuing chaos, here are some of the details regarding how it will work:

  • The "ring manager" will be changed to "adoptable" so it can be recognized as such by members who use the ring, and an "Adopt This ring" link will also be added to the Hub page. Any member can attempt to adopt the ring by clicking on this link.
  • After a waiting period all those wishing to adopt will be "scored" according to their perceived managerial "skill". All those meeting the minimum requirement to manage the particular ring (the size of the ring increases the minimum on the assumption that a larger ring will take more time and effort to manage effectively, so a member with no management experience, for example, is "less" likely to do well immediately with a large ring and should possibly start with a smaller ring first) are given a weighted chance to be awarded the ring.
  • Once weighted a ring manager is chosen at random from the weighted group (much like the NBA lottery - although that one appears rigged!).
  • If no qualified member applies the ring will continue as it has: System managed and adoptable. Over time the minimum requirements for a ring will decrease until it is eventually adopted to someone with at least some ability.
  • Determination of a members "qualifications" is based on the following (more exact details can be found here for those interested in their "score"):
    • Site memberships - a prospective ring manager should belong to at least a few rings, preferrably one or more not owned by the member. The sites should also be active and have valid navigation code on them. Failing and suspended sites are considered a negative.
    • Ring management - A member with ring Mangement experience with a ring of several sites or more is given a higher "score" than a member with no management experience. Managing large or very large rings counts for (some) more than small rings.
    • Adopting a ring is considered to be a significant undertaking. We all want the ring to thrive and be well managed. Thus, for a period of time (2-4 weeks depending on the size of the ring) after adopting a ring, a member's score will be "reduced" reflecting the anticipated time required to get the ring in good working order according to their vision. The "adoption penalty" phases out over the time period. This is done, quite frankly, in part to make it less likely that a few "Ring Collectors" can adopt all the rings. We'd like to spread them around to truly interested managers. But we also recognize some people are simply well suited to managing rings. So, everyone gets a chance!
At this point there are a significant number of system run rings, and even once the main group is adopted out there will always be a number of abandoned rings placed in the adoption pool. Generally, members will find rings of interest by using them. But, making a list of adoptable rings available seems like a positive thing so we'll revise the directory to allow users to view only adoptable rings within any category: We'll add another link to the group to sort by size, traffic, etc.

That directory mechanism will be made available to contributing members by October 21st, and to all members two-three weeks after that. We are offering this "preview" of adoptable rings to contributing members strictly as a "thank you perk" - after all they have a vested interest (literally) in WebRing and seeing that WebRing thrives. It in no way is a requirement or an aid to adoption to be a contributing member. All members are treated equally in the final scoring and awarding of rings.

HTML Navigation Fragment Specification - The old WebRing used to allow ring managers to specify which navigation links a member site must have to be considered "PASSing" when tested by the system checker. We're returning that ability. This feature will also be released by October 21st. We're delaying to give the email alert to members a chance to arrive and in part to give interested ring managers a chance to preapre if they wish to inform members that specific requirements will be enforced.

Note that this ability only applies to members using HTML navigation code. Members using SSNB code always use the exact links the ring manager provides to them. Also, the requirements selected by the ring manager are in addition to those required by WebRing. In other words, a ring manager can be more restrictive, but not less. For now this feature only covers the basic navigation links (next, skip, previous, skip previous, list, next5, previous 5, random); over time we'll add others (like home, join, and possibly others as features are released).

Once enabled, this feature can be accessed from the Join Settings screen in ring Management. On that screen ring managers will also have the option (which WebRing does not encourage most ring managers to use without due consideration) to restrict their ring so that members must have either SSNB or HTML code.

Recent Events

Some people are still confused regarding the Single Navbar option. If the term is unfamiliar to you please read backwards a few status reports at the bottom of the page.

WebRing is a Community supported system

If you value WebRing and feel you can benefit from an even better system, then we seek your support. Thanks to the nearly 2000 contributing members WebRing is nearly above water! We still offer the best service and support whether you contribute or not. Interested in supporting WebRing? Use


Visa/MasterCard/American Express/Discover
or use the link below to contribute using PayPal.
 OR, if you prefer you can send a check or money order to:
WebRing Inc.
1257 Siskiyou Blvd, #1153
Ashland, OR 97520

The WebRing Team

October 1, 2002 Status report.
September 4, 2002 Status report.
August 16, 2002 Status report.
August 1, 2002 Status report.
July 23, 2002 Status report.
July 16, 2002 Status report.

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