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WebRing News
1, September, 2003

New Features and Policies

GoodBye Pop-ups!
We're pleased to announce that WebRing is beginning to phase out pop-up advertisements throughout the system. Never popular, we believe that by removing pops we'll attract, and retain, more users. We plan to make up for the loss of revenue through increased participation by members in "premium" offerings. Over the next couple of months we'll add a number of extra features that we hope you'll choose to take advantage of. We feel that for now this approach offers the best possible service to the entire community: A free service, (soon) free of pop-up ads, with a rich suite of additional services/features for those that want or need more.

We've been busy during the Summer months developing some new tools that will make your WebRing experience better and easier. Here is an overview of some of the changes:

  • Email Verification - Members can verify their email address simply and easily. Log in and visit your Account Settings screen for instructions. This is so that we can be assured that your account is valid and active and that you will receive important correspondence when it's needed. WebRing does not share any member's email address with any third party and only uses your email for webring related correspondence. The status of a member's email is shown on their profile page and may be included on some management screens. Most ring managers want to know that their members will get status emails and may choose to not admit members without verified email addresses.

    Members and ring managers using old or fake email addresses present a problem that has reached epidemic proportions. We understand and appreciate that many users wish to avoid spam at all costs; however, it is essential in a community like WebRing that all members be able to share information and receive status reports related to their ring membership(s). Within the next few weeks we'll be launching a revised WebRing alert system that will be used to notify members of all WebRing correspondence including: application, approval, suspension and activation emails to both Members and ring managers, "Contact ring manager" emails and most communications from WebRing (i.e., non-critical feature announcements). In short, we'll only send "email" to your WebRing "email/alert" account and not to your personal email address. This will ensure that your email address is never divulged to anyone unless you choose to.

    Can I still receive WebRing correspondence at my personal email address? Certainly. We'll allow you to configure when and how WebRing correspondence should be sent to your personal address: Never, always, or via a periodic notice of pending WebRing email. The never and always options will only be made available to members with a verified email address on file.

    How will this help the problem of bad email addresses? It will help because since correspondence will be sent to a member's WebRing account, WebRing, and ring managers, will be able to monitor whether it is being read or not.

    We'll provide more details as we get ready to launch.

  • Price changes for ring/Site promotions - We've lowered, effective 8/31/03, the fee WebRing charges for all types of promotions for Members:
    • Featured site - WebRing used to collect %50 of the first $2 per month for featuring a site on a ring's Hub page. We've reduced that to %30 of the first $1. Why? We think it is a great way to increase visibility for sites, add freshness to the Hub page, and support rings that Members like the most. The proceeds the ring manager collects can be used to promote the ring or cover other costs.
    • Featured ring - WebRing used to charge $1.20/month for top directory placement and $0.60/month for secondary placement or for additional category listings. We've reduced that to $1.00/month and $0.50/month respectively.
    • Hub Ads - WebRing used to charge a flat $0.30 CPM ($0.30 per thousand Hub page views) to show either a custom banner, or suppress banners, on a ring's Hub page. We've separated that into three different options:
      • Suppress only pops - This carries a $1/year charge. Why bother if we're eliminating pops from the system anyway? Due to contract terms it will take a month or two to fully terminate pops. In the meantime they can be suppressed for less than $0.10/month if you don't want to bother with anything else on your Hub page.
      • Suppress banners and pops, or show your own banner- This allows you to rid your Hub page of pops (again, a transient issue) and also run a banner of your own design (or nothing at all). The fee WebRing collects for this has been reduced from $0.30 to just $0.10 CPM. With this option the side bar text ads may still appear on your Hub page.
      • Suppress the side bar ads - If you want to suppress these as well the fee is $0.20 CPM.
  • Member Ad Suppression - We've revised the options available to members who choose to suppress ads while visiting any WebRing page. You can suppress: pops, banners and pops, all ads, no ads. As before this is available to supporting members ($5 or greater one-time contribution).
  • Member profile page - Allow WebRing to host a page for you! Supporting Members ($5 or greater contribution/account credit) can create their own WebRing "homepage" or profile page. Many members have taken advantage of this feature already. The page is highly customizable, including WebRing hosted image (we'll be allowing more soon), and the page can even be submitted to rings as you can place navigation code onto it as well. We hope to offer additional options for this feature in the coming months.
    The bottom line is that we're working to make your WebRing experience less intrusive (removing annoying pops), more private (email security via the alert system), more flexible and more user friendly. In return we hope you'll tell your friends about WebRing and give us your support!

    WebRing is a Community supported system

    WebRing is best supported by you, the community. Many that have pitched in have found that the promotional credit they receive can be put to very good use by either featuring the ring in the directory and/or requesting to have their site(s) featured on ring Hub pages. The results are almost always noticeable right away in increased traffic to the ring or site. It's a win-win for us all: Increased visibility for your ring or site and support for WebRing.

    If you value WebRing and feel you can benefit from an even better system, then we seek your support. Thanks to the 4500+ contributing members WebRing is treading 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

    PS - To date, only a dozen or so people have expressed an interest in a WebRing mousepad so it's been shelved.

    July 15, 2003 Status report.
    May 28, 2003 Status report.
    April 11, 2003 Status report.
    April 4, 2003 Status report.
    January 20, 2003 Status report.
    December 20, 2002 Status report.
    October 15, 2002 Status report.
    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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