On Web Rings

Sat, 21 Oct 2006, 08:36

A while ago, I decided to join a couple of web rings. My main rationale was to link to sites related to specific pages in our site. For example, our Kingston page belonged to a ring related to Eastern Ontario. These rings were all hosted at WebRing, which hosts the vast majority of web rings.

But WebRing recently decided to change its terms and conditions. The changes meant that I would soon have to pay for membership. It didn't take long for me to decide to leave the world of web rings, at least for now.

The concept of a web ring is a tempting one. It's a way to group together various different web sites that share a common theme. But there are several problems. The first is that there's very little quality control over the web sites included in a ring. Many ring owners simply seem to prefer quantity over quality. Why get included in a ring if the other sites don't offer useful information?

Another problem is that navigation is sometimes tricky. Some pages belong to lots of rings, and so it's easy to lose track of which ring you're surfing through. To make matters worse, some sites put their ring navigation in a separate common page with lots of other web rings.

A further problem is that most rings don't have many options for navigation. Almost all use wide banners, but I'd prefer something narrow that would fit in the left side menu.

Will I ever go back to a web ring? Perhaps, there's an acceptable ring that addresses all of my concerns. But in the meantime, I'll leave the web rings to others.

Hans

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