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Showing posts with label webring. Show all posts


Okay, you're a Star Trek fan or you like Barbie dolls or perhaps you are interested in finding more out about the internet. One thing you could do is proceed to your favorite search engine or perhaps even Yahoo, put in your search terms, and get some sites that interest you. You could do this, and you would definitely find some cool stuff, but you'd also get a lot of unrelated junk.


You know what I mean. You're interested in model railroading so you go to the search engine and enter "model railroading". Now you've got to wade through sites on railroading, models, glamour, dozens of pornographic sites and lord knows what else. While the railroading sites are probably of interest, the rest is just junk that gets in the way. If you're interested in something like "barbie dolls" it's even more frustrating - that will probably match a lot of junk and a heck of a lot of pornographyc trash.

You could stay frustrated or you could visit http://www.webring.org/ and use their search engine. Let's say you enter model railroading. You'll get back a dozen or so entries, each of which has something to do with railroading or model railroading. In fact, the first one is the "Railroad webring" which has 764 sites. A little ways down you'll find the "HO Scale Model Webring" which has 35 sites.

Click on the webring name and you are transported to the first site in the webring. Look it over - it's more than likely on the subject that you want. Need more? Find the "webring fragment". This will often have some graphics, a "next", "prev", "random" and "list" button or link. Click on "random" to get any old site from the ring. Click "next" or "prev" to go backwards and forwards in order. If you want to see them all, click "list".

You see the beauty of this concept? It links together two or more sites which are somehow related together to make it easy for people to find what they need.

I'll tell you from experience that a well run webring which has a good ringmaster is a pleasure to surf! (Of course, a poorly run or abandoned webring is a nightmare of broken links, unrelated sites and, oftentimes, quick money-making schemes and other stupid things).

These are great for webmasters also. You have a site which, say, is about the "Renaissance Faire" and you want to get some more traffic. Of course you should list in the search engines and directories, as that will get you a lot of traffic quickly. Once you've done all that, go to the webring directory  and enter your first keyword. Join as many webrings as you can.

Before you join, make sure you spend a couple of minutes reading the ring charter to be sure your site is appropriate. Then surf the ring for a while to make sure the ring is maintained and stays roughly on topic.

Now, find a page within your site (don't use your index or home page as the ring fragments often have large graphics and can look a little tacky) which is appropriate. Get the URL for that page and go to the "join" section of the webring. Fill in the data and submit the form. You'll get an email which give you the ring fragment code. If the fragment has any associated graphics, copy that to your own server (don't steal bandwidth), then copy the fragment code into your page. Upload to your server, send a quick email to the ringmaster, and in a few days you will most likely be added to the webring!

Don't expect an incredible amount of traffic right away. Just keep adding pages on your site to applicable webrings, perhaps a few a week, and you'll see your traffic numbers climb steadily. One of the good things about webrings is that they require little maintenance after you get added. They just draw traffic, and once in a while you get a request to do something from the ringmaster (change a graphic usually).

You can be a member of as many webrings as you want so don't be shy. Every one of them, as long as they are reasonably well run, will help to bring traffic to your site.

If you are really courageous, you can even create your own webrings. This can be a lot of fun, although the initial phase of setup and promotion is a lot of work. Yes, you need to promote your webring to get people to join, especially if it is new and unknown.

So webrings are a great secret of the web! They make surfing easier and more on-target, and they are a nice way for a webmaster to build traffic. Sounds like a win-win situation to me.