23, July, 2002
WebRing is implementing an online alert system to contact members. Rather than email everyone (and risk filtering, bad email addresses, fake emails, full mailboxes, etc.) we'll use this mechanism for important news, and direct users to the status page for more details.
We launched several new features this past week that can have a significant impact on navigation and ring management. Here's a list:
- WebRing alert system - use to notify users of important changes, new features launches and so forth. We're planning on expanding on this, and of course giving you the option to configure how it should work for you, in the near future. We'd like to be able to use this mechanism to make you aware of additions to your ring, site status changes (approve, deny, etc.) and other WebRing related correspondence. This will give members the option of avoiding WebRing emails yet still allow you to keep up with events and ring business.
- Single Navbar option - site owners and surfers can elect to have only the active navbar (for ring being navigated) in stack to show - This speeds page loading and improves navigating rings. site Owners and surfers can elect to have the option turned on. site Owners can select it by editing the U# for each navbar stack. The check box enables or disbales the option. Surfers can do likewise by setting the option via their Account Settings screen.
There are two important objectives with this feature. First, it improves page load times and cuts bandwidth usage for WebRing servers (which are currently serving just under 1GB and hour - 2/3 of which is for navbars). Second, and most important, it should make page layout much easier for site owners. Because only one navbar shows any time the page is loaded the navbar stack is a fixed, and relatively small, size. So, the navbar can be placed more prominently on the main page of a site rather than begin relegated to a "links" page. This promotes the ring you belong to better, makes it easier to navigate the ring, and ultimately will increase traffic to your site from WebRing. In short, it greatly improves the ease with which surfers can navigate a ring. Because of the small size and quick loading it also makes sense to place the code on more than one page of your site (perhaps the main page AND a links page) as well.
How it works: Any time a user navigates through WebRing to your site we'll display the SSNB of the ring being navigated. Any time a user arrives at your site in some other way (i.e., not through navigating a particular ring) we'll display the SSNB of the first ring in the SSNB stack. Unregistered users, or users not logged in, have this option on be default. For all others it is optional. This give special importance to being the top ring on a person's site!
Try it and see the difference.
- Navigation rating on WebRing directory pages. This is the same rating that appears on the ring hub page and has the same purpose - give surfers an idea of how easily the ring can be navigated.
- Thumbs up/down on Hub page indicating whether site has navigation code. If the site is either PASS, PASS_L, or toggled to remain active the thumb goes up, else down. Among indicating how navigable the site is (likely to be) it gives ring manager and site members a quick visual indication of which sites have valid code. This can be especially useful for members considering joining a ring, or wondering why they are not getting traffic from their neighboring sites.
- Site management links have been added to ring Hub page for site owners in that ring. This allows you to visit a ring hub and quickly see the status of your site(s) in the ring and/or edit your site information without having to search for it on the My rings page(s).
- Pass_L can optionally be treated as Fail (see Manage Members page for check box). A number of people have asked for this option because they feel (rightly so) that shoving the navigation code off on a links page is not very conducive to community, ring traffic, ring promotion/visibility, etc. It's the ring manager's call now. This feature can be turned on/off on the Manage Members page along with the other auto-management features.
- Changes to the featured sites listings on both the management side and the member side make it easier to see who is interested in participating. Managers can see who wants to feature their site, whether they have sufficient funds or not. This way you can contact them to see how motivated they really are.
- Logo FINALS voting is in progress - Vote if you haven't already.
We launched several enahncements during June and early July, although the focus currently is on the logo FINAL ballot
- Sites can now be activated immediately once they test PASS/PASS_L provided the ring is set for auto-management (if not, the ringmaster approves sites manually anyway).
- We've enabled polls for rings. You can run a generic system poll or develop your own. Try it out!
- We've introduced a ring navigation rating, which many have been asking for for years. It is a measure of how easy it is for users to surf a ring. You can read more about it here.
- Joining a ring has been altered to provide a drop-down selection of URLs you already have on file. This should help speed the process and cut down on errors.
- We started a campaign to get members to support WebRing by allowing them to suppress ads while they use WebRing with a one-time $5 contribution. The amount is just a level, not a charge so that the $5 can also be used for ring or site promotion. The ad suppression is not the object so much as getting support. WebRing needs support from members to prosper. You can read more here.
Some things on the front and back burner:
- Navigation code wizard - Is still lurking out there. The programmer working on it has a day job so it is moving slowly.
- Forums - community spots to exchange information in a more temporal way than through web pages. Stay tuned.
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. If this does not appeal to you then you may ignore this request. We'll still offer the best service and support whether you contribute or not.
Interested in supporting WebRing? Use
or use the link below to contribute using PayPal.
|| ||OR, if you prefer you can send a check or money order to:|
1257 Siskiyou Blvd, #1153
Ashland, OR 97520
The WebRing Team
The prior status page can be viewed here.
PS - For those that have contributed to WebRing, Thank You! We've updated your accounts. If you check and feel there are errors - please contact us!