Talk:Webring

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Discussion[edit]

Is there any policy for or against having any Wikipedia belong to Webrings (with the attendant need to have the WebRing "navbar" somewhere on a prominent page)? If OK in principle, are there any technical problems? Robin Patterson 4 July 2005 03:22 (UTC)

The wiki software doesn't allow all html elements, and no javascript, which would make it difficult to place the navbar. For the English wikipedia, I can't see we would gain anything; how many top 60 sites are part of a webring? For the Maori wikipedia (or any other edition with a relatively small number of articles and small traffic), a webring might bring in more users, but I'd suggest you go to the sites on the webring you have in mind first and see if they'll link to it explicitly.-gadfium 4 July 2005 05:26 (UTC)
Having a webring would entail Wikipedia endorsing certain sites, which it is not allowed to do. Wikipedia is not a soapbox. In fact, that page specifically says that Wikipedia can not endorse businesses, which are the entities that run webrings.Superm401 | Talk 11:53, July 12, 2005 (UTC)
Which only supports the conclusion I came to in the Removed POV paragraph section of this discussion page - that the article ought to be deleted. Note that while Wikipedia does have an article for the Webring.com service, it lacks any for Webring's competitors (including Ringsurf and Ringlink), the larger of the two only being barely referred to in passing in an article that carries a name of its primary competitor.
"A similar website is RingSurf.com, which uses the term 'Net Rings'. The site first appeared in the Internet Archive in June 1998."
Literally nothing else is written about any other ring hosting service, unless I have missed something. To mention one company in an industry and barely even acknowledge the existence of its largest competitor (and then only in passing), and not even say that little about any of its other competitors, is certainly a kind of endorsement, an implication that one competitor is worthy of mention and the others aren't, except maybe as brief cites in an article named after and almost entirely written about that one company; in other words, that Ringsurf.com is worth mentioning only as it relates to Webring.com and all the others (Bravenet sitering et al) aren't to be mentioned at all. Further, as I argue below, there really is no hope of making this article even remotely NPOV, owing to the nature of who it is that Webring.com is likely to come into conflict with and the demands of verifiability. The pages of Webring.com users are seldom, if ever, going to be considered "verifiable sources", as prominent sites seldom use that service. 24.14.125.18 12:24, 19 June 2007 (UTC) Justme 24.14.125.18 12:24, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Disambig needed?[edit]

This article feels broken to me. Most of it talks about the [WebRing] service, but the beginning section talks about webring as a generic concept. I'd prefer one of the following:

  • Create a new article, "WebRing (service)", move all the WebRing-specific info there, and link to it from here
  • Since "Wikipedia is not a dictionary", rename this article to "WebRing", and streamline the content to pertain mostly to that service (we could still have an "Other webring services" section or the like.

Thoughts? --Rehcsif 20:35, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Hearing no thoughts so far, I've taken a crack at just reorganizing the page to illustrate both concepts. --Rehcsif 17:07, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
In the process of merging in Web ring, I kind of reversed this. It might still make sense to separate out WebRing, but that would leave little about the concept. For now, I suggest we treat them together. I'd like more about generic webrings. If we can add it, it will make sense to extract most of the WebRing-specific material. Superm401 - Talk 07:16, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm still not happy with how this article reads. It starts as a generic description of a webring, then goes on to tell the history of the WebRing(tm) service. The text in the opener talking about WebRing (with that capitalization) referring to a specific service was recently removed. I think we either need to split this article, or do some major reorg. --Rehcsif 21:24, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Removed POV paragraph[edit]

I removed the following from the article: On September 26 2006, Webring Inc. announced Premium Membership levels, believing they could start charging their users for use of the Webring system. Members would be charged extra based on how many site listings they had and how many webrings they managed. Many members of Webring consider this a ploy from the Webring Administration to "make a huge profit". Webring Inc. already makes a profit from advertising on their websites. In protest many webring members and webring managers abandoned their memberships, deleted their memberships or boycotted Webring Inc. It is estimated that between 70% to 90% of Webring's 500,000+ members are deleting their listings/webrings. There is no news on exact figures on how webrings and sites have been deleted as the result of Webring's recent changes. Since then several new start up sites have appeared and started beta-testing in an effort to create free webring-like services that are advertising supported.

This seems very POV and is uncited, and therefore I believe it does not belong in the article. If someone wants to take a crack at writing a cited paragraph with this info, please be my guest. Otherwise, it falls under WP:NOR. --Rehcsif 19:52, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

I added more detail, just using the press release. I don't think it's biased, but some reaction sources might be useful. Superm401 - Talk 07:18, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
The question is, where would one go for a cite on something like that which would not be deemed "unverifiable"? The blowup referred to can be found starting with this post in the Webring managers forum and one can simply look around the Webring directory and note the very large number of rings which are now managed under the webring ids "deleted" or "systemrun", which is the id Webring.com itself uses when it takes over a ring, but aside from that, where is one going to go for an account of the incident other than to the pages of the very individual users whose commentary Wikipedia automatically discounts as being "nonverifiable"? This really becomes an argument for deleting the article altogether, because on these terms the only side othe reader can hear from in any dispute involving Webring.com management is Webring's, and an article written on such terms is so far from being NPOV as to be little more than a press release for a private company, something that is decidedly not encyclopedic. 24.14.125.18 12:07, 19 June 2007 (UTC) Justme 24.14.125.18 12:07, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, but WP's policy is no original research. If this was a significant story, a tech journal or mag, or even the popular press, could pick it up and that would be a fine cite to use. But simply writing a paragraph based on how you see things based on other forum posts, etc, violates {[WP:NOR]]. --Rehcsif 15:43, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
You leave almost anybody reading your last remark with the misleading impression that I wrote the passage in question. Was that your intention? Because I most certainly did not and would not have done so, and don't appreciate being credited with something that I didn't write. One need not take this on faith. The article's history page is up for all to see, and all can see that I didn't write any of the passage, nor have I reverted your edits or made any attempt to reinsert any portion of what you removed back into the article.
I don't dispute the existence of the no original research policy. I do point to the fact that said policy has logical consequences, and sometimes one of those consequences is that in light of the other policies, an article ought to be deleted, not modified, which if you read what I wrote more carefully, you'll find is what I was getting at. I am not arguing for reinsertion of the passage. I'm arguing that since there is no way to provide balance to the article (as per the NPOV policy) without violating the prohibitions regarding the use of nonverifiable sources, that this is an article that needs deletion, not improvement.
This would not be the only reason, either. One need only go to the Webring site, and note that it is a rare ring that sees more than 0.4 hits per member site per day. Ringsurf and Ringlink see even weaker numbers. Compare this to the numbers provided by a banner exchange, a dmoz.org listing, or almost any of the other ways in which sites are seriously promoted these days, and one sees those numbers dwarfed. In looking at the webring/sitering as a topic for a Wikipedia article, one is left with something that provides an inconsequential amount of traffic for a number of obscure sites, and only a small minority of even the obscure sites at that. As others have pointed out, prominent sites are seldom, if ever, found on webrings or siterings. One consequently has an article that talks about an idea from about ten years ago that never really panned out, was quickly eclipsed by more effective ways of increasing the connectivity of the Web, and talks about this extremely dated and somewhat obscure topic almost exclusively in terms of a single company, one which saw maybe two years of moderate success before going into a now seven year period of decline.
While to have a listing in Wikipedia is certainly a blessing to the company in question, especially when it is a listing that owing to the nature of its business has all of the negatives of the business automatically filtered out as an unintended consequence of Wikipedia policy, one might well wonder how Wikipedia benefits from carrying such a listing. Aside from the inescapable NPOV issues, there is the matter of significance - something that gives a tiny trickle of traffic to a small minority of the less well known sites on the Web is simply not significant. If you're going to accept something like this as being significant enough for inclusion on the basis that somebody uses it, what on the Web wouldn't qualify for an article? Yet there is still a general understanding that the subject matter of a Wikipedia article has to be significant, and if everything is significant, then that understanding doesn't mean anything, and if it doesn't mean anything, then why did anybody bother to come to it?
Conclusion: Your deletion of the passage was appropriate, you just didn't delete enough. :) Wikipedia is just not the place for an article on this topic. 24.14.125.18 00:15, 22 June 2007 (UTC) Just me

Why is this considered part of "spamming"?[edit]

I was surprised to see that this article is associated with spam, & don't understand the connection. Obviously, Webrings are a means to improve visibility for websites -- but in the way a web portal or a directory does, by collecting links of related sites. It is passive, unlike spam, which is distinguished by actively assaulting the end user for attention.

My concern is not based on my feeling s about spam or advertising: it is based on concern about categorizing articles. -- llywrch 18:58, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

I understand what you mean, and I agree. This article should not be categorized under forms of Spam. --Surfaced 02:45, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Clarifications (from an anonymous WebRing.com staffer)[edit]

WebRing.com is the main focus of this article because we are the first publicly-available WebRing management system. The history of web rings is mostly (but not exclusively) the history of WebRing.com.

WebRing is mentioned in spam because it's is considered a type of link farm, although we try to avoid that comparison.

I would argue that web rings are notable not for their current status (a usable but not great advertising system), but for the place they/we have in Internet history. Anyone who was an avid web surfer between 1994 and 1997 probably knows web rings, even if they don't know the company.

This article is another example of why I think the Wikipedia foundation should host a wiki of original research. Research could go through peer review there, and then be used on WP. --66.241.66.190 20:12, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

It is not truth that webring is kind of link farm. Webring connects sites of same theme together, these sites has content, so each has some value for visitor. Link farm not (or at least not primary). There is no other gain for members of webring than visitors from rest of the ring. Moreover, webrings are transparent and you can say you are on ring at first sight, there is nothing tricky or obstructive. If you want call webring spam, you should treat each catalogue or portal on web as spam as well. --82.208.37.177 (talk) 14:02, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Death of webrings?[edit]

Nearly every website I went to used to belong to a webring, but I see fewer and fewer of them these days. Am I just browsing different sites, or have other people noticed this too? Is it a trend? --Thenickdude (talk) 20:11, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

10+ years ago, people often created personal websites to get an Internet presence, and joining webrings was a way to get in contact with other webmasters and other people who shared the same interests. Today, with all kind of community resources available, that incentive for creating personal websites is not as strong as it used to be. So yes, I too believe that the relative significance of webrings have declined. For those of us who choose to create and maintain personal websites, I believe that the webring concept still has a value.
--GunnarHj (talk) 20:37, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

The reason I came here today was to find out if anyone else thought it was an old-school Web 1.0 trend. I have also noticed it die out, yes. 80.42.188.120 (talk) 16:21, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Also, web spiders have improved a lot. It used to be that if you wanted to know everything about topic X, your best chances were to stumble upon a site that was part of a webring on the topic and then check all its members. Nowadays, you can just check all the sites in the first page of search results and get the same effect. And websites know this too; they're much more likely to be visited through a search result than through a webring neighbour. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.139.81.0 (talk) 17:29, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
Now even almost ten years later, webrings have lost even more relevance. It is ok to have an article about it, but the decline of the concept should be mentioned. If there is useful and quotable evidence, not just common sense observation.--Bk1 168 (talk) 19:05, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

Attempt at reorganizing the article[edit]

Having read some of the comments above, I decided to make an attempt to reorganize the article. Basically I

  • splitted the article into three sections: "The webring concept", "Webring services" and "Webring software",
  • added some text to the "Webring software" section,
  • removed links in the "External links" section whose addresses already appear in the "References" section, and
  • removed the {{Spamming}} thing.

Without claiming that the article is perfect now, I believe that I have addressed some of the above concerns, and made a base for a more balanced article on webrings.

Maybe it's time to also remove the "cleanup" alert at the top of the page, but I left that decision to somebody who is more familiar with the Wikipedia standards than I am. Besides, I'm the author of Ringlink, and thus biased by nature...
--GunnarHj (talk) 20:37, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Definite improvement. I believe that splitting WebRing Inc. from the general concept is the best way to go, as a distinction should, nay, must, be made between a once-major part of internet usage (albeit strongly diminished in light of the Google ascendancy) and a single company that supplied the service (even if they were the first one). Also, some of the text on Ringlink comes off a little too ad-copyish, so I'm trimming it.oknazevad (talk) 21:17, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
As regards Ringlink I could argue otherwise, but I desist.
I'm not clear about what exactly it is you would like to see moved to a separate article. On one hand, it's important that this article does not serve as WebRing Inc.'s tool in their attempts to hijack the whole webring concept (see my response to their request that I stop using the term). On the other hand, for a webring article to be useful, I believe it should better include short descriptions of services and programs that support the concept. --GunnarHj (talk) 21:25, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree that a brief listing of webring services is fine in this article, but much of the WebRing, Inc company history material, I believe, should be in a seperate article about just the company (at WebRing Inc), while this article focuses on the concept in general. Reading the above comment on this talk page, it seems to me that a good deal of the info was added by a WebRing Inc staffer. While I'll assume good faith on their part, it would not surprise me to see that such additions were part of a conflating of the concept with the company.oknazevad (talk) 16:25, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Don't forget that there is a history of the concept as well, which to a large extent is interlaced with the history of the biggest service WebRing.com. Personally I'd prefer that this article covers the history of the webring concept. Such a section should include WebRing.com (of course), but also other significant webring implementations such as RingSurf and Ringlink. A problem is that it's hard to find someone who on one hand knows enough about the topic, and on the other hand is enough unbiased to write it. --GunnarHj (talk) 21:28, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

template:Spamming[edit]

I restored Template:Spamming (it was referred to as "the {{Spamming}} thing" above.) Webring is listed there as Spamdexing, which seems accurate to me. See the Spamdexing article for more details. Siawase (talk) 18:04, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

There was a webring link on Template:Spamming, but I just removed it. There is no mentioning of webrings at Spamdexing, neither is there any content in this article that backs up its association with spam. On the contrary, the use of Template:Spamming in this article has been questioned by two contributors.
I believe that your latest edit of this article should be undone. GunnarHj (talk) 21:05, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
Since nobody else has defended the relevance of Template:Spamming in this article, I removed it again. On the same theme I removed the link to Link farm. --GunnarHj (talk) 18:36, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Association with Search Engine Spamming is Ludicrous[edit]

The opening paragraph of this article alleges that Webrings are used to influence search results. That is absolute nonsense. This is the kind of misinformation that has made Wikipedia so infamous for being a horrible resource. I will give others a chance to weigh in. I would LOVE to see the authoritative resource that proves you can use a Webring to influence search results.Michael Martinez (talk) 22:39, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Two questionable categories added[edit]

I have added two categories to this article:

  • Category:Internet properties disestablished in 2001
  • Category:Internet properties established in 2007

I am not sure how to use these types of categories in a complicated case such as this - maybe we need different types of categories? - Please comment Ottawahitech (talk) 19:41, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Considering that WebRing, as a company, still exists, I don't think either category is appropriate. Being acquired them spun-off doesn't count as a "disestablishment" in my mind. oknazevad (talk) 20:27, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
But the article says this: "On April 15 2001, Yahoo! pulled their support of WebRing, leaving it in the hands of one technician" which seems to indicate that, at least for a while, Webring was disestablished? I am assuming that the technician was not a Yahoo employee after this date. Ottawahitech (talk) 01:35, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
It never ceased functioning, though, so I wouldn't use the term "disestablished". Shrunk, sure, but not closed completely. oknazevad (talk) 13:31, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
How would you approach this dilemma:
  • Devise new categories?
  • Do not include this page in any categories? Ottawahitech (talk) 20:32, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
I have adjusted the cats to what I believe are the most appropriate one: I replaced the "established" cat with the one for 1995, the year of the original formation of the company, as that's when its continuous existence started. I removed any disestablished category, as WebRing Inc has never ceased to exist, and still operates to this day. the purchase by Yahoo and the subsequent spin-off are not a basis for categorization, in my opinion. oknazevad (talk) 23:13, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

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