This section of my website holds my reference information about the old Yahoo! WebRing system. The Yahoo! WebRing system no longer exists. On 12.Oct.2001, Yahoo! announced that it was leaving the webring business. The Yahoo! WebRing system was "spun off" and new operates as the WebRing.com system. See my section on the WebRing.com system for the latest information.
This page provides an overview of the Wazillion Navbars Project.
What is this all about?
In September 2000 Yahoo! made many changes to what had been the Original WebRing system. It became Yahoo! WebRing.
Many of us believe that the changes were detrimental to the system and disrespectful of both the ringmasters and webring members.
As a result of those changes I began The Wazillion Navbars Project. This page explains some of that.
What is a webring?
Webrings are communities of websites, united by a common interest and organized into a circular "ring" of mutual links, together with some technology to make it all work. Links on each page permit you to go from site to site, to travel the entire webring, eventually returning to the page from which you started. Links also permit you to access the list of member sites and to join the webring.
Where did it come from?
The inspiration was a similar structure called eUROPa ((expanding Unidirectional Ring of Pages). EUROPa began on 22.Dec.1994. Dennis Howe thought it up and wanted to see how many people would join.
To join, you create a eUROPa page on your site by copying one from someone else's site. Then you ask that person to add you in. That person changes their "next" link to point to you and sends you the URL that used to be their "next" link to make your "next" link. That "inserts" you into the ring.
(I joined eUROPa. Click here to go to my eUROPa page.)
Sage Weil thought that he could create a cgi program to manage the ring. Later, Jerry Heirro suggested using a centralized cgi program.
Sage created Webring in June, 1995 and launched it in March, 1996.
By the beginning of 1997, there were over 1,000 webrings. By May of 1997 over 10,000. By April, 1998, there were over 40,000. By Jan 2000 there were over 80,000.
In 1997, Sage sold Webring to Starseed, Inc., in Ashland, Oregon.
Why is it called a "ring"?
Let's say you are on a site with a page devoted to some particular interest, let's say Underwater Basket Weaving). You see a webring link for the Underwater Basket Weaving Webring.
Clicking to the next page on the Underwater Basket Weaving Webring will take you to another page on another site for Underwater Basket Weaving. If you click enough you will return to the original page you started with. The pages link to each other to form a ring of links.
How is it spelled? I see "web ring", "webring" and sometimes just "ring". Which is it?
The term has evolved over time.
Sage Weil developed the original term "webring" and registered the domain name "webring.org". After the Original WebRing System was sold to Starseed, and then Geocities and then Yahoo!, Yahoo! seemed to be making a distinction between "Webring" and "Ring". They seemed to be using the term "Webring" to mean the (original) Webring system. And they seemed to be using the term "Ring" to mean an individual webring within the Webring system.
Based on that, I began to distinguish on my site. So, while I had previously used "Webring" to mean both I began to change. For all new information, I began to use "Ring" or "Web Ring" to mean an individual webring within the system. And, I began using "Webring", "Webring aystem" or "Webring.org" to mean the system.
But, on 05.Sep.2000 that changed. On that day Yahoo! "assimilated" the Original WebRing into the Yahoo! system. Suddenly it is no longer "Webring" but "Yahoo! WebRing". As a result of a wazillion changes, I began to research the term just a bit.
I discovered that Yahoo! had attempted to trademark the term "Webring" but that registration had been denied. (I wrote my research and what I found on my page titled Is Webring a Trademark.)
Once I found that, I began converting back to "webring". My new standard, for my site, is that the term "webring" means any webring, whether in Ringlink or RingSurf or Bravenet or the WebRing.com system (the successor to Yahoo! WebRing) or in any other system. In lower case, it refers generally; I'll use it upper case only as part of the name of a particular webring, as part of a title, at the beginning of a sentence, and in other places where general English usage requires capitalization.
I'll use the double capitalized "WebRing" to refer specifically to the WebRing.com system.
But, there are two problems. First, my site has been written over time. You will see "Webring", and "Web Ring" and "webring" as I slowly clean my pages.
Second, my use, my standard, is not "official". It is not the standard of the world. So you will also see other uses as I quote other people or reference their names. And across the net you will see both forms because people just chose different ways.
When did the Yahoo! changes start?
There were some preliminary change in the 4th quarter of 1999. The motivation for the changes was never well explained, but there was some speculation that they were attempts by the staff of the Original WebRing to change the system sufficiently to remain "independent" within the Yahoo! system.
Many of the changes were disliked and there was substantial disagreement expressed on the closest thing to an "official" forum: a Yahoo! Club named Webring News.
Whatever the motivation for those changes, they were clearly not sufficient to keep the system independent.
In August 2000 Yahoo! sent out an email announcing the integration of the Original WebRing into the Yahoo! system. It encouraged everyone to get a Yahoo! ID. It was the beginning of several months of frantic activity as ringmasters attempted, with little success, to find out what Yahoo! was actually doing, and why.
On 05.Sep.2000, Yahoo! introduced the new Yahoo! WebRing system. It met with extreme reactions from the ringmasters. It was introduced before it had been completely tested and there were consistent system failures. The level of discord and disagreement within the Webring News club resulted in the moderator beginning to censor messages and ban members. Rival, satirical, competing clubs began to appear. Eventually, all the history of messages to that that club were completely deleted (including the messages from the 4th quarter of 1999 about the earlier problems) and the Webring News club was disbanded. One of the replacement clubs, Webring News Uncensored continued with the largest message volume. Eventually it was joined by other more specific clubs. (I list some of them below in the links.)
What were the Yahoo! changes?
In the Original WebRing system, a ringmaster would create whatever custom HTML was desired to identify and promote the webring. That HTML would include links to the system database. These links would "pass" information identifying which webring was involved, which site was doing the link, and the function desired. These functions could include going to the Webring Home page, listing the sites, going forward, going backward, and others.
Yahoo! changed all that:
What did ringmasters do?
When the changes from Yahoo! began, I offered substantial postings in the Webring News club (now deleted), as well as in the the subsequent clubs (e.g., Webring News Uncensored). I was joined by many other caring ringmasters.
I started a Problem List (see also below) as a way of trying to reduce the multiplicity of postings of the same problems.
We all offered our criticisms and suggestions.
Unfortunately, we were shut out. Yahoo! did not announce the opportunities to comment and eventually forbid their staff from commenting in the forums or contacting us or responding to us in any way. All of our attempts to help resulted in nothing except Yahoo's hope that we would all get tired and go away.
Their communication dwindled. They issued an update on 22.Sep, 05.Oct, 16.Oct and again on 16.Jan.2001.
Thus I created The Wazillion Navbars Project.
What is The Wazillion Navbars Project?
The Wazillion Navbars Project is my attempt to join a whole bunch of Yahoo! WebRings (a wazillion of them), to achieve a variety of interrelated goals:
Am I Anti-Yahoo!?
No. Not really. I am disappointed with what Yahoo! did to the Original WebRing system. I am disappointed that the concerns of the true owners of webrings, the ringmasters, were not adequately addressed during the assimilation into the Yahoo! system. And I a disappointed that the official feedback mechanisms seem to not work.
But I am not "anti-Yahoo!". I do not oppose the company or their owners or their employees. Rather, I disagree with what they did. My objection is not to "them", but rather to their actions.
What kind of Yahoo! WebRing system webrings do I join?
What kind of Yahoo! WebRing system webrings do I join?
If I'm so upset about this, why am I joining webrings in the Yahoo! WebRing system?
Because if everyone who understands what happened, why it happened and why it should not have happened just packs up their toys and leaves, it will be exactly what Yahoo! wants.
Besides, though I have very strong disagreements with Yahoo! WebRing, my disagreements with the Yahoo! WebRing system are not disagreements with individual webrings or with individual ringmasters.
What does Yahoo! think about all this?
Let's just say I won't be getting a Christmas card from them.
Where are my navbars?
My navbars now appear on special dedicated pages just for the navbars. I have a list of those pages in the links below.
Are any of those navbars ones I created?
Someone wrote to suggest that I just create bunches of Yahoo! WebRing system webrings for the stack. Sorry. That would be "cheating".
I am a ringmaster of only two Yahoo! WebRing shown on my pages.
One is a webring called Pegasus. I use the Pegasus webring to help me "create" a new stack. I explain that on a page by itself.
The other is a webring called RingMasters Disappointed With Yahoo! WebRing.
But, some other people have actually created special webrings in the Yahoo! WebRing system just to promote my stack. The Just for James webring, the 404 navbar webring and the blackholegenenerator webring are all examples.
If you would like to create a Yahoo! WebRing for my navbar stack, please feel free. It can express your feelings about the Yahoo! WebRing merger, or just about anything else. Just email me and invite me to join. Don't forget to send the Webring ID. Or you can use the "invite" function on the Yahoo! WebRing system: my Yahoo! ID is Wazillions_Of_Ugly_Navbars.
Since this page was originally written, the Yahoo! WebRing system has ended and the WebRing.com system has taken its place.
If you are interested in staying in touch with webring issues, I strongly recommend joining the Ring Manager Community list.
The Wazillion Navbars Project
Webring Sections and Subsections
The Webring Section is a large section of my website. I have divided it into four major "subsections".
each "subsection" has it's own special "logo".
As you travel in the various subsections you will find, near the bottom of each page, links to pages within that subsection and also links to the other subsections. To go to any subsection, just click on the "logo" or on the text link for that subsection.
Webrings: General Information
This subsection includes general information about webrings. Webrings can be hosted by a variety of different services. This section deals with the overall concepts and issues, not with any one particular "brand" of webring.
The WebRing.com System
This subsection includes specific information about the WebRing.com system.
While not the only webring system on the net, it is the best known and the most used. I own many webrings in this system and belong to many webrings in this system. (I also own and belong to many webrings in other systems as well.) Click here or on the graphic.
Webrings I Own and Belong To
This subsection shows all the webrings I own and links to all the webrings to which I belong. This includes webrings in Ringlink, RingSurf, Bravenet and the WebRing.com system as well.
If you are looking to join one of my webrings, this is a good place to start. If you wonder about the webrings I belong to, this is the place to go. Click here or on the graphic.
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