Yahoo! WebRing — The Navbar Graphic Problem
In the spring of 2001, the Yahoo! WebRing system began having problems with navbar graphics.
Because I was being asked many questions about this problem in the Yahoo! experts forum, I developed this page to serve as a common answer.
What Is The Problem?
RingMasters within the Yahoo! WebRing system can use 50 pixel by 50 pixel graphics on their navbars.
There is functionality within the Yahoo! WebRing Management Pages to either upload these graphics or to reference them on another server.
either technique is supposed to result in the navbar graphic appearing on the navbar on member pages.
However, beginning in the Spring of 2001, this function began malfunctioning.
Instead of the graphic appearing, a graphic placeholder appears with the red "X" indicating that the graphic is unavailable.
When Will It Be Fixed?
It probably won't be fixed.
It is probable that it is an intentional bug.
Why would Yahoo! WebRing introduce such a bug?
You see, every request for navbars has to request the graphic. This request for a graphic imposes a bandwidth load on the server storing the navbar graphic. Not only that, these requests don't result from a visit to a Yahoo! page so they don't generate advertising revenue.
So, the suspicion in the ringmaster community is that Yahoo! put a stop to the ability to upload. This would eliminate the bandwidth load on the Yahoo! server for all the navbar graphics. This would force ringmasters to keep the graphic on their own server and tell Yahoo! to link to the graphic.
This raises two additional questions:
The first one is pretty simple. Whenever you go to a Yahoo! WebRing hub page, that visit enables Yahoo! WebRing to display an ad. That ad revenue more than makes up for the bandwidth load of that hub graphic. (At least it does unless you use ad blocker software like I do. Want to know about ad blocker software? Click here.)
So why does the link function not work either? Because unless Yahoo! "crippled" it too, a ringmaster could just upload the graphic to their Yahoo! Briefcase and link to the graphic in the Yahoo! Briefcase. This would still impose a significant bandwidth load on the Yahoo! servers without any "payback" from advertising.
So, Yahoo! crippled the link function in a way that "permits" a workaround like the one I'm going to describe but that prohibits linking to the Yahoo! Briefcase. It lets linking work (if you know the trick I'll show you) but saves them the bandwidth.
Isn't That explanation a Bit Cynical?
Not really. It has been discussed as a possibility in private emails by ringmasters for some time.
And recently, a ringmaster with insider contacts posted a description that is essentially the same on her help site. She notes that she does not have positive confirmation, but also that no one is issuing denials.
Is That the Only Problem?
No, there are others. Geocities has implemented blocking software to stop graphics from their system from appearing on web pages on other systems. It was done to stop people from using their free servers to host graphics without putting the actual pages on them.
So, even if you use the tricks I'm about to show you, if you put the graphic on Geocities, it still won't work. What will happen is that when the navbar is on a Geocities site the graphic will show, but when it is on a non-Geocities site, the graphic will fail.
What Can Be Done?
There is an approach, a workaround that I have identified.
Here is what you do:
Again, this is a stupid thing to have to do. The Yahoo! WebRing system is very broken. And, worse, it appears that they broke it on purpose as a convoluted way to solve a bandwidth issue that was created by the very design of the navbar system that so many of us objected to in the first place.
What Can You Do?
If you experience this problem and use this workaround, please write me and let me know of your experience. I need the feedback from users like you to help me make this explanation as clear as possible.
You can email me.
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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