What if you combined a webring with a blogroll (or linkroll?)

We need to define an important difference between the two:

  1. Webring: the site webmaster must ask to join a webring and place a special ringcode on his website.
  2. Blogroll is a list of websites compiled by one person.  The sites listed have not requested to be included as they would with a webring.

 

What if you could combine aspects of the two?

 

What if you had a script that let you create lists of websites, navigate through the list – going to each site (actually “around” the list because once you reached the end you would start over at the beginning)?  The navigation would be handled by a narrow Frame which would which would have links to Previous, Next, Random and Index, plus a link to remove the frame and drop out of the ring if you found a website you really wanted to explore in depth.

Additional features:

  1. Anyone could create a “ring,” subject to moderation.  This means anyone can create and curate collections of related links without running their own server or paying for hosting.
  2. Rings, once approved, would appear in a directory of rings.
  3. Webmasters could apply to join an existing ring and have the option of placing a link to the ring on their website.
  4. People creating rings do not have to wait for webmasters to apply for ring membership.
  5. The ability to Navigate around the sites listed in the ring makes it different than just a blogroll or linkroll.

 

Huh?  Wait a minute, This sounds familiar.

None of what I just described is new, if you are old enough you will remember that what I just described is how Bomis and Bomis Rings worked!  See Bomis on Archive.org.

Bomis and it’s directory of rings (the directory built on top of a copy of Dmoz.org) was intended to be a sort of crowd sourced directory for navigating the web in a manner similar to the indexes of rings at the traditional webring hosts (see the directory of rings on Webringo as an example.)

Bomis had the advantage of speed vs. traditional webrings.  You could make a Bomis Ring almost as fast as it took to create a blogroll.  You did not have to wait for webmasters to apply to join, place a ringcode etc.  Bomis was about just doing it.  Not waiting for permission.  Collect your links and then share them with the world in a fun to navigate fashion.

 

Downsides

  • Some webmasters may object to their website being shown in a frame.  This area is a bit fuzzy.  Opt-in webrings like Webringo (above) have frames as one ringcode option – but again they are opt-in and the webmaster has to place the JS code on their own site.  Discovery services like Stumbleupon used browser toolbars but may have also used frames but I don’t remember.
  • Bomis style was very plain compared to the flashy HTML webrings of old.
  • Because most sites are added by the ring owner, the sites do not have a link back to the ring so they cannot feed traffic back to the ring.

 

Anyway, is anything I wrote not clear?  We are not talking about a commercial for profit enterprise, but would it work today?  I wish somebody would code it up because I think it would be useful today.

 

 

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