webring

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A webring is a collection of websites linked together in a circular structure.

Why

The point of a webring is to create a virtuous cycle of recommendations between web authors.

One author sends the 'ring' traffic and expose the ideas that they think are interesting in a way that is more seamless than a "you should read this [link]", and hopefully if that stuff is interesting the other author(s) will reciprocate.

How

To create a webring, you should create an application with a minimum of three endpoints:

  • A homepage that provides information about the ring.
  • A /next/ page that takes someone to the next site in the ring.
  • A /previous/ page that takes someone to the previous site in the ring.

The names for each endpoint can vary by implementation.

The next and previous pages can use the Referrer HTTP header to find the site someone was visiting and then query a database to find the previous or next page in the webring. "Previous" and "Next" are usually defined as the sites who joined the webring before and after a member.

If a visitor gets to the end of a webring, the ring should start over again, taking a visitor to the first site in the webring.

Note: Some webrings opt to send a visitor to a random page when visiting a previous or next endpoint instead of maintaining the sequential order of the ring. This is an implementation detail that you can consider when building a webring.

A webring may or may not choose to list its members in a public directory. The advantage of doing so is that someone can discover many new sites on one page. But, a webring

History

WebRing was originally created by Sage Weil in 1994, who then sold it in 1997, and then promptly founded DreamHost, a popular web hosting company.

Examples

Similar ideas


Articles and Related Links

Tools


See Also