Site Ring

It is just about certain that you will not be the only person who has a web presence covering your particular interest. Other people who share your interest will also have something on the web that has something to say on the subject.

Unlike with commercial web sites that are competing with one another for business you are not in competition with these other sites. You can increase the senso of community on your chosen subject by linking your site with other sites on that topic and the simplest way to do this is to join a site ring (sometimes called a web ring) of sites that share a common theme. Visitors to any site in the ring can easily navigate from site to site around the ring seeing what each contributor has to offer on the subject. This allows you to share your visitors with like minded sites in return for their sharing their visitors with you.

Where this differs from just linking to the other sites is that one person has the responsibility for looking after the ring and each new site wanting to join the ring contacts them. When they are accepted into the ring they are given a piece of code to place on their site. This code attaches that site into the ring and no other site needs to change their code in order for the new site to be accessed from the existing sites as the links between the various sites are controlled from a central point. Unless you are the ring owner you update your site once when you join the ring and don't need to touch it again. The ring owner approves new sites joining the ring. All approved sites are equally a part of the ring.

So where can you go to join a ring? Well there are several links provided as part of the code that you place on your site when you join a ring. Not only are next and previous buttons (and sometimes random as well) provided to allow navigation around the ring but a join button is also provided to allow new sites to request to join the ring. All you need to do therefore is to find like minded sites that are already a part of a ring (or perhaps several rings). Check out the sites on the ring(s) they belong to and if you decide that your site covers a similar theme then click on the join button on any of the sites in the ring to request to join the ring.

Can't find a suitable ring? Well in that case you might like to consider starting your own ring. Perhaps email several like minded sites and see if they would be interested in setting up a ring. If you can find several sites that will join up straight away then you will make your ring attractive to further sites (no one really wants to be the first to join a new ring so having several lined up in advance avoids this problem). To start your own ring simply go to one of the sites that provides ring services and follow the instructions there to create your ring. Let the sites that said they'd join know straight away how to sign up for your ring and before long you will have a ring of three or four sites that will gradulally grow as more like minded sites ask you to join. Three of the main places to go to create your ring are Bravenet SiteRing Central, WebRing, and RingSurf. Oh, and you might want to check out the rings that are already there before creating your own as there may already be suitable rings there for you to join but you just didn't find any of the sites on those rings when you were looking.


This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

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