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Web ring (Webring)

Contributor(s): Frank Reaume, whose site is part of Union Ring, dedicated to labor union concerns

A Web ring (or Webring) is a way of interlinking related Web sites so that you can visit each site one after the other, eventually (if you keep going) returning to the first Web site. Typically, users can also elect to go backwards through the ring of sites, skip a certain number at a time, visit sites randomly, or see a list of all the sites on the ring. A ring is managed from one site which includes a common gateway interface (CGI) application that can select random sites and bypass sites that have dropped out or aren't reachable.

The ring idea seems to have caught on as a more dynamic alternative to the list of "favorite sites" that many Web sites offer. The originator of the idea, Sage Weil (now 19 and in college), started the first ring in May, 1995. With several collaborators, Sage has created WebRing, a Web ring management system. As of April, 1998, there were over 40,000 Web rings using the system.

There are Web rings on acrobatics, quilting, mermaids, the macabre, Spanish hotels, the Chevrolet, Dixieland, medieval studies, native American sites, and Winnie the Pooh. The largest number are on computer- and game-related subjects.

This was last updated in April 2005

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