Homepage | WebRing Code | Site Design | Quakers on the Web
These pages introduce the WebRing and invite you to consider adding your site
to the ring, if you have a Quaker-related site that seems to fit. In these pages
we specify the web-ring code, suggest
web-design resources, and provide more information
and links for exploring Quakerism and finding Friends elsewhere on the web.
Of course, the best way to understand the WebRing and how it works is to take
a tour around it. You can start with the next
site after this one, and then just take it from there. Eventually you should
end up back at this page.
Tom Cunliffe established the Quaker WebRing in May, 1998, and later that year
I (Kirk Wattles) became his assistant. We worked together in setting criteria
for membership, helping people join the ring, etc. We accepted the commercial
underpinnings of the web-ring concept -- advertising on pages used by web-ring
site-owners and managers and in the "hub" pages, but not on the member
sites themselves -- and saw the opportunity for Quaker-related websites and people
who might want to "tour" our sites.
In the last several years, the WebRing set-up has gone through a series of changes.
First, the web-ring company was bought by Geocities, which then was bought by
Yahoo. Yahoo added a new layer of complexity -- automating processes and asking
individuals to register with Yahoo in order to keep their sites on the ring --
but they were unable to profit from the web-ring idea, and in the fall of 2001
they sold the concept, software and lists of member-sites to a group of software
engineers who had been involved from the early days.
For a fuller version of this story, see the Salon on-line article at:
When Yahoo took over the Quaker WebRing, we asked what members wanted to do. Many
chose to stay on. As of 2002, we've made it through, more or less intact, and
we're hoping for long-term stability and growth under the current regime. We also
have an offer from a web-ring member to run the web-ring from his server, if need
be. Meanwhile, Tom has become busier with other responsibilities, and he has given
me the job of web-ring management.
This paragraph briefly describes the WebRing:
The Quaker WebRing links together sites with a Quaker (as in the Religious Society of Friends) interest. Sites joining the ring should be owned by people who are attenders or members at Quaker meetings. The themes of the sites could cover the Quaker movement, spirituality, peace issues, social action, history, Quaker businesses but always in the context of the Quaker movement.
In order to maintain connectivity and consistency in the experience of people
taking the tour around the ring, we've learned there are other important considerations.
These are more tacit and we've worked to clarify them over time.
Three criteria are important:
- Site navigability,
- HTML-competence, and
- A clear commitment in a site to Quakerism per se rather than to hybrid or catch-all categories.
In practical terms, the third criterion generally means that:
- The WebRing logo-and-links package goes on the *main* page of a site,
- The main page presents the site as "Quaker," in some way, and
- From anywhere on the site, visitors can easily make their back to the main
page in order to move on to the next site around the ring.
We try to be flexible, depending on the structure and content of a site, and
exceptions have been made on a case-by-case basis. You can see the results in
touring the Quaker WebRing. We'll continue to work with anyone who sees his or
her site as belonging on the ring, but the final decision will be made by the
web-ring manager in consultation with others on the email list.
Also, we expect and ultimately require:
- Direct email contact with site owners
- Responsiveness -- i.e., site owners who can make adjustments in a timely manner
The WebRing company arranges to provide indirect contact among registered users,
without us knowing one another's actual email addresses, but all too often this
arrangement breaks down.
Quaker WebRing code page -