Remember webrings? They were those collections of websites usually loosely themed, mostly made up of personal web pages. They were immensely popular in the late 90s and early 2000s. Everyone and their mother belonged to one, way back when the blogosphere was still in its infancy. Back when blogrolls were still just an idea that hadn’t yet come to fruition.
Webrings were great for finding like-minded sites. And WebRing.com was probably the biggest hub for them all. Sadly around 2001, Yahoo acquired it, after which it just fell apart. They laid most of the staff off, and I read that one of the former engineers eventually took it back over. But WebRing never really came back to the same level of its former glory — now it’s just a husk, a relic, sitting in a quiet corner of the internet, remembering what it used to be and could have been.
Oh, there were also others: BraveNet, which fell away 4 or 5 years ago, and last I heard was trying to revitalize and reinvent itself; RingSurf, another relic, sitting in that same quiet corner; WebRingo, which appears to still be functioning, though it has its fair share of spam sites among the few legitimate homepages.
Over the last year or so, I have seen several articles from folks looking to to revive webrings. IndieWeb is one such community working on this. WebRingo is slowly but surely picking back up. There are also several independent scripts on various repositories for hosting and managing your own webring.
One of which is this one that runs on Ruby. There’s another that allows you to create and manage your ring inside your WordPress install. Here’s one that’s hosted and managed via GitHub. (yes, really) And another using GitHub and Netlify. In fact, there are several going this way.
Then there’s this guy who manages his by hand with an amazingly simple setup. In fact, if you haven’t noticed already, I’ve already joined his and a couple others. They’re displayed on my lower left sidebar. I’ve toyed around with the idea of running my own, but haven’t yet found a solution that I’m comfortable with. For now, these will do.
My question now is this: Those of you that have your own sites, would you join these or one of the others, or create your own? And if create your own, how would you do it?
Inquiring minds want to know! :)