Just another opinionated weblog

Archive for May, 2008

Got WebRings? Still? Why?

Woe to he who offends anyone who’s had a tiny taste of authority over others and found it sweet.

Who loves WebRing? Stand up and be counted or forever keep mouth shut. I used to enjoy going in to the forums and chatting with the Ring Masters and members . Remember when they used to design Nav Bars and then members could vote to choose one as Nav Bar of the week? Have you seen any of that creativity and sense of community in the last few years? Nope. The bars are identical pieces of crap and the community is gone.

Oh, I just thought why! It’s the old PC crap again, the reason kids wear uniforms to school. No Ring is to appear better run than the next. System run rings can look just like the good rings that are managed by real, live people. I should have known that. See, when you write your thoughts about stuff, you can figure it out by yourself. Blogs can be useful.

Then they decided to animate them! The words bounce and bump along the skinny bar , back and forth, back and forth. What imagination someone had. At least it doesn’t blink. Many members, myself included, have asked, begged, them to at least make the animation optional. They ignored the masses. They say, “but it attracts attention to the rings!” Yes, it does do that, but that’s backwards. The Ring is supposed to attract people to the Site. That’s the original purpose of WebRings.!

This moving monstrosity takes their attention off the pages. It causes them to escape as fast as they can because nobody can stand anything constantly moving in the corner of their eyes.

Anyway, I spent hours and hours trying to get the code for a new ring onto one of my site pages. The damn thing just wouldn’t work..Of course Support said it was my fault; so much for Help from the High and Mighty. I didn’t ask for help until hours later, and by then, my head hurt. I didn’t want to bother them with something I should be able to figure out. I went over the HTML code line by line, and know what I found? the word –community– was spelled –communty– The code is written by the gurus of WR, not me. I told support of the error, corrected it in my copy and the nav bar showed, but it still didn’t work.

I told the system manager of the ring I’d fixed the error in my copy, but their posted code needed to be checked for more errors because I don’t know HTML, and they are the experts, right? After a few e-mails back and forth someone got cranky and another got uppity and offended. After being auto-accepted into the ring, this cranky someone was promptly un-accepted because of a perceived lack of team spirit. Can you imagine the reaction of this someone? I was seeing red!

It seems in the last e-mail I’d sent to this helpful, Support person, I’m made a remark about the ring being only a system run ring, and if she couldn’t spend a lot of time on it to fix it, don’t worry about it. I’ll get it some other time. (since it had no full-time manager) and anyway, I’d been working a long time and didn’t want to mess with it anymore at that time. Doesn’t that sound reasonable to you? I certainly didn’t intend to offend the system, after all, I’ve had two other sites in this particular ring for years. I was simply adding a third.

She whipped a long-winded message back to me and let me know that though she loved my site, and even took time to read one of the pages, she was going to have to deny my application. She couldn’t take someone who didn’t have a ‘team spirit’ and I shouldn’t have called the poor ring ‘only’ a system run ring. It was as good or better than most. I sat there with my mouth open for a minute till I remembered I was the customer.

Keep in mind these rings deal with websites, not the people behind them. All that needs to be done is to attach a single piece of code on a site and be sure the site is relevant. No personal interaction is necessary – ever. What my attitude has to do with anything, I can’t figure out. The only thing I know is she said SHE was ‘put in charge’ of that system run ring, and she intended to ride it to the stars. It was gonna be the bestest and the shiniest ring that WebRing had ever seen and her name was gonna be in lights. Well, I sorta paraphrased, but that’s the main idea. This doesn’t sound like teamwork to me; it sounds like I’m gonna be the best and you’ll be sorry.

She was offended with my choice of words, ‘just’ a system-run ring’ and she let her pride get in the way of business. Will she rise to the top as a manager with her own name someday, or will she forever remain known as System? On second thought, she’ll probably succeed. There’s a lot of easily offended stupids, err, Systems out there. Authority given to little people is dangerous.

I’m saving her message and will add it to my book of the various ways to hang yourself with your own pride, or something like that. I just thought of it. Some people shouldn’t be encouraged.

The telling thing about the whole fiasco is she told me she liked the piece she read. She is such an amateur, thinking that would make me feel bad and I’d ‘really’ regret offending her. Ha! She don’t know my background. I can see through false flattery in an instant. I raised five kids and a husband.

That’s okay with me. I like to write rants and she handed me a bucket-full of inspiration. Many, many members are dissatisfied with the way WebRings is being handled. I expect this piece to be a hit when it hits the circles of rings.

And besides, their choice of having a transparent nav bar is way ugly. Just like people, individual Nav Bars are beautiful in their variety of differences. Who wants to be a clone of everyone else?

Oh, the misspelled word —community—in the code? It was never fixed. I checked while I was getting more WebRings. Pride and Stupidy; hang yourself WebRing.

Anyway, I’m not the proud owner of a particular ring.