Fediverse writers' webring

tl;dr: I’ve spun up a webring for Writers of the Fediverse. If you want to join, send an email to with your name, your website’s URL, and a short description of your site. I’ll send you an email back with further instructions.

Some background

I’m a little young to remember the OG days of webrings, when search engines were unhelpful and finding a website on a topic you liked could be difficult, if not outright impossible. In those times, authors got together and organized into rings of sites around common interests. After that, Yahoo bought the technology and apparently killed it, but they were probably on the way out anyway. I mean, people don’t have their own sites anymore, right?

WRONG! There has been a recent resurgence of personal and professional website authorsthough, if I’m being honest, I doubt the professionals ever quit who are making their own spaces on the web, independent of the Zuckerbergs and the Brins, the real behemoths of the Internet that track us and monetize our attention. Standards are being developed for what’s being called the Indieweb so that all these smaller sites can talk to each other.

A Fediverse Writer’s Ring

With the recent resurgence in personal websites, there’s been some chatter about spinning up webrings again too. I came across the idea through Max Böck’s Webring Starter Kit, and thought, after participating in the Tales from the Fediverse project, Let’s have a Writers of the Fediverse webring! So I tried to use the starter kit, but I don’t really know Javascript or how how 11ty or Netlify or gulp work. So I rewrote it in Python and Flask and deployed it with Heroku to ring.acdw.net.

How it works

Using the webring is simple:

The webring software determines who’s next and previous by looking at the Referer header of the link, so if the site you’re on isn’t in the ring you’ll get a random page from the ring.

Joining

Since we’re all basically linking to each others’ sites, it’s important that we try and keep trolls out. So, to join the ring, send me an email at with your name, website URL, and a little bit about you. I’ll review your site and if it conforms to our code of conduct, you’re in!Of course, we’ll have to figure out a way to adjudicate violations and what-not, but we’ll figure that out later. I don’t know what I’m doing; I’ve never run a community before!

I’ll send you an email welcoming you in, and all you’ll need to do is add links to your website. I’d recommend adding a link to the ring homepage and links for the previous and next members of the ring.

I’m putting mine in the footer of my site; you can see it at the bottom of this page!

Addenda

Addendum on the Code of Conduct

I wouldn’t have thought to include a Code of Conduct except that where I was reading about creating a webring included one. I’m going to own my privilege here: I’m a cishet, white, able-bodied man. I don’t know if this is the right way to do this (if I’m putting the onus of creating a safe space on others), but if there’s anything in the Code of Conduct that doesn’t track with you, for any reason, please let me know via or Mastodon. I really want this webring to be as inclusive as possible and to get as many perspectives and kinds of writing as possible.

Addendum on trademark

Apparently, the term webring is trademarked. So we need another name. I’m thinking nethoop, but I’m open to other ideas.