This about sums it up
Found in the General Members Forum and quoting - jliilj
"When the concept of webring was originally created by Sage Weil, it was a way for individuals to create clusters of websites with something in common. The sites themselves might have shared a common theme, or common information. Or, the sites' owners might have shared a common interest, or common heritage, or common life challenge. After an individual created the "club" (the individual webring). other individuals would have their site join that particular webring. They joined and showed membership by placing the code on their site. The code would allow interested visitors to jump from member site to member site ... to travel the webring.
In the original concept, the individual webring belonged to the founding individual. The individual webring was the focus. The system that drove the whole thing was secondary; the system existed to serve the individual owners.
As it exists today, there are some changes already made, and some in the works.
In today's WebRing.com system, the system asserts some level of ownership and control over the individual webring. The individual has moved from owner to maintenance volunteer. In today's system, the importance of the system has increased substantially, and the importance of the individual ringmaster seems diminished.
Today, instead of being a tool for owners to use as they see fit, the system is working to become a destination in and of itself. In this transformation, the individual ringmasters stop being individual webring owners and become volunteers for the system to maintain a network of sites that will drive traffic to the system generating revenue for the system, even as the system serves as a type of site directory.
In the new model WebRing.com becomes somewhat like DMOZ.org ... a directory of websites, categorized by subject, with each subject managed by a subject volunteer. In such a system, there would be, idealy, one and only one webring for each subject.
Unlike DMOZ, the new WebRing.com system provides vestiges of Sage Weil's old webring concept (like site to site jumping). And, unlike DMOZ, it is commercial, deriving the revenue it needs to exist from the advertising revenue it generates.
James S. Huggins
to contact me --- http://JSH.us/webring-email "