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WebRing Managers WebRing presents the WebRing Managers Forum, a place for WebRing Managers to discuss ideas, ethics, tactics, etc. This Forum is for WebRing discussion only and is closely moderated.

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Diversity - 10/10/2008
We are perplexed by this post to say the least. It certainly appears to be a passive agressive attempt to stir up controversy over a non-issue. You are free to set whatever *content/appearance* restrictions you would like to have on a ring you manage. If all sites need to have a blue background, fine. That's the rule for being a part of that ring. If a site with a greeen background wants to be in a ring they will have to join another one or create their own. Hopefully that is clear enough.

You cannot discriminate based on the site owner's race, religion, etc. That also should be clear enough.

Replied - 10/10/2008
Hi Pat,
My name is Kyle, marketing coordinator for WebRing. You raise a very valid point in regards to the limits that many Ring Managers place on membership criteria. As far as individual rings are concerned, you're absolutely correct; many rings lack diversity in regard to their join criteria. But that's the nature of rings.

Consider This:
Each ring is, or at least in many cases should be, highly niche. Take the Conscious Black Men ring, for example. In order to join, you need to be conscientious, black, and a man. This excludes everyone else. But, that's okay, both from a community and search perspective.

In terms of community, these fellows have a place where they can share their commonalities. In terms of search, it establishes them as authorities within their specific niche. Ultimately, it would diffuse their niche strength if they were to allow an off-topic site to join the ring.

Limitations are essential at the ring level (at least, in most cases).

When we said that at WebRing we believe in diversity, we were talking about the diversity you can find when you look at ALL of WebRing. On this one site, we have Christian WebRing Communities alongside Satanism WebRing Communities. We have Liberal Politics WebRing Communities alongside Conservative Politics WebRing Communities. We have Cat WebRing Communities alongside Dog WebRing Communities. Polar opposites existing side-by-side.

This is the diversity we referred to, the diversity of so many different, distinctly niche communities gathered together in one place - WebRing!

Thanks again for raising this question, Pat. We are posting it in the WebRing blog. We are going to include your question but will not mention your User ID. Would you like to step forward as the source of the question? Let me know at ((kyle (((at))) and I'll link to your profile.

Replied - 10/10/2008
OK, this makes more sense. Thanks! I certainly agree we shouldn't discriminate against site owners based on biological characteristics ("race", gender, that sort of thing). Kyle's answer was also extremely helpful, and I will respond to it next.

Replied - 10/10/2008

That was very helpful. I had known that we have the right to set our own criteria. Things have been changing so rapidly here that I thought it would be a good idea to ask again.

I think your analysis is excellent. Obviously to ME, each webring should be highly niche.

I do have another point I want to make for discussion. As a ringmistress, I believe that I should strive to make sure that the sites in a ring are compatible with each other. By this I mean that if I feel the owner of one site would not directly link to a site with certain (irrelevant to the ring) content, it is my responsibility as ringmistress not to include the site in the ring because that is an indirect link. Going back to one of your examples, let me offer an example of my own. Suppose I have a ring about whatever, but there are Christian sites in the ring. I wouldn't willingly include a site that is atheist and mocks Christianity. This is one reason I created a ring for general homeschooling, because I manage a couple of rings for Christian homeschoolers, and I was getting applicants whose sites were clearly of some other religion. The general homeschooling ring will accept legitimate homeschooling sites of all religious perspectives. Then if someone applies to one of my Christian rings, I direct them to my general homeschooling ring. I think it behooves ringmasters to make sure that their rings have integrity in this way. The description of these rings and the join instructions all make this as clear as I can make it. Then I adhere to these in evaluating applicant sites.

Thank you for the excellent answer.

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