A Note on Merging
There is a currently a lot of interest in merging "old dead rings" into newer ones. That's great in general, but a word of cuation if we may......
1.Before merging CHECK the old ring for HTML based sites. If the ring has a lot it is NOT a good candidate for merging. If the SSNB sites it does have are i the "good" ring you really won't end up with much. It might be better to leave the dead ring and simply close it and have the description and close message suggest users also try the "good" ring. If we do force merges we end up with a lot of zombie sites out there.
2. After merging if you have merged HTML sites you can toggle off the auto-management if you want to keep active/failing sites in your ring. For now we suggest this. We're working on some options for those that don't like rings with inconsistent navigation code (i.e., html from some other ring) even it it mostly works.
3. After merging if you have failing sites please don't panic and email your rep right away saying webring is broekn. Do a little detective work yourself. regardless of what the system checker report is on these sites (merging is sort of brutal on the auto-checker, it takes a bitfor it to catch up properly) go to teh sites and examine them yourself if you're concerned. Know what you've got on your hands before you do anything.
I had WebRing do a bunch of merges over the weekend once. I was pretty lucky. I only had a significant number of HTML sites in about three rings. I'm working on those now. If I see that a ring has a lot of HTML sites, now, I don't ask it be merged until I have taken care of this, and sometimes I don't at all. I look at the uniqueness rating of the ring, and if it is very high, and the sites are really on topic, I will operate it as a separate ring.
We live and learn.
Sometimes the demands made on us interfere with good judgment. This has been a problem for me once. It has been resolved.
I do have auto-management toggled off, as a matter of principle. I'm there to manage the ring. If I don't want to bother, I should let WebRing have the ring.
And yes, I do investigate when there is a problem. The main problem I ran into was merged rings where a lot of the failing rings have SSNB. I keep thinking of computers as fast, but computer networks aren't necessarily so, especially when they're overloaded. So I have learned to be patient. If it's been days since the merge, I might say something.