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Discovery Theory / Re: Discovering the Small Web
Last post by joe jenett -
bumped into (and enjoyed) Rediscovering the Small Web at this morning:
Most websites today are built like commercial products by professionals and marketers, optimised to draw the largest audience, generate engagement and 'convert'. But there is also a smaller, less-visible web designed by regular people to simply to share their interests and hobbies with the world. A web that is unpolished, often quirky but often also fun, creative and interesting.
Some interesting history and perspective - on my todos to read it again more closely.

And Brad, I started playing with a webring like idea similar to something I did back in 2000. Since you mentioned a webring (and limitations you were experiencing), it been in the back of my mind. Looked at some of my old scripts today and something simple dawned on me (though I still need to think it through). If I get anything accomplished with it, I'll let you know...

Update 06/03/20: I had some difficulty with modifying my old scripts to do what I wanted and decided to try something else. I found a WP plugin that does work somewhat ("Draupnir Ringmanager"). It hasn't been updated in 5 years and has not been officially tested with the latest WP version but I decided to give it a try. I'm troubleshooting the Ring Management part of it but otherwise, I've got it working. Go to any of my webthings and look for "i.webthings explorer" to see it - for now, it only uses my various sites as a working example to play with as time allows. Cheers.
Directory and Indieweb Search Discussion /
Last post by Kicks Condor -
Another directory:

Quite elaborate, with a submission system and upvoting. Right now the maintainer is manually checking submissions to ensure that no spam/porn is posted. It will be interesting to see if this works. (Will people read and upvote each other’s blogs?)
Discovery Theory / "How I curate links for my blog"
Last post by Kicks Condor -
"How I curate links for my blog" by Jan-Lukas Else


  • Finding links from other blogs, feeds.
  • Following news aggregators.
  • On tech news pages.
  • Searching, in the pursuit of topical knowledge.
  • Long hours of surfing, meandering.

The first three are more passive - letting your favorite sources feed you. The last two are more active - hunting for links.
Discovery Theory / Re: Discovering the Small Web
Last post by Brad -
I think there is room for both webrings and directories.  And there is a valid point about users making judgments about sites from the description in a directory.  (Before there was Search Engine optimization there was directory optimization which was about submitting the best title, description and keywords for your directory listing that would 1. catch the human eye, 2. be found by directory users, 3. still conform to the directory editor's rules.  Tricky thing to do all three.)

Webrings with just a Back, Random, Forward navigation have the problem with scale.  After about 50 listings, webrings become cumbersome with just those 3 navigation points and start needing an index page.  However a webring can be very effective for linking small sites on a particular topic.

It's good to see interest continuing.
Discovery Theory / Discovering the Small Web
Last post by Kicks Condor -
HN is experiencing an influx of articles about the state of the Web - with 'Gardens and Streams' getting reposted and a string of articles from

Here's a comment from one of those threads:

I've been thinking about this for ages, and I want my own contribution to this to be a simple webring service.
If you're unfamiliar with the concept, a webring was a simple circular linked list. You had a link on your knitting-themed site to the "next knitting-themed site", that site had a link to the next one, etc.

To join the ring, you just emailed someone and said "hey, I, too, have a knitting-themed site, can you add me to your webring?", they looked at your site, and changed their link to your site, you added the link they previously had, and the ring continued.

I want to build something simple that'll serve a small widget with previous/next/random site buttons, it'll work like the webrings of old regarding the curation aspect, so to get added you'll need to be referred to by someone.

Would you use something like that? You'd basically just drop a bit of HTML on your page and it wouldn't load heavy JS/analytics/crap, just whatever was necessary to paint a few links.

People know that gaming the algorithm and SEO has become insanely obfuscated - time to get back to simple "linking to each other".

Same thread has an interesting comment about webrings vs directories:

Personally I also started longing for webrings recently; they seem more personal to me than directories, and there's more excitement of surprise and discovery. Also I think they're more "slow paced" and involved: you have to go through them one by one, whereas with directories you may look at the titles and already start making judgements based on the titles alone.

I think I'd say there's space for directories (again???) and there's space for webrings (again!). Though it kinda feels weird to me how Google removed the need for directories and webrings at a time (and I distinctly remember the relief), and now Google results got so crappy (destroyed by SEO?) that the need starts to come back :/ such that even I myself feel it.

I still prefer directories because webrings are just too constrained - but it's good to hear this perspective.
Directory and Indieweb Search Discussion /
Last post by Kicks Condor -
So this just appeared:

Interesting that it's open source directory software - so even if you don't like the blogs listed, you can do your own. Definitely within the purview of this forum.

Also a motivation page that sounds like the posts here in the forum:

I want to see individual directories for the web. This is why I built this site. I want people to self host their own yahoo directory containing fun websites and blog. It should be different this time. It should be open and easily transferrable (all design choices are made in that direction).

The pizza recipe at the end of each page is a nice touch.
Water Cooler / Re: Troubles
Last post by Brad -
All clear.   :)

What the host's scanner was detecting was the anti-virus sub-program built into the directory script.  Yes WSN Links has it's own anti-virus program.  I guess it's not uncommon for antivirus programs to flag each other as problems.

So all is good and I don't face the decision of having to dump hundreds of dollars into this.

@joe jenett thanks for looking the site over!

Upon questioning via a support ticket, the hosting company did specify what files they detected as problems.  They should have just specified these in the initial warning.  I just got the report of another scan by them that shows the site is clear.