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Sat, Nov 29th - 10:21AM

Negotiations Are Optional
Many of you who participated in the initial round of ring auctions received an email from us. The email notified you that although you were the high bidder, you lost the bid because you didn't meet the reserve. It then suggests that you negotiate a sale with the seller of the item.

If you received such an email, do NOT contact us to negotiate.

We realize that the negotiation email caused quite a bit of confusion, and we have stopped its delivery. Once we open up AC for general member use, however, that email will be sent out again. Why?  Well, it gives the high bidder and the seller a chance to negotiate.

Do you, as a seller or bidder, have to negotiate a "sale"? Nope. It's totally up to you.

Ignore "Negotiate with Seller" Emails…For Now
If you have received an email from us encouraging you to negotiate, junk it. We at WebRing are not negotiating any ring bids.

Any more questions about Auction Central? Ask them via a comment below!

Comment (1)

Fri, Nov 28th - 9:51AM

Minimum Bids Are Negotiation Starters
The question was raised: "Why not make the minimum bid the same as the reserve?"

Sure seems like that's the way it should work, but it's not. In terms of auctions, transparency is not beneficial to a seller. Highest bid amounts act more like a gauge for the seller. Here are some examples:

  • 20 people bid on an item, but the reserve is never met. The seller can look at the highest bid and determine whether or not they can get more if they extend out the auction period.
  • The highest bid is just shy of the reserve. The seller can choose to short-sell if the bid comes pretty close to the reserve.
  • Only 1 person bids on an item that the seller really wants to move. Based on the sole bidder's bid, the seller can begin negotiations for a price that works for both the seller and the bidder.

Of course, these are all just examples of possible scenarios, but you can see how the "minimum" bid helps a seller decide how they should proceed when they don't get the minimum asking amount.

Any questions about Auction Central? Ask them via a comment below!

Comment (4)

Wed, Nov 26th - 11:17AM

Reserves Are Like "OBO"
You see them all the time, used cars parked on the side of the road with a "For Sale" sign:
New tires, new carburetor, new tags, RUNS GREAT! - $2,500 OBO

You can think of those last two items as two of the amounts featured on Auction Central:

  • "$2,500" = "Buy Now!" (Click the link and win the bid immediately.)
  • "OBO" = "Reserve"

Anyone who's sold a vehicle with "OBO" tacked on to the end of the asking price knows that OBO doesn't necessarily mean the highest offer. The offer has to at least meet the unstated minimum that the seller wants for the vehicle. That's when negotiations ensue.

For those who feel that it's unfair not to clearly state the reserve, or to make the minimum bid amount match, we encourage you to check out online auction giant eBay's related help page

Hint: If you can automatically take an item for a "Buy Now!" amount, the reserve can't be any higher. Bid a little more AP. Who knows, perhaps the next bid will put you over the reserve.

Any questions about Auction Central? Ask them via a comment below!

Comment (0)

Tue, Nov 25th - 4:47PM

Reserves, Minimums & Negotiations
With over 500 rings awarded via Auction Central (AC), the ring auctioning is going relatively smooth. That's not to say we didn't hit a few bumps along the way. Over the next few days, we are going to hit you with some short posts regarding the top three eyebrow-raisers:

  • Reserves
  • Minimums
  • Negotiations

But first, we need to address a major issue…

"I lost the bid and my Activity Points!"

A few people who lost their ring bids also lost the AP they committed. This is NOT supposed to happen; it was a glitch in the system. We fixed the problem, so it shouldn't happen again. We also re-added the deducted AP to the effected accounts.

If you lost AP for a bid you lost, please submit a support ticket and provide as much detail as possible about your situation. We will look into each on a case-by-case basis.

Any questions about Auction Central? Ask them via a comment below!

Comment (10)

Fri, Nov 21st - 4:08PM

Over 400 Rings Awarded on Auction Central
The first major round of bidding just concluded, with over 400 WebRing Communities being awarded to WebRing members. This means that that many more rings are back where they belong - in the hands of dedicated WebRing members!

We just put up another 894 rings for auction. Want to place your bids?

The turn-out for Auction Central has been astounding. WebRing President, Tim Killeen, reports, "So far, we're really pleased with the response to the auctions and would like to get a sense for how many members might want to auction things of their own, like online services and merchandise."

Would you like to put things up for auction at Auction Central?
Let us know as a comment below, or write us at (subject line: "I Would Auction Off...").

Comment (13)

Thu, Nov 20th - 2:33PM

The Future of Auction Central
Whether you've bid on adoptable rings or not, odds are you have checked out Auction Central. Although we are the only ones to use this latest and greatest WebRing feature, Auction Central will soon open up for all members to use.

You will be able to auction of things like rings, activity points, and other WebRing-related items. That's just the start, though. Slowly but surely, we will allow you to put practically anything up for auction!

You heard that right! Whether you want to auction off an antique lamp or to put your house up for bid, the choice of items, bid amounts and periods will be yours to make.

We'll update you once we open up Auction Central for all to use. In the meantime, leave a comment below to let us know about what you would put up for auction.

Have you visited Auction Central today?

Comment (3)

Wed, Nov 19th - 10:16AM

Reserve Bid Explained
More than a couple members have asked this question over the past week:

What is the "reserve" price, and what does it mean if the reserve is not met?

The reserve price is the minimum amount that the seller would prefer to get for the item they put up for auction.

If the reserve is met or exceeded by the close of bidding, then the highest bidder gets the item. If the reserve is not met when the bidding period closes, the highest bidder and the seller can negotiate to determine if the bid amount is "high enough." If the seller decides that the highest bid isn't enough, the seller can then put the item back up for auction.

Join us tomorrow as we continue our discussion of Auction Central. In the meantime, have you visited Auction Central today?

Comment (10)

Tue, Nov 18th - 1:05PM

Why the Community Managers Agreement?
In the past, we let anyone and everyone to create WebRing Communities. The result was a system filled with abandoned rings. With our recent release of rings available for auction, we wanted to ensure that "adopters" agree to give their new rings the love they deserve.

Essentially, the WebRing Community Managers Agreement can be boiled down to one thing - Responsibility!

In clearly stating the Rules of Conduct, anyone vying to assume management of a ring knows what to expect. Furthermore, the Agreement leaves no doubt as to the consequences for not effectively managing the rings; namely, you will lose them.

We will no longer tolerate absent managers. This is why we prefer to "sell" adoptable rings for Activity Points (AP), and not money. If you have a lot of AP, it's because you're active on WebRing. A high Activity Score indicates that you would most likely make an attentive and pro-active Ring Manager.

Auction Central is not the only place you can expect to find the Community Manager's Agreement. Soon, anyone trying to "Create a Ring" will also be required to agree to Agreement.

Above all else, we want to ensure that WebRing remains a lively place.

The Auction Central Report

With less than one week since its launch, Auction Central has witnessed the following activity:
  • 275 ring bids won via "Buy Now!" price
  • 275 ring bids in final days
  • 30 ring bids exceed "Buy Now!" price
  • 20 ring bids approaching excess of "Buy Now!" price

Join us tomorrow as we continue our discussion of Auction Central. In the meantime, have you visited Auction Central today?

Comment (3)

Mon, Nov 17th - 12:17PM

How to Acquire More Activity Points for Auction Central
You've visited Auction Central, found a ring you really, really want, but you don't have enough Activity Points! What can you do? Purchase more or get active on WebRing!

Seems simple enough, but how to go about purchasing more Activity Points is a bit confusing. Let us cut through the confusion for you.

You Can't Actually Buy AP

Currently, you cannot buy more Activity Points (AP) outright; you can only "commit" them. What does this mean and how does it work? Once again, this is a fairly simple process.

Once you bid on an item in Auction Central, we lock down the required AP but not your total available monetary funds. It is only if your bid wins that we will deduct the appropriate funds from your account. Your account funds will remain unchanged unless you win a bid and don't have enough AP to cover the bid.

The Not-so Simple Side of Bidding

Why don't we lock down your WebRing monetary funds? We would rather give you the chance to win your bid without any monetary loss on your part. Our primary goal is to get these adoptable rings into your hands for AP, and not for money. Your activity generates your currency on WebRing!

Here's an example of why we only lock down your AP:
  • You have 56AP and want to bid on "The World's Greatest WebRing," but the bidding starts at 80AP.
  • You have $5.35 in available funds, which means you have a potential extra 529AP (.99 cents per AP).
  • You decide to take the plunge and place your bid of 80AP. The bidding closes in seven days.
  • You go back to the general WebRing system and resume your usual activities. Within a few days of surfing rings, posting to your blog, chatting it up in the forums, etc., your total AP increases to 157AP.
  • Seven days pass, and you have won the bid for "The World's Greatest WebRing." The ring is transferred to your account and your AP decreases to 77AP. Your monetary funds remain untouched. What happened?

Unless you "Buy Now!," most auctions last from 1-3 weeks. This gives you more than enough time to get active on WebRing to earn the AP you need to win your bid. Remember, most everything you do on WebRing earns you points. If you haven't uploaded a profile image yet, that will earn you a quick 50AP! Want to upload a profile image right now?   

Available, Purchase, Commit… What's the Difference?

On Auction Central, you will notice a message similar to this:
You have 1439 activity points available.
You can purchase approximately 2096 more activity points with the $ 21.18 in your account.
You can commit up to 3535 more activity points to other auctions.

Now, you might be a little confused as to what all these numbers mean. Here's what each refers to:
  • "You have 1439 activity points available." - This number refers to how many actual AP you currently have in your account. This number is updated nightly based on your WebRing activity.
  • "You can purchase approximately 2096 more activity points with the $ 21.18 in your account." - The number of AP cited here is determined by this equation: Total$ x .99 = AP.
  • "You can commit up to 3535 more activity points to other auctions." - This number is the cumulative amounts of both the available and purchasable amounts.

Advice from a WebRing Member

The Lilith Gallery Network was particularly excited about our auctioning off of adoptable rings. They were so excited that they offered some advice regarding the selection of rings to adopt. To read their full article, click here.

Remember, we want to hear your stories about Auction Central. Lilith Gallery chimed in, will you? Use the comments below or write your own blog post to do so.

Join us tomorrow as we continue our discussion of Auction Central. In the meantime, have you visited Auction Central today?

Comment (0)

Fri, Nov 14th - 12:04PM

Introducing Auction Central!
Did you get our email or see our announcement on your My Account page regarding Auction Central? In case you haven't checked it out, here's a brief overview:

Auction Central is a place to put items up for bid. At the time of this post, this system is only being used to put abandoned rings up for auction. After we've worked out most of the bugs, we will open up Auction Central to the entire WebRing membership (more on that later).

How to Use Auction Central to Bid on Available Rings

Once you access Auction Central, it's pretty obvious what to do next. In case you need further assistance, though, we present you with these instructions:
  1. Visit Auction Central and click through the category listings to browse the hundreds of available rings. Each category will list how many rings are available within that category.
  2. Click on the ring of your choice. The bid page will then open ti display the item/ring's bid history, as well as provide some key ring history and stats to help you decide. 
  3. Scroll down and meet or exceed the current bid in the appropriate field.
  4. Read and agree to the Community Manager's Agreement. We have put this in place to clarify what we expect from anyone who assumes management of a ring.
  5. Click the "Place Bid" button and wait until the bidding period ends to see if your bid has won.
How to Track Your Bid

As with any auction, you most likely want to stay informed of how your bid is faring. The most obvious way to track your bid is to bookmark the item page. However, we've centralized things for you. If you've placed a bid, you will find a tab labeled "Auctions" on your My Account page. Click on it to see how your bid is doing. If someone outbids you, your bid status will let you know. Click the title to re-open the bid page and up your bid.

"Buy Now!" to Guarantee You Get the Ring You Want

Nearly all the rings currently offered on Auction Central are available for immediate purchase. In the bid info block, you will find a link labeled "Buy Now!" Use this link to close out the bidding process and to claim the ring for your own. Prices vary.

Join Us Next Week for More Details

Starting Monday, we will begin a week of posts regarding Auction Central. Topics will include the following:
Additionally, we would love to hear stories from those members who have visited and used Auction Central. Tell us about your experiences, what you think of the system, and/or how you plan to use the system once we open it to all the members. To tell your story, leave a comment below or email

What are you waiting for? The first round of bidding ends in 7 days. Visit Auction Central today!

Comment (10)

Mon, Nov 10th - 12:38PM

Deleting Comments, Rebuilding Stacks & Choosing Rings to Join
In response to some support tickets and blog comments we've received over the last couple weeks, we re-present you with these three past posts.

Speaking of NavBars...

We welcome any and all written tutorials that provide guidance for adding NavBars to sites. The most desired tutorials include the following:
  • GoDaddy
  • MySpace
  • Yahoo! Small Business
  • Easy Site
  • Facebook
  • Ning
Remember to include relevant links and to use the same terms that the website editing software uses. 1-2-3 tutorials are best. If your tutorial passes muster, we will award you with 500 Activity Points and provide a link to your WebRing profile page on the tutorial page. Send all tutorials to our editor at as a document saved in rich text format (.rtf). Make sure your email's subject line reads: "Tutorial for Your Consideration."

Comment (3)

Fri, Nov 7th - 11:37AM

Why Did I Lose My Ring?
Every week, a handful of members write to ask us why the WebRing Community they managed has been taken away and put up for adoption. Our standard responses have remained purposely vague but all come down to the same issue - lack of management.

Why We Put Rings up for Adoption

Quite simply, we want to ensure that new and old members alike have a satisfying experience on WebRing. When a ring manager is absent, the new applicants and current members of their rings suffer. So, when a ring manager is gone for months at a time, leaving their members out in the cold, it's time that we take over for the sake of the WebRing Community.

How We Determine When to Put Rings up for Adoption

Exceptions exist in case of violations of the ToS, but otherwise our process is completely automated. We would like to think we are extremely lenient in terms of management. We currently allow ring managers up to 7 weeks to manage their rings when needed. If no action is taken within that nearly 2 month period, your WebRing Community is automatically handed over to our system-run "adoptable" account. The reason for taking this step is that an unmanaged ring drags the whole WebRing experience down. If the ring manager won't manage the ring, we will.

A good general practice is to sign in and check your rings at least once a week. To ensure that you stay on top of management, make sure to set your email notifications to "yes" (visit your "Account Settings" to do so).  This way, you will receive management notices.

We Don't Want More Rings for Ourselves

WebRing does not reap any benefits from taking over management of a WebRing Community. In fact, it increases our staff needs. More importantly, WebRing should be an organic network of communities. In other words, a network of WebRing Communities created and run by passionate members adds a much greater experience for members and enrich the overall WebRing system with a wide array of distinct personalities. We want to put these rings back into the hands of managers who authentically care about their communities.

Are "Adoptable" Rings Really Adoptable?

For more than a year now, we have not adopted out any rings. Between ring collectors and newbies who haven't even added a site to another ring, we haven't felt comfortable handing over the rings. Yet, we continue to accrue more and more adoptable rings every day. The time has come to start handing the reins back over to you, the active membership. Note the use of "active."

Active WebRing members accrue Activity Points for nearly everything they do on WebRing. They actually use WebRing. These are the members we want to take over abandoned rings, because their Activity Scores clearly indicate that they will be passionate about and tend to their WebRing Communities.

Are you an active member looking to adopt some rings?
Watch for an exciting announcement coming next week regarding ring adoption.

Comment (0)

Thu, Nov 6th - 9:48AM

Need Help from WebRing?
When you hit a snag on WebRing, your choices for finding help are many. Below, we present you with an ordered list of where you can go to seek assistance with your support needs.

First Stop - WebRing Help

At the top of every page is a menu link labeled "HELP." If you click that link while on the page where you are experiencing problems, the page that opens will offer you the most likely solution to your issue. This is referred to as a "context-sensitive" help system. Didn't find what you were looking for? Use the search box at the top of the page to search our system.

Second Stop - WebRing Shoutbox

You can find the Shoutbox on the homepage, your My Account page and on any Directory category page. You can first present your issue in the public area, where another member might have an answer to your question. If they do, then start a private chat to flesh out the solution. If no one is answering your question in the public area, click the question mark icon to enter the help area of the Shoutbox. WebRing Super-users watch that area and are eager to provide you with guidance.

Third Stop - Support Tickets

Consulted the Help section but still didn't find what you were looking for? Submit a support ticket! To do so, click the link labeled "The above information does not pertain to my problem. I would like to submit a support ticket." The page that opens will be self-explanatory. If you've already tried the above steps, support tickets are the quickest and best way to receive help.

Other Options - Forums

We have two system-run forums set up specifically to give you a place to talk about all things WebRing, including support. The forums can be reached by clicking on the titles below:

No Email… please!

Look, we receive literally thousands of emails every day. Nearly 99% of these letters are junk. You could send your support queries to one of our many email accounts. Odds are, though, that your email labeled "I need help" will get deleted along with that similarly labeled email from our distant Nigerian cousin's brother's lawyer's letter that says we have  $17 million waiting for us to collect. If you have a support question, please resist the urge to email us.

There is one exception to the email approach for support - Your WebRing 2.0 Representative! They are here to help. If they don't have the answer, they can get it for you. Want 2.0?

Of course, there's one more exception. If you just want to share your experience or make suggestions, we welcome any and all correspondence at

Comment (0)

Tue, Nov 4th - 12:00PM

This November Go Purple!

November is National Alzheimer's Awareness Month. Although no cure is currently in sight, we can all do our part to help raise awareness of this terminal disease.

In the US alone, over 10 million people care for a person with Alzheimer's disease. The cause of this devastating dementia is still not clearly understood and continues to create tremendous turmoil for tens of thousands of families every year.

The Alzheimer's Association presents several ways for companies and individuals like you to help raise awareness. Aside from organizing Memory Walks or giving out coffee for donations, the easiest way you and/or your company can help out is to Go Purple! The essence of this approach is simple:

Dress yourself, your coworkers, and your office in purple.

Not crazy about adorning your surroundings in purple? Action Alz offers other ways you can help raise Alzheimer's awareness, like offering coffee for a small donation. For more info, visit Action Alz.  
Comment (4)

Mon, Nov 3rd - 12:47PM

Announcing WebRing Text Messaging
A couple months ago, we soft launched WebRing SMS. Now, it's time to roll out the red carpet for this latest and greatest addition to the site.

What Is SMS?
"Short Message Service" (SMS) is better known as "text messaging." It's reported that as much as 74% of all cell phone users send text messages, and the percentage increases each year.

Why Offer SMS?
Our reasons are two-fold. Firstly, SMS presents a way for you to communicate instantly with other WebRing members. Additionally, the SMS service allows you to receive alerts regarding your WebRing account. Such alerts include new submissions, WR Messages, updates to your ring memberships, comments added to your blog, and new posts to forums.

How Much Does SMS Cost?
Initially, nothing! Once you register your cell phone, you will receive free SMS credits based on your membership level. After receiving your initial credits, you will either automatically accrue more credits based on your activity on WebRing, or you can purchase more via the Rewards Room (coming soon).

How Much Does It Cost to Send?
It costs 1 SMS credit to send a text message. If sent to another WebRing member, the cost of the text messages is split 50/50 between the sender and the recipient. If the recipient lacks sufficient credit, the sender can choose to cover the full cost. You can also send text messages to non-WebRing members for the full cost of 1 SMS credit.

How Do You Get Started?

Depending on how fast your fingers and internet connection flies, you can start text messaging people in just under a minute.

To Activate Your SMS:
  1. Register your cell phone.
  2. Check your cell phone for a text message from us with your verification code.
  3. Enter the verification code that is sent to your cell phone.

To Send a Text Message:
  1. Visit your My Account page.
  2. Look for and click the "Send Text Message" link.
  3. Enter the WebRing ID or phone number of your intended recipient.
  4. Enter your message (up to 160 characters).
  5. Click the "Send" button.
Enjoy this fun and engaging enhancement to your WebRing experience. To learn more about WebRing's SMS, visit the FAQ.
Comment (5)

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