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Wed, Oct 28th - 2:53PM

Title and Describe Your Webspace for Greater Visibility
Due to the closure of GeoCities, Webspace is now filled with over thirty thousand sites!  Is your new Webspace being seen?

One of the best ways for you to increase your Webspace's visibility is to provide a title and description, as well as to place it in a category and to rate its content.

Members who provide that info will make it easier for people to find Webspaces via search. Plus, Webspaces with info will receive top placement in these places:
  • individual directory pages
  • specific category pages

A huge benefit to appearing at the top of the directory and category pages is that you should also gain extra search engine traffic.

How to Customize Your Info

It only takes a moment to customize your Webspace information:
  1. Click the Webspace & Storage tab to open your Personal Shoutbox.
  2. Scroll down to find the Webspace title, description and category and content fields.
  3. Fill out each field - Title, Description, Category, Content.
  4. Click the "Save Settings" button.

After you provide information about your Webspace, you should see your listing pop to the top of the Webspace directory and category pages.

A Note about "Adult"

We aren't encouraging the addition of adult content on Webspace. However, we realize that some of you may have such sites.

In setting your Webspace's content rating to "a," your site will no longer appear on the Webspace directory. We have taken this step to help keep WebRing family friendly. Thanks for your understanding.

Soon, we will add flags to enable members to designate Webspaces as "adult." In the meantime, please email us at membership at web ring do tcom with the URL of any Webspaces you think need to be designated as "adult."

A Minor Limitation

You can only provide information for your top-level Webspace. If you have multiple sites hosted on your Webspace, you don't have the ability to add info about them.

In the future, we may develop the system to allow for the addition of info to multiple levels of your Webspace.

Have you explored Webspace today?


Comment (3)


Thu, Oct 15th - 3:20PM

Rings that Combat Noncyclical Climate Change
Newsweek recently posted a list of the top 500 green US companies. The list was particularly telling in that a large portion of the top 10 companies listed were members of the computing industry. This is particularly inspiring to us here at WebRing.

In preparing to write about the topic of climate change, we considered writing the steps we have taken internally to reduce our impact on the environment. We opted not to toot our own horn, though.

Instead, we thought we would take this opportunity to turn the spotlight onto members who have built and managed rings designed to increase awareness to climate change.

Sustainability Sites - managed by goddess_isisuk
The Sustainability Web Ring focuses on the efforts of organizations to achieve sustainable development. You will find information from around the world about how to deal with such crucial issues as: climate change, cleaner production, waste, poverty, consumerism, natural resource management, and governance.

Global Warming
- managed by pagetv
Global warming - a ring for sites that believe we need to do something about global warming and offer suggestions, discussions, statistics and updates, etc.

Ozone Guardians - managed by solar4rent
Stop Global Warming! This ring welcomes all websites that directly or indirectly promote the protection of our planet and rehabilitation of natural resources. We've only got one planet - back to the roots - Join now!

Green Energy  - managed by ecofriendly
Looking for information on alternative sources of energy like wind and solar? Then you've landed in the right community. Our members provide information on the benefits, technologies, and implementation of green energy.

Renewable Energy WebRing - managed by solar4rent
Includes any site, commercial, educational, or personal which advocates clean renewable energy such as solar power, hydro power, wind power, wave energy, biofuels, and thermal energy. Included is information on products for green living, green travel, green web hosting, green building, and ecology.

Best Environment Sites - managed by nathal54
This ring is a collection of the greatest environment sites on the Internet today. We have environment sites to interest the student, environment sites for the teacher or professional, and environmental resources, supplies and information for activists and concerned citizens. Whether you're into the environment as a scientific study or as a social issue, check us out!

Planet Patriots - AVAILABLE IN AUCTION CENTRAL
Websites celebrating people who are patriots for planet Earth.
This ring has amazing potential and is waiting for someone passionate to take it over. Current planet patriots represented in the ring include John Muir and David Brower. What patriots of our planet would you like to see listed in this ring?

Cars and the Environment - managed by king5021
Cars and the Environment is dedicated to reducing air and water pollution due to vehicles. The idea is that each individual should self-examine about how pollution can be reduced by making better decisions regarding the choice, operation, and maintenance of his or her vehicle. Ecology, Auto-related, and Amsoil sites welcome to join! Very welcome are transportation alternative solutions like public transportation, bicycle, etc.

Save Our Planet Earth - managed by mrphysics
The Save Our Planet Earth Web Ring is making a difference - that's our motto. We can't just sit around and watch and let our earth die. We are committed to making a difference because we need to make it a better place!

Save Our Planet! - managed by eduram
Help Save Our Planet! We need your help to stop pollution, overpopulation, war, famine and disease. It is a big job, but we need to start somewhere!

Did you know?
  • There are no rings dedicated specifically to the topic of climate change.
  • There are no rings dedicated specifically to Earth Day.
We challenge all you ambitious Ring Managers to create your own ring to cover these topics.


Comment (3)


Wed, Oct 7th - 12:46PM

Join Us for Blog Action Day 2009
We just submitted our blog to this year's Blog Action Day. This year's topic is Climate Change.

What is Blog Action Day?
One day a year, thousands of bloggers come together to write about the year's designated topic. The idea is to create one loud voice out of thousands.

Why Participate?
It gives you a chance to be heard. The folks at BlogActionDay.org look for your post and lists them with the thousands of others. Last year, we received a nice boost in traffic as a result of our participation.

Win Big for Writing the Best Post
We will award 500 AP to the member who writes the most compelling and well-written post on their WebRing blog.

To participate...
  1. Submit your WebRing blog here.
  2. Start thinking about what you're going to write.
  3. Write and post your article on your WebRing blog on 15 October 2009.
We look forward to reading your contributions to this year's topic - Climate Change.

Comment (5)


Mon, Oct 5th - 3:21PM

Transferred Site Repair Tutorial #4 - Bullets
A bullet is traditionally used in a list of non-prioritized items. Typically, the purpose of using bullets is to break up information, thereby creating a list and making that info easier to read.

Visually, most bullets are nothing more than a dot or small circle that precedes some line of text. On web pages, this effect is created with some code. More elegant forms of design, however, make use of decorative bullets that are actually nothing more than tiny images.

When it comes to GeoCities sites, many webmasters stretched the use of bullets to make them a form of navigation.  

In this tutorial we will address both uses of decorative bullets and how to repair them.

Bullets Used for Lists

This section deals with bullets that do not supply any form of navigation. They are merely static images that help break up a list.

Identifying Your Decorative Bullets
1. Open your CMS, then the page you wish to edit.

2. Activate your browser's Find function and look for "geocities" in your page's code.

For help with these first two steps, click here.

If you don't find any such link, then you don't have anything to fix. If you do find such a link, then you're ready to proceed.

If the link is contained in the "img src=" tag, then it might just be the bullet you're looking for. To verify if it is, follow these instructions:

3. Copy the URL from the "img src=" tag.

4. Open a new browser window.

5. Paste in the image URL, then click enter.

If the image that displays is the same as your bullet, you know you're in the right place in your page's code.

You will now need to find or create a replacement image to serve as your bullet. For guidance in this step, please see and adapt the help offered here.

Swapping Decorative for Simple Bullets
If you don't care about retaining your decorative bullets but want to maintain some form of bullets, you can use your site's code.

Let's assume you already have the page open in your CMS edit window and have identified your decorative bullet image. All you have to do now is to delete all of the "img src=" tag and replace it with this:
       
Yep, that's all there is to it. This will replace your decorative bullet with a simple dot.

If your bullets are used for navigation purposes, this approach will not work for you. You'll need to use the following approach instead.

Bullets Also Used for Navigation

First off, it's not considered "best practices" to use a bullet for navigation purposes. Visitors are far more likely to click on text than a small, unmarked image. Also, it can be a little tricky to get your mouse perfectly aligned for the click.

Before you decide to replace your decorative bullets with a different set, you should consider a different approach. Your best options are to either hyperlink the text or replace the bullets with a more obvious and bigger set of buttons.

Switching from Bullet to Text Navigation
Making the switch from a bullet-based form of navigation to one that uses text is pretty simple.

Assuming you already have your page open for edit in CMS and have located your bullet's "img src=" tag...
  1. Cut (CTRL+X) all of "a href=" tag that precedes your bullet's "img src=" tag.
  2. Delete the closing "/a" tag that follows your bullet's "img src=" tag.
  3. Paste (CTRL+V) the "a href=" tag you cut just before the text you want to make a navigation link.
  4. Add the closing "/a" immediately at the end of the text you linked.
  5. Save your page and view the changes. 

You should now have a static bullet and a linked line of text.

To replace your decorative bullets with a more obvious button, see the last tutorial.

This concludes our tutorial on repairing the GeoCities-based images on your transferred sites.

Comment (1)


Fri, Oct 2nd - 1:03PM

Transferred Site Repair Tutorial #3 - Buttons
Now that we have backgrounds taken care of, it's time for us to deal with navigation buttons.

Even if you didn't use a template to create your GeoCities site, you most likely did make use of the available buttons.

What is a "button"?

When it comes to websites, a "button" is exactly what it sounds like - something you push to make something happen.

The most common buttons found on GeoCities sites are as follows:
  • Home
  • Next
  • Back
  • Click Here

In most all cases, buttons on GeoCities sites act as a form of navigation that allows visitors to move around on your site.

What Will Happen if You Don’t Fix the Buttons?

As with any other graphic element, your GeoCities buttons will disappear once they close down. You could choose to do nothing about your buttons and your visitors will still be able to navigate your site.

Here are the most likely results of not fixing your site buttons by the closure date:
  • In most cases, a broken image symbol will appear on your site.
  • In other cases, the "alt" tag will display within the broken image symbol with some text that tells your visitors what the linked missing image will do, like "Go to homepage."
  • If you're really lucky, only the alt tag will show without the broken image symbol.

In all these cases, your visitors will still be able to navigate your site.

The Simple Fix - Text Links

The easiest way to fix your soon-to-be missing buttons is to get rid of the image altogether and replace it with a simple text link. It's not the prettiest, but it will do the job.

Here's what you need to do:
1. Open your Webspace CMS.

2. Open the page you wish to edit.

3. Activate your browser's Find function and search for "geocities." (For help on steps 1-3, click here.)

4. Keep clicking the Next arrow until you find a geocities URL that is located next to an "href=" tag. Here's an example:

 

Did you spot that signature "clipart" parameter in the GeoCities image URL?
 
5. Highlight and delete the entire img src URL.



6. Type the text you want to appear in the space you just deleted.



For this example, we have changed the button on altonbcc's Webspace to a simple text link. Here's what his site looked like before making the change:



Here's what it looks like after making the change



Like we said before, it's not pretty but it will work. In altonbcc's case, he used tables to build his site. This one could be improved by widening this cell.

The Challenging Fix - Replace Buttons

Text link not going to cut it for you? Want something a little more spiffy on your site. Then you're going to have to search for some replacement buttons.

Once you find something you like, simply upload the images to your Webspace folder or designated subfolder. Then change the URL of the link we deleted in the Simple Fix option above to the new image's location.
  • If you put the image in your top level Webspace folder, you will change the URL to "picture.jpg."
  • If you put the image in a subfolder, you will change the URL to "subfolder/picture.jpg"

Note that both of the examples above do not contain an initial forward slash "/" or any of the remaining URL parameters http://webspace.com/people/wa/altonbcc.

For help with uploading images and changing your page's code, see this tutorial

To find images, search WebRing for related rings or do a search using your favorite search engine, like Google, Yahoo,  or the newly launched MSN Bing. We recommend starting with the keywords "free website buttons."

The Ultra-challenging Fix - Create New Buttons

If  you're up for the challenge, you could create your own buttons. We did this for altonbcc's site.

Here's what we did:
  1. Viewed the button image at http://www.geocities.com/clipart/pbi/buttons/Generic/click1.gif
  2. Took note of the image's width and height (53x27)
  3. Created the new button image using Photoshop.
  4. Followed the steps in The Challenging Fix above.

After making these changes, here's what altonbcc's page now looks like:



If you don't have Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro, we recommend the free-to-use and very powerful Aviary.

Next, we will bring you "Transferred Site Repair Tutorial #4 - Bullets"

Comment (0)


Thu, Oct 1st - 11:06AM

Transferred Site Repair Tutorial #2 - Backgrounds
In the last tutorial, we went over the steps of identifying the remaining GeoCities links in your transferred site.

Now it's time to fix those links. Today, we will address the repair of your background images.  

How to Assess Your Background Needs

Not everyone will need to change their backgrounds. You will not need to fix any of your background elements if...
  • Your site has a solid color background.
  • Your background image is one that you uploaded.

Not sure if you uploaded the image or used one provided by GeoCities? No need to worry; we'll cover that in the next step.

How to Identify Background Elements

It's time to open up your CMS and start searching for your remaining GeoCities background elements. For those just joining us, you'll want to read the previous tutorial: Transferred Site Repair Tutorial #1 - Links

Once you have your first page that needs editing open in your CMS, open your browser's Find function. Did it? Good. Now we're ready to proceed.

Enter "geocities" into the Find box of your browser, then click the Next button. This should highlight the first remaining GeoCities link in your site.  

In the example below, we have accessed file/page "index.html" and found this GeoCities background:



This is exactly the link we need to address. Let's look at the different elements of this piece of code:
  • "background=" - This is a tag that tells your page where to look for the image that will be used to create the page's background.
  • "geocities.com" - This tells you that the background image is being called up from GeoCities' servers.
  • "/clipart/" - This is the clear indicator that this isn't just an image that our transfer utility failed to copy. The associated image is part of GeoCities' available standard graphics.

Since we found "geocities.com" and "/clipart/" in this page's code, we will now need to repair the link with something more permanent.

What to Do about the GeoCities Background

Next, we need to figure out what we want to replace the background image with. You really have three options:
  • Remove the image and use a solid background color instead.
  • Find a replacement image for the background.
  • Create a replacement image for the background.

In this case, the page uses an image that is unique to GeoCities. This means that finding a replacement background image won't be easy. So, we'll go ahead and use the easiest fix in our arsenal...

Replace Image with a Colored Background

Nothing makes for a quicker and satisfying fix as removing the background image and using a solid color for your background.
To make this change...
  1. Highlight and delete all of this line: background="www.geocities.com/clipart...crane2.gif"
  2. Change the letters and numbers that follow "bgcolor=" to the color of your choice. (Here's a site that makes finding a color's code easy: http://html-color-codes.info/)
  3. Click the "Save" button found at the bottom of the CMS edit window.

For this example, we will turn this...


into this...



After you've made a similar change to your page, you should refresh (F5) your browser window to view the change to your site.

Here's altonbcc's site before making the change:



After deleting the background image and changing the bgcolor to "#E6E6E6," here's what the site looks like:



Replace the Background Image

Don't want a plain color for a background? Then you'll need to search the web for some free images that you can use. There are many such services out there.

What you do with the images once you find them depends on the service providing them.

For those services that require you link to their images (known as "hotlinking"), you will  simply change the "background=" URL to the place where the image is hosted.

For those services that require you to host the image on your own servers, here's what you need to do:
  1. Close your CMS edit window.
  2. Click the Upload icon  in your CMS. This will open a new upload window.
  3. Follow the instructions to upload the image to your Webspace folder. Once you upload the image, move to the next step.
  4. Re-open your CMS edit window for the page you're editing.
  5. Replace the GeoCities "background=" URL with the name of your image's file (ex. "clouds.jpg"). If  you stored your image in a subfolder, like "images," then you'll need to precede the file name with the folder name (ex. "images/clouds.jpg").
  6. Click the CMS edit window "Save" button and view the changes.

To find free replacement images, you should consider searching the many rings dedicated to free graphics on WebRing.

A Resource Challenge
Consider yourself savvy at finding the free graphics for use on websites? We challenge you to design a single page on your Webspace that lists and reviews at least 10 free graphics sites. For details, visit Webspace Resources.

Create a Replacement Background Image

If you're even mildly talented with any of the copious graphics programs out there, like Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro, then you have the ability to craft your own unique background images.

Once you've created a new background  image, follow the steps above to replace your GeoCities image with the new one.

If you are a graphic designer who has images they would like to see all over the web, contact us at membership@webring.com. Make the subject line "Graphics for Webspace." We'll make it worth your while.

Next, we will bring you "Transferred Site Repair Tutorial #3 - Buttons"

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