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"Help Answers" compiled from Ringmasters-l mail list

Web Ring Help


Message Boards
Does anybody know a good place where I can get a message board for one of my sites?

Go to
they have free message boards, and they are pretty customizable.
-- OpalCat

Another example of the type of board I am going to recommend. This type is used very much...very popular.
And the source:
-- Grace

Saving Bookmark files and Important E-mails
How do I save my Bookmark file and also E-mail?

Just right click on the folder, and there should be a menu that pop up - click on "send to". Then click on "3 1/2 Floppy (A)".
Or, if you don't have the option to "send to," then you can just go into Windows Exploror, which should be on your Start Menu/Programs.
Browse for your folders in here, and drag them to 3 1/2 Floppy(A).
There are many other ways, these are just 2.
I hope this hopes,
-- Grace

If you have windows95 it is very easy. Put a diskette in your a or b drive. Run Windows Explorer (not MSIE) from the "Start" menu.
Your bookmark file is a standard HTM file like on your website. You can find it in Windows Explorer by clicking on Programs, click Netscape, click Users, click "your email name" folder.
Look in the "your email name" folder folder for Bookmark (Netscape file). Highlight it, click Edit/Copy.
Go to the beginning of the Windows Explorer, and click on a or b drive. Click Edit/Paste and it will put Bookmark onto a diskette in your a or b drive.
Another way would be to find Bookmark. Highlite it, right click the mouse, choose "Save as" and indicate you want to save it to diskette.
Another way is to actually launch it up to your website and store it there. Then point your browser at http://yourwebsite/bookmark.htm. It'll read just like any other htm file you have there with clickable links and everything. You can download it if you need to.
For your mail Inbox, use Windows Explorer as you did above, but go farther. After finding "your email name" folder, click on Mail. You will see "Inbox", "Sent", etc. Highlight the ones you want to save, click copy, go to your a or b drive in Windows Explorer and click "Edit/Paste". Make sure you copy all the pertinent files.
You can read the Inbox file in a text editor like Notepad, if you want to. I don't think you can read the SNM files however.
-- Morgan Smith

Ring Members Communication
How many of you send a newsletter or some other communication to your members on a regular basis?
I think the newsletter idea is great. I'd like to hear from other ring-owners who do extra things for their rings, other than maintaining the links and the home page.

I have a "private" part of my website, which is not generally accessible by the public. I put "special webring pages" there. One page is devoted to our webring statistics and my interpretation of them.
The second page is a "clickable" list of all ring members.
The third page is devoted to new members.
The fourth page is devoted to my "ringmaster" comments about what is going on at my web site, our webring, and
When a new member joins, he/she is sent a personal welcome letter, and given the URL for the private webring pages. Another e-mail is sent to all ring members notifying them that the ring has a new member, and reminding them of the private webring pages.
These pages are updated with new statistics and comments about once a month. I know they are visited because if I'm late updating them, I hear about it from my ring members.
-- Morgan Smith

Helpful URLs
Here are a few URL's that I have found to be extremely helpful with web pages I have previously built. All are free services, and I hope they help you:

The Free Submitter:
submits your site to the most used search engines. Java oriented so if ya got an ancient browser ya can't use it.

Web Site Garage:
tunes up your site by checking for spelling errors, dead links, meta tag usage and offers recommendations for improvements.

Over To:
A feee URL redirectional service that will give you a shorter easier-to-remember web address. instead of having http:www.geocities/blah/5678/mypage/index.html , you can have a shorter url such as,

Clip Art:
Loads and loads of free clip art. under constructions signs, buttons, sign posts and much more.

This site has cgi scripts for those that either do not know how to use them or that cannot have them on their servers.

This list is by no means all inclusive. There are plenty of other sites that do similar things as these. Some better some worse.
-- Stolichnaya

Although I don't have a "regular" newsletter, I try to update my people when I find out WebRing is down, when I receive communications from Sage (which only happened once, several years ago,) new logos become available, etc.
As far as "other things," I've created a "Member Utility" page, with links to: a guestbook ("Forum") for my Ring, the Ring stats, the site-admin page, and a voting booth (goes up and down as needed).
Another thing (and I can *only* do this because my Ring is so small) is that I have an alternative link in case WebRing goes down...
One last precaution that I take (and that my users never see) is that, any time I manipulate the queue or Ring, when I'm done I have WebRing display *all* information about every site, then save that HTML file to my local HD. (That way, if WebRing crashes, I can just start punching in data again.)
Again, though, my Ring only has about 8-9 sites (if you exclude mine) and so it doesn't take *too* long to do all this tedious stuff.
If anyone is interested, my Utilities page is:
Visit any site in my Ring to see an example of the WebRing "alternative"
link. FAQ at
Constructive criticism welcome.
-- PC_Freak

Reminder Service
My reminder service is located at:
and the reminder processing is provided with compliments by Candor Webtech.
Be very welcome to use it as often as you like - it is free and very relayable.
Please do not just copy it from my website since it is copyrighted.
If you wish to set up your own reminder service please email Candor Webtech
directly at and download it for free!
Host the "front-end" of this Reminder Service on your own web site - Candor will even link back to you after inspecting your site!
Take care for now and good luck with your new webrings!!! :-)
-- Marlyse aka March Mom

Perl Script for Checking Webring Links
I have written a PERL script for checking the contents of the sites in a webring and verifying they have the right html codes in them.
It has the following advantages over the testing page:
- It understand frames
- It looks for the fragment for a specific ring, not just any ring
- You can configure which links (e.g. prev, next) it should look for, as well add other links yourself
- It verifies that the links use the right ID assigned to the site
- The result are in a nice table-form
- You run it locally and thus not waste webring's bandwidth
- It caches documents so you have to retrieve them only when they change
Being written in perl, it should work on most Unices (I don't know if it will run on non-Unix platform, and don't really care). Note that it requires a few libraries (that's described in the documentation).
The web page with more information:
Example output:
The script itself:
Note that it currently handles only whatever comes up on the index page -
I think if you have > 100 sites in the ring, the index is split. I haven't tested that yet.
RingChecker is freeware.
-- Edwin S. Andreasen

Shorter URL's
How can I get a shorter URL than

I have registered with a service from that allows me to have a shorter url which refers to the geocities site. It's a free service and something you might want to think of looking into.
I've learned that although I can't always access my geocities homepage by trying for it directly, I can access it by going through my address.
So some people might be interested in registering with this free service, not only to access their web pages now, but also to have a shorter url permanently.
For example, my geocities url is ""
However, instead of having to tell people such a long url, I can simply have them type in ""
Much more succinct, short, and to the point. It's a great service and I have been very happy with its performance. Also, feel free to drop by my site. Take it with a grain of salt, and consider the possibility of joining. You'd be glad you did.
-- Ben Lepore

If you want a real short domain, but don't want to move your site then there is a free service out there that can do it. You get a free domain, and it forwards it to your website. Your domain would look like Here is the address for the short domain service.
-- William Carson

For my Chaplin page I used a service called V3-URL at
and you can pick one of a few beginning domain like or, and then what ever you want to call your page. Mine is . I've had it for a number of weeks and haven't had a problem with it yet.
And another good thing about it is that it's free too.
Only down side is that they only allow one address per person.
-- Calvero

I found another FREE redirect service. Check out
You can get a domain from the following choices or or or or or or or
So your address will be something like "" PLUS you can get listed in their index of sites. The bad news is you have to put their banner on your site.
Info on the TO domain:
".TO" is the top level domain for the country of Tonga. Additional information about the South Pacific Island nation of Tonga is available from Tonga on the Net , , and
-- Tirza
How do I keep my ICQ Program from launching my browser?

If you have your ICQ set up to check for e-mail it will try to connect to your ISP every time it checks, If you don't want it to do that then you need to disable this function. It works the same as your e-mail program would if you set that up to check..
-- Bill AKA TimeStalker

On your ICQ menu, press the ICQ button. Then, go into preferences, then, to the "connection tab". The last check box in the left column says "Launch Default Web Browser When Connection Is Detected".
If this box is checked, that is why your browser opens up. If this box is not checked, I don't know what is wrong. Hope this helps...
-- Todd's Curious George Galore

Copyright Questions
Does anyone know where I could find the articles covering copyrights?

Check out Ivan's page at:
Lots of references, articles, etc.
-- Webmaster, NORTH COUNTRY

Where can I find information on copyright laws?

Here ya go.... check these out and if that doesn't work hire a lawyer who is familier with copywrite law ON THE INTERNET...
Deals with the nuts and bolts of copywrite law
World Intellectual Property Organization-- for a world wide perspective
Course.. One way not to be harrassed is to NOT use stuff that belongs to anyone else but yourself. I have a recovery site and I've obtained permission for all the material there that I could at least track down ownership for. One owner didn't give permission but was happy to have me link directly to their site and they reciprocated with a link back to mine.
In the U.S. last year a law was passed that stated that it didn't matter if the information was used by not for profit, even research, it was against the law to use it. That was totally outside the confins of internet law.
If your not in the U.S. it gets even more interesting. The second link above addresses many of those issues.
-- Sharon

Translation of English to Foreign Language

If you need English translated into a foreign language.
-- Pankaj Arora

Here's a translation page - I'm certain there are more....(hang on -- it's a long one)
-- Robert Pruitt

Do any of you nice folks speak Spanish or Portuguese?

If your not able to have information translated for you or to be able to translate info to send out your missing some of the market. There are a few places that will translate for you.
the one I use is at:
wait a couple of minutes for it to load and then check out the bottom of the page
-- Debbie Randolph

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Launched 2-13-98

Copyright 1997/1998 Morgan Smith
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