Webrings are definitely a funny thing in the world of blog because i’m almost positive that they’re redundant. Way back in the day when i was running my fanfic site (which will be five years soon, and yes that makes me very scared) i joined a slew of webrings to drum up more traffic. Back then it was a great idea; sites with such specialized content were few and far between and even the very huge ones were relatively obscure because not everyone had such easily centralized domain names. A webring allowed you to join forces with a gaggle of like-minded people and to share the modest flow of traffic each one of you brought to the table. I honestly can’t tell you why i ever joined any webrings for this site; i honestly don’t even remember doing it; i suspect that i chose the three that looked the most familiar to me from my various misadventures in logging because i figured if the name was that familiar i must read plenty of sites in the ring. However, the nature of blogging is partially a matter of linking, whether it be to more of your own content or to news or to other blogs, so that any given view of my index page probably yeilds at least an hour of reading material (and a view of an archive page probably exponentially more). With plenty of relevant content plus my own collection of highly endorsed links (not to mention my own musical meanderings) available via the same sidebar as that lonely little webring link, i can’t image why anyone would click it. I certainly wouldn’t.
In short, if a reader is looking for like-minded loggers they would probably just read all of the sites i link – all of which have their own (larger) lists of linked sites. So, why take a chance on a random ring site? It seems to me rings would be more effective as enforced cliques of loggers, because that way the coherency is assured. Of course, i don’t really belong to any cliques at this point, so i’d be linkless. But, could it hurt? At least they’d serve a purpose then.
Oh well. So much for idle thought.