Due to the state of the webring.com system since the takeover by Yahoo! - the GenePool WebRing is being moved over to another ring system (www.webring.com), with the ring homepage now residing at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~kellykin/genepool.htm.
Come on over and join the original, but, 'new' GenePool WebRing!
After spending many hundreds of hours ensuring that the GenePool genealogy ring was maintained with an efficiency of 99% - with literally no broken links amongst the 787 member sites - it is now impossible for the the ringmaster to properly access and maintain the ring in any agreeable fashion. Other than adding or deleting sites to/from ring, there is no control left to a ringmaster any longer.
In addition, Yahoo has brought in the navigation bar, leaving no possibility for individuality amongst webrings. It is a shame that thousands of ringmasters lavished a great deal of their time in building up and maintaining their rings - only to have the system bought out by a powerful company looking to make money by buying control of webring.com (the revenues were expected to come from the sponsers' advertisements that appeared each time a ring was accessed - a market that has proven to be not as profitable as presumed). Many hundreds of ringmasters have withdrawn their webrings from the clutches of a system that left them with no support and no control over their own webrings.
UPDATE NOVEMBER 2001: I have been trying to get members to move from the original GenePool Ring on the 'Yahoo' webring.com system to this 'new' ring on the webring.com system for the past year. In September 2000, Yahoo effectively destroyed the ring system with their inane attempts to make it a money-making endeavour, instead of the system of 'communities' which webrings were designed to be. Their changes made it impossible for ringmasters to maintain their rings in any meaningful manner - this resulted in thousands of ringsmasters either abandoning, neglecting or moving their rings to other systems.
Then, apparently as of April 2001, Yahoo had abandoned the webring system entirely (tens of thousands of separate rings were established on the original webring.com system before being taken over by Geocities and then Yahoo, who proceeded to destroy the entire existing ring maintanence system in a futile attempt to make money through advertising on the system). As a ringmaster of a ring that originally had nearly 800 member sites, I have still not been notified by "Yahoo" that they have ceased to have anything to do with webrings. I found out in October through a ringmasters' newslist that Yahoo had dropped the ring system, which has been maintained since April by a single technician who has since taken charge of the entity previously known as "Yahoo webring" (webring.com) and is now simply known as 'webring'. This news was only made public after a major yahoo database malfunction caused numerous rings to suddenly 'disappear' overnight and prompted the takeover by the technician earlier than had been planned.
In short, the webring.com powered GenePool WebRing is destined to be the original, one and only actively maintained GenePool WebRing
If you are interested on one person's take on the takeover situation;
check out James S. Higgins Refrigerator Door.
In reference to using an outdated email address, I was responding to a message that you had sent in January of this year - and I responded by clicking 'reply' so the message was addressed to the address in your own message.
As I explained in my first message, I am unable to change anything anymore for ring members at the GenePool yahoo ring. Yahoo bought out a number of companies including Geocities and the webring.com system. They did it to make money. The way they intended to make money was by the advertisements that appear everytime you use one of their services, including the webrings.
What they did was change the existing webring system beyond recognition. Ringmasters no longer have much control over their rings (ringmasters are the people that run all of the thousands of individual rings [not the ring 'members' like yourself - but the ring 'owners']). They had been making their changes gradually, with ringmasters asking to regain control over their rings - then in September of last year they just turned the webring system upside down. Ring members will notice little difference in ring operation; for concerned ringmasters however it is a nightmare!
As a ringmaster of a ring with almost 800 members, I am unable to do ANYTHING to manage the member sites - you had advised me that you were unable to access the ring through yahoo to enter your new site and email address. I used to have full access to ring members information (website url, email address, ring ID number and ring password) - and used to spend hundreds of hours helping members change site and email addresses. I am no longer able to do so under the Yahoo! ring system. I can't even find out what your email address is through my ring management pages. I can't find out what your email address is unless I were go to your website and hunt for it in your pages (you'd be amazed by the number of sites that don't even post their email address anywhere on their pages). Nor can I find out what a member's ID number is anymore. It is simply physically impossible now for me to locate a specific member site on my management list (790 members - 10 sites listed per management page - I would have to go through 80 pages of member sites that are not arranged in either alphabetical or numerical order just to try to find a site by the site name submitted upon registration to join the ring.
Yahoo has redesigned the ring system to be operated automatically; in the future ringmasters would not be necessary for any reason. They introduced the java script navigation bar. Why? Because they want as many people as humanly possible signing up for their Yahoo IDs and using their systems. The majority of serious ringmasters have already moved their rings elsewhere. There are many such as myself that are floundering trying to operate their ring and find a workable alternative. Obviously some ringmasters do not care if they have no control over their rings - many rings were never managed terribly well to begin with, so automation would be seen by some as an asset. Some ringmasters, like yahoo, are simply interested in drawing people to their own sites. Others, such as myself, developed their rings to provide a service, or a community, of member sites with similar interests.
Why yahoo decided it was a 'privacy' issue for ringmasters to know the email address, ring ID number and ring password of each of their member sites no one can figure out. Both the ID's and passwords were issued to ring members in order that their ringmaster could help them manage their site within the ring - there was no other reason for them. On the other hand, no one can figure out why yahoo in their wisdom decided that ringmasters were not entitled to have access to members' email addresses.
All I have as ringmaster of the GenePool ring is an unordered list of my 787 member sites presented as links - spred over many, many pages, each of which takes time to download.
Yahoo does have an 'automated email' system whereby a ringmaster can send out 'mass' messages to their ring members. HOWEVER, there is no way of telling if any message was ever actually sent to anyone, nor if the message were undeliverable - or even what it contained - I don't receive a copy of it myself. (previously, if I sent a message to a ring member, I received a duplicate copy that I could keep as a control so I would know what I was trying to help a ring member with. If the message were underliverable due to invalid email addresses, I knew immediately as the message would bounce to my email programme. Yesterday I suspended 64 ring members whose sites were not accessible due to invalid urls (website addresses) - broken links in the ring - I have received responses from about 4 of these members. I have no way of knowing if the other 60 messages were delivered and just being ignored, or whether all 60 messages bounced with invalid email addresses. I don't know where the 'bounced' messages go now - somewhere within yahoo I suppose - so now I don't know that I have to go crawling around member sites looking for a new email address or sign a 'guest book' letting them know that their email on their site is invalid - again you would be amazed at the number of addresses posted on websites are simply out of date, site owners just forget to change it when they get a new address. All I know is that I am unable to reliably contact my ring members anymore to even let them know that I can't do anything through management to help them out.
Over the years, as ringmaster of the GenePool ring, I have done a great deal to help ring members where ever and whenever I could, from explaining how to fix their html coding or upload a graphic to helping upload their documents to their server when they were unable to - a couple I even physically helped build their sites.
You probably had trouble accessing your ring information through yahoo - had to get a yahoo ID, then had to associate your ring membersip with the ID, etc etc. Well compound whatever problems you had as an individual trying to get through to the information for 1 site and you may be able to imagine the problems that yahoo ringmasters face.
Yes, your ring works well - for now? How well does the ring itself work though? I can't keep it up to date anymore for obvious reasons. Does the site before yours work or is it one of the broken links? (if so no one will reach your site by pressing 'next'). Eventually, I will probably remove the 'old' original GenePool WebRing (now yahoo's ring to all extents and purposes) entirely. It is a great deal of work to try to start the ring over from scratch elsewhere. A lot of ringmasters have just given up - the rings will continue to operate for a while - but the eventual broken links will leave them unusable in the end.
It is up to you whether you want to join the 'new' GenePool Webring. You are certainly welcome to do so. Personally, I do not intend to have a yahoo navigation bar anywhere on any of my website pages. I maintain control over my own pages and I maintained a very efficient webring prior to September 2000. No one tells me that I HAVE to have something posted to my page. If I join a webring and the ring owner has a specific setup for their ring, that is what I post - I have the option of applying to each ring - if I don't like their ring or its setup, I don't apply. Yahoo does not give one an option - a new applicant to a ring is forced to maintain navigation bars. (actually they did concede to letting older sites maintain their original html coding setup when ringmasters started shutting down their rings in droves - they have had to backtrack on some of their actions).
Sorry to make this message so long, this entire matter has been very frustrating as a ringmaster. What it boils down to, is that each ring member has to ensure that their own web address and email address is kept up to date within the yahoo ring system. As ringmaster I am powerless to assist in any manner. I can't even tell a member what their ID number is if their site has crashed or otherwise been lost out there in the 'net' as often happens. Ringmasters are no longer necessary (they are simply the unpaid authors and originators of webrings for yahoo to maintain control over and (try to) make money on).
To edit your site information within the ring you used to have to go to the ring homepage and enter your ID number and password (or as many members used to do - just send a message to your ringmaster). Now to do the same thing, you have to first sign onto yahoo with your yahoo ID and password, then access their ring system, then enter the ring name, your ring ID number and ring password - if you have problems there is no one that can help you, you are on your own!
Just as a side issue - I have one small surname webring that I am unable to access through yahoo at all. I can't get it to associate with my yahoo ID for whatever reason, so it just sits there. Have you ever tried to contact yahoo when you have a problem? It is no fun being ignored - the majority of requests for help are met by a 'form letter' type of response that is of no use and is always the same regardless of what the problem is.
I just checked your site on the current GenePool WebRing - it is currently shown as a 'broken link' which means that:
1. the sites after you in the ring will never get any traffic from the ring until your information is changed by yourself - I can't do it anymore thanks to yahoo!.
Of the 196 broken links mentioned in the above paragraph, it is a simple matter of a url change and I can find the proper page with no problem at all - EXCEPT - I am no longer able to do anything about it; the 196 sites remain 'out of the loop' and inaccessible to fellow researchers, plus they destroy the integrity of the ring by ensuring no one can get past their site. My management tools have been taken away from me. Am I angry about what yahoo! has done to the GenePool ring - you betcha! Can I do anything about it. Yes!! - I can move the ring elsewhere and leave yahoo to lose more money in the stockmarkets. If I could move the entire ring elsewhere without having to request that all members re-join I would do so despite all of the work that would be involved; unfortunately, it just doesn't work that way. Each member site has to decide what to do for themself.
I know your new site address, I know your new email address - BUT I am powerless to do anything at all to help you maintain your site within the ring - all I can do is take you out of the loop for the benefit of sites that are not 'broken'.
All I can tell you from my management list is that your 'home page' is listed at http://(url removed) /genealog.html - obviously that is wrong, but there is nothing I can do thanks to Yahoo! Yes, the ring works from your site, but it doesn't work properly for the sites after you in the ring right now; you are blocking their traffic.
If you want to maintain your current GenePool (yahoo) ring membership you will have to get into the yahoo system and update both your url and email address yourself. I, personally, have chosen to re-join the 'new' rings that have already migrated away from Yahoo. I would suggest that you try taking a trip through some of the webrings that are around now - you won't get very far on some of them; the ones I tried have a great many 'broken links' (invalid site addresses).
You are certainly welcome to join the 'new' WebRing GenePool WebRing where I DO have proper management capabilities and would be able to correct your email address within minutes.
I notice that you also belong to the 'Benelux' webring - it is the only successful genealogy webring that I am aware of that has successfully migrated away from yahoo - they have also chosen to use the webring.com system for their 'new' ring of which you are a member (they currently have over 200 ring members - I do not know how many members they had when they were at yahoo - but I do know that they would have had to go through the same trouble that I am now to move their ring!).
I apologize for the length of this message. I have invested a great deal of time and effort in the GenePool WebRing, bringing it up from a ring with more than 50% broken links in 1998 to an efficiency rate of 99% - NO broken links in August 2000. I resent the fact that a corporation such as Yahoo can simply take over and ruin a well run and (mostly) working system such as webring.com was prior to their buy-out! Thousands of ringmasters devoted their time and resources to their rings and deserve better treatment than they have received.
Mary A. Kelly