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Daniel
01-08-2003, 10:30 PM
hi,
What about escouts having a webring where just the members websites/ hosting members website are all linked together.

i tryed it once through www.bravenet.com on my old site but due to not promoting the site much it just sort of died and i deleted it.

it would be an easy and good way of linking the site together

yes i know escouts host sites ad free so the webmasters would have to join not just auto added to it.

just a thought.

Richard
01-08-2003, 11:13 PM
Hi

It's an interesting idea. Webrings, you either love them or hate them.

I dont really have a huge opinion on that one. Currently in Escouts land Jon is moving servers! We are also letting this site bed down a bit.

IMHO Escouts should probably be more about the UK Scouting community the only the sites that host on Escouts, though thats obviously a core service

Perhaps others have ideas about what direction Escouts should take?

Scott
02-08-2003, 10:33 AM
not a bad idea - as long as the 'I'm a member of the escouts webring' bit wasn't to big and we could choose where on our site to put it.

3rd Gosport Webmasters

Daniel
02-08-2003, 01:07 PM
the idea was to link the escouts sites together so our group members could visit other sites, because not every site will have a big web links page because not many people would visit.

And our group members might not visit escouts to visit the web links pages.

This web ring would help promote the sites hosted on escouts and will help scouting members find out what other group are doing and could give them ideas for there meetings

Daniel
03-08-2003, 08:01 PM
any one else have any comments on this subject.

marcus
03-08-2003, 11:37 PM
I would like to be involved, but it would have to be small, as when I ran a Yorkshire Scouting Webring, the box was too big and people didn't like it

jamieharrop14
04-08-2003, 09:01 AM
Why not just an image maybe the same size as the banners at the top of Escouts, maybe a bit smaller if possible, the ones at the top are 152 x 62 pixels. I think that size would be fine. Any comments?

mattw
04-08-2003, 10:12 AM
I am up for it as long as the banners are small, although being able to put the script 'where you want' doesnt appeal to me that much, as the reason i no longer use webrings is because in the past i have been next to people who have a hidden 'webring/links page' or the like which makes it a bit unfair.

I reckon that the box could be condensed to about 125x50 pixels with a bit of a push. I have a few webring scripts knocking around so if you want me to try and play around with it a bit and get something working so people can have a look before they signup then just post a message or PM me.

Also can i just through in a suggestion of using a random banner exchange script instead, as i think that these are fairer cos everyone has an equal chance of being displayed on each site, whereas with a webring you risk being stuck next to the two sites with hidden code or no hits. Just a thought,

Matt

jamieharrop14
04-08-2003, 10:17 AM
Random banner script? How do you mean, as in each webmaster creates a banner relating to their site and then that banner is shown at random with the rest?

If thats what you mean i think it is a good idea if everyone has good knowledge of a graphics program, (not everyone will have).

Richard
04-08-2003, 10:38 AM
Yeah

I know I may sound like I'm some old fool harping back a bit, but the very reason Escouts was created, was that I was sick of seeing Scouting websites with crappy adverts, from free providers who done nothing other than hijack your content for the benefit of their adverts.

Now if you were to create a banner exchange or a webring, it would really have to have a point. Do banners and webrings really create more traffic?

Your typical websurfer is far mor sophisticated, from where I sit what drives people to a site is not webrings or banners, but good quality content. I can think of a several groups sites I would visit, not because I have an interest in the group, but because of the resources they offer.

Just a thought!

Most of the sites on Escouts are Groups etc, how much advertising have you done with your core audience?

Just a few thoughts

marcus
04-08-2003, 12:02 PM
I do think that these programmes would be benifical, I'm with Matt a banner exchange sounds good, although it would increase bandwith usage for the team I suppose. It would have to be a standard size bannner and can be placed anywhere on the page but I think it would be ok. If anyone wasn't too good wit a graphics package, I'm sure someone here would be happy to help (I would).

The point is as always, the way to get people back to a site is to have good content, resources, etc. I think that the webring/banner exchange would be a good Idea in that if you have good content, it would get people to the site in the first place.

Pleae though, none of the horrible animated gifs that you get with advert banners, and no popups!

I do think there is a difference between adverts for other scouting sites, which you opt-in, and adverts for the latest american credit card that you have no choice over.

Lots of MHO's there :mrgreen:

jamieharrop14
04-08-2003, 12:49 PM
Good points from Richard and Marcus.

Not trying to make my web site (18th warley scouts) seem above all the rest but i will just use it as an example.

On the 13th January 2003 our new web site address(http://www.warleyscouts.org.uk) was registered with 123reg.co.uk

I then registered an account here at Escouts.

The 1st design ever for our scout group web site (not made by me) was hosted with E-Consort, a free hosting company, but to be quite honest it wasnt very good for what we wanted to do. The site is still up, (very inactive though as hardly any of the links work, some links dont work because instead of have 'user_data' in the url they have 'userdata'. To see the page just put the _ in.)
The url is http://www.e-consort.co.uk/user_data/warleyscouts

As you can see it doesnt really have much content, the photos take ages to load but alot of work did go into it by one of the other Explorer Scouts here at Warley.

I decided to create a new web site for our group after finding Escouts. My first attempt is at http://www.warleyscouts.org.uk/old

After 2 months of the site being online we were up with the best in the search engines, bringing in visitors of around 1000 per month. 1 key reason we were at the top of the search engines was because of the 2 months hard work i had put in to emailing other Scouting webmasters to ask them to provide a link to our web site.

After a while i came across the web ring idea, i had never tried it before, in fact, i never even knew how they worked. (still not an expert, ;))

I made a page specially for web rings, had about 6 banners on there, and to be honest it looked horrible, it spoilt the whole web site.

After about 3 weeks of having the page i decided to take it off as it was not bringing many visitors to the site.

Anyway, thats the end of that. Just wanted to show that it is possible to get many visitors to your web site without using web rings and banner exchanges etc.

As a side note, last month (July) saw the web site get its 2nd largest number of visitors so far (1854).

So since starting off in January with 103 visitors to July with 1854 visitors i feel it is a very good achievement.

I'm not saying that web rings etc are a bad idea, in fact, they could be a very good idea if it is kept within Escouts members but i think it has to be a case of trial and error, we will never tell if it is going to bring in lots of visitors for peoples web sites.

With large sites like 18th Warley Scouts, Apex Challenge and many others using Escouts i think that if we were to set up a web ring the smaller sites amongst us would benefit lots.

As for a banner exchange, well, i feel that when you view a website and there is a banner, because we see so much of them it is now getting to the point where our minds automaticly blank them out and we dont notice them.

I think a small web ring logo would be ideal.

Thats just my oppinion.

What are other peoples views?

mattw
04-08-2003, 03:28 PM
well i dont have the traffic figures for our website to hand at the moment but we have in the past when ive looked at them had a reasonable number of unique visitors coming in, and as with jamie i did email around and get our link added to loads of sites when we first launched to get the traffic in, but im still up for this as not only should it help keep the hits up for us, hopefully it will benefit those just starting or with few visitors a bit more.

i think that as opposed to a big mother banner that nobody takes and notice of, a small static banner would work best like the escout one

http://www.escouts.org.uk/modules/PNphpBB2/images/smiles/escouts.gif

as mentioned before i prefer banner exchanges because webrings have a fair few significant disadvantages, and i dont really understand how a webring box wont be ignored if a banner will, but either would do i suppose.

Daniel
04-08-2003, 07:44 PM
a banner would be better than a web ring

I made a page specially for web rings, had about 6 banners on there, and to be honest it looked horrible, it spoilt the whole web site.

After about 3 weeks of having the page i decided to take it off as it was not bringing many visitors to the site.

Because some people do hide there web rings, people having a page just for webrings.
this i a problem when people are just moving through the pages on the webring from site to site. then they get to a site through the webring then spend hours searching for the web ring to continue or just dont bother and never use it again.

a banner just displayed on the main page or post nuke just in the right hand colum at the bottom or top. this would make more sence than having it on a seprate page.

anyone else have an idea;

Dave
05-08-2003, 05:25 PM
I'm against the idea of having banners etc. on my sites. I always have a link to Escouts and or Pathfinder Hosting dependant who is hosting the site. People can see who is hosting the site and and can always click through to this site or Pathfinder Hosting.

Dave

Daniel
05-08-2003, 05:55 PM
are you even against having a realy small banner like the one in the post earlier,
i can see how people dont want a realy big banner like the pop-ups and webring size. but a little image wont do too much harm, Will it?

Bloory
05-08-2003, 07:18 PM
I think the idea of a volutary scheme of banners/webrings etc is a good one, those that want to link can do so, the others need not.

Personally I would hope that by developing the web links database here, and continuing to promote Baloo, we ought to be able to drive focussed traffic to sites.

watfords
05-08-2003, 10:42 PM
I like the idea of a webring, but like the majority the banner has to be quite small.

What I would more prefer from suggestions made from Jamie is that other members visit others sites and make comments. This would be useful in making content relevant and also someone outside the groups etc will be more constructive.

I keep asking members in my group to make comments and they won't, manily because they do not want to offend me.

I want to make our site better and comments from everyone from escouts (because you have the knowledge; prob. a lot more than me!!) would make things better

And who knows maybe use this as a tool for promoting scouting aswell (I've been told to always be positive and look at the bright side of things)

Please visit http://www.2nw.org.uk and let me know waht you think

But I would use a webring associated with escouts

Greg :-D

marcus
06-08-2003, 03:25 PM
Would this size banner be too big? (200x83)

http://www.brecks-scouts.escouts.org.uk/graphics/46th_button.png

mattw
06-08-2003, 04:27 PM
marcus, personally i would vote for something smaller, ie like a 'button' as opposed to a banner (like the escouts one), i think that way more people would sign up to it.



Personally I would hope that by developing the web links database here, and continuing to promote Baloo, we ought to be able to drive focussed traffic to sites.


dont even mention Baloo to me, i tried to speak to them once a long while ago, and got a rude response back about why my site couldnt be included (ironically they added us themselves about 2 years later).

luke
06-08-2003, 04:49 PM
I think that the webring is a good idea but agree there is a problem where to place the link on 'our sites' together with how it looks.

For instance I think it would be difficult to include a typical banner style link (460 x 68) on our front page as it has not designed to accommodate such banners. However, there would be no problem incorporating it on a 'webring page' within the main site.

Additionally, what style of graphics to use, animated or static together with their general style, should they have a 'corporate look' perhaps incorporating the EScouts and/or Scout Association logo or be unique to individual groups?

With regards to the size, is it possible to setup a system that uses a variety of banner sizes where people could choose a 'style' that would best fit their website?

Talking of Baloo (www.baloo.org.uk) and ScoutNet (www.scoutnet.org.uk) I don't think there are many people that work over there as they take a while to respond when contacting them. If you work there or know different, then say hello here!

luke
06-08-2003, 04:52 PM
strange, that should show 68 - sixty-eight, not a 8-) ![/i]

mattw
06-08-2003, 08:52 PM
i think that its poss best to have one size on all sites, otherwise every group would need several banners and it would harder to create a script to administer this.

im up for static banners as well cos animated ones look cheesy IMO and i would rather have a high quality static banner on my site.

as for some sort of uniformity to the banners i would go for that, with the escouts logo on it or something so that all banners are easily identfyable as being from the ring and so that you always know roughly what will be displayed on your page.

just to through another idea into the air, the actual system of running a banner exchange can be done in a number of ways, these being the most common:

1 - The most common 'commercial' type one. Every time you display a banner on your site you get a credit, and the number of credits you have dictate how many impressions on other sites you get.

2 - Similar to before but credits are gained every time you have a click-through on a banner displayed on your site.

3 - Randomly displays and banner from any site.

personally i prefer 3, although some intelligent rotation maybe needed to avoid being being victims of bad randomising. I dislike 2 because it benefits the big sites with lots of hits and is too easy to cheat.

number 1 i quite like in that it can be set up to avoid cheats quite effectively, and it blocks the people who hide banners on obscure pages, as then they get less credits.

comments?

matt

marcus
07-08-2003, 12:38 AM
Considering these are Scouting Sites, I like the idea of number 3. Each site then gets equal prevalence.

Two other ideas for buttons are below. One is the same size as the escouts one, and one is twice as high, but includes the escouts button.

http://www.brecks-scouts.escouts.org.uk/graphics/button3.gif

http://www.brecks-scouts.escouts.org.uk/graphics/button2.gif