The Destruction Of Webring: One Year Later

Dec 7 22:00 2001 Richard Lowe Print This Article

Let me tell you a story my son. Be ... this is not your ... day fairy tale. This is like the fairy tales of old, before they ... and ... by modern ... ...

Let me tell you a story my son. Be forewarned,Guest Posting this is not your normal,
modern day fairy tale. This is like the fairy tales of old, before they were
laundered and sanitized by modern animation factories. Remember in the
original "Little Red Riding Hood" the wolf slaughtered and killed everyone,
including the cute little girl.

Some time ago there was the kingdom of Webring. The kingdom was united and
it's people were happy and content. Webring was huge, grand it was indeed.
At it's height it was reported to include over 80,000 villages, cities and
towns (all collectively known as webrings). Each town was ruled by a
ringmaster, and each ringmaster had unlimited control over his population.
At it's height, the kingdom is reported to have housed well over a million
souls (ringmembers).

Although there were the usual problems associated with a large community, in
general the people were happy and content. Happy, that is, until one day a
foul stench wafted through the kingdom. A rumor it was, horrible to the
ears. The empire of Y! was visiting with an eye towards assimilation.

Unfortunately the rumors were true, and the happy kingdom was purchased by
the empire of Y! A shiver ran through the planet that day, a foul day

At first there was little change and the people went about their daily
business. New rings were created at a great rate and, on the surface at
least, all appeared to be normal.

Normal, that is, until one day a memo was delivered to all of the
ringmasters, claiming that great and wonderful changes were afoot. Things
were going to happen now, good things. The kingdom of Webring was going to
change in ways wonderful to behold.

It was common for ringmasters to congregate in the great meeting hall of
Webringnews, which was ruled by a gentle ruler known mysteriously only as
"the Bob". As the rumors of change swept through the kingdom the loyal
subjects began to meet in the hall, rightly concerned about the vagueness of
the notice and the possibilities it introduced.

Nothing useful was gleaned from the leaders of Y! so the ringmasters assumed
the worst. The halls of Webringnews shook with speculation and
consternation. The mighty Bob had his hands full maintaining order among the
wild and woolly subjects.

During this time rose some great knights. The wise sir James encouraged all
to remain calm. His words of wisdom earned him a special place in the
annuals of Webing. The upstart Gunnar, sensing that this story might not
have a happy ending, split from the kingdom to create a new kingdom - the
mythical land of Ringlink. These and many others contributed to the
wonderful conversations and speculations that went on during these stressful

Also came rumor of other kingdoms - the deserted but promising land of
Ringsurf, the hills of Boomis and the wild outbacks of Netring. Slowly at
first but with gathering momentum ringmasters began to leave the Kingdom.
All were sensing doom and destruction at the hands of the evil leaders of Y!

The fateful day came. It is remembered by all with whispers of fear and
loathing. This is the day that the armies of Y! marched through the kingdom,
announcing the new order that was now upon all of the subjects. All would
be assimilated, all would obey. The day was September 5, 2000, and it would
be forever associated with a curse - the curse of Black Tuesday.

The mighty Y! put into effect a new constitution, the central component of
which was the sacred Navbar. The Navbar was wondrous indeed, so preached the
minions of Y!, so awesome that it would be loved by all. So decreed the
mighty Y!, so said the holy Bob, and so it shall be. This Navbar was so
incredibly monumental that it was unleashed upon the kingdom with no advance
warning, no training and no instructions. Surely it would be a new world, a
world were all rings were equal, and all swore allegiance to the Y!

The halls of Webringnews were full of shouting, confused souls that day. For
the next few months all struggled with the new rules, hoping beyond hope
that the kingdom of Webring could one day again be a happy place again.

The cries from the populace reached new heights as it became clear that the
armies of the mighty Y! were uncaring and, worse still, untrained and
unwashed barbarians. The flaws in the new Navbar became known, and the basic
change in the fabric of the universe was made abundantly clear.

You see, in the days before the conquest of Y!, ring fragments were created
by Ringmasters to drive traffic to their sites and to the ring member sites.
The Navbar, through it's wicked magic spell, changed all of that. Now, all
sites were connected to the sacred city of Y!Webring, and that became the
center of the entire universe.

Shortly after the unveiling of the sacred Navbar, the mighty Bob decreed
that all will agree with the new Navbar. No longer would there be
intelligent debate in the halls of Webringnews. In fact, The Bob, who seemed
to have an incredible amount of time on his hands, rewrote the history of
the takeover by purging all old entries from the Book Of Webringnews. The
Bob declared that all was well and all happy (so there), and anyone who
thought otherwise would just be purged and banned.

A vast migration from Y!Webring began, as ringmasters burned their villages
and took their ringmembers elsewhere. Some moved to the uncharted lands of
RingSurf, while others fled to the golden lands of Ringlink. The trickle
soon turned into a river, and then a flood as people fled the evils of the

Even the mighty Bob could not stifle the screams of agony from the
ringmasters. Finally, in an act of desperation, the halls of Webringnews
were burned to the ground, utterly destroyed. New halls were opened in a
futile attempt to restore order, but they all suffered the same fate in the
end. Finally, the Bob fled and was not seen again.

In a final act of desperation, an attempt was made to resurrect the founding
king of Webring, the mythical Sage. A letter was carefully drafted with all
of the correct incantations, but it was to naught. The Sage had moved on to
another plane, and was not interested in getting involved in the wilds of

Now, one year later, what is the result? The roads of the Internet are
littered with the ruins of the once-mighty Webring. Broken rings abound,
bits and pieces of ring fragments are everywhere, showing the greatness that
once was.

The new and wondrous Navbar is appearing everywhere, and it's true purpose
has become clear. You see, it was all a plot to lower the intelligence of
the internet user, and it has succeeded. The spell it has cast over
Y!Webring is strong and cannot be defeated.

The land of RingSurf seems to be healthy and it's people prosperous,
although the ruler is missing. The wise and noble Sir James has become a
collector of Navbars, with over 1,200 to his name! He continues to explore
new kingdoms and has allied with the rogue King Gunnar. Many of the most
talented and vocal ringmasters have joined arms with this man.

The only thing left to do is hope, and perhaps pray to whatever gods you
believe in. Perhaps the rogue knight, sir Gunnar, will have his way. Perhaps
Sir Gunnar can lead us into a new golden age - the age of Ringlink. An age
where all beings are created equal and have a voice. Perhaps one day ... it
will all be true.

In the meantime, Sir Gunnar has released the second era of the Ringlink
kingdom, which may attract a whole new flock of ringmasters. Perhaps, from
the ruins of Webring will emerge a new order. Only time will tell.

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Richard Lowe
Richard Lowe

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