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The Seizure Process - 07/10/2004
I am posting this suggestion to the suggestion list, the managers list and the general webring list.

From time to time, seizes a webring they determine to be abandoned. Such webrings are given to new owners.

And, from time to time, this happens to a ringmaster who professes ignorance of the process.

I recently had a ringmaster write me about their loss to another ringmaster.

But I accessed my ring everytime I got a submission to my ring. Also a couple times a year I would run through my ring, accessing all the members to see if ring webpages were valid, seeing if the nav bar was still on the page members said it would be on. When they came up with this 100 percent stuff, I wrote all my members and weeded through all non-compliant pages, and on the last pass through my ring I deleted almost 40 members. I hated to do that, but I wanted my ring to be 100 percent. Yes, I left a couple of submissions pending, only because I didn't really want them and their ideas or philosphy in my ring, but I didn't have the words to write to them telling them why I didn't want them in my ring.

Was it this practice (leaving pending submissions) that triggered the seizure? We'll probably never know. The ringmaster says she never received any notices from WR, even though other WR email (e.g., new submission announcements) came through.

She suspects that Hotmail flagged the seizure notices as spam.

How can such a seizure happen?

If the mail servers happen to become listed on any of the smtp blacklists, that email mail not reach the ringmaster. And if the email is constructed using phrases or techniques that major spam filters (e.g., SpamAssassin) consider "spam like", that email may not reach the ringmaster.

Neither of these possible occurrences are the "fault" of the ringmaster, but both may prevent proper notice of the pending seizure.

In addition, things which seem to trigger action by (e.g., leaving applications pending for months), may not bother some older ringmasters.

Replied - 07/10/2004

To address these issues I propose three changes:

1) should implement web-based seizure notices to supplement email notices. If a ringmaster logs in regularly the ringmaster would receive these notices even if the email notices are erroneously diverted.

2) should expedite a full documentation of the conditions which will trigger seizure and publicize this list to increase compliance by ringmasters.

3) Similarly, should expedite a full documentation of the seizure process.

At the present time, I am unaware of any page on the WR site which gives a clear, concise, comprehensive list of the conditions which will trigger seizure. And, I am unaware of any page on the WR site which outlines the process.

I believe that these three changes would not only substantially reduce the seizures from ringmasters, they would reduce the defensibility of "I did not know".

One final note: the web-based seizure notices should not be done via pop-ups. Pop-up blockers, such as those about to become standard in Internet Explorer, will prevent pop-ups from being seen.

James S. Huggins

to contact me:


Replied - 07/12/2004
If someone checks in a couple of times a year, AND leaves pending members even after that AND deletes 40 members who are non-compliant (how long must that have taken to occur?), then I see three separate grounds for 'seizure'. Also, do you know if the email address was up-to-date?

I agree that members are entitled to a full service and full information - but, to my mind, that information should be given on joining, eg

RULE 1 - you must login at least every three months
RULE 2 - any pending sites must be dealt with; applicants must be informed of your decision within one month of you being made aware of their application (either by email or logging in)

If a ring manager fails such basic and simple rules, then they bring shame on all of us - and should be subject to seizure without notice.

Yes, a couple of people will feel aggrieved (three months on the moon, difficult personal setup for a while), and I sympathise, but the price of accomodating them, is accepting scores of semiretired ring managers who really don't care, but resent someone else who does.

I was once stalked for three months following my adopting a ring he had not touched for TWO YEARS (even his own site had broken code). I do not need that, neither does web ring.

The biggest problem web ring has is still the number of abandoned rings and negligent or abusive ring managers; while we might disagree a little on how to define those issues, lets not lose sight of the priorities - be on the side of the solutions, not the problems.

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