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Polynomial: A Decentralized Webring

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I started using a computer right around the time that search engines caught on; in elementary school we were introduced to research using Alta Vista and the original Google. We've come a long way since then and now that it is easy to find information using one of these hulking behemoths, we've lost a cool thing of the past. Webrings

Are you fucking kidding?

No, actually I'm not. Webrings are cool – a simple registry to find sites written by people who are of the same tribe as the site you're on. It's a nice idea and leads you down some nice rabbit holes when they actually exist. I don't expect anyone to actually care or use them, but there's no reason they can't continue to exist.

Last year, tilde club and its ilk took off for much the same sort of tribal community building that webrings could and should solve for. It's interesting that giving a bunch of like minded people a space to collaborate together like that can evolve in to a real community with its own lore.

So what?

So I made a piece of webring software. Actually, I built one on top of Matrix.org (surprise!) that doesn't have a central point of failure. A set of immortal webrings, if you will, that will persist as long as there is a Matrix.org homeserver willing to host a supernode for them. And I'm hosting at least one, on ring.whatthefuck.computer. It's easy to add to your site, a simple iframe. Unfortunately it relies on javascript and doesn't work in EWW but what can ya do?

It's terrible trash javascript, dumb, and silly but I like it and think others should use it and run their own supernode. I started building it after trolling my coworkers with a simple missive: Build a webring without a central point of failure.

The textual web is important, and web sites should not be locked behind walls like Medium and Facebook. Build a site, host plain fucking HTML and let others discover it.

Respond to this note:

Ryan Rix is a privacy rights advocate and net-art wannabe. Reach them on the Fediverse as @rrix@cybre.space, twitter as @rrrrrrrix, via email to ryan@whatthefuck.computer or on Facebook or on Matrix as @rrix:whatthefuck.computer.