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The Watershed WebRing
A web ring for sites devoted to protecting or restoring watershed ecosystems, including lakes, streams and wetlands.
Photos courtesy of North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
What is a watershed?
In the simplest terms, a watershed is a drainage area: the area that drains into a river, stream, lake, pond or wetland. In a broader sense, a watershed is also an ecosystem: an interdependent web of plants and animals that live in a watershed and are influenced by seasonal changes in moisture and temperature. The ecosystem also includes human beings, with their needs, desires and enormous power to change the natural cycles on which other species depend.
What is a "web ring?"
A web ring is a series of web sites with a common theme connected by a "navigation bar" that lets a visitor move from one site to the next just by clicking on the bar's "next" link. The "navbar" is usually displayed on a site's main page, but some site owners prefer to place the bar on a separate page devoted to web rings or other links.
What's the point of a web ring?
A web ring helps attact visitors to your site. A visitor might find your site by browsing the member directory on the ring's "hub" page, or they might notice the navbar on another member page and cycle through the ring until they come to your page.
Who can join this ring?
Membership in this ring is open to any site devoted to protecting or restoring a watershed ecosystem or to educating people about the importance of keeping the watershed's natural systems healthy and in balance. A member site can belong to an individual or to an organization. It can be about an urban watershed or a rural one. It can be about any watershed anywhere in the world. It can also be about watershed conservation in general. Sites primarily intended to sell products or services are generally not eligible unless they have substantial environmental content. In judging a site for membership, the Old Muskrat is guided by one main consideration: Is this a site I'd like to have linked to my own?
How do I join?
First, you have to sign up for a WebRing user name and password. It's absolutely free, like signing up for an email account. Once you've done that, you're ready to join a ring. Here's the drill:
Log-in, click on the link that says, "Join this Ring" and read the message from the "ringmaster."
Click on the link that says, "Get Started."
Fill out the ring application with:
your site's address;
your site's title; and
a brief description of your site.
Review your information and submit it. When the "Confirmation" page appears, click on the link that says "Navigation Code Wizard." That's the page that will help you install the navbar on your site.
Sit back and wait for the ringmaster to approve your site as a member of the ring. No site will be approved until it displays the navigation code.
What's this SSNB vs. HTML thing all about?
Sometimes the SSNB code won't work with a click-and-drag page editor. That's when you'll have to use the slightly longer HTML code. You can also customize the HTML navbar to suit your tastes or the special needs of your page. The nice thing about the SSNB code is that it lets you join more rings without having to do a new copy-and-paste every time. It also gives you the options of displaying only the navbar of the ring that the visitor is navigating or displaying the whole "ring stack" that shows all the rings your page belongs to.
Is there anything else?
Yes. Please be patient if the navbar doesn't appear at first exactly as it should. We can work through the glitch. Also, if the navbar goes sprawling across your page, use HTML to contain it inside a table that meets your size preferences. And if you choose to put the navbar on any page of your site besides the main one, there must be an easily-found navigation link back to your main page. Above all, keep the navbar displayed on your site. The Watershed WebRing is set automatically to suspend sites that no longer show the navbar.