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July 31, 2005 (slightly updated, March 13, 2007)

Not much to report yet, as I've just created this ring. Yes, it's closed, technically, but that doesn't mean that you can't join it. Applications to this ring are likely to be few and far between, so simply leaving the ring open poses a problem. Do I drive myself crazy by logging in frequently and finding nothing, or do I seldom log in, and drive the applicant crazy? Neither sounded like a great idea.

The solution I chose was to set up a very simple application procedure, one for which, given the fact that this is a local ring, there is no sensible reason for objection. If you want to join this ring, sign up for my homelist or for the non-adult Chicago Photography list at Yahoogroups, whichever you prefer, and ask to make an appointment to see me. I'll get back in touch with you, and you bring your portfolio, scrapbook or whatever else you feel like carrying your photos in.

This is not a "come on, come all" ring. While I'm not insisting that you be a professional artist - I, myself, wouldn't qualify on those terms - I do expect to see an effort at growth as an amateur. So if you're going to drop by with a few instamatics of your dog catching a frisbee, please don't. Also, this is not an adult ring. "Childsafe" may be a little stringent, but let's say "teenager safe"; let's keep this one down to a PG rating. As for the rest of your site, political incorrectness is OK, Hate is not. If you're calling for harm to be done to another human being because of race, color, creed, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, status as a liberal or conservative, or anything else that does not involve your target willfully doing harm or injustice to another, please take it elsewhere. I reserve the right to reject any application for any reason, or for no reason at all. I'm not likely to exercise the second option, as I do want to see this ring grow, but let there be no misunderstanding on this - my final decision is a judgment call, and I make it unilaterally and without apology.

This list is solely for the use of those living in the Chicago area, who wish to share images taken in the Chicago area. This ring is intended to be a community building exercise.

I'm not going to haggle over what "in the Chicago area" means when I say that the pages submitted to this ring must be of places in the Chicago metropolitan area. Rockford does not qualify. Milwaukee and St.Louis are straight out. The Chicago area consists of Cook, DuPage, Will, Kane, McHenry and Lake counties in Illinois and Lake County in Indiana, and including McHenry county is pushing it. No other counties are included. Your site must essentially be a noncommercial one. I won't get bent out of shape if you set up a bookstore with Amazon.com, but if you submit a car dealership webpage, or something else that is primarily intended to move merchandise, I won't be amused. Not that this will keep some people for trying, which is one of the reasons for requiring those interviews - they screen out a lot of nuisance applications.

Did that answer all questions? If not, you can easily find my homelist and ask me. As long as you're willing to be civil and reasonable, I think you'll find that I'm very easy to deal with. But guys, I'm not going to take any nonsense out of you. We've been seeing "bad behavior for fun and profit" become the norm online over the last few decades, and change in that area is long overdue. For myself, I'm going to insist on seeing a little of that change happen here, on this new ring: behave or be gone. Fair enough?




September 1, 2005

I created a companion ring for this one, over at Ringsurf. You can see the navbar for the new ring at the bottom of this page. This one you can get onto without the personal interview. I've left it open, as per the more relaxed policies at Ringsurf, but it is the applicant's responsibility to send me a notice that he has applied to this other ring. Same deal - I'm not going to check in daily for something that might happen once per year. While these two rings share a common homepage, they will not be clones of each other. One can apply to one or another, but not both.

A little something to brighten the day of those not adventurous enough to meet a stranger at Starbucks.




April 17, 2007

These blog posts (1) tell most of the story. As of the time of this writing, the original ring at a ring hosting service which need not be named is still under the control of "Chicago", but the password and e-mail on that account have been changed, with the result that I am no longer "Chicago". Somebody in Support has been, ever since one of their representatives threw a hissy fit over the fact that I dared to be mildly critical of their job performance in public.

Such a response is unprofessional and unacceptable. The original "Amateur Photography in Chicago" ring has mainly been relocated to "Lord of the Rings", with some small presence remaining at the original provider. At some point in the not very distant future, probably in a month or two, if more reasonable behavior has not been seen out of them than has been seen out of them in the last few years, I'll simply delete their code from this page and support will have another abandoned ring to add to its large and growing collection. Restoring my unhampered access to my own account would be a nice start to winning back a little of the trust that Webring has squandered with its adolescent attitudes and juvenile behavior in its dealings with me, but if they wish to continue acting like jerks, that's fine, too.

Addendum: April 23: The company’s response was to place my ring up for adoption, and my response was to delete some more code. At this point, they have a dead ring on their hands, and I have a solidly good reason to feel glad that I began the switch over to Ringlink. I did try working with these people - note the numerous and really excessive links back to home you'll now find throughout my sites, present as per their request - and their corporate response was this. On terms like these, I'm more than glad to say goodbye to the old ring, as I really don't need this kind of drama and to be blunt, this kind of betrayal. "Do what we ask you to and we'll ... stick it to you in exactly the same way we would have, had you told us to go take a flying leap and refused to do any of it". Something to think about if you ever think of doing business with these people, or go very far out of your way in trying to cooperate with them.




December 9, 2008

The Webring.cc system has closed. I'm relocating the ring to the WOW Webring system, which Network Solutions lists as being under the management of the very highly regarded James S. Huggins, one of those people who I've sort of semi-known from the Internet since the old days. I'm always please to give Mr. Huggins a little extra business, and other seem to feel likewise, judging from the growth of his system.

Relatively little needs to be done in the course of this relocation. Ringlink code is swappable between systems, and the join page is hosted on one of my own sites. I'll slowly phase out the old ... older? ... version of the ring one site at a time, closing the Webring.cc version to new applications, today.





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Taken along Astor Street, early summer, 2005. Image links to the home flickrgroup for the ring.
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