It is important for a ring to maintain a degree of uniformity in the design of its links. This makes it much easier to navigate through widely varied websites. Similarly, it is important for a ring to have a trademark graphic by which it can be recognized, especially if there is the possibility of several different rings on the same subject. Nevertheless, a degree of variation isn't necessarily a bad thing.
For example, people may wish to have something other than standard textual links, especially if textual links take up too much space on their index pages. Some prefer imagemaps over text. However, an imagemap may also take up too much space, or may have colors which clash with the website's. For this reason, some may want to have the navigation bar. Still others may prefer to stay with textual links.
For all of these reasons, The Objectivist Ring is making a number of alternatives available.
First, there is the fairly standard textual links, which are somewhat reminiscent of the ideograms in the several-thousand-year-old I Ching. Second, there is a colorful image map which resembles a globe. Third, there is the black-and-white navigation bar, which permits you to add three mystery links to any three Objectivist sites of your choice (on or off the Ring, in accordance with your own judgment). Each of the graphics takes up less than two kilobytes of memory, and thus they should be no burden to a visitor's cache, even after that visitor has seen ten, twenty, or even forty sites on the Ring in a row.
In this way, I am not imposing standardization for the sake of standardization (as if standardization were of intrinsic value); nor permitting variety for the sake of variety (as if individuality in disregard of objective requirements were an end-in-itself), but trying to strike a golden mean between the need for some standardization and for some carefully chosen variation. The Ring links are like an embassies of an organization which is wider than any given website, just as the United States has embassies in foreign countries, where such embassies are still technically part of the United States. In this sense, the links are actually the property of the Ring itself. However, if someone wishes to change the colors of the links, have a black-and-white version, or to propose a variation of the imagemap, this would be quite acceptable as long as the essential nature of the Ring links are not changed. I would like to emphasize that the most important quality of the sites, namely, the content, is not in any way standardized by the moderator, etc. The essential quality of the Ring is to bring together serious and different views of Objectivism, and to transcend petty quarrels based on one frame of reference. Therefore, the Ring's trademark is extremely important and must be essentially standard. However, there is no reason for this standardization to be unreasonably draconian.
On a more practical note, this form now makes the links much easier to acquire and much more available.
If you are already on the ring, or have applied, you should have a site number. If so, please simply fill out the form below, otherwise apply for membership in The Objectivist Ring, and then come back and fill out the form.
Once you submit your information, simply download the webpage which your submission creates (i.e., "save as... source') and save the graphic. Then, using a text editor, cut and paste the necessary code to your own index page, upload your index page and the graphic to your own website, and then email me if you are not already on the ring.
One last note: please feel free to change the colors to those which will best suite your site.