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Yahoo sells ring of community sites

The Web portal completes its sale of the community network WebRing and tells members they must move to a new service.

Yahoo said Monday that it has closed its sale of community network WebRing and is notifying members to transfer to a new site.

The Web portal said it sold WebRing to Tim Killeen, one of the early engineers who created the system. WebRing consists of communities of Web sites featuring related content, allowing people who share interests to reach one another. For instance, a Web site on grizzly bears would provide links to other sites with relevant information.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

It "was in the best interest to sell (WebRing) to Tim because it's difficult for us to sell advertising inventory on pages that are hosted on other companies' Web sites or other companies' networks," said Nicki Dugan, a spokeswoman for Yahoo.

The sale of WebRing marks Yahoo's latest effort to refocus its business on varied sources of revenue that will help it offset ad-sale losses. The company released its third-quarter earnings last week, reporting that its revenue had fallen to $166.1 million and that it may lay off additional employees.

Yahoo said WebRing members were notified Friday that the portal would not automatically transfer WebRing information, and members must repost their sites through the new system. Dugan said the company's terms of service do not allow it to transfer member information to another service.

The company said rings and sites that are not transferred will be lost when the migration period ends, a date that has yet to be determined.