The Amazing Ribbon-o-Matic and Fantabulous Icon-o-Matic

How do I link to a ribbon or icon, namely, to put it in my email signature?

Generally, you link to the graphics with a bit of HTML that looks like this:
<IMG SRC="" alt=" graphic">
substituting the ID number of the graphic in place of the "1". Sounds simple, right? Now, how you put that on your own page or in your email is really a question for your hosting or email provider. If you are able to cut and paste HTML, you should be able to do it.

Any restrictions?

Nope, although if you steal any of my other graphics, I'll find you. If you copy the forms and try to pass them off as your own creation, well, you'll look pretty stupid when the cgi scripts "mysteriously" stops working when someone comes from your copied forms.

Who owns the graphics?

Oh, can't we all get along and live on the web without constant questions and worries about ownership, like the good ol' days when things were just cool or funny? Ok, here's the deal. Nobody owns the graphics. The original ribbon image was popularized by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, but I ain't seeing them griping about ownership any time soon. So, they're public domain, so don't expect to make millions off of "Pelvic Thrust Forever," alright?

How did the whole thing get started?

For the average web surfer these days, the origins are sufficiently shrouded in the past to been utterly unknownable. It was 1996. Congress had passed the Communications Decency Act, an un-Constitutional attempt to censor web content. As part of a campaign to overturn this bad law, several free speech organizations started the Blue Ribbon Campaign for online freedoms. It quickly became the most linked-to graphic on the web, showing that, yes, there was a time when people cared about something other than the Backstreet Boys and Newsies.

Since the graphic was so ubiquitous, it was ripe for parody. Various other colors appeared, but they were crudely drawn and hard to do. The world needed a tool to make crudely drawn multicolored ribbon campaigns that the average shmoe could use, so here it is. Who would have ever guessed that the joke would be missed entirely, and the darn thing would become legit?

Galleries and Protest Pages

How do I get listed in the galleries?

Just link to a graphic or an entry page. I'll do the rest. Want to be a respectable netizen and not use my graphics? Okie-doke, you'll be listed on the protest page.

What do all those stars mean?

Those stars are signs of relative popularity of the graphics and the linking pages. They just happen over time, you don't "earn" them. A secret formula is used to determine which graphics are shown on the gallery pages, and for how long.

Who controls where graphics get assigned?

Put simply, I do. When you create a graphic, you get to assign a category based on it's content. Since most people assign a totally incorrect category, most of the graphics get reassigned. Yup, it's biased by my own views (meaning, you'll just have to suck it up, pro-lifers and pro-choicers, you're on the same page), but hey, at least I'm being honest and saying that the editorial decisions are skewed. That's more than, say, the evening news does for ya, eh? Generally, I don't censor any graphics. Moreover, since barely anyone actually navigates through the galleries, what's the point?

Email & Reporting Problems

I used the mail2afriend page, and that person never got the message, you fraud!

It helps if you type the email address correctly. I'm working on a way for you to receive an error message it it doesn't get delivered. It also helps if you type your own email address correctly. *sigh*

If I report a problem, will you fix it?

Signs point to yes.

If I request a new type of icon, when will I see it?

Ask again later.

If I email you, will you respond?

Answer unclear.

Do you have a mailing list for announcements of new features and changes?

Yep. Send an email to with the message "subscribe ribbon-announce" in the body of the email.

Everything Else

Can I link to you? How do I link to you?

Why oh why do we live in a world where lawyers have perverted the fundamental nature of the web by trying to outlaw the practice of "deep-linking?" Y'know, back in the good ol' days, it was just called "linking" and it's what everything was about. Not "implementing viral eyeballs" or "monetizing magnetic niches" or whatever you creeps want to call forcing people to go through 8 extra clicks (with banner ads) in order to pay a 100%+ service fee on crappy concert tickets. Not that the average web-surfer hasn't been so conditioned these days to accept it.

See above on how to link.

Do you have a link graphic I can use?

Sure. or

Privacy Policy

Are you about to go on another rant, you ol' dinosaur?

Is there any doubt?

Alright, rant away.

Maybe it's because I've been on the Internet too long, remembering the days before Yahoo! (yes, such a time did exist), when you could read USENET without having to filter for commercial spam, just the usual off-topic idiot statements, and you didn't have to pipe your mail through procmail just to read it. It was just a bunch of geeks jabbering about Star Trek, setting up a webcam to watch a coffee maker (watching girls like Jenni came a surprisingly long time later) and generally doing whatever we thought was cool, lost in our own little worlds... then came along all sorts of unholies, like spammers, neglectful parents, amoral megacorps, and the vilest of them all, lawyers. Newbies, you have no idea what you missed out on.

What's the actual policy?

Criminy, are you still reading this? Go read the policy.

© 2000