I've always wanted to write up a little article about how this web site got started. I'm afraid if I wait too much longer, I'll start to forget some of the details. Most of you probably haven't heard these stories before, so hopefully you will enjoy learning how this site got started.
In The Beginning
I brought home my first QP in 1995. One was offered to me for free. Before saying yes, I set off to do some research to make sure a Quaker would be the right bird for our home... just like anyone should do, right? Except that information about QP's was very hard to find. There were no books on Quakers at that time.
In fact, if you picked up a general book on Parrots, it was hit or miss whether there would be any information at all about Quakers in it. The most I found was 2 pages about the Quaker in one book, and most of one of those pages was taken up with a picture. It seems amazing to think about today, but that's pretty much all I was able to find at the time.
I brought Alex home anyway and started learning how to be a Quaker parront "on the job." I'd been online on the Internet for about a year and a half at that point, even though most of the population hadn't even heard the term "Internet" yet. There were less than half a dozen web sites devoted to pet birds and just one or two Listserv mailing lists dedicated to them. Needless to say, Quakers weren't exactly a hot topic on those either.
Getting Things Started
Still, I did meet a few other Quaker owners, and I offered to set up a Listserv just for us. In December of 1995, the Quaker Parakeet Mailing List was hatched. We had less than 10 members, and I remember telling my mailing list host that I seriously doubted we'd ever have more than 25 - so the list was set up with a limit of 25 members.
The mailing list was an active one from the very start. Even with less than 10 members, it was obvious that Quaker owners LOVED to talk about their birds! (Now there's one thing that hasn't changed in 15 years - LMAO!) To my surprise, the list began to grow. I had to go back to my list host again and again to raise the subscriber limit... 50, 75, 100! Then 200, 300, 400 and up to 700 at one point.
The Amazing Power of the Internet
And then something incredible began to happen. The list had brought together a community of Quaker lovers for the first time ever, and information and understanding of this species began to increase. If you were a new Quaker owner and had access to the Internet, suddenly there was a place to go for information and to have your questions answered.
You know, it's so easy to take that for granted today... and it's nearly impossible to imagine a time when this type of help wasn't available. But I was there, and I can tell you that EVERYTHING changed for Quaker owners back in 1995 and 1996 because of this little mailing list.
And you wanna know the best part? It wasn't because of any so-called expert on Quakers or parrots. This all happened because a small group of regular, every day people came together and shared the little they had learned from their own experience with Quakers... and adding up all the "little bits" of knowledge, suddenly we had a great collection of knowledge about the Quaker Parrot!
QuakerParrots.com is "Hatched"
In 1997, I registered the domain QuakerParrots.com and began to build this web site. In addition to articles, I added a simple, web-based forum to the site. In 1998, I moved the forum to DelphiForums where it was hosted until the fall of 2004 when I began hosting it on this web site again.
The old Delphi forum is still there (click here). I moved it because Delphi had started to bombard members with ads which slowed down the pages to a crawl. You could remove the ads by paying a fee to Delphi, but I wanted the information on the forum to remain free for everyone.
And here we are today... thousands upon thousands of members later and far surpassing the original 25 members that I had first envisioned.
Cool Facts about QuakerParrots.com
Here are some other "factoids" related to the mailing list and forum:
- In 1995, I wrote the Quaker Parrot FAQ. It was the first article about Quakers to be written and published on the Internet.
- The first two books written about Quakers were written by people who were early members of the Quaker mailing list (Theresa Jordan and Mattie Sue Athan).
- New phrases and slogans were created on the mailing list referring to Quakers. Did you know that the term Little Green Chicken (LGC) first appeared on the QP mailing List? And that the slogan "A Lotta Parrot In A Little Package" was coined by Ellen Krueger? It was the winning entry from a slogan contest that I held on the list in 1996!
- In 1998, Bird Talk magazine published "Quaker Parrots: Terrific Talkers for a Tiny Price" by Mattie Sue Athan. The article was largely based on a survey answered by members of the QP Mailing List. (You can read this article here.)
- In 1999, some members of the QP mailing list (including myself) founded the Quaker Parakeet Society, the first and only 501©3 non-profit organization dedicated to Quaker care, education and research.
- QPS Rapp (Rescue and Placement Program), the first rescue program for Quakers only, was started by me and a few others on the mailing list as a program of QPS. It is still helping Quakers find new homes today.
- The longest running publication dedicated to Quaker Parrots started at the same time that QPS was founded. The editor and all of the original writers (including myself) were members of the mailing list. The QPS Sentinel is still being published today.
- In 2001, I donated the Quaker Parrot mailing list to the Quaker Parakeet Society, and it is still in existence and managed by them today. It is the longest running mailing list dedicated to sharing information about Quaker Parrots.
- If you are still reading this, congratulations. You are a member of the longest running web-based forum dedicated to sharing information about Quaker Parrots IN THE WORLD!
- According to my web stats, QuakerParrots.com had nearly half a million visitors in 2008 with nearly 10,000,000 pages being viewed. (It's probably much higher since web stats cannot account for cached web pages that are viewed.)
- Most every book, article or web site about Quakers written after 1995 has been influenced in some way by QuakerParrots.com. And you, my dear friends, are a very big part of that. NEVER forget it! Never let anyone take that away from you!!!
A Little Quakerparrots.com History
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