International Recipes Dot Net: Real Recipes from Real People

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home > site history

Years ago,
in 1995, a mailing list was established with the intent of providing its recipients a free means by which to exchange recipes and other culinary literature of their culture or background. The mailing list was immediately well-received and its members eagerly exchanged recipes through this medium. Soon thereafter, numerous requests were made to resend previous mailings which required much intervention and maintenance. This served as a catalyst to create a web site which would hold all of the previous recipes that had ever been sent.

So, in April of 1995, a web site was born. As was expected in those days, the site was not appealing to the eye, nor was it robust or highly functional — but it served its purpose well and the visitors who came by in those days liked it. On this web site, the recipes were roughly categorized into twelve different groups and they were listed in a rather crude alphabetical directory listing.

Its members grew more and more in numbers until 1997 when it reached 20,000. Also that year, the mailing list was required to move spontaneously because the automated weekly archived e-mail messages had caused the Rutgers University computer system to stall (or "spike") for twenty minutes every week.

As a result of these sudden disastrous strains on the University's computer system, each member was then requested to resubscribe under a new format and, as a result of a vote among the members, no one was given the opportunity to receive recipes on an individual basis, rather a bulk archived basis. This format was deemed more popular by the 20,000 member-vote of 2-to-1. One list could stay while the other had to go.

Needless to say, this requirement unfortunately made some members unwilling to resubscribe. As a result of this, the subscription number went down to 8,200. Soon thereafter, more and more features were added, several redesigns were performed, and the subscription numbers grew quickly once again. In March of 1999 the list's numbers caught up to where it had been prior to the e-mail fiasco.

As of July of 2001, the subscription numbers for the four lists combined totals approximately 34,200 recipients from over an estimated 90 different countries. The entire operation of the web site as well as the mailing lists is fully-automated and require no maintenance or attention. There are currently four distinct formats of the mailing list and the web site is in its fifth redesign.

Since 1995, I have aspired to delivering as functional and as well-tuned and attractive a product as possible. Because of my desire to include as many people I can, this has always been a group that is completely free to join and has been a web site of no cost to use. I always invite criticism and ideas and if you have any comments at all, please contact me from this page.

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