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"The Story Of GoatWorld (Part III)"

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Settling into our new house in Highlandville, MO., goats and sheep were still largely just a joke that I told about from time to time. We focused on mainly doing music with Pam managing the band and getting us some stellar gigs such as opening for Three Dog Night, Blood, Sweat and Tears as well as Creedence Clearwater Revival. It was a great time and things were going well until I began noticing some weeds that I just couldn't seem to get rid of growing on our property. I'd go out with the lawnmower and mow, and the next day the weeds would be right back. Sometimes even more than the day before. A state official was called in and gave me the news; "You've got Kudzu!"

All kidding and jocularity aside, GoatWorld began to really take shape in early 2000. I had signed up to a goat list to get more information on the health and management of our goats. One night, a post came in from an individual who was having trouble with a sick goat. For some reason, no one responded to this person and subsequently his goat died.

A few days later, there was talk on the list about this unfortunate incident and someone mentioned having a network of phone numbers available so that something like this would not happen again. It took me about 5 minutes to create a web site, an idea, and get it posted on the web site. Within a matter of a week, there were at least 10 people nationwide listed. Thus began the Goat911 "Capri-Medic" program.

At first there was a bit of resistance to the Goat911 program as there were already a great number of sites who had been in existence much longer than GoatWorld, but who had never had this idea. So there may have been some jealousy, hard feelings, kicking ones self in the butt for not having come up with the idea before. But above the din and shouting rose the true spirit of Goat911 - to help save goats lives. Not to make money. Not to spark interest in the GoatWorld site. To help save goats lives.

Almost 6 months from the site launch, the Goat911 Network had grown and expanded to include the Goat911 Emergency Evacuation Network; a network of individuals who offer to provide shelter for goats and other livestock in the event of a natural disaster. So far, we have not had to use the evacuation network extensively, but it is there just in case.

So You Wanna' Raise Goats Do Ya'? So in a nutshell, what I am saying here is that GoatWorld.com has grown from a simple idea to a very enjoyable and educating endeavor. It's not a hobby by any means as the amount of information that needs to be added grows with each passing day. I know that I've come a very long way from my adolescent years as a 4-H member. I've even been recently asked to perhaps become a 4-H leader in our immediate area.

For a period of time in the 90's I had been responsible for owning and operating one of the first online radio stations called Music Monster Network. Music on the Internet was in its infancy and this was really years before all the legal wrangling over copyrights and downloads. Seeing the writing on the wall - and the proposed yearly music licensing fees by the RIAA (fees in the thoudands of dollars just to play a song!), I knew that it wouldn't be long until the sweeping changes would make it difficult to maintain the Monster and changing my focus to goats might be more enjoyable - it has been.

GoatWorld has become a great service that allows many like minded goat owners as well as other livestock owners to network. It is difficult to give the proper thank yous for the good people for helping to make GoatWorld a great site. Without them, it would only be a web site. Instead it is a community of caring and sharing individuals.

One part of this story that I have kind of overlooked is just how the actual web site name came to be. As most people know, back in the 90's there was a "dot com" boom with many people scrambling to claim and register a domain name. Pam had overheard me (more than once) talk about Goat World, Sheep World and different stuff like that. On one particular Valentines Day, Pam told me to go to the computer and go to the web site GoatWorld. As I did, she looked over at me, smiled, and said "Happy Valentines Day sweetheart! That's your web site!" You can't go wrong with a wife like that!

As I mentioned, it was the dot com boom and there were many domain names up for grabs. Intrigued by this, I encouraged Pam to register a few names that I thought might be useful as well as registering a few names for herself. Just a few of these were names such as Goat911, Goat411, SheepWorld, SwineWorld, etc. And oddly enough, it didn't take long for people to contact us wanting to know if we would be interested in selling the domain names to them. There have been a few that we have sold along the way.

And just for the record, I have been asked several times over about a 10 year period if I would be willing to sell GoatWorld.com. As you can see, I wasn't interested but did entertain some offers. Just to show how committed I am to the GoatWorld site, I tendered an offer for $25,000. It was very tempting. I suppose everything has its price and if the price were right, I'd sell. But now I get a kick out of people who contact me and offer me $500 for the site. Yeah, like if I'm not going to accept 25 grand I'm sure going to take 500 bucks. Too funny.

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