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On March 15, 2006, -- a Web site providing documentary information on the wild parrots which roam Brooklyn -- will celebrate its first anniversary online.

According to its Webmaster, Steve Baldwin, traffic to the site, which features photos, interactive maps, sound files, and news reports on Brooklyn's wild parrots, has grown significantly in recent months. "The site grew very slowly in its first three months, but usage has accellerated, and we've just crossed the 60,000 unique visitor milestone, which is a respectable number, given that the subject of wild parrots in urban areas is definitely a niche interest area."

Although Baldwin has produced Web sites for many years, often using complex CMS (Content Management Software) systems, he chose Blogger to power because of its simplicity. "I didn't want to create a massive, database-driven wild parrot portal, just a site that would be search-engine friendly, let me update it easily, and showcase my wild parrot photos, which I think are the site's major selling points. My Google Maps "mashup," which lets people see where the parrot nests in Brooklyn are located, has also been popular with users, and so has the mailing list, which now numbers more than 400 people."

The site has also been popular with New York's media, including the New York Times, the New York Sun, and AM New York, as well as television channels New York 1, Univision Channel 47, and Animal Planet.

Beyond providing extensive documentation on the wild parrots in Brooklyn, a crucial function of the site is to inform the public of the timing and availability of the free "Wild Parrot Safaris" which Baldwin conducts on the first Saturday of each month for New Yorkers curious about the wild parrots.

"When the Web site was new and I first began doing the tours, I'd often get only one or two people," said Baldwin. "But as the site has grown, and the URL has been forwarded around, the tour size has increased markedly. In the past few months, I've hosted tour groups as large as thirty, with an average tour size of between eight to ten without doing  any offline promotion."

What's ahead for in 2006? According to Baldwin, it's a matter of refining what works, and discarding what doesn't. "I'm very happy about the number of high-quality backlinks the site has gotten in the past year, which makes the site highly visible in Google and the other search engines, so I don't see changing the structure, the backend, or the presentation much. I am, however, interested in evaluating the various PPC advertising platforms which other marketers have found successful in terms of gaining additional visibility, including Google Adwords, MSN adCenter, and Yahoo Search Marketing.

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