The Werelist is a fixture of the Therian Community, it was started sometime around 2001 or earlier by Coyote Osborne.
The original incarnation of the site was a directory of weres' (Therians'), where users could create a profile and share information about themselves such as interests and hobbies, religion or spirituality, and contact information among other details. Users were also encouraged to fill out a "WereCard" which was an account of the different aspects of an individuals personal therianthropy. In the members area of the site, users had access to an interactive map that showed the approximate locations of Therians from all over the world. Though there was no forum at this time, there was a guestbook section referred to as "The Tracks" where users were encouraged to share real world meets (or Howls) that they were planning, or for general shout out purposes. In this era Werelist's main mission was to connect Therians to one and other on a local level by facilitating face to face meetings, and also served as a launching pad for online interactions between individual Therians generally conducted via 3rd party chat services such as IRC, ICQ, AIM, Yahoo and MSN.
In the latter part of 2005 Coyote Osborn was hard at work laying the foundations for Werelist's second incarnation. In late November / early December of 2005 the new site was on the verge of launch with Coyote providing regular updates on its progress.
The new Werelist went online December 6th 2005, and marked the birth of the discussion forum format for Werelist that we are familiar with today.
Overall the changes were well received; by transitioning to a forum architecture, Werelist was providing a venue for more lengthy and well moderated group discussions of therianthropy, which was in contrast to the largely unmoderated AHWW which had at this point been largely abandoned to the trolls.
However some did feel the original werelist provided some value that the new site was lacking; mainly that the original directory style werelist was optimal for cross referencing different traits between individual therians, and being able to easily find other users by geographic location. Some users felt the new site did not have the same ease of use as the original directory had provided.
From a News page that had been created on this Wikia:
11:30 PM, May 10. 2007Werelist has apparently crashed due to insufficient bandwidth resources. The fact that it is run on a Broad-Band Telephone line connection doesn't help.
The message dissplayed: Warning: mysql_connect(): Too many connections in /home/virtual/site17/fst/var/www/html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 31 Too many connections
The Second Werelist Came to an end due to an aging server and a crash that caused the loss of all site data. On July 18 2007 Coyote made a post to notify users of the situation.
During the downtime, a livejournal was set up to aid in community consultation regarding the future of the Werelist.
The Current iteration of the WereList was born in December of 2007, following a crash and relaunch of the site. Its original creator handed over administration to former members of the moderation team Savage and Jakkal who maintain the site to this day.
Sometime in late 2008 early 2009 the forum underwent some aesthetic changes which brought werelist to the version we are familiar with today.
Banner by Orca
In 2007 a Werelist member by the name of Orca designed the banner which is still in use to this day.
Orca explains the choice of animal silhouettes in a thread from July 9, 2009.
"As the creator of the banner... allow me to chime in with my own take on things, although abit late. The addition of each animal was:
A) First and foremost, an artistic choice. I had to balance emptiness and positioning. Every animal was moved pixel by pixel until it just felt right. Adding or subtracting one would result in imbalance. Of course, this was subjective to my own perspective, and artistic license.
B) Relative to community composition. I was looking at statistics from old werelist on species diversity and community makeup. Unfortunately, I could not add any marine animals. And of course I could not cater to every single species that appeared on the statistic, but the most common. I only knew one dinosaur back then, Gon.
C) Dependent on the availability of a good, open-source silhouette. I was restrained by possible copyright ramifications. Some of them had to be rather slowly adapted from photographs I had or that came from open sources. The background itself is a photomanip of one of my own photographs. I forgot where the ground came fro
You're right, the amphibia and extant reptilia are conspicuously missing. But I consider the dragon to represent cryptids and reptilians. The addition of a tiny, hopping frog shouldn't distort the layout. But otherwise I won't change anything.
I like it the way it is, after I flattened and exported it almost 2 years ago, after weeks of working on it.
I hope it gives others the same epic feeling it gave me."
Werelist archive: http://www.werelist.net/archive/index.php/t-25443.html
See this thread also: http://www.werelist.net/archive/index.php/t-35555.html