Saturday, July 02, 2022

Look at the archives

I wrote about using the Internet Archive in an article I posted a few weeks ago.  Today I took a look at past versions of the first Tutor/Mentor Connection website, which was built for me by volunteers in 1998 and 1999.

This is the website in 2002. Notice how we hosted the web library on that site.   This site was built in 1998 by Steve Roussos, a PhD student from the University of Kansas, as an emergency fix to host our list of Chicago tutor/mentor programs when the main site crashed just before the start of our annual Chicagoland volunteer recruitment campaign.  I started putting pdf essays on the site shortly after that and have continued doing that since then.

This was the site in September 2002.  It looks the same as when first launched by one of our Cabrini Connections volunteers in 1998.  The "hub/spoke" graphic was created to visualize the range of information on the site, as well as the different talents and networks we were trying to connect to each other.  On this archived version of the site you can click on any of the spokes and a new page of content opens. 

This was the site in July 2006 after being rebuilt by a team at IUPUI. You can see the 'hub/spoke" element on the home page. I have wanted to create an interactive graphic that made it easier to find information within the site for almost 20 years. The technology has advanced to where that is now more possible, but my resources have not kept pace.  

This was the site in October 2007, which remained the format until redesigned in 2012. This site was built by a team from IUPUI in Indianapolis and hosted there until 2011.  This site had great search features and tracked page visits to every link in the library. 

This was the site from 2012 till it went off line in 2020.  The platform was changed in 2018 and lost much of its page count tracking, but still kept its search features.  It was also hosted in Indianapolis, but not at IUPUI. You can find the archived version at this link

Other website versions were created between 1998 and 2011 to share Tutor/Mentor Connection and Cabrini Connections work.  In the early 2000s the Chicago Tribune hosted websites on its platform. Here's an archived page.

Before the Internet our primary form of mass communications was printed newsletters, like the one shown below.  You can see an archive of these at this link.  In 1993 our newsletter list was around 400. By 2002 it was over 13,000 and we sent two versions. One of about 4000 to our Cabrini Connections/Tutor/Mentor Connection base, where most of our funding came from, and one of about 8500 to Tutor/Mentor Connection programs and ecosystem, from throughout the USA.  This supported our May and June Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conferences and the annual Aug/Sept Chicagoland Volunteer Recruitment Campaign

Since 2002 our email newsletters have replaced the print newsletters and this blog was started in 2005. Unfortunately, a large percent of those we were reaching through the print newsletters did not transfer to email and have been lost.  I may have reconnected with some of these people and organizations through social media, but cannot be certain. 

The now points to You can see the home page below.  Visit this "get started" page and follow the links to get an overview and tour of the site.  The list of Chicago tutor/mentor programs and web library are now on this site. 

What you'll find consistent in all of these are an effort to help well-organized, volunteer-based tutor and/or mentor programs reach k-12 youth living in high poverty areas during the non-school hours.  Our aim was to help increase visibility and resources for these programs, help them connect and share ideas, and help them constantly improve what they were doing to help kids move through school and into adult lives.

By having these websites available on the Internet archive, they remain available to anyone, anywhere, who wants to fill geographic spaces with a full range of needed youth and family supports. These are resources any leaders can use!

This is a photo of me from the mid 1990s, pointing to a  map of Chicago showing high poverty areas where tutor/mentor programs were most needed.  I'm still pointing at similar maps.

A small group of donors are now helping me cover expenses for keeping the library on line and sharing this information via my social media posts and blog articles. If you want to help me, visit this page and send a contribution via PayPal. 

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