Wednesday, September 13, 2023

This is what I was doing in 2001

In the archive section on this blog I've been sharing links to versions of my websites from 2001 and on.  My first website was actually created around 1998 by a volunteer from the Cabrini Connections tutor/mentor program that I started in late 1992 and led through mid 2011.

Yesterday I looked at early versions of the website, which is now the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC site.  Below are some interesting pages.

This is one page from the 2001 website was hosted on the ChicagoTribune platform.  The bottom paragraph describes the "Internet-Based Learning Network" that we had started building in the late 1990s. 

I had shared that 2001 site in an earlier post which you can view at this link. 

Cabrini Connections was a site-based tutor/mentor program that connected 7th to 12th grade inner-city Chicago teens with workplace volunteers.  As we formed that program late 1992 we began building a strategy to support similar programs in all high poverty areas of the Chicago region. We named that the Tutor/Mentor Connection and launched it in January 1994.  

Our main website was launched in 1998 and used as the name. In August 2000 as we were launching the annual citywide volunteer recruitment campaign, that site stopped working. A volunteer from the University of Kansas created a second site to share our list of Chicago tutor/mentor programs.  That was named

While the main site began working again within a few weeks, I've continued to use the site because it enabled me to share PDF essays that I had been creating.

Below is one of the earliest versions of the site, from April 2001.  

The three links in the top green box (left side) point to  OHATS T/MC,  T/MC Knowledge Center, and T/MC GIS mapping samples.  The second two point to external websites where the T/MC strategy was supported.  At the bottom left is a link to the Tutor/Mentor Connection main website, which, unfortunately does not open.

However, what fascinated me yesterday when I started looking at this archive was the first link, to OHATS T/MC.

We had received a small grant in 2000 to build an on-line documentation system (Organizational History and Tracking System), based on work being done at the University of Kansas. Open the page, or enlarge the image, to read more about what OHATS TMC was designed to do.

The link on the left side to "enter new information" opens this screen below. 

Open the link, or click the image to enlarge, and you can see the data-entry page and the type of information we were attempting to collect.  

Then click the "view latest T/MC Accomplishments" to see some of the information that had been collected, using the form shown above. 

From 2000 to 2004 we built use of this from by staff, board members and other tutor/mentor program leaders.  View this PDF showing a summary of documented actions from September 2000 to March 2002.  Then view this video about OHATS.   After 2004 use dropped because the site had little protection from spammers.  Often when I went to show someone the site, it opened to spammed messages.  Thus, use declined.

Then in late 2006 a volunteer from India offered to rebuild the site.  This is a view of the new version of OHATS, built in 2007 by his team from India.

The rebuilt site was fantastic, but other than myself, few people used it (due to the bad experience with the first version).  You can find this version on the Internet Archive (click here), but the graphics no longer can be seen since they were created using Flash Animation.  Then in 2018 Flash stopped working, and the site began having problems opening.  It's been off line since 2019.

Thus, until I found the 2001 version I could not easily show people what we were trying to build, or guide them to building their own version.  The team from India that rebuilt OHATS in 2008 used the 2001 website and 2002 PDF report to guide their development of the new site.

You can, too!

I did a little more searching of older versions of the site and this is from 2003. You can see how I had began to embed my PDF essays into the site.

In this page from the 2003 site you can see how I continued to support volunteer recruitment for all tutor, mentor and learning programs in the Chicago region.

Looking a few years further here is the site in 2008.

It was in 2008-9 that the current site was built.   

In 2011 when I created Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, following the split from the original Cabrini Connections nonprofit, I decided to use the site as my primary website. I've been updating that site continually.  In hindsight, I should have named my new organization the Tutor/Mentor Exchange, LLC to avoid some of the confusion I'm sure I've created.

During all of this time I also maintained a site. Below you can see the homepage of the site built in 2006 by a team from IUPUI in Indianapolis.

In 2011 that site was updated with a new home page, which you can see below.

In this site I embedded PDF essays on the home page, the Chicago Program Links page and the web library page.  This site was hosted by a volunteer from the technology department at IUPUI from 2006 until it had to be taken off line in 2020.  Since then, I've pointed the URL to the site, so when you enter the address the TMI site opens.  This makes the old site difficult to find, even in the Internet Archive.

In describing these websites I'm also showing how volunteer talent was used to build and maintain the sites. My organization never had grant funding for this.  In fact, in 2009 a professional website design firm looked at all of our websites and created a set of designs for an upgraded version that would have created a unified message across all the sites.

We could not find the money to do the rebuild. 

I'm sharing all these sites and the past articles I've written with the goal of inspiring people in Chicago and other cities to engage students, volunteers and donors to build new, and better versions, of the Tutor/Mentor Connection, based on my archives and history.

Every city in the world has areas of concentrated poverty where people have unequal opportunity.  A Tutor/Mentor Connection strategy focuses daily attention on these areas and seeks to draw volunteers and donors to youth serving organizations to help them constantly improve their impact on the lives of kids in those areas and the volunteers who come to help them.

I hope you'll dig into these archives, and that you'll share these posts in your network. 

Thanks for reading. Please connect with me on one of these social media platforms

If you want to help me fund the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, visit this page. Your help would be greatly appreciated. 

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