I was cleaning out some file folders earlier this month. And discovered a printout of an email message that had me smiling about dancing bears.
The message was from October 21, 1999.
Almost twenty years ago.
Tables and Roles
For those who don’t know my background, I started creating websites in 1997. And my first website was my church’s site.
As was standard at that time, the site was built using table-based code. (Hey, don’t cringe. It really was the layout method of the time.)
I became more involved with web design and eventually became a volunteer webmaster for several nonprofits, including the local Habitat for Humanity Detroit chapter.
Which eventually meant I wore several hats with Habitat Detroit.
I ended up with multiple roles including:
- Information technology (IT) person for computer and software application issues
- Person who bought their current domain name and worked with local hosting company to get free hosting
- Email tech person, setting up email accounts with their domain name
- Network person who set up their local area network
- Photographer and journalist of Blitz Builds
- Copywriter and content strategist for the website and mailing list
No Dancing Bears
In my early volunteer years with Habitat Detroit, I researched online for help and software to update the technology in their office.
Which is how I learned about Helping.org, a site dedicated to helping nonprofits with low-cost technology solutions.
At that time, I believe the Habitat Detroit office staff were still using Windows 95.
I contacted Helping.org about their technology program, explaining our technology need and referring to the Habitat Detroit website as well as my website.
Which brings me back to the lack of dancing bears.
Here’s the email message that had me smiling. It’s from Jim Fields at Helping.org, in response to my request for technology support.
I looked at the site (and the press release) at your suggestion and I like it so far. I’ll look more closely later and reply with comments at another time.
I looked at your own site as well and I am pleased.
- Clean, uncluttered, easy to read text
- White space, easy on the eyes
- No dancing bears, banners and junk to distract the reader
- Particularly pleased with the online newsletter
Congrats. Keep up the good work.
J. Edwin (Jim) Fields
Los Angeles, California
Ah, the memories!
It’s good to have a reminder that usability, readability, and no dancing bears were just as important to me in 1999 as they are today.
Photo credit: Paxson Woelber on Unsplash.