Launch of Redesigned FMSF Web Site
FMSF News Alert - May 30, 2014
We are delighted to let you know that the FMSF website has been completely rebuilt including many needed updates. Do take a look or even help test it at www.fmsfonline.org. Let us know if we need to make a correction or if something does not work or if you think there should be some change or addition. We intend to continue adding material.
It ended up taking several years to figure out what we wanted to do with the website. Should we take advantage of new social media or blogs? At first we considered that using 2014 technology might be a way to attract younger people to the site. In the end, however, we decided that we wanted to maintain the integrity of the original site because it, like the material on it, is a reflection of the period that will probably always be known as The Memory Wars.
FMSF had a very early website - 1998. To get an idea of how early, consider that the world’s first website appeared in December 1990. FMSF was formed in 1992. By the summer of 1993, there were all of 130 websites. FMSF’s first website was started a few years later by Patrick Fitzgerald. He helped us understand that FMSF needed to have its own site.
The Foundation launched its own website in 1998 with reports about the federal criminal trial that held hospitals and therapists accountable for mental health treatment that harmed patients This was USA v. Peterson et al. You can see what that section looked like at: USA v. Peterson, et al.
To get the website started, we placed a notice in the newsletter asking for volunteers to help us in this new venture. How fortunate that Canadian Greg Louis answered our plea for help!
Initially a research scientist, Dr. Louis received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Ottawa in 1972. By 1998 he had shifted his focus and had become expert in Information Systems and Technology. In setting up the FMSF website, Greg worked to ensure that it would be a useful research tool. Search engines such as Google were not yet on the scene and web space was still relatively expensive, so we presented most material in searchable text format rather than pdfs. Greg was ever patient and helpful in explaining what was possible and then how to do it.
Greg’s comment on his association with the FMSF: "I was and am only too glad to have been able to give service to the FMSF as a small return for its benefit to me and in appreciation of its inestimable value to society as a whole."
In 2012, a parent with experience in web design volunteered to help us update the website. With his energy and encouragement, we began to work on the website content. We added new material, edited and updated content while staying true to the original format.
As we progressed, a wonderful web designer in Philadelphia, Joanne Brown, helped us every step of the way and made the website much more user-friendly and accessible. Joanne has been exceedingly patient and has graciously answered every question.
Any website is a work in progress.