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Mediate.com Celebrates 1,000th Edition of “This Week in Mediation”

This week’s edition of This Week in Mediation is our 1,000th Edition.  While some might argue that “1,000 is just a number,” I would argue both that it is a rather large number (greater than any 3, 2 or 1 digit number) and, secondly, that it is a rather “round number.” 

Also, for the team at Mediate, this “1,000” also represents 3 decades of passionate dedication, quality teamwork, and the ongoing expansion of our global “Mediate Family.” It feels like more than just a number, even if it is just a number.

A Bit of History

Mediate.com was founded in 1995 by John Helie, Mark Eichinger-Wiese and Jim Melamed. The original corporate name was “JMJ, Inc.” (think John, Mark, Jim).  While Mark served the company grandly with this design knowledge and skills, he soon moved from Eugene to Seattle with his lovely wife, at which time “JMJ, Inc.” became “Resourceful Internet Solutions, Inc.” (aka “RIS”), home to our global flagship Mediate.com site. Here is an early picture of John, Mark and Jim.


In time, Mediate.com was been joined by MediateUniversity.com (online courses), Arbitrate.com and ODR.com (our online dispute resolution platforms).  For purposes of this article, in honor of our 1,000 Newsletter Edition, let’s focus on 3 decades of growth and success for our flagship Mediate.com site.

John Helie and Carol Knapp Design and Build Content Management System

John Helie was the founding editor of the Mediate.com newsletter in 1997, initially “This Month in Mediation.”  John worked throughout 1996 with RIS’ long-time CTO (chief technical officer), Carol Knapp, to develop Mediate’s own custom content management system. A big part of this was “mapping the world” of mediation and conflict resolution content.  Assisting visitors to find their desired content required both a capable search system and an effective categorizing (Topics) of conflict resolution and mediation content. This work had never been done before. John’s and Carol’s pioneering content management, search and categorizing work continues to serve us all to this day. You can find Mediate’s “All Topics” list and links here. It looks like this:

Over time, Mediate’s monthly newsletter become bi-weekly and then, for the last 15 years, we have been a weekly publication that is now received by over 20,000 opt in subscribers.  The current newsletter is always located at www.mediate.com/Newsletter.

Mediate.com’s Growth Over Time

For a sense of Mediate’s growth over time, see:

Also Be Sure to Check out Mediate.com Testimonials from Over The Years (They will blow you away!)

Mediate.com Web Development for National and State Organizations

Notably, Mediate.com also assisted these national organizations ACR, APFM, NAFCM, IAM, ACCTM and over two dozen state mediation organizations to “get online” during the 1990’s with capable Mediate.com Dynamic Websites that each organization could directly control. This ability of non-profit mediation and conflict resolution organizations to capably and affordably manage their own ongoing web content and member communications was a “game changer” for the dispute resolution field. Mediate.com has long taken great pride in “being nimble” and “moving fast,” especially relative to traditional legal operations.

The Alternative Newsletter (TAN) and Jim Boskey‘s Legacy

Mediate.com (then also known as “MIRC” – The Mediation Information & Resource Center) was also the original home to “The Alternative Newsletter” (TAN) founded and edited by law professor Jim Boskey.  It was, in fact, Jim Boskey’s passing in June 1999, documented by the TAN Newsletter front page below, that provided great motivation for Mediate.com to ramp up our commitment to regularly publishing our own newsletter.

Note that the American Bar Association (ABA) still sponsors, now since the year 2000, the annual “James Boskey Law Student Essay Contest on Dispute Resolution.”

Successor Newsletter Editors: John Ford, Clare Fowler and Jim Melamed

It was in 2002, with John Helie and Carol Knapp having perfected Mediate.com’s new content posting system, that John Helie handed the Mediate.com newsletter’s editorial reins over to “John 2.0”, aka John Ford, who most capably carried on as Mediate’s Managing Editor for the next 10 years.  Clare Fowler and Jim Melamed have been Managing as Co-Editors of “This Week in Mediation” since receiving the editorial baton from John Ford in 2012.

Mediate.com Receives 2010 ABA Problem Solver of the Year Award

Here is 2010 a picture of the Mediate.com Team, including Johns Helie and Ford, receiving the ABA’s Institutional Problem Solver of the Year Award.  This picture also includes future Editor Clare Fowler, then our most recent hire. 

Here are Jim Melamed’s comments to the American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section upon Mediate.com receiving the 2010 “Problem Solver of the Year Award.”

Here John Helie Receives the 2005 ACR Mary Parker Follett Award


John Helie: A Pioneering Leader in the Field of Dispute Resolution

Colin Rule Receives 2023 Raven-D’Alemberte Award from ABA


Here is a “Mediate Team Pic” from 2019, including (L-R) John Blair, Carol and Byron Knapp, Clare Fowler, Angela Letney, Josh Remis and Jim Melamed

Mediate.com: The First 25 Years (video)


The “Look” of Mediate.com Has Changed Over Time!

Needless to say, the “look and feel” of the Mediate website, and This Week in Mediation, have changed over the years.  Here is what the original Mediate.com Website looked like in 1996:

And here is what Mediate.com looked like in 1998:

Here is what Mediate.com looked like in 2002:

And here is how the Mediate site looked in 2017:

Hiring Colin Rule as CEO and Building For the Future

Few people know that Colin Rule is not only RIS’ and Mediate’s most recent CEO hire (now for nearly 3 1/2 years!), but also that Colin was our very first hire (as “general manager”) way back in 1998. Following Colin’s initial work with Mediate.com, Colin was hired by eBay and PayPal to develop their groundbreaking online dispute resolution systems.

After working for eBay and PayPal for approximately 10 years, Colin licensed the software he had developed and formed his own company “Modria” which, after 7 years, was sold to Tyler Technology. With the pandemic hitting in March 2020 and all dispute resolution moving online overnight, RIS and Mediate decided that it was then time to bring Colin “home” to help us grow Mediate.com and ODR.com for the next 25 years. See: Online Dispute Resolution Pioneer Colin Rule Named Mediate.com CEO

Under Colin’s guidance, Mediate began a year-long process in 2021, with Josh Remis our COO at the helm, to update the look and functionality of a new Mediate.com site. Here is Colin’s article announcing our new site in May 2022: “Introducing the New Mediate.com!


The Mediate.com Website currently includes:

  • 10,547 total posted articles;
  • 1,818 total posted news items; and
  • 839 total posted videos. 

We will continue to do all that we can to bring interesting and helpful mediation and conflict resolution information to dispute resolution professionals and the broader public. We have come a long way! Thanks for your support during our first 3 decades of operation and our first 1,000 issues of “This Week in Mediation.” Now let’s get started on the next 10,000!

author

Jim Melamed

Jim Melamed co-founded Mediate.com in 1996 along with John Helie and served as CEO of Mediate.com through June 2020 (25 years).  Jim is currently Board Chair and General Counsel for Resourceful Internet Solutions, Inc. (RIS), home to Mediate.com, Arbitrate.com, ODR.com and other leading dispute resolution sites. During Jim's 25-year tenure,… MORE

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