It's 1999, the human population of the world surpasses six billion, the number of Internet users worldwide has just reached 150 million, and the EURO currency is adopted by an important number of European countries; SpongeBob SquarePants premieres on Nickelodeon and The Matrix, The Sixth Sense and Star Wars: Episode I are released; Barbie Doll turns forty and the world is getting ready for the year 2000 by running tests for the millennium bug; My Space is officially released while Bluetooth is announced, and Red Hot Chili Peppers and Christina Aguilera take over the radio. And while these capture the world's attention, ProZ.com makes its first appearance as a website for freelancers in April, re-vamped in August as a translation-specific web portal.
Users from all over the world don't wait to start posting their first term help questions,
and their very first job offers.
They immediately start building their profiles through taglines, specialization fields and KudoZ points,
and showing their support of the site by investing in their businesses through ProZ.com membership.
It's been twenty years and the world has changed. The iPhone, Google and Netflix exist, while Blockbuster and The White Stripes don't anymore; people probably like us more on Facebook or Instagram than when they see us; we rent through Airbnb and travel with Uber; we have a DNA map, memes and selfies; we believe in chambers of secrets and magic; we favor CFLs over incandescents, we've learned new gestures and now we can instinctively scroll, drag, tap, pinch-to-zoom and swipe with one hand!
But then, ProZ.com has also changed. The website had fonts updated, navigation links renamed, pages re-arranged.
The Translation center was created in response to Translators without Borders' needs, Pools and Find were released to make it easier to discover specialized professionals, and WIWO came up to help language professionals to promote the work they do and track their project history over time.
A new Scam alert center arose to assist members with risk management procedures, and Invoicing, ProZ Pay and Service agreements became available to help members to manage work and clients more efficiently.
And most importantly, our mission was adjusted to strengthen our engagement with the world's largest community of language industry professionals:
ProZ.com's mission is to empower language industry professionals to achieve their business objectives and realize their full potential by:
The biggest drivers for our growth have always been the trust and support of the language community --of you!
Thank you for inspiring us in all these years. Your success is what matters the most to us as individual staff members and as a team.
Message from ProZ.com's founder, Henry Dotterer
Happy 20th anniversary!