About These Resource Pages
Their Nature and History
Site History | Legacy Resources | Not a Blog
The pages on this site are NOT a blog.
To understand why, you need to consider the history of these pages and the different approach a blog takes.
These resources were created over a long period of time, beginning in an era when people were just becoming aware of the Internet.
Predates Windows 95
When I first created this site, few businesses and even fewer individuals had a website.
- Facebook and Twitter didn't yet exist.
- Most people were running Windows 3.1 and accessing the Internet using dial-up modems (if they were connected at all).
- To most people being online meant AOL, CompuServe or BBSs.
- Windows 95 was nearly a year away from release.
OS/2 Warp 3 gave me the tools to get online without purchasing Internet access software for Windows 3.1 (over $150 at that time for browser and email software).
Help for Clients
I first created a series of related pages on topics that would help my clients understand concepts like proper email address etiquette.
My “Start Page”
Initially, there was no complete listing except on a separate “Start Page” maintained for myself and clients. Links were intended for internal use only.
Hosted on Computer
This Start Page was hosted on my clients' computers — updated via floppy disk when I was onsite or by downloading the “update” from the Web via dial-up.
High-speed Internet Arrives
When high-speed Internet emerged, I linked people directly to the online version rather than updating their off-line copy.
At that time, the shortcomings of a site with unorganized resources soon became apparent.
While clients had a directory via the Start Page, it wasn't public.
The Resources Index Arrives
I made the decision to create a resource index page to support the rapidly emerging Internet-connected public.
- The pages were now publicly indexed and their relationship between each other was being established.
- The site content became more interactive.
- I could build upon existing content and link to related content without repeatedly explaining basics.
- It allowed me to begin to build a consistent layout.
Unlike blog posts, the various pages on this site are regularly maintained.
- I have updated the references to software and techniques to current standards as technologies changed.
- I can add pages and content as needed.
- Changed content can be re-indexed on the resource index.
- Obsolete content can have its status changed to legacy status.
This allows the site to remain relevant to current technologies while retaining older content as reference for legacy users.
Some pages need to be reorganized over time.
The site is complex and contains so much information that continually-revised pages can lose their cohesion. Sections within the page become isolated making that page poorly organized and the information difficult to locate.
To remedy this, pages are rewritten to flow better and be more consistent. Sometimes that means moving or removing content.
When a page has too much content, it is split off into two or more pages (such as the splitting some of the Identity Theft content onto newly-created Phone Fraud and Phishing pages).
The site's resource index page is then updated to reflect the changed nature of the site content.
This makes the concept of “guest posts” unworkable.
Over time, some pages are no longer suitable for updating. External reference resources are disappearing or gone. Updating is difficult or impossible.
These pages are labelled as legacy resources:
Note: I no longer develop this page. It remains as a legacy resource.
How Legacy is Assessed
The following issues cause me to designate pages as a legacy resource:
- They document obsolete software and hardware.
- External supporting documentation is either gone or disappearing rapidly.
- The content may have been replaced with a page about newer technologies.
Examples of legacy pages are Windows XP and Legacy Recovery — both dealing with obsolete systems.
This Site is NOT a Blog
I receive ongoing requests to provide “guest posts” for my “blog.”
This site is NOT a blog.
What's Different About a Blog?
A blog is a series of one-time posts that are sorted by date.
- Each posting is independent of each other, although there is generally a theme to the blog.
- Because blogs are sorted by date, no one expects the material to be current if it was posted some time ago.
- Bloggers can use labels or categories to connect posts to each other with common themes.
Because each post is independent, it can be difficult to locate specific information.
Why This Site is Different
Pages on this site are not written, then abandoned.
This Self-Help Resources section is a series of regular web pages that are routinely maintained until they are designated as legacy resources.
The site evolves over time as content is added when I came across information I feel should be included.
In most cases, this is simply added to the current content of a relevant page.
Occasional Re-writes Required
Every once in a while, I review and edit pages to remove older content and broken links. The page is rewritten to restore a rhythm to the text.
Sometimes this means that content is moved from one page to a more logical location or a new page is generated when the content justifies it.
I didn't build a blog for a long time because of the limitations imposed by blogging software.
In March 2007, I posted “My Web Design Journey” on Russ' Rants.
This blog is an experiment for me. I've been building sites by hand since 1994 and I've learned the technology as it developed.
I built Russ' Rants to learn the basics of blogging on Blogger (the most popular blogging software at the time). I've experimented with WordPress later, but this remains my only public blog.
Other experience with blogging has come as I've built and helped maintain blogs for clients. This includes working on the local chapter blog which is only one part of a multisite WordPress blog.
My “Sometimes” Blog
I refer to Russ' Rants as my “sometimes” blog, since I don't post to it consistently.
Instead, it became a place to post thought processes. One example is the 2015 post about the change from static websites to responsive sites.
While blogs should generally be much better maintained, my blog is an experiment rather than a marketing tool.
- Not all postings are date-sensitive.
- Many do not fit within the framework of this site.