Russ Harvey Consulting - Computer and Internet Services

About My Resources

Their Nature and History

Learn about my Self-help Resources site history.

Site History | Legacy Resources | Not a Blog | Russ's Blog | Contact Guidelines

These Resources Not a Blog

The pages on this site are NOT a blog. Why I don't consider it a blog.

They were created over time, but then edited to maintain relevancy to current technologies (with the exception of pages marked as legacy resources).

This approach has both advantages and disadvantages.

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Site History

To understand why, you need to consider the history of these pages and the nature of blog posts.

These resources were created over a long period of time, beginning in an era when people were just becoming aware of the Internet. There were very few websites and the first search engines were just emerging.

When I first created this site, most people were running Windows 3.1 and accessing the Internet using dial-up modems (if they were connected at all). Windows 95 was still nearly a year away. OS/2 Warp gave me the tools to get online without purchasing software for Windows 3.1.

One-off Topics

I first created a series of one-off, but 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” I maintain for myself and clients. Links were intended for internal use only.

This Start Page was hosted on their computers and updated via floppy disk when I was onsite.

My “Start Page” was originally updated via floppies.

When high-speed Internet emerged, people were linked directly to the online version rather than using the link to update their off-line copy, hence the “updates” directory.

Shortcomings

At that time, the shortcomings of unorganized resources, much like blog posts, soon became apparent.

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 could be established.
  • The site content became more interactive.
  • I could build upon existing content to provide related content without repeatedly explaining basics.
  • It allowed me to begin to build a consistent layout.

Site Maintenance

Unlike blog posts, the various pages on this site are regularly maintained.

  • This allows me to update the references to software and techniques to current standards as technologies change.
  • I can add (or remove) pages and content as needed.
  • Changed content can be re-indexed on the resource index.
  • Obsolete content can be removed from active pages or its status reduced to legacy documentation.

This means that the site retains relevance to current technologies.

Rebuilding Pages

Some pages get less organized over time.

The site is complex and contains so much information that continually-revised pages can lose their cohesion. Section within the page become isolated and the page no longer is well organized.

To remedy this, pages are rewritten, sometimes moving or removing content to read better and be more consistent.

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 into new 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.

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Legacy Resources

Over time, some pages are no longer suitable for updating because their content is about unsupported or unavailable content.

When that occurs, the pages are marked with the following warning:

Note: I no longer develop this page. It remains as a legacy resource.

Designating Legacy Resources

The following issues cause me to designate pages as a legacy resource:

  • The software or hardware is no longer supported.
  • The supporting documentation on linked external sites is either gone or disappearing rapidly.
  • The page has been replaced with a newer resource significantly different and where updating the old content is impractical.
  • The naming conventions for the page are no longer relevant.

While these issues would not be a problem for a blog post, they make a standard website look unmaintained.

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Why it Isn't a Blog

A blog is a series of one-time posts that are sorted by date.

This site's Self-Help Resources section is a series of regular web pages that are routinely maintained until they are designated as legacy resources.

Blog Advantages

Blogs have these advantages:

  • Because blogs are sorted by date, no one expects the material to be current if it was posted some time age.
  • Blog posts deal only with a single issue. Except for a brief introduction, the main portion of each post is seldom linked independently.
  • Blog posts do not have to relate with each other in a common theme.
  • The writing style can vary greatly between posts.

Blog Disadvantages

Blogs have these disadvantages:

  • Because they are date-sorted, it can be difficult to find material specific to your needs.
  • Posts tend to be relatively short, requiring a blog series to consider complicated subjects.
  • While posts may indicate they belong within certain categories or tag certain key words, they don't necessarily follow a logical layout.
  • Few blog posts have the ability to retain visibility over time.

These lists are neither complete or necessarily accurate about all blogs, but provide a framework for understanding why I don't consider these resources (or any part of this site) to be a blog.

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Russ' Blog

I didn't build a blog for a long time because I had the ability to create what I wanted without 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 for over ten years (since 1994) and I've learned the technology as it developed. HTML was relatively easy for me to learn.

This blog was created to learn the basics of blogging since Blogger was the primary blogging software of the time. I've experimented with WordPress later, but this remains my only “public” blog.

I call Russ' Rants my “sometimes” blog, since I don't post to it consistently.

Instead, it became a place to post thought processes like the 2015 post about the change from static websites to responsive sites. Not all postings were date-sensitive but some didn't fit within the framework of this site.

Generally, blogs should be much better maintained, but my blog is an experiment, not a marketing tool.

 

Contact Guidelines

If you're planning to contact me, the primary purpose of my site is to provide resources to my clients. I hope that others also find these resources useful, but that isn't my focus.

  • Most links are from resources I find online.
  • I rarely respond to link requests.
  • I use (or even acknowledge) less than half of the link suggestions I receive.

Before Contacting Me

Please review my guidelines.

I do NOT:

  • exchange reciprocal links;
  • link to competing services;
  • accept “guest” posts;
  • accept advertising; or
  • link to irrelevant resources.

I rarely respond to link requests.

I will contact you if I need more information. If not included, your suggestion doesn't fit my requirements.

Read the instructions on the sidebar of the Resource Index page for more about how I deal with link suggestions, requests for help and more.

This Site Responsive

This site is built using techniques that are responsive to screen size.

This side panel (the “aside”) will appear to the right of the main content on most devices, but at the bottom of the main content when viewed on narrow screens like smart phones.

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Related Resources

Please review these resources:


If these pages helped you,
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RussHarvey.bc.ca/resources/history.html
Updated: September 8, 2020