SITE HISTORY

Many people have asked me how I developed my site, i.e. with 1,000s of help pages, tutorials and almost 3,000 graphics. All I can tell them that I have been working on my site site 1995 when I first went "online" after moving to South Carolian when my wife and I retired. The pages were made one at a time, some of which took a few hours. And the pages are always being revised as errors are found or new information comes to light.

My original home page, which did not have help pages, was started in 1995. You can see it here! The help pages started soon after I joined GeoCities as a free member and began to help people in the GeoCities' Help Chat. This page, like all the rest, will probably change over time. I hope it encourages some to learn HTML and develop their own pages on their PC so they can upload them to the web and have backups of their files.

1997-2000

I joined GeoCities the first part of 1997. At that time GeoCities had theme neighborhoods. If you joined a particular neighborhood your site was suppose to conform to the theme, e.g. Augusta was about golf, and this is where I joined as I am a golfer.

Soon after I got my pages up I was contacted by a member of Augusta about becoming a community leader (CL). A CL's job was to look through an assigned section of their neighborhood for site that had problems, e.g. wrong theme or illegal types of pages. These were reported to the head CL and they and/or GeoCities could take appropiate action. In addition, the CL could send the site a "courtesy email" siting the problem and giving the owner time to fix it. I took the job and eventally became the head CL for a sub-division of Augusta.

As GeoCities grew so did the neighborhoods. More and more CLs were needed as the problem sites contined to grow. GeoCities had their Help Chat, which continues on today. However, before Yahoo took over GeoCities there were volunteer Chat Administrators who had the power to "boot" chatters if their conduct was outside the "bounds". I was approached one day and ask to volunteer for Chat Administrator. There was considerable training involved and many tests to pass. Once you were a Chat Administrator you were assigned one or two chat rooms to monitor. It is not nice to "boot" chatters but some chatters definitely needed booting. Some continued to return and were promptly re-booted until they didn't return.

About the time that I became a Chat Administrator I began to make help pages on my site. These pages explain common web or site problems, e.g. how to make frames. I felt that having web pages that a "helpee" could go to and read at their leisure would be much better than posting answers in the chat room. This method of directing people to a help site is quite common today.

My help pages were developed as I tried to answer people's questions in GeoCities Help Chat. If I couldn't answer the question(s) in Help Chat I took the time to research the answer or evaluate the answer(s) that were given in Help Chat by others. It sometimes took several days of research to find the answer and test it on my site, e.g. how to make frames, how to use a particular free program such as Irfanview. It is important to make sure that the answer you give is correct. It is not enough to just "parrot" an answer that others give.

As I made more and more help pages my site had to switch to a frame format to accomodate the large number of pages. I soon discovered that no one was helping people who use GeoBuilder (the forerunner to Page Builder) and I developed help pages specifically for these people. I soon became known for my Page Builder Help pages and other helpers in GeoCities Help Chat started refering people to my site.

Being a CL entitled me to 25MB of storage on my free site rather than the standard 15MB that people have today. Prior to 2000, GeoCities gave free member much less storage, e.g. 3MB, then 5MB, and then 10MB. My help pages quickly grew to almost fill the entire 25MB.

The frame format was getting to complex so I decided to switch all my pages over to a page concept with a common menu at the top. The commen menu, which is carried over to today's site, is done using two concepts, (1) Drop Down Menu and (2) Common File Many Pages.

Being involved with computers since 1964 or so I have no trouble learning and using HTML to make web pages. This was fortunate as I made all my pages on my PC and, thus, had backups. In addition, I backed up my site on floppies.

2000-Present

About 2000 GeoCities suddenly erased my site. My member name was still there but my 25MB of graphics and pages was not. I therefore got my own domain name and began hosting my site elsewheres. During my time in GeoCities Help Chat I used various aliases other than my GeoCities member name, seniorchamp. The aliases seem to settle around "wise old man", mainly due to my age (born in 1931) and my extensive help pages. I therefore got my domain name as "wise-old-man.com".

With the huge amount of storage now available to me (1000MB as of 2005) I quickly added more pages and expanded my site to include much more about me, my family, and my family's history.

Developing Help Pages And Tutorials

Help pages, as I said above, were made when I found that many people were asking the same question, e.g. "How to you re-size graphics?". Tutorials were made so I could learn at least the basics of other web languages, e.g. CSS, ASP, JAVASCRIPT. I have found over the years that the best way to learn is to try and teach someone else the subject. Making a tutorial is a great way as people will find it, try it, and when they have problems or don't understand, I can improve the tutorial.

All learning just takes your time, effort, and patience. Time is important as most people don't want to spend the time. They want a "great page" now and don't want to take a few weeks or months to learn how to make the page.