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What in zog's name is going on here?

Zarfhome is my web site. Zarfhome is about what I do.

Zarfhome is not a "blog", or web-log. A web-log is a personal collection of links to other web sites. Zarfhome has some links to other web sites, but they are footnotes -- "see also" links. Zarfhome is about the material I put up on Zarfhome.

Zarfhome is not a diary. I don't update it every day. I don't sit down and create material solely because Zarfhome needs something new.

Zarfhome is not a business. It has no advertisements; I receive no money for these pages. I may sometimes mention a commercial product, but this is always because either (1) I have used the product, in a way relevant to a page on Zarfhome, or (2) I created the product, or helped to. Zarfhome is about what I do, and some of what I do is commercial.

Zarfhome is not pretty. Most pages are plain text, perhaps with an illustration. Zarfhome works in any browser, in any size window, on any computer. Choose your own damn default background color.

I want to document process

I do a lot. If you wander this site, you'll see that. I have things that are art, things that are games, things that are programs, things that are tools. I think some of these things are pretty cool.

I want you to see my cool things, sure. But I want more. I want everyone to do more cool things; I want more cool things, more than I can produce, more than any one person could produce.

So I work in daylight.

Zarfhome is about what I do, and Zarfhome is about how I do it. Many of these pages include not just final results, but long stories of how I got there. Early drafts, perhaps. (I wish I had more early drafts.) The tools I used to get my results. Projects that never had finished results. Projects that never came out the way I wanted them to.


Everyone does things. I want to show, by example, how they're cool things. Even the half-baked ideas, the abandoned ideas, the ideas that were superseded by better ideas. Even the ideas that you don't get a 9-to-5 paycheck to build and bury.

The Internet is not, not, not made of corporate Producers and passive Consumers. You may not be a professional web designer, but you still design web pages. You may not be a professional artist, but you still draw. You may not be a reporter or paid columnist, but you still write the truth that you see.

(Or, indeed, you may be a professional designer or artist or writer. You, even more so, can show that you do not work in a vacuum. I am a professional programmer; Zarfhome has many of my wild programs, my useless programs, my toys. I am not a professional artist or writer, and Zarfhome has many of my wild artistic and written ideas anyway.)

Maybe you can use one of my tools. Maybe one of my ideas will remind you of something. Maybe, if nothing else, I can demonstrate that your silly ideas are no sillier than my silly ideas -- and that they're still worth putting on the web.

Our context, our culture, the fertile ground of ideas that we stand on, is everything we do. Ten years ago I couldn't share that. Today I can.

Can I leave now?

Yes. The lecture is over.

Update from the twenty-first century

I wrote the above on May 31, 2000. I was thirty years old. The web site was -- a couple of years old, or a handful, depending on what files you count from when.

Now it's 2010, and I'm forty, and I'm still pretty happy with my statement.

Some things have changed. Zarfhome is a little bit of a business. The definition of "blog" has expanded, so Zarfhome is probably a blog now, or close enough. (I also participate in The Gameshelf, an honest-to-zog blog.)

Looks like I still swear by Zog occasionally, though. And by frotz.

I have many more finished projects than I did in 2000. But I haven't done as well on the unfinished projects, the working tools, the drafts and set-asides and failures. I owe you more of those, and I apologize; it's the trap of rising standards. Which is to say, vanity. I will try to improve, as always.

Last updated August 7, 2010.

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