Zaibatsutel

Zaibatsutel is my personal website. You’re looking at it right now. I’ve also used it as a front company for my work in my communications and professional writing work.

The basic stack that runs these shenanigans is:

  • Hugo generates my main website’s content
  • Prospopee generates content for layer-eight.photography
  • lighttpd handles an arbitrarily complex vhost configuration
  • fail2ban keeps the skids away
  • SyncThing runs file synchronization between my laptops, phone, etc.

Zaibatsutel as a student project

I found myself in my classes needing a “company” to write to – many of my classes assumed I work full time – somehow, and that I should be writing towards the goal of using things I produce in class in my work life. My professors all agreed that this was, mostly, a load of hockey. I still needed to get work done.

Thus, Zaibatsutel.

It’s gone through a couple of revisions, but there’s an overarching style to the work that I produce for Zaibatsutel. Fundamentally, the style that I aim for is as such:

  • Keep it informal, but honest: Customers are people too, and content should be customer-focused.
  • Be specific: When vauge details would do, concrete details are better. Use them when possible.
  • Understandable trumps perfect: Nothing is perfect. Clear and understandable writing comes close.

I explicitly modeled these sorts of guidelines after the general taste-and-feel of classic Bell System writing. Whenever possible, I refer back to that era of design and ideas. There’s also heavy inspiration from IBM of yore, as well as plenty of references to different pop-culture icons. You’ll see a lot of Hackers references in my personal work.