Project Zephyr is a platform for creative folx and fans, built for sharing and support. Its ethos derives from a messier, weirder, kinder version of what a social media sharing site should be. It’s centered around being inclusive, ethical, mitigating abuse and harassment, and providing ways to share and support each other.
There’s a dashboard and it’s not driven by an advertisement catered non-linear algorithm seeking to disorient and suck you into an endless hate pit of “engagement”. It’s chronological, and it’s just the things you want there.
You are not the product, the platform is the product.
Built from a lot of what-ifs about sharing creative things on the internet. What if comics got more thought as Posts? What if Accessibility wasn’t an afterthought? What if you had a finer grain of visibility per Post? What if things had a personality to remind you that you’re in a space with other humans, interacting with things made by humans, for humans? What if there was a proper Code of Conduct that was responsibly enforced?
What if you could block people, then block everyone that follows them, now and into the future? What if you could feel some sense of safety and respect as a creator on the internet, and not be treated as just another data point to be mined and exploited?
It’s all about Zines
Among the various intentions for creation and publication are developing one's identity, sharing a niche skill or art, or developing a story…
Written in a variety of formats from desktop-published text to comics, collages and stories, zines cover broad topics including fanfiction, politics, poetry, art & design, ephemera, personal journals, social theory, intersectional feminism, single-topic obsession, or sexual content far outside the mainstream enough to be prohibitive of inclusion in more traditional media.
In Project Zephyr you make zines and you add posts to them; like blogs, but with a slightly shifted philosophy. They’re messy, they’re DIY, and they can be gut-punchingly serious and honest in what they’re trying to say. The aim here is to pull in the spirit and intention of a zine. You put together an adhoc assemblage of something on a topic or topic(s) that you are a fan/creator of. Make a web comic, make a portfolio, make a poetry collection, dismantle oppressive systems.
Doesn't have to be super snazzy, just needs to be.
Community is Key
Words matter. They can set a tone, paint a picture, communicate and obfuscate. They can be violence, they can be magic. Words matter. Vocabulary choice is important in Project Zephyr and that’s why Project Zephyr is not referred to as a community. It’s only initially a platform. A community is something you earn. Community requires participation and trust building with the people using the platform. That’s not a thing you can just conjure into existence.
If Project Zephyr is ever going to be successful it will need a community, and that's more likely to happen if folx can be a part of how it evolves to launch in a multitude of ways.
How can I follow along?
For now everything will be on Patreon, and this project will have updates going out over two different channels with two different levels of depth.
Whole number (1, 2, 3, …) updates will go out at Wanderer level or above first, with a publishing delay to Public. They’ll include general updates, thoughts, build status, etc., and won’t go very deep.
In-between (1.1, 1.2, 2.3, …) updates will go out at Seeker level only and may never be Publicly posted. They’ll include deeper dives about process, tools, philosophy, and anything else that seems worth sharing.
If you want ALL THE UPDATES, become a Seeker. If you want general updates early, time to be a Wanderer.
(and of course you get all the benefits of each support level beyond just this project as well 🙂)
What do you mean by “built for sharing and support”?
Good question. Initial launch is built around posting and sharing content; from there plans exist to build in methods by which people can financially support creators at different levels of commitment and contribution. Supporting creators, not just creations.
Why is it called Project Zephyr?
I codename all my projects with dinosaur names while their WIP. This project is referred to as Zephyrosaurus, but I shortened it a bit. The real name will be revealed at a later time as the project progresses further.
Why isn’t there a Patreon Dedicated to just this?
Because we should all be supporting creators, and not necessarily just creations. The things I create all intersect and enable each other. By supporting me the creator you’re supporting my ability to work on this project and others. You’re giving me the ability and space to be an artist, a builder, a creative, a person. I contain multitudes, we all do. And I’m very grateful you’re supporting that.
Will there ever be a Patreon Dedicated to just this?
Maybe, if it grows into something much more than me I could certainly see that being a good idea.
Is there VC funding?
Will there be VC funding?