All About Word Buff

Hi - I'm Derek McKenzie, although in this neck of the woods I'm better known as Word Buff. And yep, that's me in the picture, with my adorable 3-year old daughter Leila, at a friend's barbecue a little while back.

If you would like to find out a bit more about little old me, I've cobbled together a short, hopefully-not-too-disappointing bio here.

Actually, most people who send me emails are more curious about Word Buff the website than Word Buff the person, and I finally got around to putting up a page to answer them.

You'd be amazed at some of the questions people will ask through the anonymity of a website, by the way! I can't answer all of them (you wouldn't want me to!), but here are the repeaters.

So where are all the games and puzzles?

A quick search of the web will inundate you with sites offering all sorts of word games and puzzles for you to play and solve, and the world really doesn't need another one.

If, on the other hand, you search the web for sites that teach you how to master word games and puzzles, you'll find precious little (of decent quality, at least). Believe me - I've searched. And that is the main hole I'd like Word Buff to fill. I want to show people who absolutely love Scrabble, crosswords, and other spelling & vocabulary games, how to master their art (and yes, I do mean art).

Another hole that I wasn't really intending to fill, but which has evolved naturally, is a social one. Where do people who are serious about word games find other like-minded souls to play with and discuss their wordy pastimes? At Word Buff you'll find lots of articles about organizations and activities brimming with people who are just as dedicated to their addiction as you are. And so far, I've only scratched the surface!

Is Word Buff a website or a blog?

I've noticed that in the word games forums many people refer to Word Buff as a blog, probably because you can subscribe to it and receive my latest posts and updates in your blog/feed reader (see my What's New? page for details). But I think of that feature as more of a 'site' blog than a fully fledged 'personal' blog.

First and foremost Word Buff is a website.

Do you make money from your website?


What website builder do you use?

I'm surprised so many people ask me that question, since it's really pretty easy to build a website nowadays, and there isn't anything spectacular about the look and feel of mine. I like to keep things as simple and intuitive as possible.

Anyway, I use a service called SiteBuildIt! - mainly because they teach you how to make income from a hobby site. Like most hobbyists, I would have been a bit hopeless at that part ;-)

How did Word Buff come about?

Sometime back in late 2008, I was searching the web for an idea that could get me out of my unsatisfying day job. I guess most people would say I was quite fortunate at the time — I had a well paid job in which I was rarely over-worked. Not only that, but my profession was a respected one, and there was never any shortage of employment. So what was the problem?

Well, I guess the following scene just doesn't make me jump out of bed in the morning...

Whereas the following scene does...

2008 Australian Scrabble Championships
Me Vs. David Eldar (reigning Australian Champ.)

You see, the trouble with me is I always get passionate about things that don't seem to have any real chance of generating an income. Scrabble - I don't think so. Physics - Not anytime soon. Latin - Sigh! And that means the things that matter most to me are forever relegated to my ever-shrinking snippets of 'free time'.

Anyway, on this particular night, I came across an article that really blew me away. I stayed up until about 3 am contemplating the alternative approach to life and work it described...

10 Reasons You Should NEVER Get a Job

The next day, was born! In my opinion, everybody should read this article at least once in their lives - I've read it more than 10 times ;-)

Why Should I Subscribe to Word Buff Stuff!?

Well, there's lots of cool stuff I like to tell people about that makes much more sense to do via occasional emails (e.g. updates about interesting things going on in the world of Scrabble, Crosswords, and Spelling Bees.) These sorts of things don't always make their way onto my website, but many people still like to hear about them. So Word Buff Stuff! was born as a newsletter you can subscribe to if this sort of thing appeals to you.

But then I started to create other stuff that I only wanted to give to people who specifically indicated their interest. So Word Buff Stuff! has kinda grown into a small free subscriber-based thing. Basically there are three things I give away to subscribers. I've written up a page about each freebie, so just click the relevant link if you want to find out more detail...

If any of this sounds interesting to you, just let me know and you'll have it in a few minutes! Here's the drill...

Enter your E-mail Address
Enter your First Name

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Word Buff Stuff!.

I look forward to meeting you in the members area!

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