Okay, a bit more explanation, because Tom is *still* somewhat boggled by Experiments in Food Preparation.
First thing's first, I had actually been pondering a cooking blog for some time before I even got involved with the ARG - easily for a couple of years. So if nothing else, I want to stress that nothing illegitimate went into that blog.
That said, I did briefly forget about the blog when I was taking care of other things. But once that all got settled, I got back into it. As to why I made so many allusions to the ARG in something that wasn't fully "connected," a few reasons.
One, even tangentially, I knew it'd always have some connection. If properly maintained, there was the chance that it would add both to the "completeness" of the entire ARG as well as serve as a possible way to draw folks in. The fact that it worked that way, at least in Qara's case, astounded some folks.
Two, seriously, you know how difficult it is to have this many secrets and not be able to share them with anyone? This way, I had a safety valve in which I could drop some things about the game without blowing cover or breaking sequence (people may have missed it, but nothing that I hinted at was technically new; all of it could be gleaned from other sources in-game).
Three, to some extent, I kind of craved the community. I'm one of the veterans of other ARGs on staff (earned my purple leitmark in Perplex City; lurked on several others related to the Slender Man Mythos), and my role on the ARG mostly kept me behind the scenes. Even just the occasional comments you guys dropped, it was still a direct connection. The only other real time I got that was during my turns tweeting as Cheshire (hilariously, shortly after one of my Cheshire tweets, Dryunya compared me to another Cheshire, which was hilarious synchronicity).
Four, I'll admit, there's nothing more pleasing to a puppet master than watching players squirm in confusion. It was amusing to see folks try to figure out what the blog was and not be able to figure it out. And I know I'm not the only puppet master that felt that way.
Five, and perhaps most importantly, I got to do something that I had never seen anyone else *do* in an ARG before. It was an independent work that stood alone from the ARG, and it wasn't ever truly part of the ARG, yet it was an organic outgrowth of the ARG. You didn't need to take any connection to the ARG, and you could still get something out of it. At the very least, Scarab got to go over my vast cookie-making knowledge.
Now, a few extras about it.
One, remember the WMG that supposed that "Cake guy made the cookies" - specifically, the cookies that were sent to narriativedilletante? That's actually 100% correct. I made those lime shortbread cookies. I still have half the batch in my freezer - they're still good. I was actually sad that Qara couldn't get her own package of them, I assume for food allergy reasons. In fairness, though, if Qara does have a list of what she can't eat and sends it to me, since she did earn those cookies, I'll make a batch that she can eat.
Two, the part about drawing the cake blog into the ARG was admittedly a sticking point with me for a bit. The problem was that folks wanted me to talk about opening a restaurant, which Adam would then send a resume to. Said resume would then be posted, which would lead to his site. The reason this didn't happen was twofold. One, I was insistent that I would never lie on that blog. The closest justification anyone could think would be that Adam mistook my blog for a professional chef's blog and sent in a resume in the hopes that there was an opening - it was considered a bit of a weak justification, particularly as I made it clear earlier that I'm a cook, not a chef (a chef runs a kitchen). Two, and this was the killer, was that I pointed out that it's beyond terrible to just post someone else's resume out of the blue. Even if someone was crazy enough to think that I was running a restaurant, nobody would just plaster that resume up on the Internet. At least, I hope not. Push comes to shove, we could never figure out a reason for me to actually post the resume, so those plans were scrapped.
Three, the comment that convinced everyone that I wasn't a puppet master? I never actually said I wasn't. I said that it was given to me as a gift by the friends running the ARG that folks were playing. And that's true - I'm friends with all the puppet masters, because there's a camaraderie that develops when you work on something like this. And it would've been unfair to switch sides, since I did know what was going on with everything. I just made sure not to go into the details on all of that. It was one of my favorite moments in the ARG, because I managed to get folks to believe a lie just by telling the truth.
I smiled when the wall was built, for I knew we were creating something incredible. And I smiled when it cracked, for the world would soon see what we had wrought.