Derek Powazek: Just a Thought

Who? Working the web since 1995, Derek Powazek is the creator of many award-winning websites, a couple of which still exist. Derek is the author of Design for Community, San Francisco Stories, and has contributed to many other books. Derek is a writer and performer, leading the storytelling magazine/movement Fray. Derek lives in San Francisco with his fiancé, two nutty Chihuahuas, a grumpy cat, and a house full of plants named Fred.

Wha? This section is called "Just a Thought." It's where I post little pieces of what I'm thinking about at the moment. This page shows the last seven thoughts, newest to oldest. You can view previous thoughts by month:

April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003

Looking for something before that? Google me, baby.

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It's an honor to be nominated. Again.

Fray has been nominated for a Webby Award. When this happened three years ago, we were nominated in the Community and Personal categories and all hell broke loose. People kvetched that Fray was not personal, not a community, and besides the Webbys are passe.

This time around seems much calmer, which, in a way, just shows how far the Webbys have fallen. I mean, come on, the Kottke thread only warranted 12 comments. There's not even a MetaFilter thread yet. How times change.

I liked the Webbys then and I like them now. I doubt Fray has much of a chance against the heavy hitters in the Print & Zines category this year (including, funnily enough, the site I work on for a living, AlterNet - it's dayjob vs. nightjob!), but that's not the point. The fact that a little labor of love site can sit there facing off against the giant international magazine that lined my bookshelves as a kid is why I love the Webbys.

And now comes the part where I ask you, loyal Powazek readers, for a favor. As you may know, every Webby Award category gets two awards: the main award as picked by the judges, and a People's Voice Award chosen by the great unwashed masses of the internet. If you'd like to support the underdog, I urge you to register and vote for Fray in the Print & Zines category.

Or, of course, you could just point and laugh and complain that Fray is not a print publication. Please do! It makes me so nostalgic.

KnowSpam 400k

knowspam400kFor anyone following the horrible saga, my spam count hit 400,000 today, just a bit past the middle of the month as I predicted. Onward to one million, bastard spammers!

Happy Four-Twenty

The calendar reminded me of a story I wrote three years ago. Here's a bit:

Four-twenty. Supposedly it's the number of active elements in marijuana. Or the criminal code for possession. I think all that's all just urban legend material. All I know is that on April 20th, back when I was in college at Santa Cruz, it was a very special day.

I remember one April 20th when I was hitchhiking up Bay Street to campus. A VW van picked me up and a blue cloud rolled out when the door opened. "Happy four-twenty," said the driver, handing me a joint. It could have been 1969, but it wasn't. It was 1992. Santa Cruz was like that.

Happy four-twenty, y'all.


PETER: When you come in on Monday and you're not feeling real well does anyone ever say to you sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays?

LAWRENCE: Shit no man, I believe you'd get your ass kicked saying something like that man.

Office Space

More Office Space clips.

Plays Well with Others

I've had the pleasure to contribute to two other sites recently, and it's really so much more fun than talking to myself here.

I've been reading TeeVee for years - it's the best writing about the idiot box anywhere. So what a pleasure it is to see a little something I wrote published there. It really is a shame their standards have dropped so much over the years, but their loss is my gain. Or something.

Exercising the other side of my brain, I contributed a few photographs to the newly relaunched Photojunkie Magazine. I was thrilled to contribute to the collaborative photo essay: Everything Old is New Again.

Yay for collaboration!

Dear Senator

To: Senator Liz Figueroa <>
From: Derek Powazek <[myaccount]>
Subject: You are wrong about Gmail

Senator --

I've just read about your hopelessly misinformed attack on Google's new product, Gmail. And I can't help wondering, have you even seen the service?

As you can tell from my return address, I am one of Gmail's beta testers. I bet if you actually saw the system, your fears would be eased. There is nothing to worry about here. Yes, on some messages, sometimes, unobtrusive ads are placed on the side. But they are simply text links to websites, separate from the email message, and clearly labeled as ads.

More ...

Vampires and Cowboys

I never liked vampires. The whole vampire genre, it seemed to me, was made for sex-starved girls and self-obsessed high school goths. Then I met Buffy.

Buffy the Vampire slayer, by Joss Whedon, was great television, if you haven't heard. Smart, funny, dramatic, and very very real. Yaknow, as real as a girl dusting vamps can be.

I was a closeted Buffy fan for years. I even furtively followed Angel as he left Sunnydale for his own spinoff in LA. The noir style and male protagonist finally brought me out of hiding. I was a Buffy/Angel fan. Joss Whedon was my hero. And that was okay.

More ...

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