Illustration of Derek Powazek by Adam Ellis

Bug Demands Belly Rubs

Bug Demands Belly Rubs

Just because I was experimenting with animated gifs.

Cute-Fight: We Love Your Photos

We just released the biggest update to Cute-Fight since launch and we’re pretty excited about it. New photo pages, spiffier member profiles, top fighters, new badges and trophies, and lots of other bits and bobs are afoot.

photos from cute-fight

New Photo Pages

If there’s one thing we love almost as much as our pets, it’s photos of other people’s pets. So we’ve created a bunch of great new ways to share photos on Cute-Fight.

BobAll the photos you’ve uploaded to Cute-Fight now have their very own pages, suitable for linking. You can also add titles and descriptions (a top request). Just click them to edit.

If you’re more of a photo viewer than uploader, you can now visit the main Photos page where you can see all the new photos as they come in.

And if you see a photo that you just love, say so! Click the little heart to show your appreciation. The photo will be added to your member profile under “Loved Photos.” Speaking of profiles…

New Member Profiles

Your member profile got a big upgrade, too. It now shows the fighters you’re a fan of (another top request) as well as the photos you love. Plus it just looks a bit more spiffy. Here’s mine.

Top Fighters

MaggieYou can now sort the fighters page by most wins or most fans. That’s how we know Maggie has the most fans of any penguin, and Simon is the winningest cat. But don’t get too comfy, Cute-Fighters. There are plenty of new contestants on the rise, and we’re still working on our ultimate leaderboard algorithm.

Piece of Cake TrophyNew Badges and Trophies

We’ve also added a bunch of funny new badges and trophies. We don’t want to give away the surprise, but pie and cake both make an appearance. Apparently we’re still recovering from Thanksgiving.

There’s only one way to collect ’em all: play the game! Start a fight today.

Other Bits and Bobs

We’ve made a bunch of changes to the site in response to your feedback. Badges and trophies now appear on your homepage. Voting and cheering is faster (just hit return to add your cheer and jump to the next fight). You can now remove cheers if you don’t like them. Sharing on Twitter and Facebook comes with better text descriptions. And, oh yeah, you can now delete your account if you really want to (but we’d be sad to see you go). Thanks for all your feedback. Keep it coming!

Cute-Fight Is Live

On Halloween, in the dead of night, when everything was at its spookiest, we launched the site! Cute-Fight is now live and open to the public at cute-fight.com.

Cute-Fight HomepageIf you were part of our private alpha, thank you so much for your help. We couldn’t have done it without you. You and your fighters are now live to the world. If you’re just joining us now, welcome! We’re so glad you’re here.

And, hey, dig that new homepage! We listened to your feedback and launched a new, fully tricked-out homepage that should be interesting whether you’ve got fighters or not. The homepage now includes a featured fighter. Fill out your fighter’s profile and upload lots of photos and your fighter could appear there, too!

Another change you may notice is the appearance of Facebook and Twitter on the site. You can now post tweets and status updates from the links at the bottom of every page. This is, of course, optional.

We’re very excited to release the site publicly and hope you’ll have more fun now that your friends and family can sign up, too. Speaking of, you can still send invites. If you know a pet that you want to see in the ring, invite their human!

Two Photos and 7,000 Miles

I spent a lot of time in this room today.

It’s in St. Mary’s Spine Center here in San Francisco. I’m lucky that I live close to one of the best spine centers in the country. I’m lucky that I’m not in as much pain as some of the people I met in the waiting room. But I’m not so lucky that I didn’t need to be there.

The Median nerve goes from the your spinal column to your thumb. Mine is pinched at my C6 vertebra. Which is why, for the last two weeks, my right shoulder has felt like a brick, my right arm occasionally seems like it belongs to someone else, and why I can’t feel my right thumb at all.

Turns out, I use that right thumb a lot.

I’ve been this way for over two weeks and almost cancelled the Australia trip because of it. Then I almost came home early. But a Cortisone shot to the spine alleviated some of the pain, so I pushed through. Some people come home from vacation with nicknacks – I come home with MRI scans.

I’m glad I stuck with the vacation, because I got to have moments like this.

That’s me and Wally the Humphead wrasse on the Great Barrier Reef, a 90-minute boat trip from Cairns, Australia, and about 10 feet down. With all due respect to the wonderful people at Web Directions South, meeting Wally was probably the highlight of the trip.

The internet tells me I’m about 7,000 miles away from that moment right now.

Seems like more.

Busy Bunny

Please excuse the interruption in Cute-Fight promotion for a little self-promotion.

'RoidWeek #3: rabbit (tequila, derek)I’ve been remiss in letting you know that I’ll be speaking at Web Directions South 2012 in Sydney, Australia, on October 18. I’ll be kicking off their Startup Track with a session called “The Personal Side of Starting Up.” I’m very excited about this. It’s a brand new talk and a chance for me to synthesize the last 17 years into some sort of cohesive hourlong narrative. Easy, right?

I’ve done a few interviews lately. I gave Lisa from Puppy Tales an exclusive first look at Cute-Fight, where I talked about meeting my in-laws for the first time. I also popped up on the Let’s Make Mistakes podcast to talk about “mansplaining” with Mike and Leah, where I made about half a point. And then I had a lovely chat with Jeffrey on The Big Web Show about my past startups, what I’ve learned, and how I’m applying all that now.

And speaking of Jeffrey Zeldman, he wrote something so nice about me on his site, it made me cry. Seriously. If you read only one thing online today, and you happen to be my parent or potential investor, make sure you read this: Unsung Heroes of Web and Interaction Design: Derek Powazek. Thank you, Mister Zeldman, I feel well and truly sung.

We now return you to your previously scheduled Cute-Fight promotion.



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Hi, I’m Derek. I make awesome community-centric web stuff. I sometimes post things to Instagram. I’m mostly harmless. More.





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