Illustration of Derek Powazek by Adam Ellis

Posts about Community

“Nobody Uses Their Real Name” and Other Outdated Notions

I got my first email address in 1991. I was a freshman at UC Santa Cruz and a friend took me to a basement geek office where you had to fill out a paper form to get your free ucsc.edu email account. In the box labeled “User-name” I started to write “Derek.” My friend stopped me. “Nobody uses their real name.” He said it like he was talking to a child.

Twitter for Adults

Congratulations on getting a Twitter account (or having one for a while)! You’re now taking part in the biggest social experiment in human history (more on that later). But just because you’re floating in a global sea of idle thoughts doesn’t mean you have to drown.

You can be a grownup and participate on Twitter, but it takes some doing. Here are the two ways I’ve found to use Twitter as an adult.

Twitter’s “Who to follow” Feature, aka WTF

Twitter is currently testing a new feature called “Who to follow” (henceforth referred by its unfortunate acronym, WTF). One of those 25% is, apparently, me. When I log in there’s a box on the main page that suggests two users for me to follow. If this sounds familiar, that’s because it’s exactly what Facebook does.

The purpose of a test like this is to gather feedback, so here’s some feedback.

Jean-Louis Gassée’s Customer Service Kung-Fu

Jean-Louis Gassée on customer service: A customer complaint dialogue is structured around a two-position toggle: a) it’s terrible, b) it’s…

Press the Magic Button

My “one strike” rule for Twitter/Flickr and why you shouldn’t be offended when someone blocks you. I was walking down…


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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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