Thoughts about Powazek

Hey San Franciscans: Come Get Intimate
Just a thought from 15 August 2006 about , , , , .

heather gold showMy fellow San Franciscans, got plans Friday night? If not, come watch me get intimate with Heather Gold!

Inspired by Shabbat Salons, comedian Heather Gold brings the talk show format into the 21st century. Her live talk show mixes thinkers, entertainers, doers and the audience with humor, curiosity and yes, a little soul.

This Friday's show is all about "Intimacy" and features comedian and survivor's rights activist Betsy Salkind, author/spoken word artist Michelle Tea, and yours truly, talking up digital intimacy.

It all happens the JCCSF, 3200 California Street, from 8:00-9:30pm. Hope to see you there!

UPDATE: It went great! Heather posted a great wrap-up.

Two Conferences, Two Weeks
Just a thought from 25 July 2006 about , , .

A small collection of thoughts after attending two conferences in two weeks.

  • The US government is full of people who are really passionate about what they're doing. In other jobs, you "work." But when you work for the government, you "serve."
  • Those of us who have been making webstuff since before the word "weblog" came around, myself included, have a built-in irreverence about the blogosphere, like an older brother who rolls his eyes when his kid brother shows off and everybody goes, "awww." But I couldn't help but notice how, at both conferences, blogging was accepted as just part of the web world. Now that the specialness has worn off, maybe we can have a real conversation about what they're good for, and what they're not.
  • I could totally live in Portland. The trains are quiet (and free downtown), the coffee is great (thanks to Chris for bringing me by Stumptown), and the geeks are nice (reminds me of the geek scene in San Francisco 10 years ago, but without the polyamory).

Continue reading “Two Conferences, Two Weeks” »

The Powazek World Tour
Just a thought from 12 July 2006 about , , , , .

Today I embark on the very exciting 2006 Powazek World Tour. (Well, if you consider Portland and DC the world and two stops to be a tour, anyway.)

This Thursday and Friday I'll be participating in a private conference sponsored by - I swear I'm not making this up - the State Department. It's called the "Conference on Blogs and Democracy" and I'll be on a panel about "The Influence of the Blogosphere" and if I told you any more, I'd probably have to kill you.

But if I see Condoleezza, I promise to say hi for you.

webvisionsThen, next Thursday and Friday, July 20 and 21, I'll be in Portland to participate in Webvisions 2006. It looks to be a great lineup this year and, unlike the first stop on the Powazek World Tour, this one you can actually attend. And you should!

I'll be speaking on a panel about Business Blogging (free preview: "Don't start a conversation if you're not prepared to have one.") and I'll be reprising my New Community talk (free preview: "You need your community more than they need you.")

Looks to be a good couple of weeks for nerddom.

What I'm Up To Now
Just a thought from 26 April 2006 about , , .

Two months ago, I posted about leaving Technorati and starting a design studio. I also lamented how hard it was to find a good domain name, and lots of you wrote in with fabulous suggestions and offers. I tried to reply to everyone, but please forgive me if I didn't get back to you. They were all great.

Here's the thing. Less than two months after starting the design company, things have shifted. I'm still starting a company with my good friend Paul, but it's transmogrified into something else. (Guess it's a good thing we never did settle on a name.)

The new company is going to be ... pure awesomeness. After years of putting designs to other people's visions, I'm finally going to be able to do it for myself. I've come up with lots of ideas over the years, but this is the first one that's got all the elements in line: the right time, with the right people, and the right technology. Plus there's an actual business plan.

Continue reading “What I'm Up To Now” »

I Live in the Future
Just a thought from 23 March 2006 about , , , , , .

the gadget showSo today I found myself at home, sitting on the couch, plugged into my laptop. I was talking to a gentleman in Australia, where it was already the next day, over the internet with Skype. We talked about the web, blogging, and community, while his daughter squealed in the background. He recorded the conversation and has now made it available to his listeners as a Podcast.

Is this what it's like to live in the future?

My Resolutions for 2006
Just a thought from 28 December 2005 about , , .

Last year I made some resolutions here on the ol' dotcom. Let's recap:

1. Sell the car. Check!

2. Launch JPG. Check!

3. Quit smoking. Check! Then ... uncheck. Sigh.

4. Kick ass at work. IMHO, Check!

5. Remember to treasure every moment. Doing my best.

6. Be more patient with those who mean well but communicate poorly. Doing my best.

7. Take Fray to the next level, whatever that is. Does putting it on hiatus count? If so, check.

8. Self-publish a book. Check!

I guess I'll keep those "doing my best" ones on the list for this year, as well as that pesky unchecked one. And here area few new ones for 2006:

9. Get more serious with JPG Magazine.

10. Say yes more than no. Much more.

11. Keep feathering the nest.

12. [This one's in my inside voice. I know what it is. You'll see.]

The Household Beautification Project Continues
Just a thought from 28 December 2005 about , .

Our hallway ceiling is now a stunning shade of "Frank's Fire." The only Frank I know is my cousin the accountant, and, as far as I know, he's never been on fire. But if he was, I assume he'd be this color.

Chawazek 2006
Just a thought from 1 December 2005 about , , , .

our sanfrancisco 2006

Heather and I put 12 of our favorite photos of San Francisco together and made a 2006 calendar. Here's a fun game: See if you can guess which months are hers and which are mine. Get yours today!

See also: The Bug Calendar!

Embrace your bottom!
Just a thought from 13 September 2005 about , , .

I mentioned this idea briefly when I posted about the recent redesign, but I wanted to expand it further. Web designers of the world, let's talk about your bottoms.

When you're designing pages - specifically content pages - what is the best possible thing that could happen? I mean after the user has bought a computer, gotten internet connectivity, figured out how to use a browser, and somehow found their way to your site ... what is the single best thing that they could do?

Read. That's right, read. And read all the way to the bottom of the page. In this business, a user that actually reads all the way to the bottom of a page is like gold. They're your best, most engaged, happiest users. You know, because they haven't clicked away. They did the best possible thing they could do, and now they're at the bottom of the page. And how do you reward them?

With a copyright statement. Maybe, if they're lucky, some bland footer navigation.

If you ask me, that's just rude.

Continue reading “Embrace your bottom!” »

Digging in the Dirt
Just a thought from 5 September 2005 about , , .

Your eyes do not deceive you - do not attempt to adjust your browser. You are looking at the latest redesign of Powazek dot com. I'd give it a number, but at this point, I've lost track of which version this is.

newpowI had two goals for this design. First, as much as I love the simplicity-rules 37 signals school of design, there comes a point when you just can't look at that much black and white Helvetica anymore. I'm all about the crisp and clean in my professional work, but this is a personal site and it should reflect the person behind it - and sometimes this person is a dirty, dirty boy. We don't all need to look like an advertisement for Swiss dentistry equipment.

Second, and this is something I've been percolating for a long time, I wanted to focus more on the page bottoms. Page bottoms are the most valuable screen real estate there is. You read that right. All that nonsense about people not reading and not scrolling is complete bullshit. Longtime readers will know this - I've ranted about it before.

Think about it this way: Sure, maybe only a small percentage of all readers will ever make it to the bottom of a page, but those readers are your most valuable. They read all the way to the bottom. They scrolled, even! When a reader reaches the bottom, they should be rewarded with a special treat - content, navigation, tools, whatever - not coldly abandoned the way most most sites do.

So new here is a wayfinding footer - the kind of stuff that's usually ignored in sidebars. Will it help people stay on the site and surf around? I don't know - you tell me.

I'm not done here. A good design is like a poem - it's never done, you just get to a point when you put it out there and hope people hear it like you meant it. So welcome to the new dotcom, same as the old dotcom, here until the next version rolls around.

How Tags Happened at Technorati
Just a thought from 25 July 2005 about , , , , , .

It's been six months since we added Tags to Technorati (where I'm Senior Designer), and as it turns out, it was a pretty big deal. So before we get too far away from it, here's the story of how it came about. From my perspective, anyway.

Firstly and most importantly, Technorati did not invent tagging. We were inspired by the tags that Flickr users were using to describe their photos, and the tags Delicious users were using to describe their bookmarks, and the many tagging adventures that came before them. We thought bloggers should have something similar - an open standard for adding tags to their posts. If there was such a thing, we could display all kinds of different kinds of content on the same page - photos, links, and posts - grouped by tag.

Secondly, it's important to note that many people at Technorati worked on various tagging solutions at different points. So credit goes to the company as a whole. We're a small company now and were even smaller six months ago. Just about everyone had a hand in our tags implementation.

For me, it all started with New Year's resolutions. In Fray, we've always had a New Year's resolutions story, and it was always a big hit with posters. In December 2004, I was in my second month at Technorati, and I had an idea: Why not encourage people to post their resolutions to their own blogs, and then use the power of Technorati to gather them all together on one page?

Over Technorati's winter break, Tantek Çelik, Jason DeFillippo, Bradley Allen and I met at Crepes on Cole and banged out the Resolutions 2005 page with help from Kevin Marks and Aaron Bannert who were there via IM. The page was set up to show any post that contained a link to it - in other words, if you linked to that page, then your post appeared on that page.

The page went up on December 29 and we encouraged people to post their resolutions and include a link to that page. And they did! Hundreds of posts came in. It was great. But the system we'd devised had one critical flaw.

There were two kinds of posts that linked to our resolutions page. The first was what we'd wanted - people posting their resolutions and linking to our page for more. But the second was different - it was just people saying "look at all those resolutions over there." It was not a participation in the theme - it was just a pointer.

What we needed was a simple way to tell one kind of a link from the other. Tantek mentioned the "rel" standard for hrefs that he used in his XFN work. Basically, the rel attribute was a way to describe the relationship implied in a link. With XFN, I could say that Tantek is a friend of mine by putting "rel=friend" in a link to his site. I suggested we just do the same thing here, using "rel=tag" to allow a blogger to say "with this link, I intend to tag my post as being about the subject I'm linking to."

The best part about this technique was we could read the tag from the location in the href. So if someone wanted to tag their post "iPod" they could link to any URL that ended in that text, whether it was our tag page (technorati.com/tag/iPod) or the product page at Apple (apple.com/ipod) or the Wikipedia entry (wikipedia.org/wiki/Ipod). All would result in the post getting tagged as being about iPod.

We were making the taggers do a little bit of work to be included, but it made sense to ask the people who wanted to participate to do the work, instead of the people who just wanted to make a pointer.

In the first week of January 2005, Technorati founder David Sifry and coder Kevin Marks sat down and kicked out a beta version in a weekend. Dave wrote a service that grabbed the feeds from other tag providers, Kevin coded up a spider that would crawl blogs looking for those rel tags. Kevin also added an awareness of categories in RSS and Atom to the spider, so people could use those, too. I designed some templates to encourage fun browsing.

Tagging in Technorati was released on January 14, 2005. And we knew at the time that any search service could read the rel=tag standard. We wanted them to! The success of tags would be good for us, good for bloggers, and good for the web in general.

Since then it's been one of our most beloved features, and not just because it's a browsing experience as I wrote back in January. It's because tags are carefully created visible metadata that, for the most part, you can trust. When a blogger says their post, photo, or link is about iPod, you can generally believe it.

Together we're creating a web that's both more organized and more human. A web where the content creators are in control of how their words are categorized, not some academic in an ivory tower. A web where the difference between a reader and a writer gets blurrier every day.

And I'm so happy I could play some small part in helping it along.

My New Glasses
Just a thought from 23 July 2005 about , .

Uploaded by Heather on 22 July 2005, 8.30pm PDT.

Someday I'm gonna write a post called, "So I Married a Photoblogger."

How to Make Coffee
Just a thought from 11 July 2005 about , , .

Some days I feel like I really know what I'm doing. Some days, not so much. But no matter how bad the lapse in self-confidence, there's one thing I always know: How to make coffee. And since this site has my name at the top of it, I'm here to tell you the Derek Powazek Preferred Method of Coffeemaking. Feel free to take notes.

Step 1: Gather Ingredients

  • blue bottle makes me crazy with joyBeans. Always buy whole beans, and buy organic Fair Trade beans when you can. And not because they're politically correct - it's because they taste better, period. People who care about coffee make better beans.

    Want the best beans ever? The Blue Bottle Coffee Company is seriously the best coffee I've ever had. And lucky for you, they sell online.

    Buy the roast that sounds best to you - there is no bad choice. The lighter the roast, the more caffeine. The darker, the more flavor. I tend to shoot for something in the middle.

    One last thing about beans: Never, ever put them in the freezer. Ever eaten an ice cube that's sat in a freezer for a while? You know that icky metallic taste? That's what freezers do to coffee. Store your beans someplace with consistent temperature and very little moisture. The fridge is fine. So is a nice dark cabinet. Just no freezing!
  • Grinder. If you get whole beans, you'll need a grinder at home. Get one. Doesn't really matter what kind.
  • Water. Use filtered water - Brita or the like. The better the water that goes in, the better the coffee that comes out.
  • French Press. Anything from Bodum is perfect. No offense to you electric coffee pot brewers - I did it for years. But once you go press, you never go back.

Step 2: Make Some Coffee

  1. Take the beans out of that cool, dark place that's not your freezer and put some in the grinder. How much? Experiment and figure out what tastes good to you. Don't be anal about measuring. Nobody likes a math geek, Scully.
  2. Grind 'em for about half as long as you think you should. Do not pulverize them into powder! I usually give it about five Mississippi's and then stop. The grind should be coarse, with some big bits left over. If you grind it too fine, little bits will slip into your coffee and make it too bitter.
  3. Put the grinds into the bottom of your clean French Press. Take a moment to smell the aroma of the ground beans. Personally, this is usually the first moment I realize I'm awake and standing in the kitchen with my nose in a Bodum.
  4. Put some of that lovely filtered water into whatever boiling conveyance you've got and heat it up. For the best coffee, the water should be just under boiling - right when the bubbles start going but before the whistle blows.
  5. Pour the just-shy-of-boiling water over the virginal ground beans. Make sure you get them all nice and swirling around in there. Put the top of the press in and slide it down to where it meets the top of the pre-coffee.
  6. Go check your email for 4-6 minutes. Don't forget! Leave 'em in too long and it'll be too strong.
  7. Plunge. Slowly push the top down, moving the grounds to the bottom of the press. Do it slowly and evenly. And try not to tip it over and shatter it on the stove. Trust me - it's impossible to get all the glass shards out of the coffee.
  8. Serve immediately. If you've made too much, pour it into an extra mug and cover. Do not leave it in the press - it just gets nasty.
  9. Flavor to taste - sugar, milk, whatever. Anyone who says coffee has to be black is a bigger coffee snob than me. Personally, I put a single scoop of Ben and Jerry's vanilla ice cream in there. It's a habit I picked up in college when my shitty fridge couldn't keep milk from going bad to save its life, but the freezer worked like a charm. The roastmaster at Blue Bottle Coffee said it was okay, so I'm sticking with it.

So that's what I know about coffee. It's not much, but it's gotten me this far.

UPDATE: How to Make Coffee 2: Revenge of the Nerds!

And only six months late!
Just a thought from 2 July 2005 about , , .

It's my little tradition to redesign the ol' dotcom around the new year, just to keep things interesting. And today, I finally got around to it. For those playing along, yes, that's only six months late. A new record!

Being a remedial CSS student, the grey boxy design this site was sporting until about five minutes ago was my first real all-CSS design (for powazek.com, anyway. My clients always got the good stuff - cobber's children and all that). So this time I decided to try redesigning by only modifying the stylesheet. And that's what I did. Mostly. I wound up having to do a little in-template tweaking to achieve my favorite feature: the header and footer images.

Ephemera Headers

I'm using the amazingly indispensable MTEmbedImage plugin for Movable Type to create a special background image for the headers and footers. It will update every time I update Ephemera. Neato!

In general I just wanted to bust out of the drab boxiness of the old design, and embrace the whitespace. The recent redesign of Plasticbag was an inspiration in this regard. White is the new orange.

There's more I want to do here, but I think I'll call it quits while I'm ahead. Hope you like it!

Before and After
Just a thought from 30 June 2005 about , , .

me me me

One of the many perks of the first day off work in months is tending to long-overdue life maintenance. Today I ran errands, cleaned the house, and got a haircut. Consider this post my little contribution to the most interesting Google image search ever. I feel like a new man already.

The New New Thing
Just a thought from 9 June 2005 about , , , , .

technorati logoSeven months ago, when I told my friends and family that I'd taken a job at Technorati, they all had one thing to say to me.

Cool! But, um, what do they do?

These people weren't rubes. My tribe are some geeky folks. Bigtime bloggers, hardcore nerds, and computer-enabled professionals all asked me this. And translated through my filter it said one thing loud and clear: Houston, we have a problem.

I answered their questions as best I could, but I decided then and there to make it my life's goal to do everything I could to make it so that I never, ever have to answer that question again. The site should explain what it does, not the people who work there. Today we took the first step toward that goal and released the new Technorati beta.

This is a huge revision to the site, and the product of some of the most talented people I've ever had the pleasure of working with. I'd especially like to call out Jason DeFillippo who was literally coding with bandages on his fingers, and Ben Jenkins who came on a month ago and has been our ace in the hole ever since. Thanks also to CSS jedi Eric Meyer and illustrator extraordinaire Chris Bishop for lending their talents. And of course the real heroes are the engineers and ops crew who make it so people like me have something to design at all.

But enough with the acceptance speech. There are a ton of changes in the new site. In fact, just about every bit of frontend code has been rewritten. And all toward the goal of making the blogosphere more understandable, more fun, and more accessible to people who don't even know what a blog is.

I'd say more, but right now I'm so tired I'm literally about to fall over. So just go check it out. And, of course, that "beta" slug up there is on purpose - we're still working the bugs out and there's lots more in store. But please do check it out and be sure to let us know what you think.

And now I must sleep.

Heather and I on Lulu
Just a thought from 3 May 2005 about , , , , .

Jason took this fabulous photo of Heather and I to help promote JPG Magazine. It's currently in rotation on the Lulu homepage. Hooray!

My new book, same as the old book
Just a thought from 21 April 2005 about , , , , .

San Francisco Stories started out as a website, then became a book published by So New Media. It went out of print there a year ago. I finally got around to republishing it, thanks to the good folks at Lulu. I got my copy today and it looks great. Check it out!

Cross one thing off the Life List. Next?

Get Lost!
Just a thought from 11 April 2005 about , , .

jpg magazine issue2 lostThe second issue of Heather's and my labor of love photo maagazine has been published!

Issue 2 of JPG Magazine, the quarterly of brave new photography, is here! Inside you'll find 43 photographic interpretations of the word "lost." Also includes a set of powerful portraits by featured photographer Ryan Keberly of Detroit's disposessed, as well as an interview with Adriene Hughes, who is using photography in her battle with cancer. This issue of JPG Magazine paints a new picture of what it means to be lost ... and found.

The magazine is 62 pages (ten more than last issue!) and looks a little something like this inside. More Info & Buy »

Heather via Flickr
Just a thought from 9 April 2005 about , , , .

heather  via flickr

I'm really enjoying the crappy camera in my Sidekick 2 lately. You can see the results in my Flickr Photos Tagged Hiptop.

I am a salty old man
Just a thought from 2 April 2005 about , , , , .

Heather and I are having much fun moblogging today. She has an excuse - she is participating in 24 in 48: A collection of 24 people posting photos for 48 hours for your enjoyment. Me? I just like to follow the cool kids.

Check our Flickr photostreams: his and hers.

Ephemera Recognized
Just a thought from 31 March 2005 about , .

It's been a great week for my photo site, Ephemera.

On Monday, Justly Married, my record of the same-sex marriages that took place in San Francisco in February 2004, received an honorable mention in the NPAA Best in Photojournalism 2005 for News Picture Story. I'm told it's the first time a photoblog has appeared in the awards. It's quite an honor.

And on Wednesday, my pet photography was honored as "Best Animal Photography of a Photoblog" in the Photobloggies. Thanks to everyone who voted! I'd like to thank all the little people, especially the ones with fur and four legs....

Vote Chawazek!
Just a thought from 21 March 2005 about , , , .

You know what never gets old? Shilling for votes. Really. It's a skill I've nurtured over my 10 years making web stuff. I'm still sore I never got in the Top 5% in the mid-90s. The ballot was totally confusing. Most of my votes wound up going to David Siegel.

Case in point: I'm honored that my humble photo site is nominated for two categories in the Photobloggies: Animal Photography and Photo of the Year. And The Wife is nominated for two as well: Best American (hah!) and Best Toy Camera.

So, please, if you cherish freedom, mom, and apple crullers, vote Chawazek today! We'd do it for you. And hurry - voting ends March 28.

UPDATE: Heather has recused herself because she wants to see the award go to a site that's not already on the Photoblogs Top 10. Isn't she the best? Answer: Yes. I vote for her every day.

Update on my 2005 Resolutions
Just a thought from 7 March 2005 about , .

Updating the list:

  1. Sell the car. Check. Thanks, Craigslist!
  2. Launch JPG. Check.
  3. Quit smoking. Check.
  4. Kick ass at work. In process - more to come.
  5. Remember to treasure every moment. Doing the best I can to remember.

Since it's still the first quarter of the year and I seem to be doing well, I think I'll add some more.

  1. Be more patient with those who mean well but communicate poorly.
  2. Take Fray to the next level, whatever that is.
  3. Self-publish a book. Or two.
  4. Keep not smoking. Keep working on JPG. Keep moving forward, always forward, never back.

SF Lit Event
Just a thought from 2 March 2005 about , , .

my caliPlease join yours truly and a handful of other contributors to My California tomorrow, Thursday, March 3, for an evening of California storytelling at the Mechanics' Institute in San Francisco. It's gonna be fun! Tell the folks at the door that you're an "author's guest" to get in free.

UPDATE: The event was a wonderful success! Here's a photo of me reading my story, courtesy of my beautiful and talented wife.

me reading

Continue reading “SF Lit Event” »

And I'll Call it ... San Francisco Stories
Just a thought from 27 February 2005 about , , .

The other night I took the dogs out for their midnight walk. As I was crossing the street, I couldn't help but notice the screaming coming from the park. It was Madison on a binge, having a shout-out with an extremely loud woman.

As I was crossing the street, another of the park denizens was exiting. He saw me and said, "Don't go in there, Derek." I nodded and continued walking the dogs up the street.

Welcome to my San Francisco, where even the homeless guys are looking out for you.

And I thought: Wouldn't it be great to have a site where I and others could post all their funny stories of San Francisco? And then I remembered I already did. I started it in '98.

So, for the first time in a year and a half, I posted a new story there. And it's not about crazy homeless fights in the park. It's about boobies.

Maybe personal sites are like fashion - they always come back around.

Party Friday Night!
Just a thought from 23 February 2005 about , , , , , .

big showMe and the lovely wife have some photos up in our neighborhood cafe and we're having a little wine and cheese opening. The event also doubles as a launch party for our new photo magazine, JPG. Please come celebrate with us!

When: This Friday, February 25, 6-8pm.
Where: Reverie Cafe: 848 Cole Street (near Carl).

Yes, there'll be copies of JPG Magazine avaliable. Also, cheese. And coffee. And wine and beer. And us.

Here's hoping you'll be there too!

UPDATE: It rocked! Thanks to all who attended.

Rockstar Treatment
Just a thought from 19 February 2005 about , , , , .

If there's one thing better than having super-talented friends, it's having super-talented friends who let you participate in their projects. Today Heather and I went over to Robin's garage studio for the rockstar treatment, which consists of a white backdrop, a few lights, and a camera. All in all it's pretty low tech. The fanciest thing in the garage was the iPod playing the tunes. Whatta blast. Thanks Robin!

New: Just a Link
Just a thought from 14 February 2005 about , , .

A new feature to the ol' dotcom: Just a Link. Approximately three years after everyone else got one, I've added a little sidebar link blog to my site. It's for quick links. Just little one-liners: A link and a thought. The same thing I said was not "all that revolutionary" five years ago. And, yeah, it's not. But it is fun.

What's changed? Delicious, a "social bookmarking system." Plenty of other people have gushed about it already. Bottom line: Delicious makes sharing bookmarks social the same way Flickr makes photos social. And when formerly isolated things become social, wonderful things happen.

With Delicious, you can add bookmarks easily, republish them on your site, subscribe to other people's bookmarks and share your own. Plus your links contribute to the global zeitgeist, where you can see what the most popular links of the moment are.

Not being revolutionary has never been so much fun.

A Special Letter from the House of Powazek
Just a thought from 1 February 2005 about .

I've always been the creative sort. A maker of things. With a drive to succeed. And I've always dated strong, independent women. Creative types. Writers, actresses, editors, and, God help me, designers.

So it comes as no surprise that I now find myself married to Heather. Beautiful, wonderful, creative, successful Heather. I do love her so.

But there is something wrong with our relationship, my friends, and I'm gonna tell you what it is because, and I mean this, I think we're really that close. See, last year, something happened. Something so unspeakably horrible that neither of us could have ever predicted it.

Heather won Lifetime Achievement in the Bloggies.

Yes, 2004 will be known to some as the year George Bush was elected again, proving that Americans really are that stupid. 2004 will be known to others as the year of the unfortunate wardrobe malfunction. But to me, it will always the be the year that the dark cloud of Lifetime Achievement gathered over the House of Powazek.

I want you to know that it's not true what they say. Heather did not use the million dollar prize as a bed to roll around in. She did not use the bills to light fancy cigars made of the finest tobacco in Canada, wrapped in crisp Benjamins. We did not hire a houseboy.

In fact, Heather has never been more gracious, more magnanimous, more humble about her gigantic victory - a victory shared only by those trailblazers of blogness Jeffrey Zeldman, Evan Williams, and Jason Kottke, who all really did hire houseboys.

Which just makes it all that much worse.

People, there's a deep and scarring inequality in the House of Powazek. But you can make it right. Because, amazingly, I was nominated for Lifetime Achievement this year. And now I have the chance to catch up with my successful bride, if only for one brief, shining moment.

To vote, just visit the URL below, scroll scroll scroll down, look for the "Lifetime Achievement" section and click the box next to "Derek Powazek." Then just enter an email address and click submit.

Do it to level the playing field for all those guys married to women they know could really kick their asses. Do it for all the out of work houseboys in San Francisco. But, most of all, do it for me, before Thursday, because that's when the voting ends.

I'd do it for you.



-- Derek

The Really Big Show
Just a thought from 31 January 2005 about , , , , .

big showFor weeks Heather and I have been running the photo printer constantly, buying up lengths of wire and strange plastic bits, and having conversations like, "does this dog go with this ripped graffiti?" and "I dunno, the broken taillight or the billowy cotton candy?" And after two late nights with tape and levels and other implements of destruction, we're finally done. Our first joint photo show is up.

It's called "Local Color" and it's 42 color photos and a bunch of Polaroids of the San Francisco we know and love. Except for that one that Heather shot in Mexico, but shhh, that's a secret.

If you're in San Francisco, do stop by Reverie Cafe at 848 Cole Street sometime between now and the Ides of March for a look. If not, well, here's a glimpse of the Wall o' Pets (my contribution, natch).

A short history of my affliction with weblogs
Just a thought from 25 January 2005 about , , .

I'm honored to be a nominee for the 2005 Bloggies in the category of, get this, Lifetime Achievement. Seriously. If I win, I think I might just retire.

New 'round here? Here's a short history of my affliction with the world of weblogs.

1997: I begin posting personal thoughts in reverse-chronological order. There is a photo of my cat. This is called a "homepage."

2000: Put blog in tiny box. Get called "brain dead" by Dave Winer. Consider it as new slogan. Reject idea. Ask "What's a weblog?" and get some ideas. Go to work for Pyra as Creative Director and design Blogger "B". Host first-ever weblog panel discussion at SXSW. Redesign.

2001: Redesign. Write Design for Community. Mention weblogs in last chapter. Seems like enough text at the time. Create City Stories Project, a proto-Metblogs.

2002: Same design. Amazing! Contribute to blog book. Go to work for AlterNet and implement news blogs. Still waiting for fad to pass.

2003: Redesign. Get filmed for Blogumentary giving three seconds of thought to a 30 year subject. Add Storyblog to Fray.

2004: Redesign. You're lookin at it!

2005: Give up waiting for fad to pass. Go to work for Technorati.

Thanks for visiting. Come back soon. Oh, and, please do vote if you're so inclined.

Buy My Car
Just a thought from 23 January 2005 about , .

honda for sale Live in the Bay Area and have a hankerin' for a luxury automobile? Then keep on lookin! But if you want the perfect city car, able to haul a bike and still fit in the little parking spots, check out my car. Her name is Flo and she's free to a good home. And by free, I mean about three thousand dollars.

JPG Magazine is GO!
Just a thought from 13 January 2005 about , , .

JPG Magazine

The first issue of JPG Magazine is out!

Resolutions for 2005
Just a thought from 28 December 2004 about , .

  1. Sell the car. Walk/Muni more.
  2. Launch the first issue of JPG Magazine and keep 'em coming.
  3. Quit smoking. Again.
  4. Help Technorati truly kick ass.
  5. Treasure every single moment, awful and beautiful alike.

Bookends in Words Magazine
Just a thought from 5 December 2004 about , , , .

words4 I'm thrilled to have contributed an updated version of my protest story, Bookends, to the 4th issue of Words! Words! Words! Magazine, which is all about protest. The issue also features writing by Savannah Schroll, David Barringer, Kathy Fish, Steve Himmer, Ryan Kennebeck and Sean Ferrell, photography by Beth Stegall, and drawings by "drew" of toothpastefordinner.com.

It's a great book and at $5 it's a freaking steal. So if you're looking for a great gift for the old hippie or young lit snob in your family, this is it.

That's My Aunt!
Just a thought from 30 November 2004 about .

AZ Central: Girl's dream is reality: Doll House owners offer classic toys

SCOTTSDALE - As a young girl in the late 1950s, Sari Powazek fantasized about owning a store that carried all the toys her family couldn't afford to buy....

Today, Powazek's dream has morphed into a 3,600-square-foot store in the Promenade of Scottsdale shopping center, southeast of Scottsdale Road and Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard.

Hey Arizonans, support the family business! Spend your holiday bucks at the Doll House & Toy Store in Scottsdale. Tell 'em nephew Derek sentcha!

Lookee There
Just a thought from 5 November 2004 about .

Chihuahua Cha Cha: Puppy PortraitsI'm only posting because I can't stand to look at "Election Depression" on the homepage of Powazek.com anymore. So, hey, lookee there! All Powazek photo calendars on sale! Only $17.99 through November 15. Act now. Operators are standing by.

Edwards Kerry for President
Just a thought from 5 October 2004 about .

Edwards Kerry: Putting our best foot forward

Show the world which John you want on top.

Phoning It In
Just a thought from 25 August 2004 about .

my caliI was on the radio today. The show was about My California and featured four authors from the book: author and Pulitzer Prize winner Patt Morrison, editor of 27 books and award-winning author Gerald Haslam, journalist and columnist Anh Do, and me, the writer of a story about buying drugs as a teenager.

I tried to be funny.

The show should be online soon. Update: Here it is! (RealAudio stream - I'm 6 minutes in.)

New Ephemera Cards
Just a thought from 15 August 2004 about .

What I did this weekend: Made new Ephemera business cards!

Me via Caterina
Just a thought from 1 July 2004 about , .

Originally uploaded by caterina.

Just a thought from 11 June 2004 about , , , , .

We Do: A Celebration of Gay and Lesbian MarriageSpeaking of books, eleven of my Justly Married photos have been included in a new book, We Do: A Celebration of Gay and Lesbian Marriage, published by Chronicle Books. It's a gorgeous book and such an honor to be included.

Yesterday was a little book launch party, where I got to meet the editors as well as some of the couples who were married at City Hall in February, a few of my fellow photographers, and even a local politico or two. There were speeches, there was champagne, there was cake, there were even goodie bags.

Continue reading “Booked” »

Good writing, good cause
Just a thought from 2 June 2004 about , , , .

my caliOne of my early Fray stories has made its way into a new book. My California: Journeys by Great Writers (dig that, ma!) is a collection of stories from and about the state I call home, and I'm thrilled to see my story, The Nicest Person in San Francisco included in such fine company. The book will be released on June 15, but you can pre-order it today.

I urge you to pick up a copy because, in addition to all the fine writing you'll get to enjoy, you'll be supporting a good cause. All proceeds from the book will go to the California Arts Council, an organization that supports arts and writing programs in California schools, which was forced to suspend its programs in 2003 because of the budget crunch.

All the writers donated their work and the printer donated the first run to maximize the benefit of the book (more info here). Get your copy now!

Just a thought from 16 May 2004 about .

Happy Birthday to me!

Poster Child
Just a thought from 20 March 2004 about , .

In the SF Chronicle today: THE BATTLE OVER SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: Straights working to win legal rights for gay couples: "They're straight - but they don't consider themselves narrow. And now they're mad.... Among the new activists is Derek Powazek of San Francisco, who headed to Civic Center three days after the weddings began with his fiancee and a homemade 'congratulations' sign. The 30-year-old Web site designer and producer brought along a camera and began snapping photos."

The last few times I talked to reporters, my quotes seemed to come out saying something I didn't mean. So it's nice to finally deal with a reporter who got it right. My thanks to Rona Marech for covering this story with sensitivity and smarts.

This section is called Just a Thought. It's a blog where I post little pieces of what I'm thinking about at the moment. This page shows thoughts about Powazek, including:

Hey San Franciscans: Come Get Intimate
15 August 2006

Two Conferences, Two Weeks
25 July 2006

The Powazek World Tour
12 July 2006

What I'm Up To Now
26 April 2006

I Live in the Future
23 March 2006

My Resolutions for 2006
28 December 2005

The Household Beautification Project Continues
28 December 2005

Chawazek 2006
1 December 2005

Embrace your bottom!
13 September 2005

Digging in the Dirt
5 September 2005

How Tags Happened at Technorati
25 July 2005

My New Glasses
23 July 2005

How to Make Coffee
11 July 2005

And only six months late!
2 July 2005

Before and After
30 June 2005

The New New Thing
9 June 2005

Heather and I on Lulu
3 May 2005

My new book, same as the old book
21 April 2005

Get Lost!
11 April 2005

Heather via Flickr
9 April 2005

I am a salty old man
2 April 2005

Ephemera Recognized
31 March 2005

Vote Chawazek!
21 March 2005

Update on my 2005 Resolutions
7 March 2005

SF Lit Event
2 March 2005

And I'll Call it ... San Francisco Stories
27 February 2005

Party Friday Night!
23 February 2005

Rockstar Treatment
19 February 2005

New: Just a Link
14 February 2005

A Special Letter from the House of Powazek
1 February 2005

The Really Big Show
31 January 2005

A short history of my affliction with weblogs
25 January 2005

Buy My Car
23 January 2005

JPG Magazine is GO!
13 January 2005

Resolutions for 2005
28 December 2004

Bookends in Words Magazine
5 December 2004

That's My Aunt!
30 November 2004

Lookee There
5 November 2004

Edwards Kerry for President
5 October 2004

Phoning It In
25 August 2004

New Ephemera Cards
15 August 2004

Me via Caterina
1 July 2004

11 June 2004

Good writing, good cause
2 June 2004

16 May 2004

Poster Child
20 March 2004

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The Fine Print

Working the web since 1995, Derek Powazek is the creator of many award-winning websites, a couple of which still exist. Derek is the cofounder of JPG Magazine and the CCO of 8020 Publishing. Derek lives in San Francisco with his wife, two nutty Chihuahuas, a grumpy cat, and a house full of plants named Fred. More »

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