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powazek productions
{ personal log }

new in dfc

I think I need to write more essays that include the phrase "slack-jawed morons" in the lede. Feels good.

{ 1:03pm }


who you calling boring, punk?

Oh blah blah blah. If you think the web's gotten boring, you're just not looking very hard. In fact, I'd say that the web is a lot more interesting now than a year ago (though making generalizations like this is stupid, because no one could possibly look at everything (except you, Google, you big hunk of linky love, you)). The vaporware companies with no business plans have evaporated, and the web once again belongs to the freaks and geeks (and the few companies that get it).

Now is a great time for the web! I've seen more interesting projects turn up in the last year than I can count, and I feel like we're just getting started. Weblogs, community sites, real world experiments. RSS, XML, web services. And more and more.

It's a shame the New York Times prints baseless tripe like this. Taking quotes from a couple burnouts and pairing them with a few general statistics in big type is sloppy journalism at best, and a personal grudge at worst.

So, hey, I have an idea....

{ more » }   { 3:15pm }

a story from the road

I was no stranger to passport checks. I went through many on my way through Europe a few years back. In fact, looking over my passport now, I'm proud of al the stamps. Amsterdam. Austria. Ireland. Poland.

So when I approached the visa checkpoint coming into Toronto a few days ago, I knew how to behave. You answer the questions fast – if you hesitate they eye you suspiciously – and be truthful without volunteering any additional information.

I have a game I play with immigration lines. There's always a dozen different stations, and usually the lines are all about the same. So I check out the people doing the checking at the end of each line, and try to pick the one who looks like he's in a good mood.

This time, I chose wrong.

{ more » }   { 12:05pm }

good to be home

I love San Francisco. It's so ... so ... so ... not snowing.

I was in Toronto this week to take part in a CBC conference. It was so wonderful, and the people I met were just incredible. Positive, excited, engaged. Zero attitude and an absolute lack of the been-there-done-that-ness.

Dig this: The CBC has over a hundred people who's job it is to put great stuff on the web for the Canadian people. Because they're there, I guess. Americans can't contribute a dollar a year to the NEA without losing sleep over it. Yeesh.

But that's a rant for another time, hopefully after the jetlag wears off. For now, it's just good to be home.

{ 12:28am }


all bundled up

San Francisco, CA, US. Currently: Mostly Cloudy, 50°F, Feels Like: 50°F, UV Index: 1 Minimal, Wind: calm, Dew Point: 43°F, Humidity: 77%, Visibility: Unlimited, Barometer: 30.12 inches and steady. Today, Mar 25: Cloudy, high of 57°F, low of 44°F .

Toronto, Canada. Currently: Cloudy, 24°F, Feels Like: 11°F, UV Index: 3 Low, Wind: From the East Northeast at 15 mph, Dew Point: 10°F, Humidity: 48%, Visibility: Unlimited, Barometer: 30.40 inches and falling. Today, Mar 25: PM Light Snow, high of 30°F, low of 26°F.

Canada, here I come!

{ 8:02am }


the best word ever

Frolic! Frolic frolic frolic!

{ 2:02pm }


new in sfstories

Singing in the rain: "I say it every time he tells me about his friend's dogs. I'll do it again tomorrow, when we have this conversation again."

{ 4:25pm }


too cool

Just for the record, I am not cooler than Keri Maijala. She went on the infamous Krispy Kreme Quest! Now that's cool.

{ 11:46am }

et tu, tivo?

I just got spam from TiVo. Wonderful TiVo! Beloved TiVo! How could you do this to me?

"How TiVo makes celebrities pause" was the subject line. Celebrities? Just when you think your TiVo understands you....

I know I didn't ask to be on the list because I never check that box. So TiVo spammed me. Very bad. But, fine, I'll forgive it and follow unsubscribe link. The form conveniently loads up with my email address in it. Nice. But when I click "submit" I get:

We're sorry. An error occurred while processing the data or the email address you entered is not in our database. Please click the 'back' button on your browser or the link below, double check your entry and re-enter your email address.

Sigh. I know it's my email address. Hell, you know it's my email address - the spam put it in itself! So you're sending me spam I didn't ask for and not giving me a way to opt out. Isn't that illegal?

Update: 11:30am: I have now received the spam to three different addresses, including the classic oyvey, which I have never given TiVo or anyone else. TiVo is a spammer. I'm crushed.

{ more » }   { 10:49am }

visit scenic clairetown

Claire from Loobylu has spiffed up ClaireTown, her portfolio site. Claire is an amazing illustrator, and I've gotten to work with her on my book, several {fray} stories, and even a recent client. If you ever need an illustrator, look her up.

{ more » }   { 10:38am }


what a wonderful day

Exploding dog of the day.

{ more » }   { 11:22pm }

(in)famous (on)line

When David Gallagher called for input on a story idea about online fame, it reminded me of a story Andy Dehnart wrote for the Chicago Tribune a few months back. Andy interviewed me for the story during an especially turbulent time, and I had high hopes for it.

When the Chicago Trib piece finally came out, the teeth had been pretty much edited out, leaving yet another "isn't the internet wacky" story. A bummer, but not totally unexpected in the mainstream press. And even worse, the Trib only posts articles for a few weeks (stupid stupid stupid), so I couldn't even point David to it.

Fortunately, Andy's contract goes non-exclusive after 30 days, so I was extremely pleased when he posted it online today. And even better, this is the original, unedited version, complete with teeth.

I still don't quite know how I feel about the whole online fame issue, but my gut reaction is that the internet is a lousy conduit for fame-making, and that's another reason I love it.

{ 10:40pm }


Question: What do the following things have in common?

  • Claire Danes
  • Gravity defying spit
  • Llama school
  • Laser eyes
  • Canadian Dracula
  • Prostitute laundry
  • Tooth decay

Answer: My current audio obsession.

{ 2:07pm }

bob vila tried to touch me

I am so gonna fire my publicist.

{ 12:26pm }


land of many billboards

San Francisco, my beloved city, has gone a wee bit hog wild with the billboards. All I can say is, thank goodness Prop. G passed - with 79% of the vote, no less!

{ 9:57pm }


Let's hear it for Caroline, who recently redesigned It's lovely!

{ 7:38pm }

vox nox video

While I was in Austin, I participated in Vox Nox, an evening of book readings sponsored by New Riders, where I read the preface to Design for Community. Jonathan from was there, and caught it on video! (RealPlayer required.)

{ 4:39pm }


after all, we are professionals

An excellent (and often hilarious) pseudo-transcript of the "Independent Content" panel I was on at SXSW:

Derek: "There are plenty of seats up front, don't let them hog the frontal area."
Zeldman: "Heh. He said 'frontal area'."
Derek: "In college, when we got too involved with the telling the story of the story, [our advisor] would accuse us of waving our dicks in the air. That's what independent content is: independent content is waving your dicks in the air."
Zeldman: "Thank you for the visual. Josh?"
Josh: "I'd like to open by singing Van Halen, 'Hot for Teacher'..."

{ 10:58pm }

fray cafe 2 ones and zeroes

If you were one of the many people who couldn't get in to Fray Cafe 2, here's the next best thing: 4 hours of audio and 20 photos. As you're looking through the photos, look out for a "Listen in!" link. You can click it to hear the audio that goes with that performer.

If you've got some photos of Fray Cafe online, be sure to let me know so I can add a link to your stuff. Thanks again to everyone who participated!

{ 7:17pm }


more fray cafe coverage

I did an interview with a cool guy from channel 8 on the night of Fray Cafe. I'm told it wound up on the nightly news, but never got to see it, so it's nice that they also made it into this short story.

For those of you who couldn't make it to the event, I've been digitizing audio and video since I got home and hope to have it all online soon. Stay tuned!

{ 11:06am }


buy more dead trees

Words! Words! Words! Issue 2 is out, and I'm thrilled to have a story included. Technically, "Choked Up" is a review of Choke by Chuck Palahniuk, but it quickly diverges into being All About Me. Of course.

The issue also includes fantastic new work by Stewart Butterfield, Caterina Fake, Magdalen Powers, and a four page comic by Claire Robertson! Wanna read it? You'll hafta buy it! Online offline, baby!

{ 10:12am }


though, please, don't call anymore

If you wondered what that number was all about a couple weeks ago, Heather's explained it. What is real? Origami!

{ 9:38pm }

yet still more fun with spam

And yet again with the kvetch spam: "Oyvey, TOP-NOTCH Attorneys For PENNIES A Day." Attorneys? Oy!

{ 4:26pm }

home again

I'm home again and, from the sound of it, my contributions to SXSW Interactive 2002 made a dent. Mom, if you're reading, I can explain the whole dick thing. On the phone. Later.

{ 4:14pm }


fray cafe rocked

I'm prevented from changing the fray sites due to remote ftp issues (yay for security), so let me just say it here: Fray Cafe 2 was amazing. Four hours of some of the best stories I've ever heard on stage. I'm still buzzing from it.

We were so packed that there was a moment when we realized that the fire department would have every right to shut us down. So we wound up turning a few people away. Like fifty. If you were one of them, you have my sincere apologies.

But don't fret: The whole event was recorded on tape and video, and will be coming soon to a website near you!

And to everyone who performed: Thank you. You make fray what it is.

{ 10:00am }



Once more into the breach!

{ 6:29am }


client site launch

The new community site I've been working on all month has finally launched: Perfume of Life - Talk about perfume! Backend by Ben Brown, illustrations by Claire Robertson, design and architecture by yours truly. If you're into perfume, this is the place for you!

{ 2:06pm }


do some thing

Ben Brown, God love him, is stirring the pot again:

"And it goes beyond that. The creative work you do on Web sites, even if it's really good, will never get the respect it deserves. Web sites are transient. They're trivial. They're easy to discard. They leave only the faintest of impressions. But a book! A magazine! A manifesto! -- Printed at work and stapled together, passed out at the coffee shop in your neighborhood -- by virtue of the constituent atoms, it's already more important to 99% of the world's population than your Web site."

{ more » }   { 11:53pm }

my sxsw schedule

Wanna catch up with me in Austin? Here's where I'll be.

{ more » }   { 1:56pm }


Amen to that.

{ 12:25pm }

hooray for the city

Good news for San Francisco: Instant runoff elections and a ban on new outdoor advertising. Yes!

{ 12:01pm }

one night only

I've finally decided on what I'm going to perform at Fray Cafe. It's a trilogy of stories called, "Derek Powazek, raving lunatic." One night only! Be there!

{ 11:51am }


hey californians

Tomorrow is election day. Have you done your homework?

{ 1:20pm }

new mirror shots

Two shots from my recent trip to Claremont.

{ 11:32am }



New in {fray}: "I'd become steeled to my own selfishness." Read Handicapped by Erik Benson. Observant readers may notice that this story originally appeared in Seattle Stories. The reaction was so good, we decided to make into a {fray} story.

Special thanks go out to Frank Kolodziej, who's illustrations and immaculate design made this story truly amazing. If you like Frank's work, check out his portfolio - it's superb.

{ 6:38pm }


fray cafe news

A special announcement from Fray Cafe!

{ 12:11pm }

three oh one oh two

Rabbit rabbit!

{ 10:34am }

{ news }
» Goodbye old friend.

» Don't miss the photos and audio from Fray Cafe 2.

» Psst. Hey kid. Wanna buy some swag?

{ me.elsewhere }
  My snail tracks on the web.
» DfC profile
» New Riders profile
» Amazon wish list
» {fray} is page
» Mirror Project pics
» FilePile profile
{ new in dfc }
  Gaming the system: How moderation tools can backfire
Sometimes all the widgets backfire, encouraging the very behavior they're designed to avert. The rules have a dangerous side-effect: they create a game.
{ new in fray }
  "I wanted to spend the 4th with someone who always knew the way back home."

Counting Flags by Kevin Smokler.
{ new in sfstories }
  the slow glimmering descent
I've been watching fireworks there for years, but last night was different. And not just because it was clear.
{ new in fray org }
  fray day 6
Fray Day 6 is coming to cities all over the world on September 14, 2002. Come tell your story.
{ see also }