Ladies and Gentlemen, Derek has left the building.
June 22, 2000 4:52 PM   Subscribe

Ladies and Gentlemen, Derek has left the building. While I have been amused by reading the life of Derek Powazek, once and a while, I think he has made a sound decision. I really appreciate his last question, who is a blog for? Reminds me of the first question from my Journalism 101 professor: "Is art for art's sake?"
posted by Brilliantcrank (37 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
{{Shrug.}} Good for him.
posted by Ezrael at 4:57 PM on June 22, 2000

Next week thousands of bloggers will swear off blogging, something new will pop up and become the latest thing. Tools will be developed to make this latest thing super easy and bring it to the poor huddled masses that is the internet. And i'm going to name it. The next big thing will be called Frugstat. Dream it. Believe it. Frugstat.
posted by corpse at 5:35 PM on June 22, 2000

"...if you're a weblogger who's only care is trying to get a link or worrying what the "popular kids" are up to, go away..." Okay, who let the cat out of the bag and told Derek he was popular? Come on, fess up. And I was so sure Lance woulda thrown in the towel before Derek did. Personally I blog because the invisible midgets tell me to. Why is it that the ones which everyone claims are popular always act like they don't want that moniker? It's like someone wins an Olympics race, you try to put the gold medal on him and he's all, "Get away from me! I just wanted to run! Leave me alone!"
posted by ZachsMind at 6:03 PM on June 22, 2000

I wish that just once someone who said "invisible midgets tell me to" really had invisible midgets telling them to. Derek who?
posted by internook at 6:11 PM on June 22, 2000

why doesn't matt just rename this 'metagossip'?
posted by phooey at 6:40 PM on June 22, 2000

Some people apparently save their better commentary for when they're blogging at home.
posted by ab'd al'Hazred at 6:41 PM on June 22, 2000

Not Derek Who. He's a soccer player. We're talking about Derek Wilcowski. He's the guy who invented that diagram which shows ya which way to put batteries into something. He died yesterday. Rather sad, really.

The invisible midgets tell me you should listen to Laura Diamond. And be sure to feed strays so as not to offend the cat gods.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:46 PM on June 22, 2000

Blanket appraisal: torturous.

See also: fragile ego, self-importance, double-speak, back-pedaling.

Furthermore: personal prerogative, privacy, and mind your own business.

PS: perversity.
posted by highindustrial at 6:56 PM on June 22, 2000

Didn't Pyra just have a big-ass do to over the fact that he was now part of the team?

Oh the irony.
posted by faith at 7:07 PM on June 22, 2000

No, we're not obsessed with pseudo-celebrity. Not us.
posted by harmful at 8:27 PM on June 22, 2000

faith: You're right. Pyra was very pleased to announce that Derek is their creative director. So what does this say about their product if one of their own employee swears never to use it again?

I guess employee loyalty means jack shit with the popular crowd.
posted by Brilliantcrank at 10:51 PM on June 22, 2000

Isn't Pyra's product Pyra? I always thought that Blogger was just a demo of what Pyra can be used to do?

Anyway, who gives a toss if Derek wants to stop his weblog? It's his site.

I've noticed a cycle here.

1. Powazek/Kottke/(insert "big" name here) says something/does something about weblogs on his site.

2. Somone logs it 'ere

3. Big discussion ensues.

posted by cheaily at 12:18 AM on June 23, 2000

What is the source of all this bitterness and resentment? "Employee loyalty?" A man made a personal decision about his personal site. Why do you have to attack him? Why do you even have to talk about it? This is ridiculous, sad, and disturbing.

First a human being gets built up into a deity. Then he gets torn down again for being human.

This whole thing feels very small-town in an ugly way. ("Did you hear about Myra Stanley? She's cheating on her husband. Well, Bill Stanley's a drunk anyway.")

Why not honor the man for the fine creative work he has done on the web for years, and allow him to make changes to his personal site without vilifying him?

I wasn't going to post on this topic but, well, I just had to.
posted by Zeldman at 12:19 AM on June 23, 2000

Where exactly does he swear never to use it again? He simply said he was going to update less frequently, and forego the external links sort of weblog. His site certainly will still be powered by Blogger - he even says he marked it private in the settings. His decision has nothing to do with his loyalty to his employer, since, the last I heard, no one at Blogger is holding a gun to anyone's head and making them conform to a set idea of what a weblog is. Pretty harsh.
posted by the webmistress at 12:21 AM on June 23, 2000

His heart wasn't in it, and it showed. Same for Lance Arthur at Glassdog, and even, to these eyes, Zeldman with the "Daily Report." These are some of the folks who (implicitly or explicitly) lament the so-called dearth of content on the Web. Well half-hearted weblogging ain't cuttin' it. BoyCaught thinks the Powazeks of the WWW should do what they do best -- make cool websites -- and stop half-stepping with weblogs. Leave room for people trying to make something of this phenomenon. If the shoe don't fit, why wear it? Deuce cents.

Bye bye, bye bye, baby, bye bye!

posted by BoyCaught at 2:52 AM on June 23, 2000

Leave room for people trying to make something of this phenomenon.

Since when is there a finite amount of room for webloggers? I had no idea that Derek's decision to stop publishing a weblog would create an opening for someone else.

Why is it that the ones which everyone claims are popular always act like they don't want that moniker?

This thread should answer your question. Popularity is what inspires cheap shots like, "I guess employee loyalty means jack shit." While some people can take it -- Jeffrey Zeldman was tarred and feathered on Slashdot and took it in good humor -- other people tire of it more quickly.

Personally, I'd rather see Derek working on his own sites, because they're great.
posted by rcade at 7:11 AM on June 23, 2000

Ahem. As I was saying...

{{Shrug.}} Good for him. If he wants to, he should. He's got plenty going on already. I've posted about my own personal decision to keep blogging, and someone here linked to it, and that's fine. But if Derek wants to repurpose, or whatever, he should. It's his page.

Really, this is a non-issue, people. JZ was correct. We shouldn't even be wasting the time to type this. I, for one, will do so no more. I wouldn't have even posted this one if someone hadn't emailed me about the link to another site that linked to my site's comments, which were not (in my mind anyway) about Derek so much as the whole 'blogger backlash' in general.
posted by Ezrael at 7:52 AM on June 23, 2000

I remember that Jeffrey Z was surprised when I told him he was apparently writing a weblog now -- the evidence was that someone had listed him on the eatonweb portal (he didn't list himself there). His page (to my eyes) was and is "what's updated on the site" with a few links thrown in for fun.
posted by anitar at 8:58 AM on June 23, 2000

Warning: Semi Hemi Demi Off Topic Post Follows - Read at Your Own RiskWe always seem to have a reason why we need to post just this one comment, don't we? I posted mine because I like Derek Powazek and wanted to speak up in his defense (as if I need a reason). I actually very rarely post anything to metafilter anymore because there is always someone commenting on the ways other people post. But, until Matt revokes my metafilter learner's permit, I'll post what I like.
posted by the webmistress at 9:04 AM on June 23, 2000

As usual, Anita gets it right. For five years I've been posting "what I wrote/designed today" along with the occasional link to things on the web that matter to me (design, writing, programming). Call that page a weblog if it makes you happy.

Of all the movements and communities I've seen spring up on the web over the years, this is the most self-conscious and (sometimes) vicious.

Designy-designers link to sites they like in "respect" boxes or pulldown menus. If they don't like something, they don't link to it.

Developers write about what they are doing and thinking, and link to useful articles.

Neither group spends much time worrying about who's getting it wrong in their opinion, who's "slipping" in their opinion, or how popular they are compared to someone else. They keep their insecurities to themselves, or share them in conversation with close friends. They don't post that stuff online and call it "content."

I do have a somewhat thick skin about people's opinions, but it took a lot of rejection letters from publishers and record companies to get me there. I save my deep hurting for real things, like a friend's illness or a relationship crisis.

But that doesn't mean everyone out there is insensitive to unfair criticism, and I sometimes wonder if the really vicious criticism leveled at the more visible people in the web community (Dave, Derek) isn't a disguised plea for love and attention. But that's not my business, either.

I will say this. If you spend more time creating things of actual value, you'll spend less time worrying about what other people are doing, and you won't have energy left over to expend on judging other people.

Positive Blogging V: The Final Chapter? Nope. Just respect for other people because they are human. And without that respect, what is the value of anything?
posted by Zeldman at 12:26 PM on June 23, 2000

If they're invisible, how do you know they're midgets?
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 2:48 PM on June 23, 2000

Yes, there is room for everyone, but one couldn't tell from the time spent discussion, dissecting, and deriding a select few.

BoyCaught wants to see blogs done by people who WANT to do them, and websites from people who WANT to do them, and books, and movies, and so on.

"Actual value" is subjective, but BoyCaught believes that value can only be created when someone is properly motivated. Sometimes, the motivation is money. But since the topic is weblogs and personal sites, the motivation would have to be passion.

BoyCaught hopes that Powazek follows his passion, as everyone should ... even if others find it negative, because, yes, there is room for everyone.
posted by BoyCaught at 2:53 PM on June 23, 2000

The voices in my head confirm that they are, in fact, midgets.

Pleas pick one of the comments below as Mark's comment on the situation:

Comment the first: If you feel that your weblogging has affected your life the way Derek obviously feels it has affected his, yes, you need to stop weblogging. You need to get off the net. You need to get on a plane, go to someplace warm, and play.

It's the Internet, not healing the sick or feeding the poor, for Pete's sake. Nothing online should affect your real-life friendships unless you've gotten in the habit of calling your friends names on your site. Sheesh.

Comment the second: {{Shrug.}} Good for him.

Thank you for your time.
posted by mrmorgan at 3:23 PM on June 23, 2000

There are no midgets- invisible or otherwise. Some people just say shit like that. Geesh.... Damn that Zeldman is wordy (better refrain from using the term blowhard here). Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. The post is like a filibuster of dental proportions. I truthfully can't take this brotherhood feel good crap. I depresses me so.

Me? I'm just waiting for the first hurtful parody.
posted by internook at 3:25 PM on June 23, 2000

I saw the signs... Web Celeb + non-important news= MetaFilter free-for-all.

The topic here is actually (as I understand it) "Why do you blog? Who are you doing it for? (Just so gsxl knows somebody "got it").

So before all hell breaks loose here.... I just want to show my face. Just so people can say I'm involved. :0)

I'm busy celebrating our victory with the "Class Clowns/Village Idiot" trial (read all about it) elsewhere.

See you guys at around post#45.....
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 4:03 PM on June 23, 2000

Internook: Blow me. But like you mean it this time.

Bye-bye kiddies.
posted by Zeldman at 4:16 PM on June 23, 2000


This horse is so dead it has rigor mortis.

For the love of (insert deity here) *please*, let's move on.
posted by tomcosgrave at 5:23 PM on June 23, 2000

I liked blowing you the first time. Every one thanks you for limiting your petty insult to fewer than 1000 words.
posted by internook at 8:33 PM on June 23, 2000

Look, internook... I don't know if there's an inside joke I'm missing, or if Zeldman is genuinely pissed and just quit Metafilter....

All I know is he just defended a friend of his from more ridicule and humiliation. That's his right, and something we've all come to know and respect about Zeldman. *He looks out for his friends.* Any one of us here with any sense of integrity would do the same. I owe a hell of a lot to that man, and I know *I'm* here because of him (yeah yeah...thank him later, okay guys?).

That was some pretty rude shit you just posted up there.

And I can really give a rat's ass if I'm sidetracking a conversation right now, folks.
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 9:38 PM on June 23, 2000

Holy Mother of God - Internook apparently has elected himself our spokesperson. That's the straw that breaks this particular camel's back. Sayonara MeFi - I am soooo out of this place - too much hate and pettiness and totally
uncalled for remarks
that serve absolutely no purpose other than to inflame and hurt
. I can't even begin to express how saddened I am right now. I have to stop before I regret anything else I may say. Internook - be very very proud. You are the complete embodiment of everything that is wrong with metafilter. But thank God you refrained from using the word "blowhard"! You show such restraint and taste.
Eric, you're a good friend.
- - Jo

posted by the webmistress at 10:42 PM on June 23, 2000

You too, Jo ;0)

See folks... the biggest problem on MetaFilter (hell, the web in general) is the fact that people will hide in their safe little bedrooms and feel they can type their smirk little remarks, turn off their computer and sleep snugly in their beds... because they'll never run into these folks in real life... or their friends...

...or will they?

My golden rule, and is everyone paying attention????

Don't write something you can't say to someone's face....

Believe it or not, I think about that every time I send a message.....
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 12:06 AM on June 24, 2000

PS: Don't leave Webmistress, we need all the fun people we can get!
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 12:12 AM on June 24, 2000

I owe you all (especially Zeldman) a very sincere apology. I don't know why I derive such joy from strife. I always have. For the sake of MeFi, I am banning myself from posting until I've had a chance to really think about what I've done.
posted by internook at 3:28 AM on June 24, 2000

I would ask anyone who is considering leaving the/a community because of the remarks of a few to consider the fact that by doing so, they are giving those people a lot more power over them then they deserve to have. If all the decent folks leave, the community ends up loosing in the end.

(woah... just had a flashback to that gun-control thread with baylink, ezrael, etc, except I'm arguing the other side...)

Barring the addition of kill files on metafilter, all we can do is take the high road and ignore the bozos. Then they will get bored and either smarten up or go away.
posted by Calebos at 7:57 PM on June 24, 2000

bahahahahahahahahahaha! :D *wiping tears from her eyes while getting up from the floor*

Gad dam, I love people.
posted by ariel at 9:30 PM on June 25, 2000

there is definitely something interesting about people building up others into miniature Web celebrities, then tearing them down whenever they open their mouths. that's a subject of someone's dissertation right there.

moment of zen: if everyone blogged, what would we read that we haven't already read?
posted by yarf at 8:28 PM on June 26, 2000

Things that make you go "Hmmmmmm", Yarf. :0)
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 11:13 PM on June 26, 2000

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