I stared at the email, tingling.

Date: Fri, 15 Aug 1997 13:17:56 -0400
To: derek@powazek.com
From: krgood@nytimes.com
Subject: cool site of the year

i am working on a story for the new york times about web awards. can you please give me a call when you have a chance? the piece must be in by the time i leave around 8 p.m. tonight. thanks.

Kris Goodfellow
The New York Times

I picked up the phone and dialed before I had a chance to chicken out. And there she was.


"Hi. I'm the fray ... er ... I'm Derek. I ... uh ... you emailed me."

And we talked. For more than an hour. I was witty. I was charming. I made her laugh several times. And in the midst of all this revelry, she asked me if I thought I was going to win the Cool Site of the Year Award.

"No," I said, only half-joking. "I'm going to lose to The Onion. I mean, think about it. The Onion makes people laugh and the fray makes people cry...."

A few days later, I was quoted in The New York Times, page C5.

"This is one of those dreams you have as a young web geek," said Derek M. Powazek of "The Fray," a personal Web site. "But I'm going to lose to The Onion."