Found My New Colleagues At ZEO

06.17.11 Posted in Blog by

About four weeks ago I published a post titled ‘In Need For A New Colleague?’. In this post I announced to be on the lookout for a permanent job and asked for your help to spread the message. With your RTs, your network and tips, the message reached a lot of people and – more importantly – reached the right people. And today, I’m happy to announce that next July I’ll be starting a new adventure at the young and eager online marketing company ZEO!

ZEO Webmarketing Utrecht

During the last weeks, I had talks with various interesting companies and got a lot of emails and phonecalls from recruitment agencies. After these appointments and talks, the company that will be my new home is ZEO Webmarketing.

For the last years the company, based in a beautiful monumental building in Utrecht, has been rapidly growing. Thus far, their activities have been mainly centered around search engine marketing and webdevelopment, but just as the team and their customer base is growing, so are their activities. This is where I come in!

Research & Development

New media are constantly evolving, which is why the company always tries to make the most out of new technologies by implementing them in an effective way. In line with this vision, I’ll be researching and developing new products for them, focused both on social media and usability / conversion optimization. I look forward to start on these new projects on the first of July!

To you all: Thanks again for your help and thanks for reading!

Mixtape Monday: Axel Boman

06.06.11 Posted in Blog by

I am a big big fan of eclectic mixtapes made by artists that I respect for their taste of music. It’s the reason why I started this Mixtape Monday series with the genius ‘Börneboll Mikks’ by Robag Wruhme. Because good eclectic mixtapes do not appear very often, I was happy to find Axel Boman’s mixtape last week. It’s titled ‘If you ever feel down, put this mix on!’ and does what it promises!

Axel Boman mixtape

In comparison to earlier featured artists like the house-veterans Larry Heard and Rick Wade, Axel Boman is quite a newcomer to the scene. He has been an important player in the Swedish club scene for the last years and has been releasing music since 2008, but it was in the year 2010 that his international breakthrough took place. With the brilliant Holy Love EP released on Pampa Records, Boman managed to permanently establish his name.

As said in the introduction, I’m a big fan of eclectic mixtapes that introduce you to new music and new genres. That being said, the witty and optimistic mixtape below is such an exceptional mix. With music included from Matthew Dear, J Dilla and Bullion I’m sure this mix will accompany me in the coming months when working, enjoying the sun or traveling, just as the mixtape of Robag Wruhme did last year.

The mix is titled ‘If You Ever Feel Down, Put This Mix On!’. To make sure the mix achieves this goal, Boman added a track by Michael Jackson without whom a good eclectic mix wouldn’t be complete. So go ahead, and cheer yourself up with Axel Boman!

[Can’t see the embedded SoundCloud player above? Tap here!]

New Project Asks: Why Do You Pirate?

06.02.11 Posted in Blog by

Earlier this year the Don’t Make Me Steal Manifesto got a lot of attention in the worldwide tech-press. Websites such as TorrentFreak and Hypebot wrote about it and even EU commissioner Neelie Kroes, responsible for the Digital Agenda, decided to spend a tweet on it. This week, four months later, a comparable French initiative launched: Pourquoi Je Pirate (Why I Pirate). The website asks you to share the reason why you pirate content from the Internet. What can the initiative teach us?

Jack Sparrow Piracy

Pourquoi Je Pirate launches a week after the controversial French “three strikes” policy was put on hold due to its insecurity and only days after the news that two alleged operators of France’s most popular file-sharing links forums have been arrested. Just as the Don’t Make Me Steal Manifesto, the project seems to gain traction very quickly. At the moment of publishing, the website’s simple question has already managed to gather about one thousand “confessions”.

It’s interesting to see that at a time when the French anti-piracy policy is tightened up, the project gives France’s Internet users a platform to respond. Will their voices be heard? Will initiatives like this have enough impact to influence the public opinion and reverse the harsh decision-making of the French politics?

Although the goal of the project is not explicitly stated on the website, it seems clear that the project aims to reveal the many reasons behind online file-sharing. This, in order to show that file-sharing is not solely about wanting to get content for free, and to make clear that a solution to file-sharing should primarily lie in increasing accessibility and usability.

As stated in previous posts, the history of music piracy shows that at times when piracy is regarded as a structural problem, there are often various legitimate reasons that underlie the waves of piracy. The ideology of increasing the accessibility of music lead to more piracy in the 1900s, the 1910s saw an increase due to the technical difficulties of producing gramophones and in the 1950 the switch from gramophones to vinyl lead to another wave of music piracy.

What are today’s reasons to pirate music, movies, or software from the web? Check hundreds of reasons at Pourquoi Je Pirate.

Music Haekelday Revives Your Cassettes

06.01.11 Posted in Blog by

Finally there’s a cool solution for your collection of dusty old cassette tapes. Those tapes that you don’t want to throw away but can’t listen to anyway, because you don’t own a cassette deck anymore. What if these tapes could be a part of a cool art project and be playable on SoundCloud again? Meet the Music Haekelday project.

Music Haekelday Urban Crocheting

One of the tech-events that never fails to inspire, is the Music Hackday event. During a weekend, developers and creatives gather to create cool, innovative and funny music related hacks. Last weekend the event took place in Berlin. One of the projects that was developed at this specific Hackday is the Music Haekelday art project. On the project’s website, the following is stated about the project:

“We decided your old tapes should find a new home in the cloud and in our cities. We digitize audio from the tape and upload it to Soundcloud, create a piece of artwork made from the actual physical tape, place it somewhere in the city and connect the two together with a QR code. The object can be discovered either by chance or by the map on this page, and when found, can immediately be listened to with every html5-capable smartphone.”

Music Haekelday

By combining creativity with new technology, the art project brings your carefully preserved cassettes back to life. Check out some examples of urban crocheted tape and listen to the music the tape once contained on Music Haekelday‘s website. Coming to a city near you soon?

Every Pirate Wants To Be An Admiral

05.31.11 Posted in Blog by

The Copyright Wars aren’t something new. For centuries long book publishers, composers, recording artists, and broadcasters have been accusing others of pirating their products. However, as Cory Doctorow argues in the video below, all of these institutions and companies accusing others, have once been considered pirates themselves too when their activities were new and disruptive. Are today’s accusations more legitimate? Should we be concerned about the future of the Internet?

I largely agree with Doctorow here. As I also argued in my master’s thesis, it’s often a matter of perspective whether a disruptive and innovative technology is considered as piracy or as innovation. I would even go as far as stating that piracy is one of the thriving forces behind innovation, as I argued earlier in the essay Why Piracy Is Good For Innovation.

Mixtape Monday: Rick Wade

05.30.11 Posted in Blog by

“All that crazy dubstep and all this other wild stuff out here is bad for you, it’s real wrong. This is what’s real right”. These are the words of house-legend Rick Wade who played a special educational set of classic house in Tokyo’s Dommune. After listening to these two hours of Rick Wade, everyone will agree with these words. Join the classroom too, and “Get some of this funk in your soul”.

Rick Wade live at Dommune

Many of today’s house productions feature warm, lo-fi, and dubby sounds. The producer and DJ that is often regarded as one of the originators of this sound is the Detroit-based Rick Wade. He’s the owner of the well respected label Harmonie Park that has been releasing music from among others Mike Huckaby and Theo Parrish since 1994. Next to this, Wade has been steadily releasing high-quality house releases himself on labels like Rush Hour, Third Ear and Laid Records. A man with a big influence on the sound of today’s house music.

On the third of May of this year, Rick Wade played a special live-set in Tokyo’s interactive club Dommune. Instead of delivering a regular DJ-set, Wade decided to try out something different and gave everyone an education on the tracks he played. I was able to record this special lesson in the history of house music and am glad I can share it with you today!

Expect some great stories and of course a special selection of disco and house music from Delano Smith, Soundhack, Theo Parrish, Norm Talley, Moodymann and the likes. Now back to the regularly scheduled program, this is Rick Wade!

[Can’t see the embedded SoundCloud player above? Tap here!]

In Need For A New Colleague?

05.19.11 Posted in Blog by

After having worked as an ‘indie’ for several months now and participating in several great projects since graduating in november, I’m now looking for a permanent job. This month my current freelance contracts are ending and I’d like to use this opportunity to change course and look out for a permanent job. I’m looking forward to work in a team again and to jointly accomplish bigger projects.

I’m looking for a permanent job in an innovative, young and vibrant environment. I’m in love with everything that has to do with online music services, but am interested in community management and online marketing too. Preferably (but not necessarily) the job is located in the West of The Netherlands.

In November last year I finished the master New Media & Digital Culture and during my studies and during the last six months I’ve already worked for exciting online (music) start-ups, wrote for the Dutch quality newspaper NRC Next and blogged for Hypebot.

This is where I would love and could use your help, dear regular reader!

With lots of energy and new ideas I’d love to join an inspiring company soon. If you have a vacancy that you’d consider me suitable for, or know about a company that’s hiring, you can contact me 24/7, via email, Twitter or LinkedIn. Also, spreading this message with a short tweet or mail is widely appreciated!

Thanks for reading and thanks for helping!

Robbert van Ooijen

CV Robbert van Ooijen
Do we share connections? Check LinkedIn
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Minimoog: A Mini-Documentary

05.13.11 Posted in Blog by

What do influential artists and groups like Kraftwerk, Giorgio Moroder, and Yes have in common? They all pioneered the use of synthesizers in their music and on stage. The instrument that they all used for their innovative music was the revolutionary Minimoog.

In an era where modular synthesizers took up an entire room, were very expensive, and were difficult to operate the introduction of the Minimoog in 1970 meant a next step for the injection of synthesizers in music. It was affordable, portable, had a characteristic sound and quickly became one of the most popular instruments.

Eventually, its sound became so popular that a classic Minimoog ad stated: “You know what this is – because you hear it everywhere”. In the mini-documentary below, the history of this revolutionary instrument in revealed. Among others the documentary gives some great insights in how accidental circumstances determined the eventual shape of the Minimoog. Accidental circumstances that influenced the history of pop music.

Want to play the Minimoog in your browser using your keyboard and mouse? Check out this mini-Minimoog.