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Happy 13th birthday, wikiloops!

Happy 13th birthday, wikiloops!

Yup, it is that date in my calendar, and thinking about how to dive into this post, I just realized wikiloops has finally arrived in its teens today :)
You got that right, the wikiloops project has just turned thirteen years old, as it went public on april 1st 2011.

So, here is my heartfelt congratulation towards the project and its community,
we have come a long way, and it really seems a bit miraculous we are still in operation in 2024 once you think about how many things have come and go on the internet in that time-span.

Let's trace some marks to get the picture:
When wikiloops started, people still mostly went online using computers, neither tablets nor phones were the preferred devices in 2011.
Instagram had already been launched but didn't make it onto android devices till 2012, and wikiloops came about five years before TikTok.
You get the idea - wikiloops is a lively dinosaur online, and as we have witnessed a (if not THE) decade of high-speed evolution on the internet, it is very rewarding to note wikiloops has held it's spot and obviously still has a valid purpose in 2024.
I just looked up the founding dates stated above on chatGPT, as that is the most convenient thing to do these days. The fact that I'm typing this blog post from scratch instead of letting some AI generate it may be considered old-school in 2024... this world is changing fast, and we better be prepared for some really disruptive changes hitting us, it is not going to get calm anytime soon.

I have been the captain on this ship for all those thirteen years, let me try to share a thought with you here:

If I think about the world at the time of starting wikiloops and my intentions and hopes where wikiloops might go, then I have this weird impression that on one hand, we have managed to keep the wikiloops project sailing in it's initial direction, but at the same time the world has sailed off in quite unexpected ways.

I have come to realize how much wikiloops is "a child of it's time", and how it's whole approach has that sort of "last century dreams" baked in, be it the concept of collaboration across any national borders, the strong belief in synergy when people work together and the idea to create something which is not driven by commercial interests but supported by a group of capable individuals instead...

That's all not as popular today, where even the Olympic games do not allow participants from all nations, defense budgets are on an all time high and countries are fortifying borders.
Gone are many of the early day enthusiast pages on the web, and the implementation of AI to replace classic search engines will most likely take another toll on the free exchange the early internet provided.

The odd thing is that I am at peace with the observation of wikiloops being somewhat anachronistic.
People have pointed out wikiloops didn't feel "sexy", or looked "too old-school", lacked competition and awards and whatnot to fit into the modern landscape.
Well, it simply doesn't, and while that may be a flaw to some, I am feeling more and more confident about wikiloops being more of a last resort for a certain type of musical endeavor, as it used to be practiced in the later half of the past century.

There will come the day where you'll be able to ask your AI tool of choice to add a bass line and a drum track to your latest guitar riff idea. Prompt it some famous players names to describe the type of style you are after, it will produce impressive results.
Can't wait to have a choice of Steve Gadd or Dennis Chambers generated by AI, right?
Have some AI generated vocals on top of that, too. It will get really crazy for sure, and I do believe there will be creative use of the new tools which should be considered art.
I used to be conservative and remember being wary of drum machines and techno at first, but I did get to observe these tools did not put an end to creativity, or the crave to produce music that touches people. It might be the same with AI assisted music production, we'll see.

There is one aspect I am however absolutely confident about:
No tool can replace what we do on wikiloops.
The moment you receive feedback from a fellow user on wikiloops, be it by a comment, a silent "like" or in the best of cases by receiving a remix, you know some human just listened to you.
As long as that really is you in your initial recording, playing your instrument the best way you can and offering your ideas of the day, you are in a way exposing yourself and your abilities, and now there are humans out there moving in and actually listening to you, quite closely.
Some might dare to invade your track, engaging in some sort of balanced dance between two individuals. We know that does not always work out great, and there is some toe-stepping in the process, but whichever result we reach together has that aspect of togetherness.
We feel the blues together, we celebrate rock for what it is, and we are not ashamed to give our fellow members credit for some of the amazing contributions.
Can AI replace this experience? I don't think it can.

So, here's to thirteen years of exchanging human attention, of close listening and uncounted private moments of feeling enriched by the presence and resonance of others.
My sincere thanks to all involved in this special community - the moderators, the feedback providers and testers, those who help keep the boat afloat by becoming supporting members of wikiloops and last but not least the Kaiser family who has been backing me up during these thirteen years. It has been one wild ride.

We are starting positive into the next year of online jamming. Roundabout 2.5k new members joined us in the first quarter of 2024, so, here's my explicit "welcome aboard" to all new members :)
I am also considering to revive our offline jam sessions a.k.a wikiloops meetings this year, so, keep your eyes open for news on that if you would be interested to attend.

wishing you all the best & keep the fire burning


wikiloops founder
Happy birthday

“ I am also considering to revive our offline jam sessions a.k.a wikiloops meetings this year, so, keep your eyes open for news on that if you would be interested to attend”

I,for one , am so glad that you sat down one day and decided to build the 'wikiloops house' that is filled with creativity, fun and collaboration and also friendship and respect and made it a musical HOME for all of us. Thank you Richard and <3 to you and your family x +3
When I found Wikiloops it changed my life for the better. And it continues to do that. Thank you.

Happy Birthday
richard, you have correctly cited the success of wikiloops as being old school. we are here, our attempts at our individual crafts may not always be perfect but it feels real, it feels homemade with or without the aid of tools that we control, and i'm a stickler for that, in my store, in my life, in my relationships. we are one big family, that has come together from all over the planet because there is no where else to go that feels safe, and even when we disagree, i feel it is with love. keep on truckin'! (how's that for old school?!) :)<3:W +3
So many years already... I have learned so much from all of you so thanks to Richard of course, but thanks to you above all. I think these days making music is an act of resistance. In my country, musical instrument stores are closing one after the other, marking a disenchantment with musical practice. It's not the fault of the big online sales platforms, it's the instantaneous and all-digital era that is part of this result. So we are all resilient artisans of a precise idea of music, of sharing without expecting anything more. Let's continue like this! +3
Fantastic 13 years, brilliant achievment, here's to keeping Wikiloops rocking and rolling on through the years together!! Fingers crossed for Steinfeld reunions :D:D<3 +2
There is certainly lots to celebrate here compared to a world that tends to be continually outrunning itself without giving time to adjust to everything that's "new". Wikiloops, although part of the evolving technology is also a respite from the madness of digital dependence. We're still about hand made music.

Many thanks to Richard for this gift that keeps giving to all of us.
Wikiloops is great community and great site for all of us to perform on line our music.Thanks for this opportunity. :W +1
Mac Dab
Keep on going! What about Wikiloops live festival again? +1
Richard, I wonder if you ever realize the light you bring into the world...you are a star in the true sense <3<3<3 +1
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What's really unique here is the positive attitude of the community, with encouragement and support for everyone. I found that nowhere else on the net.
Lutz from France

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