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Happy 9th Birthday, wikiloops!

Dear fellow musicians,
First of all: I hope this finds you well!
Let me admit right away that it does feel a bit strange to present a festive birthday-cheer in these days, where getting together for a celebration suddenly seems risky.
Well, we can celebrate virtually on wikiloops, and the 9th wikiloops anniversary on april 1st 2020 shall not go uncelebrated.

We've kept up the good tradition of having a wikiloops birthday cake, thanks to Grandma Kaiser for the nice deed and to Mrs.K for taking the picture!
As you will have noticed, we have rolled out the wikiloops version 12 interface update last night, so wikiloops appears in a completely reworked look -
there have been some first, positive user remarks on that so far, and we are still in the process of smoothening out things, feel free to give feedback or point me towards things you come across.

What started as a crude-looking hobbyists site nine years ago is a huge code project by now, and adopting all of its pages in all of their possible appearances to a new design easily took some weeks.

Once the update was done last night, I couldn't help but visit the wikiloops development screenshot gallery once more and check out some of those screenshots from earlier versions... Feel free to have a look and a laugh at these, wikiloops sure has come a long way, visually.

When the first version of wikiloops went live n april 1st 2011, I had absolutely no idea where the project would be going, and that I might end up running it for almost a decade. As soon as I start thinking about that, I feel the urge to speak about the many, many people who have helped make it happen during these 9 years.
Wikiloops has always been a collaborative thing in all aspects, including its functionalities, code, design, translations all the way to the general business-layout.
I'd probably have to read back my own blog to make sure not to forget someone who helped at some crucial point, so, to get that right:
There is something much bigger to celebrate on a wikiloops anniversary than just me being at it for some years. If wikiloops is around and looking good in its new interface today, then that is proof of successful online collaboration – and I have not mentioned the 140k musical collaborations so far.

Now, the global situation in 2020 is forcing all of us to re-think the way we have been doing things,
and the question if there will be a return to pre-Corona times at all is something one may start to wonder about.
People are forced to work from remote, and kids being home-schooled via the internet, and politicians discover the benefits of video conferencing over spending billions on expensive summits.
The whole experience will leave us all with a different idea of how one can spend ones time, and organize ones work without leaving a certain radius – that is a challenge to all of us, but we are creative beings, so we will find new ways of getting together and of showing each other our support.
I can imagine it may never be quite the same again to shake hands or hug someone you meet after corona, but we will find creative ways to transport the equivalent message.
Those of you who have been around on wikiloops for years do have experience in remote exchanges, and the new members joining wikiloops these days might be surprised we've been doing something so Corona-compatible for years.
I have been aware of wikiloops potential for people who are stuck at home for health reasons in the past, I just didn't expect all of us to be stuck at home for health reasons at some point.
So, yes, we do have experience in how to have musical fun at home,
but besides knowing the technical ropes and having wikiloops as a means,
we do have experience in how to deal with each other online in a constructive way.
Why do I mention that?
Because I believe it takes more than signing up on some website and setting up a profile to be a good online collaborator.
Collaboration doesn't work well in spaces where one is likely to be assaulted by anonymous people, and we have put in a lot of effort in the past nine years to keep wikiloops free of purely negative comments and hate speech.
But no matter how much effort we put in moderation wise, the fact that there is a positive attitude towards each other on wikiloops is something which we have established as a community. As I have said before: I could not have coded that, and it is something we all can be quite proud of today.
Who knows, maybe some of us can make use of our experience in handling remote collaborations in some completely different field these days.
What we can do is: Use our online music making as a stress relief and an espcape-space. That will make it easier to be patient thru these times, and it will give us positive things to talk about.
I do believe that anyone who can stay relaxed at heart these days is helping his/her society make it thru.
Many people out there are scared, feel at great risk and worry.
In my humble opinion, we as musicians should be aware of our cultural responsibility to spread positive signals – just like the musicians on Italys balconies demonstrated so beautifully.

Thank you for taking the time to read these thoughts,
and wishing you a fun time on wikiloops.
Here's to many more years to come!

wikiloops founder


Before Corona, during Corona, after Corona, Wikiloops has helped so many people to make music, be creative and help relax from the daily grind, maybe forget their troubles for a short while. Wikiloops positively changed the lives of people, even if they count only a few thousands or so, it's still a great achievement. I consider myself one of those lucky ones who found it. Thank you Richard <3+11
I can only agree with everything you said ! Wikiloops is exactly what each of us make it ! Thank you to every single member for being part of it and especially each one of those who contributed to what wikiloops is today <3
I'm looking forward to the 10th birthday celebration ;)
I've said it in the Shoutbox already, and I'll say "happy anniversary Wikiloops" again :)
Here's a photo which might fit, and which I took on April 1st, 2011:
Full size image at https://www.flickr.com/photos/wjlonien/49738543858/in/dateposted-public/ in case someone likes it.
Thanks Richard & family, and thanks also to all who keep this alive & kicking even in difficult times... <3
We have always been animated positively, and I believe that many of the elders who are here know it and are happy to read it with your words. Often I have said here, and this for years, that sharing with you all was a real medication. By to treat a present illness, but to be here not to be sick ...
Je vous aime <3
Thanks to all Mods, thanks to all member, thanks to Richard and family. Nobody knew that it would one day help to pass the time and convey the feeling of not being alone. But many knew early on that it was unique!+7
Hi Dick :)

You're right!

I can add: Wikiloops helps to stay at home and this is the most useful help to every nations we all belong to :)
Thank you Richard and Happy Birthday dear Wikiloops<3
The new interface is fantastic! Nice and clean. I really like it:)
i'm in harmony with your speech and thanck you for what you have created for the whole world of music merci beaucoup.+4
Well said Richard. Here's to the next anniversary!+4
What you produce here, Dick, is nothing short of amazing. You maintain a complex website which, of course by its nature, has huge storage and bandwidth demands, and keep pushing at the project, despite having a day job and family pressures.

I know I've been absent a lot recently - for personal reasons mostly - but my belief in your Wikiloops project and its immense value to musicians worldwide has not waned. Happy 9th Birthday. You deserve it - as a musician and former teacher, the world would be a musically poorer place without Wikiloops. It has no boundaries, no religions, no arguments, just musicians getting together for the sole purpose of enjoyment - and access to - the pleasure of music in its raw form. Much like the pandemic that surrounds us, it doesn't care what colour, creed or religion you are either.

You have always had and will continue to have my utter admiration in your conviction to not only giving us Wikiloops but making it accessible to everyone without judgement on their skill or experience.

Wikiloops is not a frightening place to be for any musician and for that alone, I doff my cap, sir. It's a place we can indulge our love of music and, if anything, the current global mess reinforces that; we are not alone in our houses.

Long may it continue. And I thank you.
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