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2007 - a (social) year in review

posted in personal stuff on December 31st, 2007

The last few days have been so hectic, with meet-ups here and meet-ups there that I totally forgot to post this, but finally, here it is:

2007 would not have been 2007 if it were not for the three meetups I had during the last days; first Emma, then Claske and finally - the one meeting I have been looking forward to since we first met virtually: Jeroen Poortvliet.

Jeroen and me have been working on both building and maintaining a special interest community for no less than 30 months now and after much planning and shifting, we finally managed to get together for a pint of beer.

Jeroen, who is a real-life photographer has been spearheading the expansion of our community and it is safe to say that, without him, NL-Noob would not be what we have become. Thanks to his efforts, our turnover rate is incredibly low compared to other communities and what’s even better - whenever we seemed to hit a snag or stagnation in growth, he came up with ideas that allowed us to expand even further.

We are, by no means the biggest (Dutch) community, but we have a fair number of people that are very happy that we are there, when they need a gaming fix.

Marjon on the other hand, is totally uninvolved in gaming, but still made a tremendous impact on me, most of all because of the inner strength she possesses and if there is something I respect in people a lot, then it is the ability to conquer literally anything they are faced with. No micro-relationship here, just great talks and mutual trust.

And last but not least, the Wingman of the year award goes out to Kevin for accompanying me to a number of great and interesting events and helping me with most, if not all, visual branding things that came up over the past year.

I could probably go on for a fair bit, because the above mentioned people are by no means the only ones that made an impression on me, but I wont. The ones I care about know that I do and that’s that.

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2007 - a (readable) year in review

posted in Media on December 27th, 2007

Another year has come (and gone) and as such, it is, once again, time to do a quick recap of the hottest things I came across this year. Unlike previous years, however, this year’s listing will also include a recap of events.

Similar to last year, the first part of this series will discuss printed / written media, followed by an article on the hottest series / movies and a summary of great music after which the series is concluded by an entry on the best events this year, so let’s get to it.

Brad Thor - The First Commandment:

The book that I looked forward to the most this year, must have been the latest release from the Scott Harvath universe

The best description I could come up with last year, for Brad Thor’s Takedown, was to call it an action movie for your mind and frankly, that is just what The First Commandment is, too. This title is so adrenaline packed that it is hard not to overdose on all the conspiracy, flying lead and twisted plots that you will come across.

Brad Thor, once again, manages to deliver a high-quality piece d’art that will rock your socks off - there is really nothing more to say, without spoiling the experience.

John Milton - Paradise Lost:

Discovered by way of The Unit, Paradise Lost turned out to be one of the more difficult, yet very inspiring books I have read in the past five years. It took me quite some time to fully understand the poem and its implications, but for anyone interested in expanding their horizon, this is hands-down, a great choice.

Tim Sanders - Love is the killer app:

Last July, I came across Love is the Killer app, thanks to Patrick de Laive and I have to say that Patrick’s book list rocks. I was very tempted to list a few other suggestions here too, but the one that made the most impression on me was Love is the Killer app, not only because of the whole concept of “sharing love” with (business) associates, but also because the book reminded me of what many people seem to forget; the things that should be the core value of every single transaction, no matter if it ends in a monetary exchange too or not.

And that was the year in books - audio and visual media is coming up shortly

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The Next Web 2007 - recap!

posted in Events on June 7th, 2007

On June 1st, the European internet community converged onto Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to meet up for a conference that just could.

Before we start out with an in-depth dissection of the day, let me quickly brush over the whom, what and where:

Close to a year ago, Dutch serial entrepreneur Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten invited people to join him at, what I believe is the only European Web 2.0 conference that matters.

While the setting was fairly personal, it didn’t feel uncomfortable. With an array of interesting speakers, startups and venture capitalists, Boris managed to bring together what Europe was longing for: a great setting to be inspired and inspire, to network and socialize.

In fact, “The Next Web 2006″ turned out to be such a great success that the second edition of the event was announced a day later, while most people were still recovering from the effects of the after party.

The following entries will be part recap and part personal opinion. I’m doing this out of my own free will and decided that those who couldn’t attend the conference should at least get a chance to read about it.

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2006 - the final recap

posted in personal stuff on December 31st, 2006

2006, was indeed, a great year. With lots of changes, both personally as well as professionally, this year will be something I’ll remember for a long time.

Filled with lots of new musical influences, courtesy of friends and last.fm, quite a few new skills, thanks to my college, employers and my own striving and a new appreciation for the arts of our culture - yes, 2006 did indeed kick some serious butt.

Now, there’s one more thing that I want to get off my chest before I head out to conclude this past year in a fitting manner:

Happy New Year, may 2007 bring you and your loved ones the things you are longing for and if it does, think a minute about all those who aren’t able to live life in the same great way as most of us are able to, be it because of financial problems or because of other circumstances. If you are in the position, donate something to an organization you deem worthy of your support. It may not make you feel any better, but it will make someone else, somewhere else thankful. That should be rewarding enough, I know that it works for me.

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2006 - a(n) (audible) year in review

posted in Media, personal stuff on December 29th, 2006

This is the third and final part in a series of posts where I’m reviewing media from the past year. The first part discussed printed media, followed by my thoughts on televised media. The finale of this trilogy belongs to audible media, anything from music to spoken content.

2006, for me, marked the year of indie content. I bought more albums from magnatune.com this year than I did buy in retail stores during the last five years. Why? Because I like their concept. I get to choose how I acquire my media (loads of formats available), how much I pay and best of all … I get to share it with friends. Their concept is great and I’m thankful to them for providing such a great service.

Number one hit, for me personally, this year was certainly Scott Sigler’s Ancestor. While the story actually started in September of 2005, it wasn’t concluded until spring this year. Scott’s plot about xeno transplantation and the various side effects kept me hooked till the bitter end. Thanks to this podiobook, commuting actually became bearable.

Dubbed “medicine for the soul” by a commenter on YouTube, fingerstyle guitar artist Andy McKee really deserves a spot in my toplist. The way he makes love to the guitar is just amazing. It’s just amazing how he manages to convey a very vivid image with his song, without the need for any vocal support whatsoever.

Last but not least, Grey’s Anatomy Soundtrack, Vol. 1 is the perfect candidate to conclude this review. Featuring songs from season one of the show, the compilation contains songs which have the power to make you feel happy. Out of the 15 songs on the disc, I personally like two thirds a lot and find the other third to be awesome. It rarely happens that I like more than half of a compilation’s songs, but this time, it’s spot on.

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