Our regular visitors and Twitter followers have already noticed that this week we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the presence of Gearjunkies.com on the world wide web. Today we take a look back.
So, … how did it all start then, back in 2003. Two guys from Eindhoven (The Netherlands) were sitting outside a cafe enjoying a drink in the sun. Marc van den Hurk, a DJ/producer and studio owner, and Mark Dobrinic, a software programmer, were discussing the remains of a webshop project that went ‘belly up’. From this project a database existed with lots of gear and the related product information. Both thought it would be a shame if this information would be lost. But what to do with this database? Why not create an information portal for gearheads and gearlovers alike?
What’s In A Name?
An idea was born. Being both gearheads and electronic music enthusiasts, Marc and Mark wanted to share that feeling with others. But how to name the project, the website? After, a few drinks and some time to brainstorm, they had this ‘eureka’ moment when the name GearJunkies came along. This word pretty much summarizes the whole idea behind the website, back in 2003!
After that first meeting by Marc and Mark, the only real decision that was made was the name itself. Now this idea, this project had to be put online. A friend of Marc, Eric Thoolen, had a background in communications and had a little (self taught) experience in layout and graphic design. He then joined the duo and the three became the founders of Gearjunkies. Eric started working on a logo and after many versions, he created the logo as it is used still today. Click here for the first lay out design in Photoshop. With minor knowledge in HTML, Eric created the first website layout of Gearjunkies (as you can see by the screenshot below). After a few months of tweaking and scripting the back-end by Mark, Gearjunkies.com went online in december 2003.
We intentionally say 2003, because back then information portals were the go-to places for information on a specific subject, group, scene, product, etc. Why? That question can be answered very easily. Google wasn’t as big as it is today. Nowadays ‘anything’ can be found with Google, which means the right of existence of information portals has decreased (a lot).
Gear Junkie (Gear Head): A musician (most common in guitarists and drummers) who spends more time reading about and buying gear than they actually spend playing music.
We tried to get some ‘visual’ back of how the site looked in the beginning and we managed to find a cached website look of early (january) 2004. Just a few weeks after our start in december 2003.
Like mentioned Gearjunkies.com started off as an information portal for hard- and software gear, related to use in electronic music. However pretty soon, early 2004, a news section was added. This way we tried to create a bit more dynamic on the website. This way we could announce new products, available updates and more. In the first years this news section was nothing more then a list of headlines. Around 2007-2008 the news section became more like it is today, more blog style.
In 2010 the ugly outdated version 1 HTML layout was replaced by a more layout friendly blog template. A design that we still use today. However, the current version is getting to its end as well. With the modern needs of websites today (SEO, social media integration, etc.), we have started working on version 3 of Gearjunkies.com. And there is good and bad news. Good news is that new version will arrive, for sure, the bad news is we can’t tell you when. One thing is certain, it needs a lot of work. But think 2014!
What Came Next?
Well, like we mentioned before, work on the next version of Gearjunkies.com has begun. But we do want to mention one other important fact and that’s the three musketeers from the beginning Marc, Mark and Eric aren’t ‘alone’ anymore. The team has grown over the years.
Nowadays the initial Gearjunkies do get help from a select group of ‘new’ Gearjunkies: Dave van Gorp, Wouter Veltmaat, Rob Fabrie, and Paul Hellings. All of them with a strong taste for gear and professional or semi-professional ties to DJ’ing and music production. We like to mention three other guys who helped us out in the recent past as well. Wytse Gerichhausen, Mathijs Cornelisse and Patrick Heijloo were part of the team as well but aren’t longer with us as schedules and work were too difficult to combine with Gearjunkies projects.
In the meanwhile, around 2008, the Gearjunkies Network grew with the addition of DJ2DJ.nl. A website that started out as a (phpBB) user forum for Dutch DJ’s and EDM enthusiasts. Late 2010 the Gearjunkies team revamped the whole setup and turned the forum into a ‘blog’ website. So from then on Gearjunkies had a little ‘brother’ with DJ2DJ! This Dutch DJ website became rather popular and is one of the succesful side-projects of Gearjunkies. However there were a few more side-projects that didn’t make the cut. The Gearjunkies Kitchen (user forum) and the Gearjunkies Blog website just didn’t make it. If you never heart from them? Well, there’s one reason for you why they didn’t make it! Oh, and then there is Gearjunkies Studios, however we aren’t sure what the future for this project will be. No decision has been made yet.
There yo go! 10 years of Gearjunkies…. Onwards to the next 10 years!
In the coming days/weeks we will post some more on the past ten years. Think cool posts, factoids, anekdotes, most succesfull posts, reviews, interviews, etc.