Robert Kaye

Robert is the founder and lead developer for MusicBrainz, and President and Executive Director of the MetaBrainz Foundation, the non-profit organization that pays the bills for MusicBrainz.


Robert is a die hard music fan dedicated to improving the digital audio experience. After studying Computer Engineering at Cal Poly he joined Xing Technology where he was part of the MP3 team and served as the development manager for the AudioCatalyst project. While at EMusic, Robert worked on the Zinf (formerly FreeAmp) and Obsequeiuem projects, in addition to working on MusicBrainz. Robert is currently the Executive Director of the MetaBrainz Foundation and has MusicBrainz on the brain full time now.

The future of community

Jono Bacon says the community renaissance has just begun.

We're at the beginning of a community renaissance, says Jono Bacon, and we're soon going to see a repeatable body of knowledge that will allow us to push communities forward.

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OSCON: Programmer Insecurity and the Genius Myth

OSCON: Programmer Insecurity and the Genius Myth

Two of my favorite presenters, Ben Collins-Sussman and Brian Fitzpatrick, did an OSCON session on “Programmer Insecurity and the Genius Myth.” Brian and Ben talked about how programmers’ insecurities cause all manner of troubles in programming projects, and then presented a number of tips for how to avoid these problems. They also asserted that there are very few genius “lone ranger”programmers in the real world — most highly successful and productive programmers work smart and collaborate well.

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OSCON: The saga of MySQL

At OSCON in 2006, I followed sessions that discussed how open source companies would fare when big corporations come in. Back then there were only a handful of examples of big companies purchasing small open source companies. Three years later, we've witnessed MySQL AB get swallowed by Sun, only to have Sun be swallowed by Oracle. Now there are…

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OSCON: Standing Out in the Crowd

OSCON: Standing Out in the Crowd

Kirrily Robert gave the first keynote speech this morning, entitled “Standing Out in the Crowd.” She spoke about the gender imbalance in open source and shared her experiences working on open source projects that have a higher-than-average percentage of women participants. She laid out statistics about the current gender balance of various projects, looked at trends in open source, and closed with a number of tips on how open source projects can get — and keep — more women contributors.

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OSCON: Building Belonging (in communities)

I dove right in to OSCON by attending Jono Bacon's "Building Belonging" community talk. Jono, who is the community manager for Ubuntu, started out his presentation by asking what communities can do to build and improve the sense of belonging that people have in their community. After talking a little about what belonging means, he threw out the first concrete…

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ETech: Wrapup

I've been attending ETech and the P2P conference that preceded ETech and this conference, and this year I've noticed the best gender balance ever. Granted this conference's focus has changed from the very geeky P2P and Web Services focus it started with and meandered through a host of topics to arrive at a less geeky, but still thought provoking…

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ETech: Mobile Phones Reveal the Behaviors of Places and People

[Quinn managed to scoop me blogging about Tony Jebara's presentation! But after I chatted with her, we both agreed that I should continue with my blog post and see if I can augment her post a little.] Tony Jebara's presentation "Mobile Phones Reveal the Behaviors of Places and People" really opened my eyes to what amazing things you can…

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Uncommon Knowledge and Open Innovation: Building a Science Commons

The first session I attended today was John Wilbanks' "Uncommon Knowledge and Open Innovation: Building a Science Commons" presentation. John talked about the process of establishing the Science Commons and how creating a science oriented commons presented unique challenges. John first pointed out that Metcalfe's Law works for both networked computers and documents. But, he went on to extend…

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ETech: Priorities for a Greener World: If You Could Design Anything, What Should You Do?

The second ETech session today I’d like to share with you was presented by a personal friend of mine, Jeremy Faludi. Jer started his session entitled “Priorities for a Greener World: If You Could Design Anything, What Should You Do?” by pointing out that if we want to change the world, we ought to know what the most important issues are, right?

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ETech: I Just Don't Trust You: How the Tech Community Can Reinvent Risk Ratings

The “I Just Don’t Trust You: How the Tech Community Can Reinvent Risk Ratings” presentation posited that the system for rating credit instruments is horribly broken. Right before Lehman Brothers crashed, Moody’s credit rating agency gave Lehman Brothers a AAA credit rating. Moodys immediately down-rated Lehman Brothers after they crashed — a little too late!

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