A Plea for Help

by Miguel Caetano on 5 de Janeiro de 2010

Hello, dear English-speaking readers! Some of you adobe xi pro may know me from Twitter and others from FriendFeed, not to mention those who actually regularly read this blog (even though almost all content is written in Portuguese ;-)). As some of you may already know, my name is Miguel Caetano and I’m a Portuguese journalist/blogger from Lisbon.

I’ve been regularly publishing posts here about copyright, file sharing, remix culture and digital/online music since October of 2006 and I’m very proud of my solo work here. Until very recently, I used to write five full long-length articles a day and it was very satisfying, even if not in a monetary way.

During these years I got interviewed by the National news agency (LUSA) and by one of Portugal’s quality newspapers (P¨²blico), wrote an op-ed for this same newspaper, appeared in a five minute feature for the sunday night news show of one of the four broadcast TV stations (SIC) and participated in a talk show for a women’s cable TV channel (SIC Mulher).

I’d like to think that I’m not your average “citizen journalist”: my educational and professional background has always been in media, particulary online media. I graduated in Media Studies at the Portuguese Catholic University in 2000 and for the next three years I worked as a technology journalist, first for Focus (a Portuguese version of the German newsmagazine), then for an online content business which has, among others, the Tech news site of the biggest Portuguese Web portal for its client.

After that, I enrolled on a Master’s program in Communication, Culture and Information Technologies at ISCTE and wrote a thesis (PDF here; abstract in English here) about online activism and the (re)appropriation of technology for social goals, particularly in the Brazilian context. Next, I opened this WordPress blog with the goal of creating an online think tank on copyright, intellectual property and the commons by myself and with no support whatsoever. Judging by the number of quotes in the mainstream media, feed subscribers (more than 1,500 at its best, which by itself is notable for the Portuguese market) and the Page Rank of 5, I think it was a worthwhile effort.

The problem is that I’m stuck in a dead end. I want to be able to apply at least some of the knowledge and skills that I’ve learned in music marketing, online marketing, social media, SEO, blogging, community management, etc. in a professional way but, quite frankly, the Portuguese online market is too small to make a living. The advertising revenues are too negligible and despite the goodwill of the readers (some from Portugal but many more from Brazil), the donations that I’ve asked weren’t enough to keep the blog on full steam.

A year ago, I announced a pack of Freemium services directed towards media businesses, NGOs and Universities that included the selling of articles concerning specific issues about online entertainment (music, video, TV, media and publishing), as well as consulting services to help record labels adapt to the new digital ecossystem and to give advice to music tech startups. However, the reaction was tepid, to say the least. I ended up being insulted by “anonymous cowards” and trolls ;-) That’s why I decided to ask for your help.

Now, you may think that what I should do is to get a day job in a bakery, a supermarket, a cell phone shop or something like that. And I’m willing to do that but not here in Portugal. You see, the situation here has been very rough for people of my age during the last years. Once you get a job at a call center, you can’t move anywhere up because you’re expected to have no expectations regarding the future. And speaking sincerely, I rather move abroad and have at least a minimum degree of hope than to have no hope at all. Furhermore, I’m afraid I’m too much into social media, blogging and online communities to just give up so easily of making a career of it. All the friendships and relationships that I have were made possible only because of the Web and the Net.

Being a big believer in open source and free software (Linux user/evangelist since 1997), I’ve always strived for excellence, perfectionism, honesty, transparency and passion in everything that I do – whatever the costs may be and I really think that my skills can be helpful, even in a commercial context.

Judging by my profile and CV, I think the United Kingdom is the wisest choice for me at the moment. To tell you the truth, I’ve already thought of moving to the UK twice before. I even took the TOEFL IBT, where I scored 105/120. But at the time I didn’t knew anyone there and I wasn’t in a very healthy shape. Since them, I got on Twitter and on FriendFeed, where I managed to make several new friends and acquaintances from all over the world, which was quite a feat for such an introvert/shy guy like me. I guess you can say that social media made an extrovert out of me ;-). While engaging in conversation and following several musicians, journalists, bloggers, students, researchers and others living in the UK, I became aware that it – still – is the best European country for someone who values entrepeneurship, innovation, creativity and collaboration (social capital), even taking in consideration the present economic crisis.

Right now, I have no plans but I really made up my mind. I don’t care if I’ll have to sleep on the streets; I just feel it’s past time for me to go away. I’m willing to work on anything that is available during the first few months until something better comes along. But I need to be paid. Moving more into my background, I know a thing or too of SEO and online marketing, to say nothing about social media, community management, blogging and journalism (you can always dream ;-)).

That said, for now I would be very happy with a paid internship. Being London the social media capital of the world as it is, I’m betting that it may not be extremely difficult to find an offer like that. But any help of your part will be highly appreciated. To be clear: It’s not my intention to end the work I’ve been doing in Remixtures concerning online music, file sharing, copyright, intellectual property and the Commons. I love music too much to stop writing about it, even if only once a week.

(photo by Marc AmosCC-BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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1 Bruno Miguel 5 de Janeiro de 2010 às 23:18

http://htxt.it/58If A Plea for Help | Remixtures

2 blocsonic 5 de Janeiro de 2010 às 23:22

RT @remixtures: RT @remixtures: A Plea for Help http://bit.ly/8K6hZK

3 Fernando Fonseca 5 de Janeiro de 2010 às 23:31

#HELP #UK @remixtures is moving to the UK and is looking for a internship. Can anyone help? Read it all here: http://tr.im/JxIZ

4 topsy_top20k_pt 5 de Janeiro de 2010 às 23:31

http://htxt.it/58If A Plea for Help | Remixtures

5 Sua fonte de música! 6 de Janeiro de 2010 às 1:41

A Plea for Help http://bit.ly/8HbWH7

6 Filipe Marques 6 de Janeiro de 2010 às 12:52

A Plea for Help http://ff.im/-dSq1M

7 remixtures 6 de Janeiro de 2010 às 21:10

For those of you who still haven't noticed it yet: RT @remixtures: A Plea for Help http://bit.ly/8K6hZK

8 Thiago O. de Araújo 6 de Janeiro de 2010 às 21:21

RT @remixtures: A Plea for Help http://bit.ly/8K6hZK #uk #helpremixtures

9 sofasurfer 6 de Janeiro de 2010 às 23:14

#help unfortunatly, this is Portugal: the best have to leave the country: A Plea for Help http://goo.gl/Aqgl

10 Pedro Capistrano 7 de Janeiro de 2010 às 4:31

RT @remixtures: A Plea for Help http://bit.ly/8K6hZK

11 cmoreira 8 de Janeiro de 2010 às 12:37

RT @remixtures: For those of you who still haven't noticed it yet: RT @remixtures: A Plea for Help http://bit.ly/8K6hZK

12 Orlando G. da Silva 8 de Janeiro de 2010 às 23:19

Olhaí, caminhos e constatações como as do Miguel Caetano @remixtures. No que te tocam? http://ow.ly/UozZ

13 Orlando G. da Silva 8 de Janeiro de 2010 às 23:20

What if?! @remixtures http://ow.ly/UoBz

14 Antonio 9 de Janeiro de 2010 às 16:38

Ola Miguel, como sabes ja estou a viver em Brighton UK desde 2005. Eu encontro-me precisamente na direccao oposta, penso voltar a viver em Portugal ja no proximo Verao.

Inglaterra e um pais bem interessante e vale bem a pena a experiencia. Vai para Londres, pois esta e a cidade com mais oportunidades de carreira. Acho tambem que com a mudanca talvez faca sentido comecares a postar em Ingles.

Desejo-te a melhor das sortes e que este novo caminho te traga frutos bem merecidos!

Um abraco


15 Miguel Caetano 9 de Janeiro de 2010 às 21:32

Olá António. Obrigado pelos conselhos e dicas. Acho que é um pouco tarde para começar a escrever regularmente em inglês ;-) Aliás, acho que em Outubro de 2006, quando eu começei o Remixtures, já era um pouco tarde. Por outro lado, há certa coisas que só fazem sentido quando estamos inseridos no meio, quando lidamos regularmente com as pessoas e com os ambientes que definem a indústria musical e os direitos de autor. E isso é algo que me falta e que só posso adquirir numa grande cidade como Londres. Daí a minha decisão de emigrar :-) Abraços!

16 Paulo Rená 12 de Abril de 2010 às 12:51

Mantenha-se escrevendo em português. Você é quase uma voz única nesse nicho.

17 Thalles Waichert 11 de Janeiro de 2010 às 11:47

Olá Miguel, acompanho você e seu blog há algum tempo e seu texto me tocou. Eu desde metade da universidade sou engajado em mídias sociais e pesquisas acadêmicas nessa área. Tentei mestrado nessa linha com a esperança de não me afastar do meio e não deu certo. No final das contas acabei conseguindo um emprego no qual eu administro diversas contas de social media em uma agência de marketing online. É um trabalho muito bacana para mim. E tenho visto surgir muitas vagas desse tipo em empresas por aqui no Brasil. Sem sombra de dúvida um blogueiro do seu escalão seria hiper valorizado por aqui. Já cogitou a hipótese de se aventurar em terras brasileiras?

Abraços! E força!

18 @TheoOliveira 31 de Março de 2010 às 23:33

Estou na mesma posição do Thalles, apesar de não comentar muito no blog, acompanho o Miguel à algum tempo. E acho uma ótima idéia, você teria poucos- nenhum é bem provável- de "transição linguística", cultural e por que não alimentícia. Quem sabe você não se tornaria um pesquisador de faculdades federais plus gerente de marketing digital de alguma $ony da vida? Oro à Deus para que você consiga o melhor no que você decidir! Abraços

19 fisher 13 de Janeiro de 2010 às 21:14

A very interesting point of view.

20 Rafaela 17 de Janeiro de 2010 às 3:19

Nossa, seu blog é show, adorei! Posso divulgar o link de dois jogos que gosto muito?


Obrigada e continue fazendo um ótimo trabalho

21 DDD 21 de Janeiro de 2010 às 21:03

Why not try Open Democracy?


22 Edu Tex 19 de Fevereiro de 2010 às 2:08

Olá Miguel,

Como vão as coisas, espero que esteja tudo bem.
Passei aqui para dizer que sinto muita falta do remixtures, era minha grande referencia em novas midias.

Grande Abraço

Edu Tex
Trevo Digital

23 Martin Balerio 20 de Fevereiro de 2010 às 23:59

"…quite frankly, the Portuguese online market is too small to make a living." http://bit.ly/aYUVUg via @remixtures // you got it wrong…

24 Elisa 16 de Abril de 2010 às 13:23

Olá Miguel, trabalho em uma empresa brasileira de gestão coletiva de direitos autorais e acompanho todos os seus posts e seu twitter.
Só gostaria de deixar registrado que suas notícias são excelentes ! Aqui é normalmente o lugar onde encontro notícias de primeiroa mão sobre o mundo da música. Parabéns.

25 sdgdf 25 de Setembro de 2010 às 15:53

Dear customers, thank you for your support of our company.
Here, there's good news to tell you: The company recently
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and welcome everyone to come buy. If necessary, please
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We need your support and trust!

26 Ana Luiza 30 de Novembro de 2011 às 13:37

Olá, Miguel!
Sou uma advogada e musicista do Brasil
Estou fazendo vários cursos online sobre direitos autorais em música
Se você puder me adicionar no facebook ou no twitter,agradeço
Tenho as minhas músicas disponíveis online: http://www.reverbnation.com/analuizabrown
Meu email é luizabrown@terra.com.br
Tudo de bom

27 Como Perder Barriga 8 de Fevereiro de 2012 às 1:02

I love this post, thanks for sharing!! Im brazilian, sry for bad english d:
Como Perder a Barriga é o meu ebook! Se quiser sabe rmais acesse o site de emagrecer como perder barriga.

28 Como Perder Barriga 8 de Fevereiro de 2012 às 1:03

And make a post about old vinyls!

Dietas e exercicios de como perder barriga

29 John Thompson 13 de Fevereiro de 2012 às 11:20

RT @alexgamela: dear uk bosses, hire this guy, he's good http://t.co/znhFRnzJ

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31 güncel haber 12 de Abril de 2012 às 20:46

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My recent post Hugo Almeida’ya 3 maç ceza

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34 baydizi 12 de Abril de 2012 às 22:40

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