Erwin van der Zande (1971) is an all-round contentmeister. He really digs technology, popular culture, design, and, well, basically everything in between. He is the creator and editor-in-chief of Bright.
Bright is the leading publication in the Netherlands on tech and digital lifestyle. It joined RTL Nederland in 2015 as the tech division of RTL Nieuws. Combining news, video, television, social media and events, Bright tickles a million Dutch tech lovers. Its daily news feed, newsletters, weekly podcast and social channels keep you updated on trending topics in tech. For the best reviews and explainers, make sure to subscribe to its YouTube channel, the biggest tech channel in the Netherlands. A compilation of those videos is broadcast on tv stations RTL Z en RTL 7 in Best of Bright. Once a year the team went all out on Bright Day, the largest consumer techfest in the Netherlands, inspiring over 20,000 visitors at the most recent editions. Covid-19 changed that unfortunately. With over 440K subs and 4M likes Bright’s fastest growing channel currently is on TikTok.
A new format for television is in the works.
Starting out writing for lifestyle magazines Erwin switched to the internet in 1994. He pioneered internet journalism in the Netherlands by launching e-Wave, the first electronic newsletter covering the online world, published by Walter De Brouwer. (His manual for sending press releases via e-mail is considered a classic.) Erwin continued his online reporting at Planet Internet as the sole editor of Shift. Early 1998 his e-zine made national headlines offering music downloads for free legally. Erwin went on to co-found BitMagic with Michiel Frackers and Francisco van Jole among others. At the time of his departure in the fall of 2000 the netcaster had 250,000 subscribers in 170 countries. A year later he teamed up with publisher Frank Bierens to create teen-zine Spunk.nl, which was a launching pad for succesful young writers such as Renske de Greef and is currently part of Vice Media.
In 2005 Erwin launched Bright together with Oscar Kneppers, publishing a bi-monthly magazine and a daily weblog, embracing the splendour of ingenuity and portraying the promise of innovation. With an optimistic attitude and a progressive stance, Bright struck a cord with the Dutch audience. Three years in a row (2008-10) Erwin was nominated for the Mercur Editor of the Year by the Nederlands Uitgeversverbond, the highest award in the Dutch magazine industry. In 2012 he was nominated for Trendwatcher of the Year by Second Sight in the category Technology.
Throughout his career Erwin wrote for several publications and agencies. As juror he has been a chairman at the ADCN Reclame Jaarprijzen, and a member at the Dutch Bloggies, the Spin Awards, Upload Cinema, De Tegel, and the Dutch Design Awards. Between 2012 and 2015 he was one of the influencers at Curated.nl.
For kicks Erwin acted in commercials of which the one for Broodje Unox (2004) is most renown. He resides in Amsterdam, together with graphic designer Yke Bartels, their two daughters, and two Norwegian forest cats.