I should be wrapping presents or working on a couple of different Christmas projects, but I am not. I could also be trying to do some lesson plans or grading some tests so I don’t have as much work to do over my winter break, but I’m not. My washing machine could be getting a work out so that I have fresh laundry to pack before I head to my sister’s on Sunday, but alas…I am opting to do something else. I am trying to organize group pictures of Duran Duran that people have sent us at my request. These group pictures will be used in our daily questions starting very, very soon. (By the way, if you want to send us your FIVE FAVORITE group pictures of Duran Duran, via email or social media, please do so! We will take them until the group picture questions begin!)
Why am I bothering with this task? I want to be ready for the next set of the “Questions of the Day”. Likewise, after that, I’ll be compiling the results (so far) of the ranking of the songs on the album, Seven and the Ragged Tiger. (Like the photos, this activity is still happening, too. For details, go here.) Why do I take time to do these silly, little activities? There are a variety of reasons, which are not limited to my desire to be inclusive, to keep discussion alive, and to keep Duran Duran in people’s thoughts each and every day.
I like to joke that this blog is better than the Post Office as we post every single day, including weekends, holidays, while on tour, etc. We may not always post lengthy blog posts like this one but we do, at the very least, post a question. This question is usually not time consuming as fans just have to pick between two or more options. It is simply a matter of clicking on one’s choice. For people who check in with us, everyday, this question allows them to share their opinions about pictures or songs or videos or whatever we are asking about. This means that those fans are literally thinking about something to do with Duran Duran EVERYDAY. They aren’t just thinking about Duran when a new album comes out or when tour dates are announced. No, this is a daily reminder about Duran Duran. This helps to keep the fandom going, no matter what is happening with the band members and their schedules.
More specifically, tasks, like the question of the day or ranking of the songs on the album, promotes discussion as well. Fans have the opportunity to share what they think and why and other fans can react or discuss what is shared. Based on all of my studies on fandom, discussion about what one is a fan of is where fandom begins and is essential for any and all fandoms to exist and thrive. People need to talk about what they like and why. They need to share it with others who also like the same thing. If and when people decide that they don’t want to share their opinions, then, they are stepping back and away from being part of a fan community. Then, they might become just a casual fan, if that. Fandoms can die when too many people pull back and become casual fans. I don’t want that to happen with Duran Duran and the Duran Duran fandom. Thus, I want to provide tasks to initiate conversation, to keep discussion alive.
It seems to me that most discussions about Duran Duran happen when albums are released or when tour dates are announced. Every single fan can participate in dialogue surrounding album news. Yet, not every fan can partake in debate about tour dates, presales, tickets, touring, etc. I’m sure, for example, a couple of weeks ago, many fans did not participate at all in any of the discussions about the presale for the North American tour in 2016. Fans who live far away and never could attend a show here in the States or in Canada did not have much to contribute to the discussion. Fans who simply can’t attend shows for various reasons probably did not want to participate much in presale talk. Obviously, Rhonda and I embraced any and all discussion about the upcoming tour. Yet, we never want to exclude anyone. We want the fan community to allow for ALL fans to participate. The daily questions and tasks like ranking the albums do just that.
On top of all of those reasons to have daily or weekly tasks, they are also fun. Why be part of a fandom if it isn’t fun?! Join us daily for the question of the day and weekly, for a few weeks, for the ranking of the albums. Also, if you want to share your five favorite group pictures, send them our way! On that note, I have more organizing to finish!