Avoiding Message Boards

Lately, I have been talking to a number of people about the Duran Duran message boards, which, in my mind, include DuranDuranMusic, Mark’s board and others.  It seems that a number of fans don’t actually go to any of them.  When asked, they talk about how negative the boards have been in the past or the desire to stay away from the drama.  This makes me wonder if there were a lot of fans who avoided the message boards.  From there, I ponder what the point of message boards is in the first place and if these non-message board people get their fandom needs met elsewhere.

Based on my loose observation, there are a lot of Duranies who don’t go to any message board.  From what I have seen, they don’t go because they don’t like the negativity that can be found on them.  Is this a fair statement?  Perhaps, so.  I have seen much negativity on the various message boards.  Heck, even the most positive, most pleasant of boards can have its share of problems.  The very nature of message boards is discussion, right?  When people discuss anything, they are not always going to agree.  When there are disagreements, some people handle this well and just agree to disagree and others become more argumentative or negative and everyone in between.  Yet, this very discussion is what a lot of people go to message boards for.  They want to talk about their interest, their fandom.  At least, I do.  Of course, now, I can come here and talk about what I think for paragraphs and paragraphs.  Yes, people can also respond to me and my ideas, too.  They can do it here or on twitter or on facebook.  They can even do it on message boards.  I appreciate this discussion.  So, do people who avoid message boards not want to have discussions about Duran?  I don’t know.  Perhaps, they, like me, have found other means of expressing themselves.  Maybe social networking sites like facebook and twitter provide that.  Maybe, they live with people who are Duranies or are friends with Duranies so they can have more personalized discussions.  Of course, there is always the chance that they don’t want to talk about Duran.  Their fandom doesn’t require the conversation or they don’t want to hear negative statements.  Some fans, I think, want to just think happy thoughts about the object of their fandom.  They want to think that everything their idol(s) does is great.  For them, the focus is on fun rather than analysis.  I can appreciate that to some extent, even if I can’t do that.  Of course, maybe the negativity has nothing to really do with the band and maybe it has to do with the fans.

It seems to me that drama in fandom is common.  There are always fans that seem to have problems with each other.  I’m not sure why this exists.  It could be that people feel so passionate about their fandom that this carries over to other fans.  Thus, when there is friendship, it is all good, but when there is not, it is bad.  It isn’t uncommon for people to go to message boards to find others like them and to make friends from this common interest.  Perhaps, that common interest isn’t enough to make solid, long-lasting friendships as there needs to be more in common than that.  I don’t know. It could just be that they see behaviors or attitudes that they just don’t like and instead of ignoring them, fans are open what they don’t like.  I’m sure that the medium also helps this.  People might say and do things because the communication is taking place online as opposed to doing face-to-face communication.  People can post comments and then walk away.  It is an easier medium to have confrontations.  Based on this type of drama, I can understand why people would want to avoid online places where there is a lot of talking behind people’s backs or posting negative statements or arguing.  The message boards then are no longer about making friends but avoiding making enemies.  Maybe real life provides friendships, even ones surrounding fandom. 

Then, if a fan gets friends elsewhere and gets Duran discussion elsewhere, how does a fan get the information found on a message board?  Removing the infighting and the debates about the band, there is still information provided.  For example, I couldn’t go on a message board today without seeing a news article about the band or a rumor about some upcoming event.  Can you get this type of knowledge through social networking or real life connections?  I don’t know.  Again, maybe fans that avoid message boards, don’t feel it necessary to get news and rumors.  Maybe the negatives of message boards still outweigh the positives for them. 

-A

18 thoughts on “Avoiding Message Boards”

  1. Firstly, wonderfully written and thought out blog! This is a topic I've found myself thinking about a lot lately. None of my “real life” friends are DD fans and as my love of DD grows, I desperately want to talk to other fans. However, I am extremely gun-shy about joining a message board. I was very active in several message boards for a favorite tv show for several years and although I made several lasting friendships, the negative attitudes, drama, and fighting just got to be too much for me. I've been able to connect to some DD fans through Twitter, but I always feel shy about jumping into a discussion as I feel like a newbie. I became a DD fan as a child and although I never quit liking them, I kind of drifted away, keeping up with them from a distance until recently. Now that I'm back to being a big fan, I feel like an outsider and also think that has something to do with me staying away from the boards, feeling like I would feel like even more of an outsider there than I already do. On Twitter, I've heard lots of negative comments about DDM boards and really don't know any other boards to try out. I do think Twitter and Facebook can fill some of the fandom needs, but there's really nothing like chatting with other fans in my opinion. I just wish I wasn't so gun-shy about jumping in.

  2. So glad that you thought the blog was wonderfully written and thought out! Now, I can definitely understand being shy after having negative situations in the past. I'm glad that you are around on twitter. Are you our friend on facebook? Perhaps, you can start getting your feet wet through our blog? Then, you can start to find out who can be trusted and who can't. Thanks for sharing. I really appreciate it.

    -A

  3. I'm one of the message board-avoiding fans, as I've said before. Sometimes I skim if I'm looking for something specific, but I'm hesitant to post anything myself for fear of being blasted for whatever random reason. A lot of people on certain boards seem so very clique-y, too. If you're not there from the beginning it's like there's no place for you to jump in and be accepted.

    I have enough interaction with my Duranie friends on Facebook and Twitter and IRL that I don't feel like I'm missing out on rumors, or other info. If something's happening I'll find out about it from someone!

  4. I agree with some of the people here, I don't do message boards cause I've been burned and treated like crap every single time so I avoid them like the plague. I have a lot of duran soul sisters that have ears to the road and I surf everywhere else practically daily by my choosing, so I don't miss much of anything. There is life outside a message board. Most of that information there comes from other websites and friends that take that info TO the message board, therefore, I already have it before it gets there AND i avoid the drama and backstabbing. I feel less stressed and less paranoid about PROVING i'm a great fan. I love the boys with all my heart. I don't need to prove that to anyone… My Duran sisters are loyal and amazing. i'm sure there are more out there, and I'm sure I will make more Duran friends, but I'm satisfied avoiding the crap and keeping my sanity by staying away from message boards.

  5. I just had my fingers burned again, and strongly considered giving up all forms of social networking because of it. The person that singed me again is someone that has been destroying people's lives (no joke or exaggeration here) since the AOL days to prove they're a “bigger” fan. It's not that I became friends with this person, but rather allowed myself to look past my other friends associating with them. Best part is that this time my husband got to know some of them and end up covered in this vicious, juvenile nonsense. Talk about embarrassing.

    I think that in any social group, there are some people who are simply mean, underhanded, vile people, and the anonymity of the internet allows them to run buck wild. I've removed myself from the online communities because I DO judge people who are friends with people like the one mentioned above, even if they don't know their history, and I have no interest in being associated, however loosely, with that kind of person.

    That said, some of my closest, dearest friends are people I met online through Duran communities. I just made sure they didn't know the worst of the worst before letting them into my life. =)

  6. Negativity and rudeness are two reasons I avoid message boards. I joined one recently thinking it would be fun to reconnect with fellow fans, reminisce, discuss the new album…. I found quite the opposite to be true. And what is it about some Duranies thinking that if you haven't been a fan since the beginning, you're really not a fan at all?

  7. I think you are right, Krissie. Some people are just mean.

    Ginny, good question. Rhonda tackled that issue today. Here is my question? Are all message boards the same?

    -A

  8. No, not at all. I belong to two different messageboards and they are like night and day.

    The one I've belonged to the longest, goes through its cycles of course, but for the most part it feels like a big family. The moderators are very very good at spotting trolls and other trouble-makers before things get too heated, and newbies who actually decide to post are welcomed with open arms. The only thing there that might turn people off is the general sense of humor that permeates the board. It can sometimes be taken the wrong way.

    On the other hand, the other board I belong to seems much more lax in its moderation. Trolls and obvious alts are used to make personal attacks against other members; and even some regular posters are often mean-spirited. But even with that present, there are still some very cool people and very good discussions there. It just becomes a matter of ignoring the filth.

    Some message boards I have peeked in on, but would never ever join.

    So no, not the same at all.

  9. Btw, why does it seem to take four or five times to post a comment here? I mean, even before getting the “after approval” note?

    If anyone else has that problem, that might explain why it's easier to respond through FB or twitter.

  10. That's a really good question, Duraffinity. I didn't realize that was happening, but it's one more reason for me to move the blog to wordpress….thanks for letting me know!! – R

  11. Not a fan of the message boards, either. The one-upping over who's the bigger fan just wears me out too much.

    Truly, I feel that's all erased at a live show. Met some really neat folks at the Fillmore show in April. We partied at the show, and still keep in touch.

We (Amanda and Rhonda) appreciate discussion and differences of opinion. We respectfully ask that you fully read the blog before bitching us out. If you're only here to take us down a notch, note that we moderate replies (meaning we're not printing rude comments). Thanks a bunch!

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