As you read from Rhonda’s post on Tuesday, this little blog of ours turned six. Birthdays and anniversaries provide a good time to stop, look around, take stock in the state of things and reflect. This birthday/anniversary was no exception. As soon as I start thinking about this blog, a few very clear conclusions pop into my head.
When we started this little venture, I didn’t know exactly what it was going to be. For once, I just went with the idea when Rhonda suggested it. I liked the idea of writing frequently and throwing ideas/thoughts out to the Duranie community about all things Duran Duran and all things fandom. I didn’t consider who would read or what kind of feedback or response we would receive. Perhaps, if I had thought about it more, the fear of negative feedback or being too exposed might have caused me to shut down the whole thing before we even started.
Looking back, it is sort of funny that I didn’t think too much before agreeing to Rhonda’s idea, which is unusual for me. I’m well-known for thinking things to death while considering each and every angle. Yet, with this, I just went for it. I suspect part of the reason I didn’t think too much was that I figured it wouldn’t last. For instance, I knew that we were both busy and I didn’t realize that we really would have some serious commitment to it, but we did.
I am not sure why we had such commitment, especially when it started so slowly with very few people reading. Maybe the slowness worked to my advantage. I can become easily overwhelmed socially and too much attention too fast would have caused me to back off quickly. I also am terribly afraid of ridicule, rejection and harassment. Little secret, this fear often stops me from even trying to be social. Some see this characteristic of mine as being private while others see it as being aloof or cold when, in reality, it is a defense mechanism.
Anyway, soon enough, our comfort level grew as did the blog itself along with our audience. Part of me is still surprised to see how many people have viewed our blog or read a specific post. Likewise, I still get a little thrill when I see a positive or constructive comment on the blog or on one of our social media sites. Comments like these reinforce the blog and what we are doing here. As the blog grew, our mission became more clear. Initially, I’m not sure that we really knew what we were doing or really why. With every month and year, our vision for this blog becomes clearer.
Yes, we want to provide a Duranie state of the union so to speak. We have a lot of thoughts about what Duran has done and will do. This blog provides us the medium to discuss all things Duran. We now know that we hope it provides the space for others to do the same. Similarly, we never really thought about the community beyond analyzing our fan community in order to understand it and to really get fandom as a whole. Soon, though, we recognized that we can’t or shouldn’t just complain about certain elements of our fan community. No, we had to make an effort to give suggestions to improve what we might be critical about, including trying to bring fans together. Of course, we know that we aren’t always successful with these efforts but, at least, we try. Our intentions are good.
On a personal note, this blog of ours has provided me with a journal of sorts, a little record of my life. While it may often focus on Duran, I captured a number of significant moments in my life. I wrote tons of blogs talking about teaching or campaigning, for example. Typically, those blogs aren’t super popular but I understand that few can relate to aspects of my life. Most people aren’t crazy enough to teach or to be as involved in politics as I have been. Unlike Rhonda, I don’t have a husband or children to talk about. Combine these aspects of my life and I’m sure that many can’t relate to me. Yet, I’m still thankful to have a place to share what I’m thinking and feeling. Being able to write helps me process. For example, posting about my mom’s cancer made me feel stronger in facing it.
I know that there are fans out there who tell us that what we do here doesn’t matter to them or to the fan community. Maybe they are right. I like to believe that it matters to some out there, though. Perhaps, I am naively optimistic in that way, I guess. I know that it has mattered to me and it has mattered to Rhonda. At the end of the day, I’m proud of our writing here, that we provide a space for some to discuss/share thoughts about Duran and that we have tried to bring the community together. Most of all, I’m gratified that we have kept going through droughts of news and through critical comments. I’m proud of our commitment.
Happy 6th birthday/anniversary to us! I have no idea what will come next but I can’t wait to find out! It has been a wild ride so far and I suspect the next six will be as well!