Recently, I have been trying to describe what is this website is, what we do here and why. Perhaps, you could explain it far easier than I could when I tried. I can describe what it is NOT well. Yes, it is a blog, but it is also more than that. How do you define “blog”? The definition I found was something about a personal website in which someone records an opinion on a regular basis. Well, we certainly do record our opinions on a regular basis, a VERY regular basis. I’m sure, at times, people wish that we didn’t record our opinions so much. Yet, we have had and still have a lot to say about being a Duranie, about being a fan, about fandom, about Duran Duran and more. Thus, this place definitely fits the definition of “blog”. Yet, if you have taken any time at all to look around, you see that there are other pages. These pages discuss our book and the various fan events that we have organized. Our book, I promise you, showcases years of research, both in the written word type research and in the observation type research. The fan events show that we have planned events. Why? What is the point of all this and how do we think we are doing with it?
I have thought a lot about WHY we do all of this. Our book came first. When we first thought of writing a book, it was probably more focused on just life as a Duranie. It led to broader questions. What is fandom? What is being part of a fandom like? Are all fandoms alike? Are there negatives? If so, what are they? Why do people join fandoms? Why do they leave them and why do they stay? To summarize, we decided that fandom was fascinating. We wanted to understand it and those people in fandom. We wanted to understand OURSELVES. Our book is all about curiosity and understandings. Yet, of course, you can see a lot of that within our posts here, too. We research and write to seek answers and understandings. The blog came next, in order to continue this process.
Beyond expanding the process we had with the book, this place has also provided a place to discuss what is happening. We have lots of thoughts when it comes to Duran Duran and being Duranies. Over time, we had lost our place to discuss such things. We needed a home. Soon, we realized that others might, too, need a place to discuss the same things. We have always welcomed others who want to discuss. (Of course, the key word there is “discuss”. There is a big difference between discussion and attempting to tear others’ down.) Thus, this “place” came to be not only somewhere where Rhonda and I could process our thoughts regarding research on fandom and discuss all things Duran, but I would like to think it is also a “place” for others to do the same. I, for one, love thinking critically about these topics and know that having discussions make me do that. Hopefully, we help others to do the same.
One of the themes that we have come back to over and over, both in our research and here on the blog, is the importance of connections, when it comes to fandom. Connections and friendships are really what matters. This led us to create meet ups and the convention, Durandemonium. There is nothing that makes me happier than seeing Duranies connect with each other. I remember right after the convention seeing all the attendees friending or following each other on social networking sites. Many of those connections are still alive and well, too. I also believe that these connections work to keep the fandom alive during lulls and intensify the fandom during periods of excitement.
What do you think? Does that describe what we are all about here? All of that said, there are many things that we are not. This is not the place to get unreleased Duran Duran news. Why? That is simple. First, we don’t know anything before any of the rest of you. While like many of you, we hear “rumors”. We would never post those as facts. We aren’t comfortable doing that, no matter how strong a rumor is. To us, it is more respectful to the band to wait until something is official. Does this stop us from being more “popular” in the fan community? I’m sure. A lot of people want to read about inside scoops. I can understand that, but it won’t be us sharing them. We are also not a place to share a lot of pictures of the band, gush about the band or post information about the band’s private lives. Like the inside scoops, we don’t have access to the band. Even if we did, that isn’t what this place is all about. Likewise, while we are most definitely fans, we want to dive a bit deeper beyond how fabulous they are. We want to think a bit more critical. Again, that probably doesn’t make us super popular.
We aren’t here to be popular or to prove ourselves to be bigger/better fans. On the contrary, we would like to get rid of the idea of bigger/better fans. In fact, that kind of idea works against fandom, we believe. It works to destroy fan communities and people’s enjoyment within fandom. Our reason for being here is simple. We are here to understand fandom, to discuss Duran Duran and being Duranies and to encourage fans to connect with each other. I’m not sure we have achieved that goal but I am proud that we try. I am proud of what we have done so far. That means far more to me that my/our social status within the fan community.