Category Archives: message boards

No One’s Getting Left Behind

This has been a big week for us.  Perhaps, you heard that we started a little message board.  If you missed that piece of news, you can get all of the details on this post here.  We are a couple of days into it and I am already thrilled that we decided to go ahead and do one!  Of course, as Rhonda explained in her post, the point of a message board is to not only foster communication and dialogue about our mutual interest in Duran Duran but also to create a real community.  I have found in all facets of my life that connections between people really matter.  At work (teaching high school), relationships mean everything.  Studies have shown that students are more likely to work harder and learn more from teachers they feel that they have a connection with.  I know that my job is far easier and more enjoyable since I have people I work with that I am friends with.  Look at Rhonda and myself.  We work really well together.  Would we, if we didn’t have the close friendship that we do?  I doubt it.  Yes, we might respect each other but I think we work harder since we not only feel some obligation to ourselves but also to each other.  This need and importance for connections even mattered on the campaigns I worked on.  Everyone in the Obama campaign, for example, from the top down to neighborhood team leaders worked to develop and keep connections while keeping focused on the goal.  This strategy really worked at President Obama won handily twice.  I’m sure the friendships between the members of Duran matter, too.  What is my point?  Connections can and do matter.  They really matter with fandom, too, and I am already seeing many connections being formed and renewed on our new, little message board!

Once upon a time, Rhonda and I frequented a little message board named DuranDuranFans.com where we met and met many others whom we now call friends.  While we both spent time on duranduran.com’s then message board and on DuranDuranMusic’s message board, the one on DDF felt like home.  Why?  Simple.  The connections were richer, deeper there.  It felt less competitive and less judgmental than other boards.  Instead, the atmosphere was one of support and friendship along with a heavy dose of laughter.  I’m already getting that sense on our new home.  I’m seeing people from DDF coming back and reconnecting.  I’m also seeing friends from other boards doing the same.  This makes me beyond happy–for them, for the band and for myself!  I hope that everyone who comes to hang out finds lots of great friends!  I still think it is pretty funny that I technically “met” my best friend on a Duran Duran message board.  Wouldn’t it be cool if others could say that about ours?!

I truly do believe that the increase in quality and quantity of connections really work to keep fandom going!  Obviously, message boards are such in that they create tons and tons of topics to discuss all the time.  In this case, the discussion will almost always surround Duran Duran, in some way, shape or form.  The members think and talk about Duran each time they log on.  Thus, Duran is always on members’ minds.  Beyond that, frequently, message boards can be places in which excitement is reinforced!!  For example, I can already see how our excitement for the UK fans and those going to the UK for shows will be increasing in intensity from here until the end of November.  Then those fans will take all that energy to the shows with them and sending it back to the band, making better, more enjoyable shows for everyone!  The better and more fun people have at Duran events, the more likely they will go to other events, right?  Simple.  Give the fan/customer something of value and they will keep coming back over and over again!  That can only help ticket and album sales!!  It is a win win!

I’ll be really honest here, too.  I think the message board is also a win for me.  If more fans stick around longer, then I hope that will encourage Duran to stay around for as long as possible, too!  I don’t want to imagine a time in my life when I’m not blogging, doing fan events, talking about Duran, buying their music and other products and touring.  It would be like going from technicolor to black and white.  My life would be very dull.  So much of my life surrounds this fandom that having it end would be like cutting off an arm.  I would be missing something very significant!  On top of all that, I’m really looking forward to connecting with people myself.  I LOVE making Duranie friends and I don’t get to do that much as much as I would like in the world of social media now.  For example, I keep my personal twitter locked down–not because I’m that private of a person but because I teach TEENAGERS.  I don’t want my students to see what I’m tweeting about!  EEK!  Talk about scary!  That said, if any/all of you want to follow my personal twitter (@apustz) feel free to send a request.  I welcome Duranies!  Anyway, I’m hoping the message board will provide another area for me to wave my Duranie flag and get to know people!

On that note, I’m off to go check the board and see what people are talking about!

-A

The Daily Duranie Message Board

Today is a big day for Daily Duranie.  Why, you ask? Well, Amanda and I decided to finally jump into creating a community with both feet…and have created the Daily Duranie message board!

The idea of creating a community wasn’t something that came across our minds as we began the blog. We’ve said numerous times that our “Grand Plan”, was just to write and see where it took us. We recognized that we found a lot of fault with Duran Duran Music – the paid fan community, but we weren’t really offering much in the way of solutions. So, over time we’ve offered some solutions (Such as hiring the two of us to run it – and we’re still 100% serious about that idea!), but we’ve also tried to pave our own trail and offer the community a “place.” It seems only fitting that we add a message board to that mix.

Facebook is a fantastic place. There are many Duranies from all over the world, tons of groups to join, pages to follow (like Daily Duranie!), and people to connect with.  What Amanda and I have found with Facebook is that there IS no central place for Duran Duran to really chat without a post being lost amongst many other posts. Diehards get lost in the shuffle, and that sense of community that Amanda and I feel is so important, tends to be watered down by what feels like hundreds of comments like, “Oh wow, they’re still around!  I haven’t seen them since 1985!”  There is absolutely a place for those fans in Duranland – it’s just not necessarily the same place that long time, diehard fans wish to be all the time, and that’s OK. Twitter works similarly – it’s a great place to come and openly share short bursts of thought. However, it too has limitations. You can’t really get into a long discussion with others quite as easily, and it can be difficult to follow.

Message boards can work to help in that situation.  We think our message board will be a good place for fans to call home because on one hand, in-depth discussions can be had without someone asking where Andy has gone; but pictures can also be posted and properly “admired”…and let’s face it, we can laugh at some of the funnier things the band does, too. There’s room for everyone, whether you’re a diehard Duranie “lifer” or someone who is rather new to the idea of traveling to see the band and spending your extra time reading a daily blog on Duran Duran.

Yes, many a message board has come and gone. Some might even say that the time has passed. Oddly (and this was definitely not planned), on this day four years ago – the message board that Amanda and I called “home” was put to rest. Traffic had all but died out there, Facebook and Twitter being a little more of an attraction for many, I suppose.  Perhaps for some, that still may be true. Rest assured, we are not expecting this one board to be the answer for all. It’s one piece of a much larger puzzle, or an added benefit of Daily Duranie. We’re looking forward to the party – and the bonus with the message board is that it’s always going to be there, 24/7 – for anyone who wishes to join in the fun. Otherwise, it’s gonna be me and Amanda trading posts, and we’re 100% totally OK with that!

Our Daily Duranie message board is a kind of Duran Duran themed hideaway – fans can go there, chat about the band (and other things) to their heart’s content, with little outside notice or influence. One doesn’t need to worry about their mom stumbling into a thread talking about John Taylor, for instance (because similar things have happened to me, for instance!)…and if you want a little more separation from your real life and your fandom life, you can have that on a message board. Additionally, this message board is a great place to plan meet-up parties, announce and plan touring information…and even plan the next convention for 2017!

I’m very excited to announce that the Daily Duranie Message Board is open for business as of this morning. A link to the board can be found on our home page (message board – pretty self-explanatory, no?). I’ve created the initial framework, and I think the basic “house” is complete – but we need all of YOU to make it a real home. Please come and join in the housewarming party!!  All are welcome, and I sincerely hope we see many, if not all of you on there!!

-R

I wouldn’t change a thing, I’d do it all over…

Don’t tell my kids, but I really hate rules….which is why I’m breaking one of mine and posting not one, but TWO “for real”, as in “I am sitting down and writing right now” blogs today.

After I’d already published my first posting for the day, I went over to check out Facebook, and a very poignant and much needed post grabbed my attention. My friend Jessica posted that ten years ago this week, she stumbled across a post on dd.com that beckoned her to a brand new message board, aptly titled duranduranfans.com.  She surmised that making the decision to join that board brought her many new and exciting experiences, and of course – a lot of friends.

I, too, found that post on dd.com. I remember exactly where I was in my house at the time, (upstairs sitting at the desk in our hallway…working on an art history thesis project.) and just how quickly I followed the link.  The funny thing is that the main reason I liked DDF (as it soon came to be called) was because unlike dd.com – the owner of the site (Robin Burks, who is also the owner of fangirlconfessions.com) chose to design the site with a white background – and it was much easier on my eyes than dd.com.  But, the longer I stayed, the more I noticed how much friendlier the place became.

Unlike dd.com – on this site, I was one of the original members. There’s a handful of us that can probably claim being there from nearly the beginning – and what I feel is truly unique is that for the most part, we’re all still friends. I consider many of those people to be among my most true-blue friends in the universe.  That doesn’t mean we all still chat daily, but I really do believe that if I needed something – I could call out for these women and they’d be there, Duran Duran or not.  (In fact, I’d say that for most of them – Duran Duran isn’t even really in the picture these days. They’ve moved on, and I’ve somehow stayed put.) But because we were the original members of this small board, I think that the “lizard mixture” of our personalities is what gave the board it’s flavor.  Since the core group of us participated and made ourselves  continually visible (and integral) to the vitality of the board – others were encouraged to play in the sandbox the same way, and I’m proud to say that 99% of the time, that is exactly what happened.

As I said before, many of us have moved on now. People finished school…started careers…got married…got divorced…started over…quit the band……wrote books..had that third baby they didn’t think they would be having(ha ha, says the mom!)…and some were even crazy enough to start a blog.  I can’t honestly remember the last time more than a few of us were in the same room together.  Maybe it was Jessica’s wedding?  That’s sad.

The thing is, and this is really the point I want to make here above all else – for that brief time when we were ALL fans and when we were ALL trying to find our little space in this community to exist together, we found one another and it worked. I run into people all the time that tell me they can’t be friends, like “real” friends, with other Duranies because when the band comes around – it’s all out the window.  Every fan for his/her own self, right? Well, that just doesn’t have to be true. I know, because I lived it.  I keep living it. The band did (and still does) an excellent job of providing background music, but when it came down to the friendships I made, I give the band no credit. I found good people, whom I love and adore to this very day.  When it comes down to it, I wish that for everyone – which is why this blog exists and keeps working like the Little Engine That Could.

I had no way of knowing back in 2004 that one teensy little click from one message board to another -one little link – would change my life so profoundly. I don’t think I can ever really articulate in words what making the decision to log into duranduranfans.com would eventually do, and continues to do for me. I’ve met so many people and had the opportunity to do so many things that I am positive I never would have done otherwise. In 2004, I was this meek little housewife with a very much buried wild streak that never really got to see the light of day. In a lot of ways, I’d been beaten by the world.  The light I had within was pretty dim at that point, I have to say. Something changed as I continued to grow strong friendships with other fans. I became reacquainted with the person I used to be, well before I ever met my husband or became a parent…and I really kind of liked her.

Ten years. In many ways, it still feels like yesterday, which is why it was so astounding to me to see that Facebook post today from Jessica.  But in other ways, I honestly don’t remember my life without any of you in it.  I just know how incredibly lucky I am to have you with me, whether in person, online or in my heart.

(and I still miss that damn message board, the Late Bar, and even that infamous poster named Moocher!!)

-R

Is Anyone Out There?

My computer died.  Well, it needs a transplant of sorts in a new hard drive.  Since this computer is 6 years old and heavily used, I am opting to get a new one.  I am anxious to get one as I have been struggling to stay in touch with the Duran universe.  Yes, I have a desktop computer that I’m using right now but I hate it.  I want to sit on my couch while I check in with the world.  I want to be comfortable.  I also want a computer that is faster than what my desktop is.  When I don’t have access online, I start to feel itchy.  How will I know what to blog about?  Will I miss something, either with the band, my friends or other fans?  Yet, this made me stop to think.  Are all Duranies online?  Are all American Duranies online?  If they are, where do they really hang out in the spring of 2013?  If they aren’t online, why not?  How do they find out about what is happening with the band?

I realize that this question might be a silly one since I’m asking online, on a blog.  Obviously, if people are reading this, they are not the fans I’m curious about.  I’m curious about the ones who are offline or who are offline, at least in terms of fandom.  Now, to be clear, I’m not talking about casual fans of Duran.  I define casual fans as people who have a few songs of theirs or maybe an album or two.  They might say that they are fans but there is no real investment:  time, money or emotions.  I can say I’m a fan of many bands.  I might have some songs and/or albums of those other bands but I’m a FAN of Duran.  I have invested my time, certainly my money and very clearly my emotions (silly me!).  My point is:  are there fans who are invested, at least to some extent who aren’t online or minimally online?  I don’t have an answer to this question but I do wonder.  I guess I think it is possible as I’m sure that there are some people who can’t afford a computer or internet.  Maybe, they don’t have the time to go online.  Perhaps, they are interested but wouldn’t even know how/where to get involved.  What about those people who can get online but choose not to?  Why?  Then, if they don’t go online, does that mean that they aren’t interested in talking about the band with other fans?  Are they content with being fans on their own? 

I have to admit that I struggle to understand how/why a FAN, someone who invests time, money and/or emotion, would not want to make connections with other fans.   After all, if it is something worth the investment, wouldn’t you want to share what this means to you with other people who UNDERSTAND?!  After all, this desire to communicate, to share with others is the very first step in someone really joining a fandom and becoming a part of a fan community.  Thus, I don’t that there are many fans who fit this “don’t want to be online” category since so much of the communication and sharing takes place online.  Maybe, it really is more about how people don’t know where to go.  It used to be relatively easy.  When I rejoined the Duran fandom, there were the message boards on dd.com.  Duranduran.com would be the natural first place for fans to visit online.  Thus, those message boards were often the first place people went.  Of course, then, there was DDM, DuranDuranMusic, which certainly was a very popular place in its heyday.  There were smaller message boards, too, like DuranDuranFans, Lizard King, Trust the Process, etc.  Often, people found out about these other boards from the board on dd.com.  Now, though, many of these boards no longer exist and many have become far less popular.  Yet, I feel like this desire to make connections is still there.  Just this week, I found myself included on a new facebook group.  The focus of this new group was on former or current members of one of those once popular but is no longer boards.  Many/most of these people were active posters on that board and no longer find that board to be the place to be for a variety of reasons.  As people were added, they seemed genuinely excited to be chatting with each other once again.  So, what is the story there?  Were all of these people away from the online Duran world?  Did they find a different spot online before this?

So, let’s assume that there are a lot of fans who aren’t connected to the places I am.  I obviously spend a lot of time on facebook and twitter.  I also venture over to the last remaining message boards, at times.  Then, of course, there could be places within those locations that I don’t know about.  While I like to think that I have a sense of what is happening in Duranland, I admit that I probably only know or see a sliver of what is out there.  For example, there are a ton of facebook groups focusing on Duran in some way.  Some of these groups are totally open to everyone, some are secret and some are everything in between.  Do the members of those facebook groups only communicate among themselves?  Do some members explore the rest of the online fan community to bring back news and whatnot?  This, of course, leads me to think about Duran Duran.  How do they find all of their fans?  While I’m sure that their followers on facebook and twitter represent a lot of the fan community, do they represent all of them?  How do they get word to all their fans?  Heck, I think of this even when it comes to the convention.  I actually get upset thinking that there are fans out there who would love to go, but don’t even know about it.  I don’t want that to happen.  I would love to be able to reach them to tell them about the convention.  After all, the convention is all about bringing fans together and being able to really celebrate our fandom.  Every fan should have that chance. 

What do you think?  Are all Duran fans online?  If so, where do they spend their time?  How do they find out about Duran and Duran related happenings?

-A

 

A Good-Bye

Before anyone starts to freak out or celebrate – it’s not me or Amanda!!!  It’s a message board, and in fact it’s the message board that brought Amanda and I, as well as a horde of other Duranies together.  The message board is DuranDuranFans.com, along with its owner and developer, Master Grand Poombah RobinRobin (her screenname, of course!)….Robin isn’t going anywhere of course, but this post is as much about her as it is the message board.

Back in 2003 (I’m hoping I have the date correct!), RobinRobin did the Duranie world a huge favor and started a little website – the aforementioned (love that word) DuranDuranFans.com, affectionately shortened to DDF.  Those of us who were barely treading water on dd.com along with many, many others in the Duranie Kingdom, found our way onto that message board.  I can remember the very day I wandered yet again onto dd.com only to see a thread from Robin requesting that a few come on over to DDF and check out the message board client she’d set up.  I figured it couldn’t be any worse than dd.com and went over, only to find a much calmer and easier to read set up.  I quickly made friends with a few Duranies, and it wasn’t long before we were talking about planning a convention. Suffice to say, I didn’t go back to dd.com much after that.

In 2004, that convention happened – it was held in New Orleans at Hotel Monaco (the hotel was closed after Katrina due to damage and never reopened).  It was there that Amanda and I first met in person, and truly – it’s where I met most of the Duranies I continue to keep in touch with to this day.  I continued to call DDF my second home for many years following the convention, and I will always be extremely thankful to Robin for the time, energy, support, friendship and emotion she poured into the site.

As time wore on and sites like Facebook grew in popularity, I found myself drifting farther and farther away from DDF, and during the last year I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve visited.  The friends I made there are STILL my friends now – in fact most all of them are my friends on my personal Facebook page and they are the people I am most tickled to read about in my news feed each day.  Embarrassingly enough, I found today that I can’t even remember my proper password for DDF – a sure sign that it’s been far too long since my last log in. For many years that board was the very first place I’d check in the morning.  Forget going to dd.com for the news – DDF would have the best news first!  I can remember spending many an hour trading posts and laughing so hard… my house would be devoid of other family members, and yet I never felt alone.  We had a chat room on the board that for a while became a gathering place on Monday evenings – we called it The Late Bar (aptly named!) and we even had a made up bartender there named Woody.  It’s where I first fell off my virtual barstool, and where I am positive I left my sanity behind.  We had many a game on DDF, one of which being that each Monday, we’d pass the torch from New Moon on Monday.  Actually, it was more like we’d “grab” it from one another and claim to take a band member along with us.  Guess which band member I chose???  😀  Well Roger…. let’s just say you’ve been around the block more than once.  😉  There are stories and threads that when I think back on them, I will still laugh about fondly.  All of those picture threads we had going…the time we found the nekkie pictures of Simon…(yes, we’re grown women.  We sometimes have a difficult time remembering that and yes, my husband would be appalled.  Not surprised, but appalled all the same.)  Reading all of Jessica’s updates from the 2005 tour (AIR HORN)…good times were indeed had by all.  When something happened to one of us, it happened to all of us, whether we wanted it to or not.  In October of 2007, I was shocked out of my gourd with the discovery that I was about to be a mommy to baby #3.  I was about to turn 37 and trust me – having a baby was not something I was anticipating.  My relationship with my husband wasn’t on the best terms at the time and the people I turned to first, even before I told my family, were my friends on that board.  If it hadn’t been for those women, I am not at all sure I would have made it through that time.  They made each day worth living and my sadness, frustrations and anxieties were shouldered by all of us, and I’ll never ever forget that.

DDF was truly a home for anyone who wanted somewhere safe to talk about the band.  We tried our best not to judge, we expected everyone to play nicely in the sandbox, but we respected opinions as best as we could – understanding that we wouldn’t always agree…and there were many times when all we could do was agree to disagree.  Our friendship mattered more than the band, and really, isn’t that the point?

Message boards have waned in popularity since Facebook and other social networks like it began, while groups on Facebook (and perhaps other sites) have sort of taken over where they have left off. It’s a subject Amanda and I cover at length in our book…in fact I’m in the midst of writing that chapter right now and to a degree there’s poignancy and sadness in seeing that DDF has also fallen victim to progress.  DDF and message boards like it have served their purpose well, however.  I’ve made very good friends with people from all over the country that I might not have ever met otherwise, and I have all the hope in the world that these friendships will continue throughout my life.

I raise my glass (or cup of tea because it’s not even noon my time yet!) to DuranDuranFans.com.  Robin, you did an amazing job with that message board, and I will truly miss it.  There just aren’t enough words to explain just how much that website and that message board changed my life.

-R

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

Don’t Spill My Secret…

It is touring season in Duranland.  This means, of course, that there are discussions about which shows people are going to, about presale frustration, about setlists, about merchandise, and more.  It also means that somewhere, on some message board, on some social networking site, there is a thread, a question, a discussion topic on meeting the band.  This thread or topic usually begins with a person/poster asking, seemingly innocently, about how people have met the band.  The question is a common one.  Perhaps, the person really wants to know other people’s meet and greet stories.  Maybe, they want to know if VIPing is worth the money.  Yet, it is also possible that the person wants to know how other fans get their information about where the band is staying.  Maybe they want to see who seems to know more than the average fan.  What is always fascinating to me is how people react to the question.

It seems to me that there are common responses to this question.  The first kind of response is to ignore it.  The second kind is to mock, at least in a subtle way.  The third kind is to give an answer but an incomplete one.  I suppose it is possible for the response to be completely frank and open but I doubt that I have ever seen it in Duranland.  Why?  Why the different responses?  Before I dive into my theories about the different responses, let me point out something that may or may not be known.  Fans can and do find the band.  I have seen and heard enough to know that.  It also seems to me that some fans are more likely to do this than others.  Yes, some fans, like me, have met them through legitimate means (in my case-a cd signing) but others seem to find them outside of official meet and greets.  Yet, even that fact does not ever seem to make the discussion threads.  It seems to me that a lot of people hold back this information.  Why?  Why respond in the way that people do?

It seems to me that the most common responses to the “how do people meet the band” threads are either ignoring the thread entirely or to give what seems like partial answers.  For example, you never see someone post, “I know that they always stay at this brand of hotel when they visit such and such a country and they usually show up there about blank time after the show and I recommend you approach this band member in such and such a way…”  Nope.  I don’t see that.  I see people talking about cd signing or finding them outside of the venue right after a show.  Now, those are legitimate ways of meeting them.  Absolutely.  I agree.  Yet, I think that people have met them at hotels or at clubs or somewhere else that I can’t even guess.  So, why don’t people share openly?  My theory has to do with the idea that people don’t want to share.  They might be willing to share with their friends but to share with random posters on a message board or on a social networking site is out of the question.  I suspect that most fans, especially in Durandom, don’t want to share the band with others.  I can understand that.  We all want our time with the guys.  We all want our moments with them and we don’t want others to take that time away from us.  Plus, I think there is always a concern that if too many people show up, that the band will just leave and I wouldn’t even blame them for that.  They deserve their space and their privacy.  Part of my concern is always about whether or not people would be respectful of the band and respectful of their space.  Yet, we never say any of this on those threads. 

Some people don’t respond to the question about where/how to find the band but instead secretly or not-so-secretly mock the person who asked the question.  Why?  I don’t have an answer to that.  Maybe they just like having their secret means of finding out where the band is and would never even consider sharing.  Perhaps, they don’t think that these fans are worthy of having knowledge like this.  Maybe it is a way that they can feel superior.  I don’t know.  I just know that I don’t like that.  I can understand not wanting to share.  I get it.  It might not be a great personality trait but it is one that I think most of us can understand and relate to, to some extent.  But making fun seems just mean-spirited.  Heck, I will admit that I don’t even know if they are intentionally mocking.  It just feels that way to me. 

I wonder if the people who ask the question are aware that no matter the answers there is not full disclosure.  Where the band is seems to be information known by some within the fan community.  It seems to always be treated as a precious secret that should not be shared.  No matter the reason this information is treated in that way, it must create different levels of fans.  Is that a good thing???

-A

Why I do it!

With all of the less-than-uplifting chats, posts, tweets, etc. about the Duran Duran Fan Community these days (I’m referring specifically to DDM here, but I think there’s been tension everywhere lately), it’s easy to forget why we decided to get involved with the fan community in the first place.

Today I received a message on my personal facebook page (as opposed to the Daily Duranie facebook page – if you haven’t found us yet, please do – send us a friend request!) from someone who had read my 3 part blog about planning the Duran Duran Fan Convention.  It reminded her of why she joined in on the message board to begin with and so forth.  The note was very kind (thank you Michnoon!), and I really appreciated the time she took out of her day to write, as well as the words she typed.  The fact is, the last week or so has not been easy for either of us here at Daily Duranie for very different reasons.  It’s just been a crummy week, even though yes – I just got back from Napa with a trunk load of wine.  (we all have our vices…and good wine happens to be my own!)  In any case if I were being completely honest – Duran Duran has actually been in the backseat of our minds lately, and it was really, really nice to read something so kind.  With the current political climate in much of the world, it’s easy to forget the small things, the things that make life enjoyable.  My little place in the fan community (this doesn’t mean the “paid” community – it means the community in general.  If I’m talking DDM, I will do my best to make sure to differentiate!) really does help to make me smile during the day at times.  It’s a good thing.

I joined the fan community because I was desperate to make a connection, somewhere with someone – who had the same interest that I did.  I wanted to find people that weren’t necessarily moms, that didn’t necessarily have husbands that traveled…or husbands at all for that matter.  I wanted to find people who loved the band, that could understand my obsession behind watching New Moon On Monday to see absolutely every nuance of the “extra-long movie version”.  I wanted to find people who knew all of the words to every one of their songs, and who knew what in the hell Simon was saying in Nightboat.  I needed someone to send me the list to the easter eggs on the Greatest DVD, and I wanted to find someone who was willing to share their experiences in exchange for reading my own.  What I didn’t expect and yet readily found was that I knew almost NOTHING about the band compared to other people!  What my husband called obsessive behavior has nothing on what other people practice.  When I first found a message board and joined the fan community I don’t even think I had all of their B-sides.  There were songs out there that I hadn’t ever even heard, and at the time I didn’t even know what a bootleg was.  (how is that for honesty?!)  I’d never heard of Trust The Process, nor did I know that John Taylor had done more than one solo album or been in another band besides Power Station.  I didn’t even know that Simon had recorded Magic Bus or Dreamboy.  Yeah, I was a huge fan, but only in my own head.  It was a very humbling experience, but I was a quick learner, and the key was that I tried VERY hard to stay quiet, learn fast, and never put myself out there for obvious flaming.  (if you don’t know what flaming is – consider yourself lucky.  It’s when you post on a message board, and everyone on the board – or at least a few key people, basically hand your arse back to you on a silver platter, slightly chewed up and burnt, so to speak.)  Message boards can be tough places to learn to navigate, without question.

All of that aside, I also found fast friends.  I found a place where I could be MYSELF.  Not a mom, not a gemologist (in my case), not a wife…but a DD fan, or a Duranie if you so choose.  I could get back in touch with the person I left behind a long, long time ago in favor of being the person everyone else wanted.  It was a comfort to feel as though I belonged somewhere in the world. Is there drama?  Of course.  Life is full of drama and it’s never perfect.  We can choose to walk away, or – as some like to do – we can choose to engage.  It’s there for us to take as we wish.  I miss the group of us who were together on duranduranfans.com – it was a good group, and while yes, there were definitely differences of opinion and drama at times, I know that we all tried to remember why we were really there.  We wanted that support from one another, we wanted that connection and friendship, and for the lions share of the time that the board was busy – we wanted to talk about Duran Duran without judgement or ridicule.  I learned PLENTY about the band during the time I was active on that board, and it was good.

That group has all but moved on now, and there are many times where I miss them.  They were my online “family” and it’s hard to find other places where I’m that comfortable.  Yes, at times it’s easy to just throw in the towel and say that you’re done.  It’s easy to console yourself with the idea that your real friends will continue to stay in touch – and that you don’t need to talk about Duran Duran all the time, or that you don’t need the fan community to be a fan (of course not).  I’ve said those same things myself, and I very much meant them.  The trouble is – there’s definitely something missing from my own fandom when I don’t have the message board to rant about things to.  Sure, I could post on the few message boards I still read occasionally, but those people don’t know me as well, they don’t recognize the sweet words of sarcasm from me, and they definitely don’t get my sense of humor.  Facebook isn’t quite the same either, it’s a pain in the neck to make sure that only Duranies are reading whatever I’m posting (if my mother only knew….), and I find that I end up censoring myself far more than I really want.  As for Twitter, well, you can only rant so much with 140 characters.  Talk about creative debating….

I do miss the days when we’d wonder (even if we didn’t openly post) whether or not the band was reading the board.  Come on, even if you didn’t post it – if you never really wondered I think you missed half of the silly fun.  Nowadays, we know Simon, John and Roger are on Facebook, Twitter or both. Granted, I don’t think they have the time or energy to keep up with all of the replies and posting!

I know exactly why I got involved with the fan community, why I do the blog, why I’m writing the book, and why I will never completely leave the community.  Some might say that I’ll leave my SENSES before I leave the community, but that’s another story for another blog.  The real question is, why do YOU stay?

-R

Durama!

Before I completely forget – I wanted to say a VERY Happy Birthday to Andy Taylor today.  While you may no longer be a member of Duran Duran, without you – there would have been no band, and as a result there wouldn’t be this blog or my friendship with so many Duranies around the world – including my writing partner Amanda.  May you continue to enjoy good health and happiness Andy!!

As of late, I have not had a lot of time to be a constant presence on any Duran Duran message boards.  I try to check in when I can, but I seem to only have a few seconds on any given board, not nearly enough time to read, process and write.  It seems as though between my regular duties as “Mom” and writing the blog – there just isn’t enough time leftover for anything else.  That would include writing for the book, which is an entirely different issue that I need to address on a different day.  *takes deep breath*

Yesterday, I decided that it was beyond time I spend some quality time with the few DD boards I tend to visit on any kind of a regular basis and get caught up.  One of those boards is duranduranmusic.com (DDM).  I have to admit that I have grown sick of that board, mainly because there’s never really any good “news” on there.  Where other boards will dissect the music and talk about things that I actually care about – that one just doesn’t.  I’m sure the regular members there would disagree, and that’s OK.  I can only read so many threads about John’s looks, or what members are thinking of right in this moment….those threads are great and they are the things that bind a community together, so I’m not finding fault, it’s just that my time is limited and I have to pick and choose carefully.  I’ve never felt as though I was a part of that board – there seems to be one particularly close knit group that “runs” the board, and although I know some of the people within that group, admittedly I am not one of the “cool kids”, so I’m really not involved.  No bitterness there – I know where I fit in and where I do not.  🙂

So yesterday morning I sat down and began browsing the various threads on DDM.  Almost immediately I noticed that things were not calm and friendly on the board.  There was a battle of nearly epic proportions taking place between members, and unlike other scuffles that have taken place over the years, this one wasn’t really just confined to one thread – it carried over into other threads, and kind of cast a pallor onto the entire board, which is unfortunate.   After getting my fill of personal attacks, name calling and other behavior that I thought I left behind in my sorority house in college, if not middle school or high school (oh yes, I really WAS a sorority sister.  Just imagine that for a second….Ha!), I went over to another board I’ve mentioned here before – www.duranduranboard.proboards.com to read some real news.  Even over on that board, I could feel the tension.  People are ready to snap at anyone, for any reason.  Odd.

Rather than discuss the board issues here, (and I’m really not sure if there is just one issue for either message board….) my point in bringing it up is to draw attention to a strange sort of phenomenon that seems to happen any time there is downtime, desperation and anxiousness in the fan community.

Since December, we have had a single released (AYNIN), the iTunes 9-song version of the album released, and a handful of dates announced – both in the UK and in the US.  We’ve seen the band doing some promotion work in various places.  None of us have a physical album to have and hold, and those who have either not been able to take advantage of buying tickets for the announced dates, or are in places in the world where dates have not been announced don’t even have shows to look forward to.  (yet!)  We all know something is coming our way:  the physical album is coming in March, the tour is coming….well, we know it’s coming.  Eventually.   Duran Duran management has announced the revamping of both dd.com and DDM, but to my knowledge as of this morning, nothing has been completed yet. (although DDM has gone through some big changes as of the website and the pre-sale handling – I just don’t think it’s completely done yet.)  I would assert that the overall sense of anxiousness has led to desperation during this period of downtime.  I keep joking that the community is ready to offer up one another as a sacrifice to the Duran “gods” in return for tour dates – the only thing is that I am really kind of not joking, and the in-fighting on the message boards is only leading up to deciding which one of us is going to be the sacrifice! Go on to any message board these days and you can cut the tension like a knife.  It’s like being in a sorority house on any college campus right before Rush (this is the time spent in early fall and early spring where the houses are trying to recruit new members) – the girls are typically ready to kill one another.  It’s not pretty.  Talk about a Red Carpet Massacre, wow.  Some say it’s like Duranie PMS, and in my opinion they aren’t exaggerating.

While I’m on the subject of Red Carpet Massacre, ever listened to that song with the fan community in mind?  It gives you an entirely different prospective.  During your downtime, I highly recommend it!  Go listen and let us know what you think!

The constant state of Durama seems to come to an ugly head each time we get close to an album release or a full tour being announced – sometimes it’s far worse than others, and of course each message board handles it differently.  Some boards have personalities that are able to diffuse the conflict, and others tend to just allow it to breed and seep throughout the membership of that board.   The cure?  Well, that’s easy – when the band announces the tour and the album is finally (yes, FINALLY!) released, they’ll be far more threads about who is going to what show, where people are staying, and of course the ever-popular “What I’m wearing to the show”.  I almost feel sorry for the male fans sometimes…. 🙂

I’ve had a few fans comment to me that you don’t find the Durama on Twitter.  Oddly, I think you still do.  First of all – it’s probably not quite as inflammatory as it is on the message boards because of the blessed 140 character limit. (as wordy as *I* am, it’s a tough limit to follow!)  However, I’ve seen groups of people gang up on others to the point where they’ve deleted their account, whether justified or not.  I’ve seen the same name-calling as on the boards, and I’ve seen people talk about what is happening on the boards. (hi kettle, meet me, I’m the pot.)  It’s funny how we can all agree that it’s ridiculous, but yet none of us know how to stop ourselves.   I’ve also had more than one (actually FAR more than one) tell me that they don’t consider themselves Duranies because they can’t deal with the drama.

Hell, if I thought that doing that would have stopped it all – I’d have done that years ago and just stuck with the music!  The fact is, you can call yourself anything you want, but if you’re a fan and you’re at all involved in the COMMUNITY – whether it’s on Twitter, on Facebook, on a message board or even the paid fan community – you’re one of us.  You’re a fan.  Learn to love it.  😀

So at this point I humbly and kindly request for the band and their management to take pity on their fans and release some tour dates.  It’s like throwing fresh meat to the lions….it’ll be a frenzy at first, but we’ll all be so busy that we’ll forget what we were fighting over in the first place.   🙂

-R

Official Announcements

There are many complaints in Duranland and one of the most commonly heard one has to do with the band’s official website.  It seems that dd.com is almost always the last place where Duran Duran news gets posted.  This news could be something as simple as the band’s collaboration with Dior or something as big as information about album releases and tour dates.  Goodness, before the UK tour was announced on dd.com, I saw many of the dates listed on a fan run message board.  I have yet to see an official announcement about when the actual physical release of All You Need is Now is, but have read articles that state it is coming out on March 21/22.  Many online stores have the album for pre-order, which includes a track listing of 14 songs.  Is the final track listing?  I have no idea because there hasn’t been an official announcement that I have seen.  While lack of official announcements about albums are annoying, they are not nearly as frustrating as the lack of information regarding tours.

I suspect that many fans in the US will increase their demand about US tour dates now that the Fan Jam is over.  The writing is on the wall.  If the band is playing in the States between now and the UK tour, tour dates better be released soon.  I have seen as little as 6 weeks in between the official press release and a show and as much as 3 months for the same.  Duran should be announcing then anytime between now and the middle of March, unless they plan to come to the US later.  As I type this, I can hear Duranies mumbling under their breath about the lack of advance notice.  I would probably join in on that mumbling.  Why must they wait until the last minute to announce a show(s)/tour?  It seems like they officially announce only when they have to and by have to, I mean that the sale to the general public is happening within a few days.  Look at the UK tour.  They announced early on a Tuesday and the fan presale happened early the NEXT DAY as regular sales happened on the following Friday.  Is that any way to show consideration to fans?  I don’t think so. 

Part of my problem with the lack of advance notice is that I don’t understand it.  Why wait to announce?  What purpose does it serve?  Does the person/people making this decision think it will help ticket sales?  Does it help to increase the fandom?  Does it make new fans?  Does it help to keep fans?  Somehow, I doubt it.  I think it works to frustrate us as fans.  Worst yet, I think it makes the Duran Duran team look ill prepared.  How is that good for anyone?  Maybe I’m missing a key here.  Yes, I realize that they don’t want to announce anything before it is ready but you can’t tell me that they only know a day or two before a tour is announced?!  It doesn’t make sense to me and it doesn’t make sense to most of the other fans I know and come into contact with. 

So, if I could offer advice to Duran’s people, have dd.com be the definitive source for news.  Fans should not find out new and cool things that the band is doing from message boards or social networking sites.  News should come from the official website.  Also, news regarding tours should be given out as soon as everything is locked in.  The outside world would perceive Duran Duran and their team as organized and prompt.  Duranies will be happy to have the time to truly evaluate the dates and see what, if anything, works for them.  I suspect that the longer people have with tour dates, the more likely they are to work something out and be able to do more, which would help everyone.

-A