Category Archives: Qello

A Diamond in the Mind Facebook Premiere – The Daily Duranie Review

Happy Monday!

Before we begin our review and reactions from the Facebook Premiere of A Diamond in the Mind yesterday, the blog has hit a milestone that we’d like to share and celebrate with all of you. As of yesterday, our blog hit 100,000 page views!!  That’s amazing, and we have all of you to thank! It was back during the beginnings of our blog in January of 2011, when we heard from someone who came to be one of our most inspirational readers and kept us going when we weren’t sure anyone besides ourselves and a handful of close friends were reading. That person simply encouraged us to keep writing and sharing our story, and we have. We have you to thank, Enitupsar for keeping our spirits up and all of your wonderful support.  We really can’t put into words how much we thank you!  Not sure if you still read, but if so – we hope the blog continues to both entertain and enlighten. (at least we try!)

So yesterday was the big Facebook/Qello Premiere! Did you catch it? Daily Duranie (both of us) saw the premiere as we chatted via phone. Both of us also had our iPads out so that we could tweet & chat. It was technologically very overwhelming, and we don’t mind saying that after the show, we were exhausted, and it wasn’t even our own production! Overall, the technology behind the premiere worked, but not without various bugs and issues. Success in viewing the broadcast depended upon what a viewer was attempting to watch it on (PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, SmartPhone, etc.) and what type of browser they were utilizing. To begin with, many people were frustrated with a blank screen and continued to refresh until finally a video appeared…a sigh of relief was heard worldwide! Some others had trouble chatting, it was extremely slow depending upon what you were viewing the broadcast from. Many people, including Daily Duranie, noticed that the broadcast was not nearly as clear as we would have expected. At times the resolution would improve, but then in others it was extremely pixelated. The technical reasons (warning: this is being translated rather poorly from “engineer-speak”) behind that include that the information rate coming to your modem might be slow, and also that unlike YouTube, who has servers in every major regional area of the US, Qello likely does not; therefore broadcasting from one central location – bit rate gets lost, and pixelation happens!   Still one other problem was that the commentary for the first portion of the show was unheard by many.  It wasn’t until after 25 minutes into the broadcast that people started figuring out how to get the commentary to work.  Even in the case of Rhonda, once she figured out what to click or unclick for the commentary – it wasn’t until she refreshed the page several times that the commentary finally began to work. Fans are still confused (including us) whether this commentary was truly exclusive for this premiere only or if it is to be included on the DVD. Obviously we would hope it was included somewhere because there was so much information – the show itself, chatting with fans across the world and the commentary on top of it all – one would truly need to view it all more than once to really grasp everything that was happening.

Where to begin with the commentary? It took some adjustment in getting used to the fact that while you’re watching the show, all of the sudden the music would lower in volume and you’d suddenly hear Nick, John, Roger or Simon. The information given was enlightening, in particular during the few moments when they’d speak about the show itself rather than the history of each song. It’s not that we didn’t want to hear the history of the songs of course, but it was more pertinent to the DVD when the commentary was about the Manchester show.  For example, Amanda really liked hearing Nick talk about the heads above the stage and how difficult it was to program them to be in complete sync with the sound. Both Amanda and Rhonda were reminded of how fabulous Leopard is live when they were discussing the decision to have everyone clap in unison during the beginning of that song. (It really is one of the most special parts of the show when you turn around and see that every single person in the venue is clapping together – this song deserves to be PUT BACK IN THE SETLIST!)  Rhonda loved hearing John talk about the ending moment of Rio and that feeling of exhilaration we all feel, that the show can’t possibly end. It was those moments that made the commentary so special and we really wish we could hear it all again.

The show itself of course, was amazing. It reminded both of us of all the UK shows over again and how special each one truly was. We are both anxious to watch the DVD again simply because with so much going on, there were assuredly many subtle moments that were missed due to so much additional stimuli. We need to watch the DVD again in the somewhat peace of our homes.  We need to watch with no one around so that when we squee over John and Dom playing Hungry Like the Wolf right in front of the camera no one threatens to send us to the funny farm or divorce us…well, Rhonda. (*ahem*)

Immediately following the show was the question and answer session. Fans submitted questions to Qello that would be answered by the band. Part of the issue here was that there were no clear expectations set for fans by either the band or Qello. None of us really knew how this portion of the broadcast would be handled. We didn’t know how long the band would be “chatting”, we were unaware of whether this would be via phone, internet, video, etc, nor did we know how many FAN questions would truly be addressed. As such, there were many, possibly unrealistic, expectations on the part of the fans, including Daily Duranie. Basically, several still photos of the band came on the screen in a sort of slideshow type presentation while very poor audio quality voice-over was running in the background.  One had to have their speakers turned all the way up, and even then it was difficult to hear the band – the only way we can really describe this is to have you picture a conference call or even a radio interview heard online. The sound was that poor. So, any thoughts of actually chatting with the band or connecting with them were instantly put to rest. There was an interviewer who asked questions of the band that were handed off to her by another employee of Qello – so there was really no communication between the band and fans as was likely expected by many. During this question and answer session, it appeared that very few fan questions were actually asked – the band spent twenty minutes on phone with the Qello interviewer, and of that time, we believe that there were about 5 questions that were addressed as being “Fan” questions. Of course, there could have been more than that asked – but only 5 were given a fan name and location (of the fan). Many fans were disappointed that so few fan questions were addressed. Naturally, the explanation was given that there were thousands of questions submitted and so only a few could be asked, but that begs the question as to why the interviewer simply didn’t just stick to fan questions. I suppose we’ll never fully know that answer. For the most part, it would seem that diehard fans (and we have to assume that it was mainly diehard fans that tuned in) really didn’t learn anything new from the Q&A, although it was still entertaining. Once again we have to say – if expectations are set in advance and information is given openly, perhaps just maybe, less people would be disappointed. Maybe.

The fan reaction to the entire broadcast varied wildly. Many fans enjoyed the show, as did we, but the Q&A did ultimately seem to fall very flat and ended the “party” on a down note, unfortunately. Plenty of fans commented very publicly that the Q&A felt much more like a recorded broadcast than a live show. We would have to agree, even though we are well aware and convinced that it was in fact – live!  (Note to band: there’s no need to post photographic evidence because those conspiracy theories are going to run wild no matter what. You’re dealing with a very cynic and stubborn bunch!) Our point is simply that due to the band needing to call in and not interact directly with fans, it just felt like we were listening to a radio interview. Not that it wasn’t interesting or that it wasn’t live – it was, but it didn’t have that same excitement as even tweeting with John or Simon when they are on Twitter. It just wasn’t the same. Perhaps for future shows like this, it would be easier for all involved to really do something using Twitter. Nick took to Wendy Laister’s Facebook page (via Wendy of course!) after the show, responding to comments that fans didn’t believe the call was live – and in doing so he also answered a few questions from fans on her page. Just taking the short amount of time to speak directly with fans made all of the difference. Sometimes it’s not all the flashy technology, it’s taking that little bit of time. Five minutes of direct response on social media vs. twenty minutes of a third party interview…it’s worth considering at the very least. One might not need to spend six hours tweeting with fans during an all-day/evening tweetfest party such as Andy Taylor has done in the past, but we have to say the thought counts. There were many fans, however; that chose not to watch the broadcast at all, citing that they were getting the DVD and that they were insulted by the idea of having to pay money to see it online. We can’t even count how many times we have read those very words online in the past week or so. While yes it’s true that one needed to pay in order to see show, the amount of money was so nominal that it would seem other issues must really be involved and we have to ask why, and what can really be done to make a broadcast like this more attractive for fans in the future? Our fear is that there were so many small negatives, but negatives all the same commented about all over social media that there’s no way to get people interested enough to tune in next time…and yet for many yesterday (including Daily Duranie), we would easily do this again.

Both of us loved the show and we thoroughly enjoyed being able to chat with friends from all over the planet while watching. There was a sort of party atmosphere that took place, and while yes – we were definitely overstimulated after it was over, we would do it again in a heartbeat. None of the negatives, even the Q&A, were enough to make us not want to pay for another premiere. Just how often is one able to put aside their daily lives for an afternoon and get together with fellow fans and friends from all over the world and celebrate the band we all love? That’s what yesterday was truly about. Sure, we could really spend a lot of time and energy complaining about our high expectations, and we are sure that many Duranies will do just that – but at some point we have to realize that it was all FUN. The small stuff is really just that, the small stuff. We’ve learned over the past couple of years from writing the blog that Duranies are nearly impossible to please, and we are the most impatient bunch of people on the planet. We recognize that fact in both ourselves and in all of you (mostly).  Yes, we could and probably do spend more than enough time complaining and probably not nearly enough time just enjoying the band…so we’re taking our time right now to thank them.  We had a great time yesterday. We live about 2500 miles apart, and so seeing the premiere together would have been impossible without a plane ticket involved, and let’s be honest here – we try to save those plane tickets to come and see you, the band, perform. Yesterday was the closest we could come to seeing the show together, and we had an excellent time.  We hope the band does it again and that more fans will join in on the fun and leave the negativity at the door because at the end of all of this, the memories we will have will be of laughing and celebrating our fandom with all of you – not of whether the Q&A session was live, how many of our fan questions were answered, or how sharp the resolution really was.

-A & R

Parachutes, Sparkly Pants, Froggies and Diamonds…

How about that Facebook Digital Premiere of A Diamond in the Mind?

Rhonda and Amanda spent their afternoons glued to our computers, cell phones, iPads, Facebook, Twitter and who knows what else watching the premiere.  There is much to be said, applauded, lauded and laughed over….which will be done in tomorrow’s edition of Daily Duranie.  We hope you’ll check it out and laugh with us.

In the meantime, we are putting out a personal appeal – did you see it?  What did you think?  Here is your chance to sound off!  Send us a comment here, Facebook, or Twitter.  We want to hear from you!!

Until tomorrow, may your dreams include sparkly pants, tambourines, leopards, guitar picks, drumsticks and a generous helping of JoSi.

Rhonda & Amanda

Today’s the Day!!!

It is an exciting day in Duranland!  Duran’s latest DVD, a concert performance entitled A Diamond in the Mind, is being premiered via Facebook at 2 pm EST.  For some of us, it will be the first chance to see most of the performance (I have seen a few clips like Planet Earth and Wild Boys).  Others have had the DVD in their hands.  Yet, for all of us, it will the first time to see the live question and answer session with the band.  Also, and perhaps more importantly, it will be the only time to watch something like this together.  Yes, obviously, all Duranies can’t be together today but we can via the internet!  It reminds me of those Live from London screenings that others mentioned earlier this week on this blog.  For those of you who weren’t able to attend one of those in late 2005, it was a great time!  I was lucky enough to be able to drive to Chicago and see the screening with friends.  There were 10 screenings around the country in which the Live from London DVD was shown in movie theaters.  The band had filmed some introduction that was also aired.  Now, some could argue that it seemed wasteful to watch a DVD in a movie theater, it was completely worth it.  The theater was full of Duranies and by the second song, we were all singing along.  It felt very similar to a regular concert atmosphere.  I suspect this will feel the same!!!  Of course, I think this might be a step better as it isn’t limited to people close to 10 screenings but is open to everyone!  Yes, the time doesn’t work well for everyone but it still allows for everyone (no matter where they live) to participate if they so choose.  Also, instead of filming a clip, the band will appear live to answer actual fan questions!  We didn’t have that opportunity for Live from London. 

I will be watching today’s premiere from a friend’s house.  It will be a little Duranie party!  I will also be in communication with Rhonda (duh) but I hope to be around various social networking sites so that I can participate with all the Duranies around the world!  See, to me, this truly is a win for the fans.  We get to watch Duran all together.  We get to ask questions of the band.  It has all of the best qualities of fandom, in my opinion!  So, how about the rest of you?  How are you going to watch today’s premiere?  Will you be watching by yourself?  With other Duranies?  What about questions to the band?  Did you ask any?  I confess that I asked one.  Obviously, I won’t hold my breath that my question gets asked as I’m sure there were TONS of great questions asked!  Will you be participating with other fans online?  Where?  Twitter?  Facebook?  Message boards?  Some other place? 

I’m sure you all won’t be surprised to know that Rhonda and I will be reviewing it all tomorrow.  I’m not sure how much detail we will go into about the actual DVD part as we might wait to do that when we actually get our copies.  Yet, I’m sure that we will talk about the question and answer session.  We will also be discussing what it was like for the fan community!  As you can tell, I’m excited!  I can’t wait to see the show!  I can’t wait to see my local Duranie friends!  I think today will be fun to be online and react to everything together!  It is a good day to be a Duranie!

-A

If you need more information about today’s digital premiere of ADITM, I refer to Rhonda’s posts earlier in the week, which you can read here.

Salt in the Rainbow

I’m having difficulty getting started today…and no, it’s not a hangover from fireworks, food and a few adult beverages over the course of our Fourth of July festivities yesterday.  In many ways, the holiday was really a rainbow of sorts, and today is the salt.  It feels very much like a Monday, which is a sick, cruel joke (Midweek holidays are just wrong.), and it’s also a sad six month anniversary for a friend of mine who lost her twelve year old daughter named Jessie to cancer (DIPG, you can google it) earlier this year.  I think of that family nearly every day, and whenever Jessie comes to mind, I give my kids an extra tight hug.  I’m a mom first and foremost, and I just can’t imagine what it must be like to lose a child – regardless of whether your child is four-legged and furry or human.  So to Stacey and Erik and your family, I hope you are all hugging one another tightly today.  This road seems impossible at times…but I know you’re navigating the best that you can. I hurt for all of you.

What I would like to do here though is put out a bit of an appeal with regard to our book and the chapter I am currently working on, which is conventions and meetups.  I myself have planned a convention for Duran Duran fans in 2004, but I would really like the insight of others to include in my research on the topic. Have you been to a convention (even if it was the one in New Orleans in 2004)?  Were you there as an attendee or a planner??  Have you ever attended other Duran fans meetups or other events?  What about Duranie sleepovers or parties?  If so – I want to hear from you!  I’d like to know about your experience, how you felt when you attended such events or planned them.  Did it help you participate more fully as a fan?  Did you learn to appreciate being part of a community?  Do you think you became a bigger or more loyal fan as a result?  Please note than when I ask if you became a bigger fan – I don’t mean in relation to others – I mean did you feel like you loved the band even more than you did prior?  If you have anything you’d like to share with regard to that topic, please email me (Rhonda) at dailyduranie@gmail.com.  Please put “Convention Chapter” in the subject line, thanks!

Have you bought your ticket to the Facebook Premiere of A Diamond in the Mind yet??  If so, I’ll see you on Sunday….look for me, I’ll in the front on Dom’s side!  

-R

I Take the Dice…or a Diamond…or just a piece of cake!

I love it when good things come together.  Some of my favorites?  Peanut Butter and jelly, ice cream and hot fudge, cheese and crackers….

Duran Duran, Qello (pronounced “kwellow”…like yellow) & Facebook….all rolled up in one yummy premier.

After getting myself thoroughly confused yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised to be contacted by Hagan Blount of Qello yesterday afternoon.  Hagan is the Director of Social Media for Qello, and he was kind enough to walk me through what Duran fans might hope to gain by grabbing a premiere ticket to see Diamond in the Mind on Sunday.

Ultimately, this premiere isn’t meant to draw from DVD or Blu-Ray sales, and that’s an  important point.  This show will be sort of like the frosting on a big cake, because while the show itself will be amazing – through the power of Qello, I’ll be able to squeal with delight over JoSi moments with Amanda, even though we live thousands of miles apart.  I’ll be able to chat with my dear friend Fabiana, who lives in the opposite hemisphere, about her painted face appearing above the band in Rio…and I hear that the band has even done an exclusive audio commentary for the premiere!  When the show is over, I might even have a chance to tell the band just how incredible it was to see them perform in their own country, since the band will be calling in from their tour stop in Istanbul to do a special Q&A session for the Facebook Premiere after the show.  It’s adding another dimension to our viewing experience, and while sure – it’s going to be great just to get the DVD or Blu-Ray, I think there’s something extra special in watching with other people who get Duran Duran just as much as I do.

It’s the sweetness of the extras that put me over the edge, and yeah…for less than $5.00 I’m willing to bet the cake is going to taste delectable. I can’t even get a large coffee at a local Starbucks with all the trimmings for that.  The number one comment I have read in the past 24 hours regarding the Facebook premiere is “Why should I pay for this when I’ve already paid to get the DVD?” While I would agree that on first glance it might seem to be the very same thing as watching the DVD once it’s delivered on the 10th of July, it’s really not for one simple reason: community.

One constant that Amanda and I come back to over and over during our research on fandom is the idea of community.  While the band and their music was/is the catalyst; it’s the community, the connections people have made with one another, that keep us returning through fantastic music, rough moments, and hopes for the future. I have to admit, I don’t even have the DVD or Blu-Ray on pre-order yet because watching it here alone doesn’t hold the same excitement that seeing a live show with friends would.  I’ll eventually order it (I promise!), but while I’m interested – I guess I wasn’t that excited.  Until today.

One of my biggest concerns with the premiere was my overall confusion as to where to get what and when.  The answer is embarrassingly easy.  One needs to buy the ticket through the Premier application on Facebook. (You can find this right here.)  I did have concerns about Facebook security, purely because like most of you – I’ve heard enough nightmares and had my own account hacked more than once.  I’ve been assured though, that since Facebook bought Zynga (who powers the Facebook “credit” application), those issues have been addressed.  While I can’t promise my readers the unthinkable will never happen, I can say that I did go back and buy the ticket and I refuse to live in fear.  Concern, maybe…fear?  Nevah!  Once I purchased the ticket, an email was delivered to me with instructions of how I can go over to Qello to experience my 30 day “All Access Pass”.  I took a quick peak, but I can promise – I’ll be going back over there during any spare time I can carve out of my day.  Did you know they have the Rio Classic Album video over there? They have videos from Culture Club, INXS and much, much more…and this is just in beta. On the day of the premiere, I understand that there will be a link that those of us who bought tickets will be able to access, and I’ll be there waiting for the show!  As I said yesterday, I really think Qello is worth checking out, and I can imagine that in the coming years, we’ll be buying tickets to experience more and more concerts “live” online.  Can you imagine the day when we never have to miss a single Duran show simply because we can’t travel to get there?  I can…and I think the day might have arrived.

So, after chatting with Hagan, he convinced me to run and buy my ticket, so I did.  I know many of you are yet to be convinced, and perhaps my blog does nothing to sway you. While I can understand that, I also have to say that it’s less than $5.00 to try this out.  Many of us spent over $60.00 to order the deluxe package sight unseen that we’ll watch in our own homes with no one around to be excited with (in most cases, anyway).  I paid less than five bucks to watch the presentation, hear an exclusive audio commentary, chat with friends during the show, and participate in an online Q&A after the show with the band.  Seems like a pretty fair deal.

Now to win one of those VIP tickets….(I have no idea what’s included with those, but I want one!)  See you on July 8th, make room for me in front of Dom!

-R

Want You More (Well, Duran Duran anyway!)

I’m still trying to figure out Qello…the Premier application on Facebook…VIP tickets…and all of the contests leading up to when the postman finally delivers my copy of Diamond in the Mind to my house. It’s Monday, and my head swims. Could be from a very long weekend, could be confusion, but could also very well be from the pitcher of sangria I made yesterday for the adult family members present at my sons thirteenth birthday party….

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve been hesitant to sign up and pay my $4.90 to see Diamond in the Mind “live” next Sunday (July 8th). It’s not that I don’t want to part with my money, it’s that I really just don’t get it…and I don’t mind saying so. Surely I can’t be the only one out there that is a little befuddled. I had a fairly good run of keeping up with the technological advances until now. I knew and understood the varying sources of social media and entertainment. I was a whiz at Facebook, and while I still don’t love Twitter, I use it. More and more often now though, I’m hearing of new apps and things that I not only have never heard of, but embarrassingly enough, I have no idea what they are for, how to use them, or why I’d even feel like I need them. Should I just go grab my rocking chair and be done? Probably not. So, like the good Duranie I am, I did some reading this morning and I was rewarded not with answers, but with more questions. This is troubling.

I guess part of my trouble is that of course, the concert isn’t really live. Not that it should be, but it’s more of a case where I’m wondering if it’s really worth paying to see it online as opposed to popping the disc into my Blu-Ray and watching it when it finally gets to my home a few days later. I see that they are promoting the event as something that will be broadcast worldwide, so of course that means that while I’m watching here at home in California, theoretically Amanda will be watching in Wisconsin, my friend Michelle will be watching on the east coast, and my other friend Michelle will be watching in the UK…and so forth. I see there is also to be a live Q & A with the band as they call in from Istanbul immediately following the broadcast on Facebook…or is it Qello?? I took some time this morning and checked out the Qello website. It would seem that for a music fan that likes an abundance of concerts and things, Qello is the sweet spot. It reminds me of a cable TV station that solely runs concert video, along with some extra yummy tidbits on the side. If I were sans children…I’d consider an ongoing membership, but for me, getting TV time is difficult, and my computer time seems to be spent writing and blogging with very little actual video viewing. After thoroughly reading up on Qello (and no I still don’t feel as though I’m an expert), I checked out the Duran Duran Facebook page. Apparently this premiere is being done through streaming on Facebook (Again I must ask – wasn’t this originally going to be streamed using the Qello app?  I’m confused!), and in order to “attend” this premiere, you’ve got to buy tickets, which appear to only be available through Facebook unless you really want to spend $4.99 a month to have “all access” through Qello.

I have no trouble with the money to see the premier. I want to make that clear. I know many fans who have a real axe to grind regarding that, but that isn’t where I’m headed. Those of you who do have a problem, I get it – and if you want to write a blog about that, feel free. My trouble is that I don’t like the idea of giving my credit card info to Facebook due to their continued security issues, and yet it’s not clear what is the best way to use Qello…or if I should just view the show through Facebook…if that’s even going to work. (I’ve got visions of the whole thing crashing due to site traffic, but that’s just me overthinking it all, I’m sure because that sort of thing never happens, right??) I just don’t quite get it.

I don’t necessarily think that this is a case of mixed messages or lies of omission…or impropriety on the part of the band (Just trying to cover all arguments I’ve seen, some of which I feel are ridiculous.), I think it’s mainly a case that I’m completely misunderstanding, and I’m sticking my neck out to say that perhaps I’m not the only one. If I am, well…it wouldn’t be the first time. I really can’t tell from looking at my “friends” or even Daily Duranie’s Facebook “friends” just how well “attended” this premier will be. However, I do believe that with a little more explanation as to how this will work, those like myself who might be on the fence will be happy to jump on over.

Here’s hoping someone will read, notice and be willing to help some confuzzled fans!

-R