Category Archives: Twitter

Nick Rhodes – Still Denimless?

I love seeing things get shaken up every once in a while, and this morning was no exception. Today, most people on the planet should have felt a rumbling from deep within because Nick Rhodes…yes, that Nick Rhodes, was on Twitter, answering questions from fans like he’d been on Twitter all along….

The announcement of Nick answering questions on Twitter went over like a lead balloon in the Duraniverse…and even better, people continued asking Amanda and I if we were going send in questions as well. Amanda had other things to take care of today, and so it was left to me – which is always dangerous. This morning proved no different than normal in my crazy household, and I ended up not being around for 90% of his Q&A. I did attempt to quickly send in a couple of questions, but he was finished before he could even see them, much less answer. Alas.

That said, I did see all of the questions and his answers. Rather than just be serious and boring (Nick, boring?? Is that even possible?), he took the attitude I really expected and went another, far more creative and witty route.

For example, @SweetRose1993 asked “Hi Nick, what’s your favourite place to shoot a DD video? And what’s your favourite DD single so far?”

Nick’s answer? “To shoot a video? A virtual reality floatation tank with dancing girls and a pocket universe. – NR”

Not too shabby with the wit there, Nicholas (and somehow I don’t think you’re joking).  I appreciated his wit, particularly when answering questions about doing a memoir (He answered that he just needs to dig a worm hole in between minutes) or about the health of his trusty Jupiter 8 (“I am happy to report all three are fit and well at present, however the emergency room is never too far away. – NR”) .  I especially loved his answer to a question that a fan asked about his joining Twitter (“Look for me on Wednesdays at 3am, I’ll be “my head is full of chopsticks” – NR).

Is that 3am my time, or yours, Nick??

And my most favorite, although they were all really good questions and answers )with far less “Please say hi to my mum” comments than Tumblr had the other day with John and Roger), was from @mondaymoon7609 who asked about time travel and where Nick would want to go. His reply, “The future, then I could fix a lot of things in the past. – NR” will keep me thinking for a while.

But then on second thought, maybe I really loved the question about giving Simon fashion advice…. “Only when we reach crisis point.It happened with a particularly nasty pair of crocs once. -NR”  And I did wince a little when Nick said “No. Absolutely not” to owning a pair of blue jeans.

Here’s the thing, Nick. I own enough pairs for both of us. You’re welcome. 

I had a few people ask Daily Duranie how we thought he did, and I thought he was great. He didn’t answer questions that probably couldn’t get a quick 140-character answer, and yet he did answer a fair amount of serious questions. In all fairness, I had no doubt that he’d do well. Nick is extremely quick-witted, and that works very well with an environment that can feel a little like a mass feeding frenzy. So yes, he did extremely well and I’m surprised it’s taken him this long to participate. I had to laugh because he answered a question about his favorite song off of Paper Gods by saying that on Thursdays it is “You Kill Me With Silence”, but if you’re in Australia it’s already a different song.” I sat there for a couple of seconds longer than I probably should have thinking, Wait, is it really Thursday already?!? 

(Yes, that is EXACTLY the type of week it has been.)

-R

It Begins and ends with you

As I was doing my very quick perusal of Twitter this morning, I came across an interesting group of comments directed at DDHQ…or at least the Duran Duran twitter handle.  The person was clearly disappointed that he/she was never acknowledged, and attributed this to the fact that they are a younger fan. Their feeling was that the older fans are acknowledged all of the time for showing off their collections and so forth, and that younger fans are ignored.

To begin with, I don’t know this person, and I really am not sure what “young” means. Even so, I was curious by their statements. I’m not entirely sure that the band, or their management or DDHQ, really takes the time to notice whether a tweeter is young, old, or something in-between when they’re acknowledging people. I think it happens far more fluidly than all of that, and I’m not entirely sure that fans understand just how many comments the band has in their twitter feed at any given time, and that’s during the times when they themselves haven’t tweeted!  Let them ask a question or call out an upcoming “Tweetstake” and their feed goes wild. So while I can understand wanting to be acknowledged, I think we have to be fair. There is just no way the band can respond to everyone. They would have to have one person dedicated 24/7, and even then, I highly doubt they could keep up.

Acknowledgement is important.  Social media, and specifically Twitter, is one way we can have an ongoing “conversation” with the band. Relationship building is very important, and is done completely differently now than it was even a decade ago. It’s taken us several years to even get to THIS point, where we’re all kind of beginning to understand how Twitter (and other social media) can be used most effectively.

Much to my dismay and that of many others…it is NOT used so that the celebrities of choice are on there to chat with fans all day every day.  I know, I know…it’s a shock….but we will overcome! (in case you didn’t read the sarcasm, read again. It’s there, I promise!)

It’s difficult to be a fan sometimes. Even I have found myself wondering what the point really is when weeks if not months goes by without a single interaction – and I’m not really talking about being singled out or acknowledged as much as I am saying that for me personally, it’s not as much about DDHQ remembering to say “Happy Birthday” as it is seeing members of the band active on social media from time to time. Then a day will come and without warning, John will post a photo, Dom might tweet something…maybe even Roger will post a picture on Facebook and dare to ask for it to be captioned.  I’ll see these things, smile, maybe even respond…and all is well.

What is it about THOSE moments that are so special and turn me right back into a giggly teenager?!?  I can’t help but laugh over the silliest of things, whether it is providing a snarky caption to the picture Roger Taylor posted on Facebook and believing he’ll actually take the time to look at the comments (it is not my fault that he left the door WIDE open to my constant teasing after practically promising to have the album completely finished by his year end Katy Kafe…), or noticing that Dom wore a particular t-shirt in a photo. It’s those tiny little things that make me (and hopefully others, otherwise I am way more into this “fan” thing than I thought…) believe that yeah, maybe they care just a little. Is it crazy? Probably so, but it’s fun. I’m sure you readers know that it’s fun as well. Otherwise, let’s be honest, we wouldn’t keep bothering. We’d listen to the music once in a while, maybe catch a show when it was convenient…or find reasons why we couldn’t..and say that we once loved Duran Duran.  Past-tense.

I’ve spent time observing fan behavior. I know that sounds bizarre, but when writing a manuscript about fans…you tend to observe. For some fans, that teensy bit of acknowledgment really matters. Some go out of their way to get it, by tweeting and retweeting the same article or photo over and over again.  When they are finally granted that RT from a band member or DDHQ, they wield it like a trophy, and I have no doubt that to those people – it really DOES matter that much. This isn’t about making fun, it’s about observing behavior. That’s why social media works, and that’s why bands like Duran Duran spend so much time doing it. For other fans, they like seeing the tweets from the band members, and if they are lucky enough to get a tweet back – they’re thrilled. To them, this little bit of interaction feels genuine, not forced, and as natural as chatting with a celebrity is going to get. Still others recognize Twitter and Facebook as just another advertisement for the band. They see it as a sales opportunity and don’t expect the band to really chat. They’re surprised by those who want or expect more.  Still others might be there to watch the whole thing unfold, but they’re disgusted by everyone else clamoring for attention. For as many fans as there are, there are at least that many expectations…resentments “in training”.

All of that in mind, I’m still not sure how fans can ever expect the band, or DDHQ, to acknowledge them. There are tens of thousands of fans. On Twitter alone, there are over 134,000 followers. That is a LOT of tweets. As someone who writes a blog dedicated to being fans of Duran Duran, it’s rare when the band responds or notices we’re alive. I’ve had friends ask the band to acknowledge my birthday or even the blog’s birthday and it goes unnoticed. I’ve said many, many times that if we were writing the blog or were fans purely because we wanted to be noticed, we should have never started. Sure, I could take all of that personally…but I didn’t become a Duran Duran fan thinking that someday I would be best pals with the band. I became a fan because I loved their music.  I fell in love with Planet Earth before I ever saw the faces behind the sound.  The rest was just fantasy. Fun, delusional fantasy…but still just fantasy.

-R

Today’s Date in Duran History – Simon, Simon, Simon…and Dom

Some bands have large fan bases that are happy to get new music. They pay to go to shows, they have fun, and that’s about the size of the fan/band relationship. Then there’s Duran Duran. They have people like me…who are intense (let’s not call it an obsession), long-time fans.  Some of us even blog.

Aren’t they lucky?!?

Originally, I had a “Date in Duran history” all planned out for today, but during some research, I realized we had the date wrong on our calendar. There is a method to what might seem like madness here at Daily Duranie, and so rather than re-run a historical point that we did for this date last year, I came up with my own! The trouble is, it isn’t quite history yet. However, I break rules all the time, and today will be no exception.

Just a day or two ago, I may have casually mentioned that I was nearing the point of resorting to posting videos of Simon’s more “signature” dance moves over the years, using them of course as points of discussion…along with maybe some voting and judgment. (I call it “commentary”) Today I stumbled upon the following video link (linked because of these called “copyrights” that YouTube, and probably the band…insists we follow…imagine that!):

Simon’s short and sweet DD14 update!

So they’re in the “refinement” stage. You know what *I’d* like to know…if I were well, able to ask?? What do they ultimately end up doing with all of the material they scrap? Do they keep it in case they want to return to it at a later point, perhaps for another album or something? I can see a case being made either way. Maybe they want fresh material for each album, and maybe they figure that going back to look at earlier work isn’t exactly the same as starting fresh. But on the other hand, that’s so much creativity. Maybe keeping it all for future reference gets the juices flowing when they need ideas? If “someone” knows, I’d love to hear the answer and reasoning!

Can you imagine the amount of material they’ve scrapped over the years? I’d love to be let loose in that vault (of course that’s assuming they actually keep all of that somewhere)!

But of course, Simon was VERY quick to say he won’t give titles or any information and that we’re going to have to wait. Here’s the thing: I can understand the “No Spoiler” rule. There is something special about hearing a finished song or album for the first time without preconceived notion. Admittedly, it’s been a long time since that last happened for me. Like since hearing some of All You Need is Now. I am very much looking forward to the feeling that comes with hearing brand new music for the first time. Anticipation can be a wonderful thing. That said, hearing absolutely nothing from the band for months on end – or only hearing the things none of us really want to hear, such as: “We’re not going to tour anytime soon – we don’t NEED to tour” or “We’re not sure when the album is coming out, but it probably won’t be until at least 2015.” can be pretty disheartening. So Simon, it’s OK that you won’t share titles or information. I respect that (and I might not necessarily start posting those dance videos. Yet.) But sending us little clips now and again to let those of us who are not in the UK know that yes, you’re still alive and working, and maybe just telling us where you’re at in the whole process, isn’t so bad. It keeps that connection established from the last album going. Many of us have never even been in a studio, and  hearing about the actual process is interesting. It’s funny when you think about it – a lot of fans have been around for over thirty years now and yet there really aren’t many who know much about recording an album or all of the tedious work that goes into the effort. I know it’s commonplace to the band, but for us – the people who care – it’s kind of an intriguing mystery.

If Simon’s little video weren’t enough, I was pretty surprised yesterday afternoon as I checked into Facebook and Twitter between naps (I’m getting over a bad cold and the couch has been my friend this week) to see that Dom Brown is actually alive, and not just an enigma that briefly appears to announce his next gig date on Twitter or Facebook. No, no. Dom showed up yesterday to mention that his wife (I applaud Martha!) has been getting on his case lately (I believe the words “kicking my butt” were used – which makes me like her even more!) to engage on Facebook and Twitter more regularly.

Men are funny. I think they can be far more utilitarian in nature than women. We women tend to be (just a weensy bit) more emotional. We talk. For example, some of the shortest emails I EVER get are from my husband. I will send long, flowing emails to him and I’ll typically get a one or two word reply. (My reply: Really?? You were somehow able to extrapolate ONE thing out of that long email that needed a comment – and a one word comment at that?!) I think that many males, and celebrities are not entirely immune to this and  think that Twitter and Facebook are utilitarian devices only. They are to announce whatever important “thing” is going on – and briefly so. The idea of getting on there to actually chat and get to know people is probably mind boggling. “Why waste that kind of time” That’s why so many resort to only posting their latest sales pitch, their latest gig…and then they run. Fast.

Admittedly, it could be that female fans might be intimidating, downright scary at times…maybe we even “threaten” relationships in that if a wife/girlfriend/significant other sees tweeting or communicating with one specific person going on, she’s undoubtedly going to be concerned. Fair enough. I’m also married. I know how that can be, and I can’t promise that every female fan out there is going to be respectful. For that matter, even I can be cheeky – because it’s fun, and because I don’t actually take it seriously.  Others might, I suppose. But for the most part, I don’t think many of us are out to ruin someone’s life. My point is that we’re not that scary. While yes, there’s always a risk of running into a crazy person here or there, we as fans run that exact same risk, whether it’s with a band member or it’s other fans. You learn rather quickly how to deflect, avoid, and block. My question is how can Twitter be any more frightening than running into the same fans over and over on tour, at the studio, or anywhere else?? At least on Twitter and Facebook you can essentially block the people that scare you. In person, you really can’t.

I guess I’m in the camp that believes it’s important to engage with fans however you can and are comfortable. That last part is key – and I want to make sure that the people who are bound to reply to this post read that last part again. I’m not accusing anyone of misusing Twitter – because I think that everyone has to decide for themselves how to handle social media of any kind. Maybe that’s a departure from how I’ve felt in the past, and I’m OK admitting that.  So what do I mean by “comfortable”? If you’re only comfortable announcing your gigs – then hey, that’s fine. If you’re only comfortable keeping Twitter as a sales tool, then that’s what you have to do. If you’re the type that only uses Twitter to make statements and isn’t entirely interested in the back and forth type of communication that can happen – then that’s how you’ve got to keep it. That might not be ideal, but as I said, we all have our own areas of comfort.

Another issue I see: I don’t think that there’s anything necessarily wrong with replying directly to a fan, even a female fan, if you want; but I also know that not every musician or celebrity is comfortable doing so. I can’t decide if it’s because they’re worried about calling attention to a particular fan, or if it’s because they don’t want to see the “Please RT meeeeee!!!” tweets over and over. The same goes for following fans, I suppose. Once you’ve opened that door, it’s hard to explain why some are allowed through and others are not. I’m not sure that there’s a need to explain actions like that to anyone though. I certainly don’t substantiate the reasons why I’m friends with some people and not with others, but that’s just me. I can’t necessarily say where the line should be drawn – I only know how I handle it for myself. It’s tough thing to find fault with no matter what someone does, and each person has to find their own comfort zone. I have no way of knowing what it’s really like to be a well-known musician, rock star or celebrity because I’m just me: Rhonda from Southern California. I tend to treat people, my friends – whether they are male, female, rockstar or celebrity, pretty much the same. If I follow you on Twitter, I’m going to comment to you as though I think you’re reading, and I’m going to pal around with you as though we’re at least friendly if not actually friends. If that makes me odd, well…then I’m odd, and I embrace the description. I just figure that at the end of the day, we’re all just people anyway.

That’s the longest blog I’ve written in a long time.  Just imagine how it’ll be once the band actually DOES start announcing titles.  I’d better rest my fingers now while I can!

-R

 

 

 

 

 

Like a radio tune I swear I’ve heard before…

I don’t think it’s going to come as a big surprise to anyone who has read the blog…or knows me personally…that I have a bit of an issue with patience.

I like things to happen on time. I don’t like waiting, and being kept waiting is even worse. My kids know that if I ask them to do something once…they’d better get moving because if I have to ask again, trouble is coming. Nobody wants trouble, trust me.

So, when I say that I hate Durantime, it is from this vein that the emotion arises. (Yes, you probably should feel sorry for my children.) HOWEVER, I also very much believe my impatience, is substantiated in this case. I will reference a brief conversation I had with my dear blogging partner last night.  I’m paraphrasing because there was a lot more being discussed than just this one thing…but you’ll get the point:

R: So I argued with someone about Durantime, because I dared to say that I think it sucks. 

A: AYNIN WAS shorter.  They toured (did a few dates) in Summer of 2009.  It wasn’t a full tour, but we did see two dates.  (Las Vegas and Costa Mesa, in case you’re wondering as you read this…)  Then in December of 2010, they released All You Need is Now (single).  That is 16 months from the final show that we saw (Amanda and Rhonda) to single.  It has now been 17 months with virtually NO end in sight.

Let’s all take a deep, dejected sigh, shall we?  Do it right now.

Go ahead and argue with Amanda about her dates.  I know better (and she’s right on this one anyway).  So while I would agree that this is all part of the process and they need to take their time to get it done the way they want – I’m really not asking them to rush, I swear I’m not!  There IS a reason why I’m beginning to feel antsy. Even better? It’s OK that I’m starting and maybe YOU are starting to feel that way.  (Although truth be told I was feeling antsy last May….but even I know when I’m being unreasonable!)

All of that aside, I’ve been thinking to myself as to why it feels so much longer this time, and for me, it really does feel like forever since we last heard great things from them, much less saw them in person at a show or even on TV. I made the comment yesterday that I don’t know how I survived before FB and Twitter… but when I think back to the years between Red Carpet Massacre and All You Need is Now, I recognize a few things:

1. I was not in love with RCM, and so for me personally, I think I was almost dreading the next album, assuming that it would be more of the same. I can remember hearing who was producing AYNIN and getting bits and pieces out of the studio, all the while wondering if I’d dislike it as much as I did RCM. I was interested, but a little worried all the same.

2. Amanda and I spent many, many hours writing the beginnings of our manuscript during that downtime between albums. We didn’t start Daily Duranie until September of 2010, so our extra time was spent writing. We were living in our own bubble of Duran, so to speak.

3. On a personal note, I had a toddler in my house back then. Duran who??

4. I never even had the smallest hope of seeing the band on Facebook or Twitter, much less tweeting to them and getting a response of any kind – vague or pointed, retweet or “I’ll answer you directly but I won’t use your name so as not to draw unneeded attention”. <insert smile here> So, it didn’t occur to me to miss what I never had.

Of course, it wasn’t long after we started the blog that John Taylor joined Twitter. He made the wait fun, as did Simon – who I’m not intentionally ignoring here, it’s just that he’d already joined Twitter many months prior (even if he didn’t use the account very regularly). Then Roger joined on Facebook and for a while, he even participated. Where IS that drummer these days, anyway?? The more I heard about the album, the more anxious I became..and of course I was excited at the possibility of seeing the band again too.  I don’t honestly know when Dom joined Twitter, but I loved seeing all of them tweet. It felt like they actually wanted to talk with all of us, see what made us tick and get an overall feeling for what was going on. It made the wait fun. More importantly, it created a bridge between the fans and the band – something we’d never had before.

Naturally, we all get involved in things and can’t make our way to socialize every day. (Although I usually do… but you know, that’s part of the deal with blogging, and it’s part of my personality at this point. It’s the only way I can actually talk to my true friends, the ones I really care about…so I make the time.)  I probably should spend less time on Twitter and updating FB so that I can finish the various pieces to the publishing proposals…. Maybe the band is similar in that they really have to remove themselves from the world in order to get work done…I don’t know.  This blog really isn’t a statement of whether they should be on Twitter, or whether they should be engaging fans, or just sending me emails for that matter. HA!  However, this post is a simple statement of my impatience, and the fact is – we all miss them, whether it is that we miss shows, new music, promotional appearances, tweets and posts, or all of the above.

If I could talk to any of them – and as is typical I must make the statement that I highly doubt any of them are actually reading my mindless drivel – but I digress.  If I could actually speak to them, I’d tell them that while I know among the most asked questions is “When is the album going to be finished?” and that has to be incredibly annoying, I hope they can see that they’re actually MISSED. I know my counterpart never loved having John on Twitter because of any number of reasons that I won’t go into here. I, on the other hand, did.  It wasn’t necessarily because I traded messages with the guy – he didn’t respond to me any more than anyone else, and many times I came online well after one of his much beloved “Tweet-fests” anyway and missed them…but the point was I loved just seeing a teensy snippet about THEM as people. I don’t know how to better articulate that. I know their music. I see their videos, read their interviews, etc, etc.  But back when John tweeted, and even when he would occasionally post things on Instagram – it was kind of like getting a glimmer of him as a real person.  That’s cool.

While my personal favorite band member hardly ever tweets these days (I’m looking directly at you, Dom.) – the one thing I do like about his tweets is that they’re rarely about music or the band. He’ll post what he’s watching on TV (Game of Thrones though? Really??  How about Sherlock?!?) or he’ll just mention that he’s out with his family doing whatever it is that they’re doing at the time.  It’s not like I need or want to know when he’s going to go brush his teeth – but in some basic way it is as though we’re (collectively – the fans) communicating with him as though he’s a normal person, not just a guitar player for Duran Duran.  It makes him more real.

No, I don’t really need to know when the album is going to be finished and they’ll be back on the road…I guess…but it’s also kind of nice to just be like normal people.  Almost like friends, except that we’re not really going to meet for coffee or speak because there’s some weird unspoken “You’re a fan, I’m a rock star” deal.  So bizarre.

I’m WAY over my allotted word count for the day (week!), so I’m going to go back to being unsatisfied and impatient, and you all can go back to whatever it is you spend your time doing each day.  I’ll catch ya all on Twitter or Facebook….well, everyone ‘cept the band I suppose….hope the studio doesn’t swallow ’em whole!

Cheers!

(Yes Amanda, I really did use words from Come Undone to title this.)

-R

Looking at the Reasons

Normally, I post a blog, read people’s comments, comment back and move on.  Yesterday’s blog caused quite a few reactions, both positive and negative.  As always, I welcome the discussion.  (Just so everyone knows, though, I don’t ever welcome insults.  It won’t help me change my mind.  It does the exact opposite.)  Many of people’s comments seemed to address similar points that I thought it might be beneficial for me to address them in a separate blog rather than just comment on them separately.  Also, this would allow me to clear up some points that, apparently, I wasn’t very clear about.  (Story of my life this year as a teacher, too.  I could make other comments about that, but I won’t.  LOL)

1.  John’s return to Twitter may be for more than just a promotional chat.
This is very true.  It might, but it seems like the official chat is exactly that.  Duran’s official website and their various social media gave the following information about it and how it is celebrating the release of John’s autobiography in paperback:  “To commemorate the big event, Penguin USA will be hosting a twitter chat with John on September 23rd (follow @PenguinUSA & @thisistherealJT on Twitter).  The chat will begin at 4pm EST, and to follow along, please search for the hashtag #readpenquin, which John will put in all his replies.  You can start tweeting questions to @PenguinUSA at 4pm on the 23rd.  Please include @thisistherealJT in your Qs.  Based on this, I wonder who will be picking out which questions will be used.  Nonetheless, it seems clear that this is a promotional chat.  Only time will tell if John is back for good or not.

2.  John needed a break from Twitter.  He revealed so much of himself in his autobiography and needed a break from all the constant frenzy at Twitter.  Plus, it is a distraction while working on the album.
These comments made me laugh—not because they aren’t good comments or aren’t good points.  They are.  No, they made me laugh because the assumption was/is that I WANT him on twitter all the time and that is what I was trying to say by my blog yesterday.  The reality is that I DON’T want him on Twitter.  I know that is a shocking statement, especially by someone who has been a John Taylor fan for 30 years.  If you have read this blog for a long time, you have read many posts when I am just gushing over JT.  So, why don’t I want him on Twitter?  Simple.  I dislike seeing people fall over themselves to try and get his attention.  It feels like a giant competition to me.  I would rather have Duranies focused on connecting with each other, rather than pushing to get John’s attention.  Then, I worry about what exactly those comments pointed out.  He revealed so much and used twitter to answer people’s questions.  It had to be overwhelming.  I can’t imagine what John must have felt when everyone would come at him with questions.  I was overwhelmed by just seeing it and I’m sure I only saw a tiny fraction of what he was getting.  I also understand why/how it would be a problem while working on the album.  So what was my point yesterday?  I respect and support his choice to remove himself from twitter for those reasons.  This is why his return seemed so strange to me.  Did those issues go away?  I doubt it, which made it definitely seem like he was just returning to promote.  Why is that a problem?  I’ll address that in a second.

3.  Why can’t he use Twitter as promotion?  Isn’t every interaction John has ever had on Twitter really about marketing?  
Of course, John and other celebrities can and do use Twitter for promotional purposes.  Non-celebrities do, too.  Heck, we post the blog topic everyday on Facebook and Twitter to get people to read what we wrote.  I get it.  My problem with what went down is the apparent lack of being forthcoming about John’s return to Twitter. If he, indeed, is coming back to Twitter just to promote, fine.  Be clear about it.  People then understand what they can and should expect.

4.  Why should we think that John was on Twitter to do more than just promote?  We aren’t his friends and won’t ever be his friends no matter if he responds to you on Twitter or not.
First, John, himself, has pointed out that Twitter has been used by him to connect to fans.  On page 402 of his autobiography (hardcover UK edition), John states this, “I joined Facebook and Twitter.  Social networking put our fans back in touch with us and put them back in touch with each other.”  To me, that indicates that he was using it to connect.  Back in touch means more than just promoting, to me.  Yes, I’m sure that other people may read it differently, but that’s how I read it.  Perhaps, I read it that way because of how John used Twitter.  As you know, he would retweet someone’s question or comment and then respond to it.  He wouldn’t, generally, just make comments but would respond to others.  This is why people’s expectations are/were that when he would return, he would to do it to reconnect.  Is that fair to him?  I don’t know.  Yet, I think those expectations are understandable.  Perhaps, this is why, generally, the comments on Twitter to my blog supported my comments.  They were the ones who saw how John tweeted when he was on.  They had those expectations I refer to here.  Now, as for the friends part, we have addressed that issue a billion times on this blog.  Rhonda and I have both pointed out many, many, many times that we do not ever expect John to be friends with any of us.  We are FANS.  That’s it.  That said, he has showed and said by his words and actions that he wanted to connect.  Connect does not mean become true friends.  We know that and my blog post yesterday never implied anything like that.  Nor did I say or imply anything about how fans deserve certain treatment because we helped them become famous in yesterday’s blog.  I suggest those who read that should take some time to read some of our other blogs.

5.  Why can’t John use Twitter for both, promotion and connection?
He absolutely can and did when he was on, regularly.  Here is the part that so many seem to miss about my post yesterday so let me be clear.  I don’t care how he uses Twitter or even if he does.  I just want him to be HONEST about his purposes.  Respect us to be forthcoming with the reason for being there.  To me, being honest and genuine in your intentions is showing that the FANS matter and that we are respected.  I am not demanding his presence on Twitter or even dictating how he uses it.  I just want to know what I could and should expect.  Leaving people wondering is the problem.  This is when people get disappointed or feel like they are being used.  What is funny about this whole deal is that I’m a fan who uses Twitter but doesn’t really want him there at all.  I was upset not about how I was going to feel but how so many of my friends were going to feel, if they expected one thing and got something totally different.  Of course, some many argue that fans should not have any expectations.  Maybe not, but for many, their experiences resulted in these expectations.  They learned that John did want to connect and I can’t blame them for not wanting to learn that what they had experienced wasn’t real.

-A

You Can’t See the Truth for the Dollars in your Eyes

The other day during my planning time at work, I sat down and decided to take a break by checking into the world.  This check-in, of course, included the Twitter.  Who did I see on my little timeline?!  Yes, by now, I’m sure that each and every one of you has heard that John appeared on twitter for three little tweets.  In those tweets, he mentioned about how we was going to return next week and that he needed to get back in twitter shape.  This was welcome news for many fans who took these tweets as a sign that he was going to come back and come back for good.  As I’m sure you all remember that John used to be a fairly regular on Twitter around the release of All You Need Is Now until December of last year.  During that time, he used Twitter to answer questions and to response to many fans.  It seemed like he was using it to connect to the fans and even made references to such in his autobiography.  Then, he stopped.  Out of the blue.  No explanation was given.  He sent out a couple of other tweets when the Koshii and Hush song came out with him on vocals, but no conversations took place.  No responses to fans.  Thus, this week, when he came to say that he would be coming back, there seemed a collective sigh in the fan community.  After all, at this point, fans are pretty desperate for something from the band.  The tour ended over a year ago and no album release or tour dates on are the horizon.  I’m sure that there were many fans who thought that they might survive the Duran downtime as long as John really did come back to Twitter and this week, it seemed like they got their wish.

Then, a few hours later, Duran’s official twitter said something about how John was doing a twitter chat next week in conjunction with the release of his autobiography.  As soon I read that, I thought.  Really?  Is he just coming back to twitter to promote his book?  I tried to dismiss the idea as me being cynical but before the afternoon was up, I saw more and more Duranies vocalize the same thing.  These are smart women who were commenting about the very same thing I thought about.  If I thought that and these others thought that, is that true?  Is that all there is to this?  Should it matter if it is?  
I have no idea if the only reason that John is coming back to Twitter is to sell his book.  Is next week just a one off or the beginning of a real return with frequent tweets from him?  I certainly have no power to tell me that, but I think it is safe to say that many of us think it could very well be possible that the ONLY reason he is coming on is to sell something.  Time will tell if that holds true but that has been the case for 2013 and this seems no different as of today.  
Should this matter, is the bigger and more important question.  I know that many fans were super excited when John and Simon not only joined twitter but started to use it.  Quickly, fans could see that John was responding to people.  He wasn’t just making a quick comment about something he saw or read or thought.  No, he was reacting to people, seeming to converse.  People ate this up.  It increased excitement surrounding AYNIN and the following tour.  Fans saw this as John wanting to reach out to fans, wanting to connect, to really connect.  What fan doesn’t want to connect with one’s idol?  More importantly, fans saw it as John saying that WE matter.  FANS MATTER and that they matter to him.  Every fan wants to know that they matter and that they are appreciated.  Now, though, if John really is just tweeting for the sake of promotion, this puts his intentions before into question.  Did he really care?  Does he now?  How will we know or is the seed of doubt now planted forever?  
I’m sure that many of you are thinking that promotion does have a place in social media and that every celebrity uses it to promote their work.  That’s true.  Heck, many of my friends use it for that very reason, too.  Yet, they also use it to check in with people they care about and the people they are friends with.  They use it to connect.  Do all celebrities use it to connect?  Am I holding John to a higher standard?  I’m well aware that some celebrities only use it to promote.  Yet, I have to admit that I appreciate knowing that about them.  There is no guessing.  No false promises.  I am not looking for anything else from them but that.  John, on the other hand, convinced many/most us that he did want to connect and that it was more than just a promotional tool.  If this isn’t true, that hurts.  A lot of fans will feel lied to.  Betrayed.  While many won’t see this as a big deal, I’m sure this could turn a lot of fans off, so much that some may leave.  After all, why stay if we aren’t really appreciated, if we don’t really matter?  Many fans felt this way after Red Carpet Massacre.  They felt like the band just didn’t care.  They seemed so aloof, so uninterested in the fans that many fans left.  Many of my friends walked away.  Now, I’m sure that there are others of you reading this that are horrified that these fans would walk away “so easily”.  Yet, I assure you that it wasn’t easy for them.  They were just THAT hurt.  I’m worried that this is what will happen again.  The band should worry about that, too.
Maybe all of my worrying is for nothing.  Maybe John will prove me wrong.  I hope so.  I don’t want to feel like I did this week.  I want to believe that he does care about his fans, that he does appreciate us and that he does want to connect with us.  
-A

Headlights on the windowpane, they’re getting lost in the light of day

I am sure that by the time this is published, most of you will have read (if you were at all inclined) John’s blog that was posted up on duranduran.com yesterday. (Link goes directly to John’s blog post.) I think I probably echo the thoughts of most when I say that nothing he said surprised me, but it was reassuring to read that he is fine and seemingly happy.  For that, I’m thankful.  By the way John, your tweets made me laugh too, sometimes when it was most needed. Funny how good things work that way.

His short blog comments on the creative process, and how sometimes you just need to pull back inside your own head. (I am not quoting…nor am I really paraphrasing)  I get that.  Amanda and I have been working on our book for a long time (I am not going to embarrass myself by telling you all exactly how long) now, and my experience has been that I was most productive in the shortest amount of time when I was not writing the blog – meaning before we ever came up with the idea for Daily Duranie.  While I knew that having the blog was the smartest thing for us to do on a sort of “overall career-ish level”, it is incredibly difficult do write the blog and the book at the same time.  Often, I run out of time after the blog is finished and posted for the day (which frustrates me to no end).  And still more often, I have family members breathing down my neck. (Quite literally at the moment – my youngest is hanging onto the back of my chair insisting that I pay attention and play a game.)  The short answer is no – I really don’t know how I get much done.  (And sometimes – I really don’t get much done!!)  It isn’t just the youngest though, it is the constant questions. “Are you finished yet?” “How long until it is done?” “Why are you writing about that?”  “Do you really think anyone will want to read such a thing?”  It’s annoying and exhausting.  (And those questions are just from my FAMILY….)  So, when John mentions that there is energy to be stored in privacy, I get it.  In spades.

The one thing I really openly wish – and this will never come for a variety of reasons that I don’t dare print much less acknowledge – is that I could be left to just write.  That doesn’t mean unplugging myself from all of you as much as it means that I would love to have a short period of time where I could actually just keep writing.  Other writers out there will understand what I mean when I say that when I do feel a creative surge coming – the very last and most difficult thing to do is to stop.  Yet that is what my entire life is like.  I get on a roll with a chapter and then its time to go get my youngest. Or fix dinner.  Or do laundry. Or the 1,000 other things I have to do during each day. It makes life tough, and at this point I really have no recourse but to trudge along and try my best. I’ve learned that as a parent and even as a spouse, my needs often come last, and this is no exception.  It does not make the process less difficult, which must mean that if in fact I do finish this book (and I will, dammit), it means I must really want it to happen.  I do.  As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t even have office space  aside from my trusty dining room table.  I have begged and pleaded for my own space, but its not happening…for that same variety of reasons I don’t want to think about right now.  So once again, I found myself nodding in full agreement with John’s blog.  I hope he is far more creative than I am at the moment!:

-R

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Reminders:
Durandemonium 2013 Registration:  Early registration ends Thursday night at 11:55pm.  If you find yourself wanting to take advantage of the $135.00 ticket rate as well as the other perks, you have until Thursday to register!  We already have a sizable crowd registered, so this is going to be well-attended and our tickets are going fast.

T-Shirt Contest:  If you haven’t sent in a design for the convention t-shirt contest, there is still time!  You have until March 31st to send your design to the convention gmail: durandemonium2013@gmail.com .  Contest information is here.

We Covered All the Angles

Fandom is funny.  Duranland is funny.  I don’t mean funny in a laugh out loud sort of funny but in an interesting, thought-provoking kind of way.  This week, it seems to me that the Duran universe has been truly scattered.  What do I mean by this?  I mean that the fans aren’t all focused on just one thing.  In fact, I would say that there are many different focal points with various people focused on them.  At least, this is how it feels, seems to me.  So, what are different groups thinking about?  Some are definitely into TV Mania.  Others are still talking about Simon’s facial hair of choice these days.  John Taylor’s lack of tweeting occupies others’ thoughts.  A couple of people might be thinking about the fact that the band is back in the studio.  There are a few of us who are thinking about the convention coming up in October.  For some fans, none of these matter.  Instead, they are thinking about Depeche Mode’s new album or another favorite artist.  Am I the only one seeing it like this?  If this does seem to be the case, does it happen during all downtimes?  Why are some people into one thing and others into something different?

I am willing to bet that this is a problem that is only really found during the times that Duran isn’t promoting an album or isn’t touring.  I think back to August when Nick was sick and shows had to be canceled.  This news was the ONLY thing people were thinking about and talking about in the fandom, from what I could tell.  Likewise, when All You Need Is Now came out, people were talking about the album, the songs they liked, the songs they loved, the songs they could have done without.  We don’t have albums or tours to center our discussions around right now.  Those people who are into TV Mania are probably arguing with me right now.  They are probably saying to themselves, “What is Amanda thinking?  Don’t we have TV Mania to talk about?”  The simple answer is yes.  We do.  That said, I have seen plenty of people say that they aren’t going to buy it and don’t care.  What is their reasoning, from what I could tell?  Some have listened to the samples and don’t like it enough to buy it.  Others, frankly, are not fond of Warren and don’t want to be reminded of him.  It also seems to me that those people who are really into it are Nick fans (meaning that Nick is their favorite member) or fans who loved the era of Duran when Warren was in the band.  For those fans, I’m sure that they are reminded of a time when they loved the music and line-up.  Maybe, it even reminds them of good times that they personally had.  I can’t knock that even if I can’t relate.  Heck, part of me wishes that I was that excited by the project. 

Simon’s current look is getting attention in some areas even though we have now seen the mustache for awhile.  Who might be into that topic?  This might be a big deal to Simon fans.  Of course, for every fan who is talking about his look, there is another fan who wishes that the fans would just talk about the music or would shut up about the band members’ looks.  Again, I really can’t fault either side.  If John grew a mustache, I bet be talking about that, too.  Yet, I get why people get annoyed with those who only talk about the band looks.

What about John Taylor and twitter?  Rhonda mentioned this one yesterday.  She talked briefly about how the band’s presence on social networking sites has to do with marketing, but that she misses their presence, nonetheless, and wished that real rapport had been established.  As I read that and people’s reactions to that blog post as well to other blogs on here about this issue, I realized how much this issue matters to people.  For some, this is a huge deal.  It is their fandom’s focus.  Like the TV Mania fans or the Simon’s mustache fans or anti-fans, I can understand their focus even if I don’t get it.  I don’t really miss the band on Twitter.  Why is that?  It is much the same reason that I haven’t been jumping up and down with excitement to TV Mania.  It doesn’t feel like my thing.  I never had any interaction with any of them on Twitter.  Ever.  Part of this was because my schedule didn’t allow it and part of it is because I wouldn’t tweet much to them for a variety of reasons.  Do I feel jealous of people who did have interactions?  I’m sure there is a part of me that is, to some extent.  I’m only human and I’m a fan just like everyone else.  What fan wouldn’t want interaction?  More than that, I just felt left out, which, in my opinion, is worse.  I didn’t feel like I was a part of the fandom as it seemed that everyone was tweeting them and getting responses from them.  While I was always excited for them, it always felt like hearing about the party and not being at the party.  So, part of me is relieved that I don’t have to feel that right now.  That said, I wish that my friends and other fans who did have those good times with the band could have it again.  I saw how happy they all were when they did get a response from them. 

Maybe, for some of these fans, they are frustrated by what they perceive as lack of appreciation.  This frustration might lead some to seek other bands.  Others might also go for other bands to fill in the time.  Heck, even Rhonda and I are thinking about going to see Depeche Mode.  Yet, Depeche isn’t where I’m focused.  I’m focusing on planning the convention.  Why?  Some of the reasons are obvious, including that I know how amazing conventions can be and that I want a place for all of us to be able to celebrate our fandom.  An additional reason, though, absolutely has to do with my desire to belong.  I don’t feel like I belong to those TV Mania fans as I wasn’t really into Duran much during the Warren era for a variety of reasons.  Simon isn’t my favorite so that mustache-gate doesn’t work for me.  The band members’ lack of social networking time isn’t my thing for the reasons mentioned above.  While I could turn to another band, logically, emotionally, I can’t.  My loyalty is with Duran and with Duranies.  The convention is my chance to feel like a part of this fandom.  I also feel like the convention could be an event, a time, a setting in which all fans, no matter their personal perspectives can come together to celebrate being a Duran Duran fan.  After all, no matter the focus, the perspective, we are all Duranies, right?  We all the love them and, in the end, that’s all that really matters.

-A

Leaving a Light On

By Jonee Howell

At some point in January of 2011, I was using the interwebs for, I dunno, SOMETHING, and I happened to run across a blurb about Duran Duran.

What? They’re back together? When in the world did THAT happen? I have truly been living under a me-sized rock!

Confession: I’d followed everything Duran from the time I was twelve — I was one of those umpty-gajillion kids with thoroughly Duran embellished walls — until just after the Powerstation project, when I sort of fell off the DD wagon and into full-blown adolescence. Sure, I knew about their next couple of albums and I bought them, but I was no longer the obsessed fan that I was as a young teen. Life happens to all of us, right?

Anyway, this Duran blurb was something related to the upcoming release of AYNIN: exciting news, indeed. But what REALLY caught my attention was at the bottom right corner of said blurb: a tiny little black and white JT icon with a little @address beside it. Hellooo, old teenage crush! John Taylor is on twitter? Wow, I haven’t thought about him in ages.. Hmm… I might just have to take another look at this Twitter thing.

So I did.

I think that for the for the first week or so I just sat back and watched. I read JT’s older tweets, his mentions; just getting acclimated to the app and to what he had to say. It was absolutely fascinating, this method of communication! (Who knew??) Then one day I happened to be logged in when JT was on and tweeting, so I thought, “what the heck?”, jumped right in and joined the fray. Tap! Tap tap! S’this thing ON?

Tweet from Random Fan:  Surreal but awesome. 30 years later, getting updates from my uber teen crush, @thisistherealjt

@thisistherealjt:  Surreal to me also

Tweet from Me:  Surreal good, or surreal…uhh..not-so-good. Could be either, right?

@thisistherealjt:  good

(!!!!!)

Oh my god! Did that just happen? He talked back! (This thing IS on!)

I remember thinking, Man…my teenaged self would be flipping OUT over this. (I think my adult-married-with-two-kids self flipped out a little bit, too.) The JT I “knew” from all the magazine-printed facts I’d memorized as a young teen, the videos, the posters, the interviews… THAT guy was actually acknowledging the existence of ME (really, to me, my thirteen year old self) by typing a one-word response on his keyboard. All that long-forgotten energy I’d expended “loving” John Taylor as a kid came swirling right back up in a vortex of instant, hit-and-run emotional gratification. Can you say “hooked”?

That first little typed out word from him would be my tweeting gateway drug, and the beginning of my part in a running conversation he’d have with all of us for the next two years. One that we’ve all sort of settled into like a comfy chair.

During these couple years, I’ve tweeted to John (a lot! Ha!), read the occasional reply back, seen him perform on stage quite a bit, read his book, met him on a few occasions, talked to him a little. But mostly I’ve listened. I’ve heard what he’s said, and have sometimes seen the significance of what he’s left unsaid. He’s been generous in putting himself out there like he has. I’m sure it can’t always be easy for him to do that. Funny thing though, I would swear that he actually liked it! Liked talking with us, and probably liked just listening, too. It never felt forced or that he was doing it solely to promote something (notice i said ‘solely’. Even I’m not stupid enough to believe that wasn’t a part of it at times.)

But then JT fell off the Twitter grid. When he was quiet in December, and even through January, I imagined that maybe he’d just decided to take a breather from all things Duran, from Pleasure Groove stuff, from ANY thing that required him to be ‘on’.

“He deserves a break!”, I read so much during this time. “He’s exhausted!”, I saw. Absolutely, I thought.

He’d been working non-stop the last couple of years, so it was understandable that he might choose to self-impose a time out. To quietly turn off the blackberry and hide its charger somewhere safe–just for a while–until he’d fully recharged himself. He’d be back around soon enough (‘of course he would!’), and we’d continue our conversation as if this blip of silence had never happened at’all.

But winter marches on, and the lasting reticence of my twitter pal is deafening. Instead of an affable turning off, it’s starting to feel like he’s slammed down the phone and jerked the cord out of the wall. Like he’s made up his mind to cease all communication, period; to end this long chat with the sharpness of a director’s clapboard — SLAP! Just like that. Connection with JT has flatlined.

Others have shared some goings on over the last few months, which is cool. I appreciated hearing about his recent award ceremony: seems a lot of love surrounded him that night, which makes me ridiculously happy for him. He’s studied to become a half US citizen now — Love that, too. And he’s probably gone back to England, hopefully getting ready to start stirring up a lil Duran somethin-somethin. All good things.

But its just not the same, is it? A big part of the Twitter connection is the two-way-streetness of it. That even when he doesn’t say anything, the line is still open to say something to him. And I’m fairly sure he used to hear all that, and that was the special bit. For me, having John on Twitter hasn’t been just about what he decides to share but that he’s cared enough to listen back. Must be the extrovert in me that likes to know that I can talk to him and there is at least a chance that he’ll hear me. Otherwise, what’s the point of all this? I can get news from anywhere. It’s the interaction that matters, and for a long time we had it. Totally just a gut feeling, but I think that line’s been cut. Is it a temporary thing? Who knows? Was it something we said? No idea. One thing we can be sure of, though: he now has an “off switch” that is fully functional. And maybe that’s a good thing for him.

I’d love to be able to tell him that we all miss him around here. I think he knows that, though. He’s a pretty smart cookie. I’d also like to tell him that if this is something he needs to do for himself — for whatever reasons — that we’ve got his back (even though I really hate it from this end). And I’d also tell him we’ll still be here when (if?) he decides it’s time to open up the lines again. Cause that is what friends do. They leave a light on.

Mostly, I hope he’s so happy that he can’t stand himself. Truly, inexhaustibly, ferociously happy.

Much love your way, brutha. Much love.


Jonee has been a fan of Duran Duran ever since she saw John Taylor running down the streets of Sri Lanka bare chested in Hungry Like the Wolf when it came on Friday Night Videos (she was 12). She missed a great deal of touring since her first show in ’84 (life, college, grad school, family, yadda yadda), but has since come back into the Duranie fold just in time for this whirlwind All You Need Is Now tour. She loves the band and all the ridiculously cool friends she’s made through them. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, is the mom of two kids, and is currently trying to convince her sweet husband that she needs to see Duran Duran just one more time..

I dream of ostriches and chariots…

The mystery continues…

I cannot help but comment once again on @TVManiaMusic – and if you’re not following them on Twitter, you really should. As I mentioned yesterday, the tweets are mildly chilling at times, probably over the fence in freakyland, but amusing all the same. The fact is, they get you thinking, even if you’re not into seeing broccoli shaped as a purse, or an eyeball looking at you on someone else’s blog.  
I tend to be curious about the actual content of what is being tweeted – I want to know why I am looking at a lady riding an ostrich-pulled chariot, for instance; or what is significant about a voice-activated tape recorder (although one of those saved my behind in college, and I don’t mind dating myself to say that!!)  Though I suspect that it isn’t the tweets as a whole that should be considered, but rather that each tweet is independent of one another…kind of in the same respect as what would happen if you changed channels on your TV.  (TV Mania…get it?!?) These tweets are sort of like sound bytes.  If they had sound…. 
Others are obsessed with trying to discern who is tweeting.  Is it Nick?  Is it Warren?  Is it Katy?  (I said that if Nick was emailing all of this to Katy who then in turn tweeted – she wasn’t being paid enough. I stand by that assessment.)  My Twitterfeed was all abuzz last night with friends discussing the possibilities, as well as the freak-factor, and I too wondered just who could be responsible. Yesterday there seemed to be a preponderance of tweets with subtle messages regarding art, fashion and even pop culture…but there were also at least a couple with regard to every housewife’s favorite drug – Prozac. (Hey, I hear that’s the case. Personally I wouldn’t touch the stuff, but those are my own control issues at work and I make no judgements otherwise.) I’m still slightly obsessed with the idea of an ostrich pulling me around on a chariot though.  I think I’d prefer a male peacock.  More showy…  I still haven’t solved the puzzle of whom is tweeting, but I have come up with a question of my own.
Does it really matter?
As I mentioned to some friends last night, I don’t think the point of @TVManiaMusic is to chat with followers.  Maybe that will change (I’m doubtful), but I think the point is exactly what it is doing – it’s getting us talking about it, and thinking.  While I think it’s natural to be curious of who might be working behind the scenes, the goal of the twitter isn’t necessarily to communicate on that sort of level with fans. It is to get the fans talking to one another. It’s to market the cause. The more we talk, the more we mention the name, the more our own friends and followers get curious, follow and so on. It’s funny because while I do think the band has gotten closer to the fans as a result of Twitter, I am not so sure it’s an effective marketing tool in so far as sales. Think about that.  How many of us who are following them right now (@DuranDuran, @ThisistherealJT, @SimonJCLeBon, @DomBrownMusic) would NOT have bothered buying All You Need is Now if it hadn’t been for Twitter?  I would argue that number to be very, very few – if any.  However, @TVManiaMusic seems to be utilizing the media much differently, and while right now their follower number is low (if you are reading this right now and are already on Twitter – follow them – and if not, go grab yourself an account and get following!), those who are following are curious.  Curiosity might actually lead to sales.  
I still hope, as do the rest of you who are obsessed with broccoli purses, eyeballs and ostrich-driven chariots, that Nick or Warren will make themselves known…but until then, I look forward to being baffled yet again, and in case you were wondering, I’m very curious about that album now!
-R