Category Archives: Twitter

Fingers in my brain

Are you on Twitter yet?  If not, there’s still time…

A few days back, I noticed, thanks to Duran Duran’s Facebook, that TV Mania has it’s own Twitter. I won’t lie, I was curious. First of all, who would be tweeting and would I be able to tell? Secondly, what would they say?? Thirdly, I really kind of wondered if they’d use the account of all. Let’s face it, there are plenty of celebs out there that have Twitter accounts and never use them. So, I did what any other curious fan might have done – I followed @TVManiaMusic and heard nothing. At some point over the weekend, I wrote it off – figuring that someone on the “Social Media” team from the band set up the account, but that neither Nick nor Warren would ever tweet. Then I promptly forgot about the whole thing.

Well, yesterday late afternoon my time, I was on Twitter and noticed a few tweets in my timeline from @TVMusicMania. Surprise!! Let me share them with you…and more than a few came with their own photos to illustrate.

Is it possible that she’s been dreaming all this time? Heaven forbid that she ever comes down, for her fall will be all too sudden.


Wide eyed and restless, Sassy was in no mood to settle down.
















I found this in your purse.













They promised to keep all information entirely confidential.





















He would’ve been 32 this year. 




Job 17:14 “I have said to corruption, You are my father: to the worm, You are my mother, and my sister”















And finally….with bravado…
DESPAIR ONLY FOR AN HOUR A WEEK.


First of all, I want to know how they got hold of that first photo, clearly from in the middle of the night when my youngest snuck into my room. Back when she was about two, she developed this habit of sneaking into our room in the middle of the night. I would stir and there’d she’d be – staring at me. Scary.

Truthfully though, some of the tweets are very much on the other side of creepy. The “dark side”!  …“I found this in your purse.” I actually had to fight the urge to run to check!  ….”He would have been 32 this year.” And then there’s a blurred photo. No, that’s not creepy at all.  

If I have nightmares, I’m blaming Nick and Warren. Anyone else?

So I have to ask, dear readers – what does it all mean? Nothing? Something? And I forgot to mention that somewhere in the midst of the sudden burst of tweets last night, a very cryptic-but-not-really-so-cryptic map was shared. Not a single word added…just a tweet of a link to a map. Of Queens…because that’s not going to get speculation going at all, right?

I must admit, it’s all a little intriguing. (and creepy. Have I mentioned that?)  What’s even worse is that I keep going back to check for more! I have to applaud them for two things: getting my attention; and making me think. I like that. It’s been a long time since I was able to sit and overanalyze something to death, and obviously, we like that sort of thing here on Daily Duranie.  

On the other hand, I never thought I’d actually tweet Warren.  

-R


Am I the Only One?!?

This is a blog that I have been thinking about writing for awhile now and keep pushing it away.  I have been doing that for a number of reasons, including that other things keep coming up AND because I’m not sure if I will be able to explain myself well enough.  Today, I’m going to try.  I am feeling brave.

Since the election ended, I have had more time on my hands.  Yes, that is the understatement of the year.  How does someone like me fill up about 20-40 extra hours a week?  I pay more attention to Duranland, including the Twitter-verse.  In many ways, I have enjoyed this because I like to talk to people or to see what others are thinking and talking about.  As part of my more frequent observations of twitter, I have noticed a bit of a pattern.  This pattern, which probably won’t shock any of you, is that people tweet to John and Simon.  I realize that isn’t new.  Of course, it isn’t.  What I noticed this time, though, that I somehow missed before is that people tweet to them ALL the time, even when they aren’t on and haven’t been on.  Sometimes, the tweets will be repeats from previous tweets that was sent.  Other times, they will be tweets that people think would be interesting to one or both of them.  None of that would be that terribly noticeable to me but I couldn’t help but to notice the sheer volume or number of tweets.  In many cases, these tweets would be from the same people, too.  My timeline would be filled with them so I cannot imagine what it must be like to go on to Twitter if you are John or Simon.  As I noticed this, I obviously realized that I didn’t do this and wondered what they said about me.

I don’t tweet very much to John, Simon, Dom or even Duran’s twitter.  Now, I won’t say that I never have because I have.  I do it in two certain circumstances, generally.  I either do it when they are on and I have a burning desire to respond to something one of them (usually John says) or when some event is happening.  For example, I’m sure that I tweeted to John when his book came out and I finished reading it.  I also tweeted before the signing/book talk in Chicago.  Basically, I tweet when and only when I really have something to say.  I don’t try to find a reason to say something.  If I have something to say, I say it and I say it only once.  Now, I’m not criticizing the people who do tweet to them all the time or say the same thing more than once.  I understand why they do it.  I even wonder if I should follow in their footsteps.  I don’t know.  That is what I’m trying to figure out by this blog post.

It seems to me that the people (fans) who tweet to the band members do it to get a connection with the band member or to get the band member’s attention.  (If I’m wrong, please, let me know.  I’m just guessing here.)  I can’t fault them for that.  After all, don’t we all want a connection or be noticed by a band member, especially a band member of choice?  I’m sure the idea here is that the more you tweet, the more likely the band member would see the tweet(s) and feel compelled to respond.  I get that.  Maybe they are on to something with this idea, too.  As I have already stated, I don’t tweet to them very much at all.  I also don’t ever get responses from them.  Heck, the couple of times that John responded to a tweet from the Daily Duranie, he responded to tweets that Rhonda had typed.  Would I love, love, love to get a tweet from John?  Are you kidding?  Of course, I would.  Who wouldn’t?  I do notice that many of these people who tweet to John or Simon do get responses.  I have no doubt that some of those fans are the ones John even referred to in his book.  So, why don’t I follow in their footsteps?

First of all, I won’t lie.  I’m not great with social interactions to begin with.  I can observe until the cows come home but actually going and being social isn’t very natural with me.  Could that be part of it?  I’m sure but I don’t think it is the only thing.  Second, sometimes, I think I’m not a very good fan.  Why?  I don’t feel very comfortable doing many fan like things.  For example, I wouldn’t approach any of them if/when I see them in public unless I totally knew it was okay.  Why?  Simple.  If I was them, I wouldn’t want to be approached by fans all the time.  I would want to be allowed to go into public without feeling like I was “working”.  For me, it is a respect thing.  I’m sure that many of you are saying that twitter isn’t the same.  That’s true.  It isn’t.  Yet, I do have to wonder what it is like to get so many tweets at you.  Is it flattering?  Annoying?  A bit of both?  I guess there is a part of me that would be worried that it would be annoying to them, which is part of the reason I don’t do it much.  I would hate for them to see my “name” and think “annoying”.  Of course, if I’m really being honest, maybe I don’t think my tweets would be interesting to them.  Maybe, they would think they are stupid.  Again, I wouldn’t want them to think badly of me.  I’m sure that some of you are thinking to yourself that this seems particularly stupid since I blog about what I think.  Yes, that’s true, but the band doesn’t know about it and wouldn’t read a FAN blog.  Lastly, and perhaps, most significant for me is that I’m not friends with John or Simon.  I don’t have a connection with them (as much as I would like to).  I’m a fan of theirs.  They have no idea who I am.  Heck, even if we were friends (yeah…dreams are free) or had some sort of association, I wouldn’t tweet to them all the time.  I don’t do that with my friends or associates now.  It feels unnatural for me to attempt to do that with them.  *shrugs*

So where does this leave me?  It leaves me tweetless, that’s where.  It leaves me continuing to have a battle with myself.  Am I approaching this the right way or should I try to be more like others?  What do I gain if I do?  What do I lose?  How do you approach twitter with the band members and why?  Do you think I’m approaching it the wrong way?

-A  

And so it begins. Or ends. Or keeps right on going!

I think this might be the first day of John’s vacation. Or at least I hope it is. Seems to me that while the rest of the band has been on hiatus for the past couple months, John has been working overtime.  Maybe it’s not really “work” for him.  One can at least hope that he’s enjoyed the potentially cathartic moments that may have occurred while he has gone to several cities to read portions from In the Pleasure Groove and sign thousands of those books. I did see signs that perhaps the book tour got to be too much for him…anyone who checked out Facebook or Twitter last night may have seen the same.  Judge for yourself.

So I think a vacation might be good here. In fact, I insist. Looks like you both (Gela and John) could use some time off, and maybe even just a bit of sun.  🙂

All joking aside, I know many of my fellow fans out there that have commented, both to me and indirectly on Twitter that they were beginning to bite their nails in a sort of nervous dread for this day to arrive – when there would be little or no “news” from the band, and nothing to look forward to on the not-so-distant horizon.  What now?

I can certainly understand and even empathize with this feeling of uncertainty.  I’m not all that uncertain about the band and what will come next – but there is this sort of uneasiness that comes as a fan.  This is really the first “hiatus” that we’ll all live through on Twitter and even on Facebook to a lesser degree.  John and Simon have done such an amazing job connecting with us on Twitter – and even Roger and John (again even though he is less comfortable) on Facebook that many wonder if they’ll just vanish during the next several months (years?) on social media until they are ready to bring another album into the world again.  The answer of course is that I have no idea. If I did – I’d tell you all.

This problem all stems from the same basic issue: we feel a sense of familiarity with the band and the individual members therein, that is not reciprocated on the same level. This is not a complaint, it is simply reality. Let’s admit it, many of us feel like they’ve embraced the fans this time around in a way we’ve never seen – at least not in recent memory, and definitely not if you didn’t grow up in Birmingham or at least England back in the 80’s. I am not one of the “familiars” that stood outside of John’s home in the 80’s, and to the best of my memory – I never wrote a single piece of fan mail that actually made it to the UK. I am not likely to be someone he could pick out of a crowd, and we’ve never been formally introduced on any sort of level. I think it’s safe to say that aside from my sometimes slightly sarcastic and perhaps even humorous replies on Twitter (or Facebook), he has not a clue about me – and even then – I only mention this because he has retweeted @dailyduranie a couple of times. (to which I am always thrilled. How could I not be??) My point being of course that while I know plenty about John – or at least what he has chosen to share – it’s entirely likely that he knows nothing about me. I might not even exist in his reality. *gasp*  I know.  It’s hard to imagine, but there it is.  We try to chat with them when they’re online – oh believe me I’ve sent FAR more than my fair share of tweets to a certain @dombrownmusic in my day, a few to @SimonJCLeBon and even posted replies to a Roger Taylor on Facebook – but I think it’s important to note that most of above mentioned never really reply….lest we forget.  So now, when it is assumed (on my part) that many if not all will take a break from public life and retreat to the quiet (or semi-quiet, because let’s face it – they’ve all got kids or young adult children and we ALL know how “quiet” that can be!) confines of private life, I find myself entering conversations such as the one below:

Twitter Buddy: “Have you seen _________ online?”
Me:  “No. I’m sure he’s taking a break.”
T.B: “I know, but does that mean he’ll NEVER get online again? I mean, are we just fun to talk with when they wanna sell something?”
Me: “No.  I don’t think it’s that, but let’s face it – they don’t KNOW us. It’s hard to remember we’re not friends, but we really aren’t.”
T.B: “I know. I sound pathetic. I need a hobby.”
Me: “YOU need a hobby!?! I write a blog. That IS my hobby!”
T.B: “Ha ha. Yeah, but at least you have a reason to keep going. I’m bored, and I know how I sound – I send tweets all the time.”
Me: “Oh, I send tweets. I think we all do. We all hope they read them, and that we keep them laughing when really they’d like to commit all of us to the crazy house. It’s sort of the way it works, isn’t it?  The point is recognizing that yes, we really all do sound like crazy people.  I think it’s the people who act crazy and don’t know that they’re acting crazy that would worry me most.”
T.B. “True.  So, you think they’re gonna do those summer dates?”
(note to John Taylor here: I’ll bet you’re sorry you tweeted about MAYBE doing summer dates, especially if they don’t happen. If it is not to be the case, may I suggest taking a long vacation…perhaps very far from any sort of internet connection. Just for your own safety, of course. I worry for you. Although by then, if my calculations are correct, the Duranies will have already begun the process of killing one another off by then….so the problem might already be solved.
Me: “I sure hope so. It’s only November and I’m already bored.  I need to find a hobby!”  (long pause) “Oh wait.”

The good thing of course, at least in my life at the moment, is that as of Tuesday say 11:59pm my time, still before my birthday (…which is a National Holiday in my house. Yes I realize that doesn’t make sense. The kids still buy it, and that’s what really matters if you get my drift…), Amanda will be finished with her campaigning.  Happy Birthday to me!!!  (Ok, so that has nothing to do with me whatsoever.  I’m slightly narcissistic in my spare time.) She’ll be back to Daily Duranie, we have a surprise in store for our blogosphere of readers, then we will work steadfast on finishing the book, and we’ll have Thanksgiving here in the US, and then Christmas and New Years.  I feel the busy coming on, and I welcome the feeling.

So John, enjoy your well-earned break. (obviously that goes for the rest of the band as well, should they be taking a break!) We’ll continue blogging here – I sense there to be a blog about a certain someone’s experience at a signing tomorrow.  We’ll keep discussing that fascinating book of yours, and should you choose to drop us all a line – we’ll gobble it up like the piranhas you know we are, and then we’ll sit, over-think, dissect and examine our way through to the new album.  Good times ahead!

-R

Can they still be icons?

This morning I decided to do something productive that I’d been putting off, and that was going through the RSS feeds that I’d been ignoring since late July. Let me just say – there were thousands, and I have been a very bad girl for not keeping up with my reading. One article in particular caught my eye.  It was written by a fan-blogger, and the blog asked the question “Did Social Media Kill the Rock Star Icon?”

Fair enough. This is a question that Amanda and I struggle answering for various reasons. I remember being ten and falling in love with complete abandon with a rock star or two. Or five. I sent letters, then would trudge up the lawn to my mailbox each day after school to get my reply. As the weeks wore on, I realized sadly, that my confession of love and devotion was no more special than any others that they may have received. (And in adult hindsight I can see that it might have been flat out creepy to them to get a letter from a ten-year-old!)  I never did hear back from any of the “stars” I decided to write as a kid, but that never stopped me from continuing to tape pinups and posters of them to my walls, or from listening to their albums, or going to their movies. In my experience, if anything it made me even more curious about them, made me dream a little bigger, and in some ways – put them up on even taller pedestals.

These days, the scenario is quite a bit different, as Don de Leaumont – the author of the article mentions. “In these days of the internet and various social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter, it seems that the once unattainable rock stars can now be one of your thousands of friends on Facebook as they converse with you via their “wall” or their “tweets.” As a 38 year old fan of music, I find this to be a pretty amazing thing. I mean, it’s absolutely insane for me to think that I can now be in direct contact with the very artists that seemed to be larger than life. Just a couple of years ago, I wrote an editorial called “Twisted Sister Saved My Life.” I posted it on my blog, I went to Twitter and contacted Dee Snider, and within a few hours I had a direct message from Mr. Snider himself telling me just how much he loved my article.” 

I think that most Duran fans can relate in some small way to what Don is saying. In fact, just last night Amanda and I were talking on the phone, and this subject came up.  It wasn’t that long ago – during the days of Astronaut, when the band seemed completely untouchable, unreachable, and not the least bit human to all but the luckiest fans. In present-time, the scenario is different. At least several members of the band are “reachable” on social media. They post on Facebook, they send out Tweets, and many fans out there have met them in social settings away from the stage. Does this really make them any less of an icon to us though?


I suppose to some small degree, when you realize that the band can read tweets and respond at-will, that sure – some of the mystique vanish. Funny though, we’ve been retweeted by John Taylor a couple of times in the past years, and yet Amanda and I still get just as excited. It’s still John Taylor, and we’re still fans. When it happens, you can almost count on the fact that I’m on the phone as quickly as possible to Amanda – sometimes even interrupting her teaching day to share good news. I know Amanda and I still appreciate the music and the whole experience just as much now as we did when we started attending gigs together. Our 20th gig together was every bit as fun (and then some) as our first, although I will say I had less trouble holding the camera steady this time. Mostly. I think both of us still get completely star-struck at times. (Hey, YOU try not getting a little shy and tongue-tied when you’ve got a guitar player right in your face.) I still get giggly, and I still have trouble resisting the urge to look around when I think one of them is looking right at me, because really??? Looking at me? IMPOSSIBLE! Those are moments I refuse to trade, for all of the retweets in the world. I would imagine most fans feel the same, because that feeling is magical. It transports us back to being “tweens” again, if even just for a moment.  It makes us all feel young, beautiful and vibrant….even if you already ARE still young, beautiful and vibrant!  


Don de Leaumont goes on “These days young people don’t even know of a time where talking to your favorite rock star was a truly magical occasion or in some cases just a dream. I can remember standing in the freezing cold outside of the Fox Theater in Atlanta, GA waiting to meet Skid Row after a sold out show. We waited for almost an hour and gave up because we were freezing. These days, Skid Row bassist Rachel Bolan is one of my Facebook friends who have conversed with me a few times. It’s insane for me to think that this is all possible yet there is a whole generation of young people who take this for granted and think that this is how it always was….


I hope that the young people out there reading this realize just how lucky they are to have the accessibility to their favorite bands. Fan letters have now been turned to Facebook posts and tweets which sometimes earn them immediate replies. While this is very exciting a side of me feels bad for them. I feel for them that they don’t know what it’s like to idolize a musician or band so much that they have to use their imagination to think about what they are really like. I feel that they don’t know what it’s like to put a pen to a piece of paper and scrawl out a few pages of words, put it in an envelope, put a stamp on it, and send it off with hopes of getting a reply. Social Media really does seem to have killed the rock god and made them all just normal people with Facebook pages, instant messenger programs, and Twitter accounts. Again, this isn’t a horrible thing. It’s just different and something I never thought I would see.”


I’m not really sure how spot on he really is there. I know John Taylor has a Twitter account and a Facebook page, but that doesn’t make him normal.  Wait, maybe I phrased that wrong.  Sorry, John.  I just mean that he’s still a rock star, because it’s still his CHOICE  as to whether he actually chooses to reply to a fan. For that matter I know Dom Brown has a Facebook and a Twitter and if it even seems like he’s replied in my general direction I’m as giddy as can be, and I know I’m not the only one. No really, I know there’s a few of you out there because I’ve seen you post! Quit hiding!  


My oldest is fifteen, and while she does have a few favorite bands, I’ve spoken to her about this very subject and her feeling is that while Facebook and Twitter can be fun, she’s learned rather quickly that just because the possibility for access to these people exists, it doesn’t mean that everyone gets a reply. She feels that it’s nearly the same as having a piece of fan mail answered back in MY day. I really don’t know. I think it’s far more “immediate” these days, but I see her point. She’s not the type to sit down and write a letter to a rock star, or any kind of star really – and part of that is my fault, I think. She claims it’s “creepy and weird” to exchange tweets or even Facebook posts with someone from one of the bands she likes – she says it’s because she knows she’s only fifteen, and so if they’re willing to talk to someone her age, she has to wonder where their head is at. (Yes, those are really her words and yes…maybe she’s a little smarter than I am…or was at her age….) She watches how I behave now, what I comment on, and she sees what things I tend to cringe over when it comes to fandom, and she’s just learned to behave with a smidgeon more dignity at a very young age. She laughs when I get excited over something I’ve gotten in email or see on Facebook or Twitter. When I told her the story of my love letter to a American gymnastics Olympian back in the 80’s, she openly winced and said “Gross Mom, that is just gross! Aren’t you embarrassed now?” Well, I am now dear daughter. Thanks! (Kids have this fantastic talent of reducing you to nothing, don’t they?) Truth be told, she thinks I’m completely crazy with all of the traveling I’ve done, although she did admit she has great respect for the writing I’ve done and the various things that Amanda and I are currently working on. I guess she can live. For now.


More from Mr. de Leaumont: “Either way, I have to say that it’s a double edged sword for me. One side of me absolutely loves the accessibility that social networking has given me to some of my childhood heroes and other favorite bands. At the same time, a side of me misses that childhood vision that I had of these guys as I looked at their posters on my wall saying, “Someday I’m going to meet you, shake your hand, and thank you for the music you’ve given me. You’ll sign my albums, I’ll get my photo with you, and I will display it proudly.” 


I guess I’m behind, because I still very much have those visions. The posters, too. For me – I still look at the band and feel very much the same. I am a fan and they are still my icons. (but I’m not stealing anyone’s cigarette butts!)  What about the rest of you?  Do you think they’ve lost their “icon” status due to social media?  Let me know – make a comment, drop a line!


-R


PS – I’m not going to steal Amanda’s thunder,  but I hear it’s STILL easier to meet the President of the United States and get a photo than it is to meet any member of Duran Duran…..just saying.  

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

Doesn’t Have to be…Anonymous!

The Daily Duranie has been in existence for over a year and a half.  During that time, we have posted daily with the few exceptions of times without internet over in the UK.  Thus, we have had quite a few posts.  Likewise, we have a number of followers here as well as on twitter.  We also have a number of friends on facebook.  Since the beginning, we have had a number of comments here, on twitter and on facebook.  I hope it is completely clear that we welcome comments and discussion.  That said, as a student of fandom, it fascinates me why we have the most “friends” on facebook and the least number of followers on twitter.  On most posts, facebook is the location with the most discussion.  Here, discussion, sometimes, does not happen, which is okay as not every topic might be worthy of discussion or create a reaction, one way or another.  Yet, it is fascinating to me how so many of the comments here that disagree with us or with our readers are done under “anonymous”.  Why is that? 

As I stated in the first paragraph, we have the most “friends” on facebook, then on twitter and a few followers here.  Now, I’m willing to bet that there might be crossover between two of those groups or even three groups.  I’m also willing to bet that not everyone reads the blog daily or even weekly.  Nonetheless, we have way more readers on a daily basis than what our blog followers would indicate.  Fascinating.  Why is that?  Why would more people friend us on facebook?  Maybe, it is because it seems to be easy to friend someone on facebook or follow someone on twitter.  It seems to be much easier to do either of those things than it is to be a follower on this blog, since the formatting of blogger requires a different account to connect to.  Okay.  Thus, I can sort of understand why people wouldn’t indicate that they are followers here.  Why are there less followers on twitter than friends on facebook?  It seems to me that twitter is just as easy as facebook.  In fact, I would go a step further and say that twitter is even easier than facebook!  After all, there is no need for confirmation when following someone.  So, what’s the difference?  Are there simply more Duran fans on facebook?  Do you think that is true?  I won’t lie.  Rhonda and I would love for us to have more followers everywhere, but especially here.  We would love for the number of followers to closer match the number of readers we have on a daily basis.  I suspect that we would get more commenters then as well.

Speaking of comments, out of the three areas, facebook often has the most lively discussions.  (Of course, it seems clear that not every person commenting has actually read the blog, which is a little frustrating since we take the time and effort to write).  It seems like people aren’t afraid to disagree with our points of view or with other people’s points of view regarding some topic in Duranland.  This fascinates me as many people (not all) use their personal facebook pages when commenting on the daily blog topic.  Thus, people don’t seem to be afraid to put themselves and their opinions out there for others to read and respond to.  As for twitter, it seems harder to have discussions on there due to the character limit but it does seem and has been possible.  Twitter may or may not be as personal as facebook can be.  People can show who they really are and can hide who they really are.  Perhaps, that changes what or what does not get said.  I don’t know.  This place, on the other hand, seems to be filled with anonymous comments.  Obviously, there are lots of people who post comments openly as themselves but there are plenty of people who don’t.  Is this simply a situation of the pain-in-the-butt blogger getting in the way?  Maybe.  Perhaps, that is the case for some.  It seems interesting to me that many of the anonymous comments are one that either disagree with us or with other readers.  It is rare to find a comment that disagrees with us, strongly, for example, in which the person commenting is open about who they are.  Something to ponder.  If people aren’t afraid to criticize us or each other on facebook, why won’t they do it here?  What makes this place so different?

I don’t have the answer for that.  I can only keep encouraging people to comment here (again, I recommend following us here first).  After all, we are totally cool with people disagreeing with us here (or on facebook or twitter).  Heck, Rhonda and I don’t always agree.  I would like to think that we show people that it is okay to disagree as long as we do it respectfully.  Perhaps, that is part of the problem, though.  Not everyone comments back with respect.  Duranland can and has gotten ugly at times, for some people.  Could that be why people worry about commenting here?  Again, I use the example of facebook and say that there is a lot of comments on there.  Could it be that this seems more permanent?  Could it be that it seems more open to the outside world since as a blog, it can be read by anyone?  I don’t know the answer to any of these questions.  I would love to know what the rest of you think.  What’s the deal with both the number of followers and what’s the deal with the comments?

-A

Why does it matter?

This morning I watched a very short “something” unfold on Twitter. It was the first time I’d seen an exchange similar to this, and annoyingly (to me), I doubt it will be the last.

Someone had tweeted Simon. They didn’t get a response, and tweeted back asking why he never replies.  Simon posted (and this is NOT a direct quote) that it’s annoying when people ask that.

I wholeheartedly agree.

Tweeting is not a competition. Whomever thought it was? Let me expand a bit here. We have a profile on there for the blog aptly named @DailyDuranie. Amanda and I both use it – typically I’m the one on during the weekday and Amanda is on there at night sometimes and on the weekends. Sometimes, and this is when we’re really crazy – we’re on there at the same time. That’s joyous (For us, yes. You? Probably not!) and confusing for everyone, so we try (Well, I should say that Amanda tries. I typically just forget) to sign the tweets with an A or an R so that it’s clear whom is tweeting. We are currently following 486 people that include band members, other celebrities that we like, and friends. In addition, we’ve got 887 people following us. Amanda and I really do try to respond when someone tweets us, but as we’ve found – sometimes we just miss them. There’s too many of you and only two of us that do not sit on Twitter all day long. I pop in and out as I can, but I don’t stay for very long unless I get into a discussion with someone. I just can’t. Twitter is a timesuck and there’s just no time left for sucking! Conversely, Simon Le Bon has 71,500 followers as of this moment, and he is following 127 of you people out there. (Nope, he’s not following @DailyDuranie and I can’t honestly say I blame him!) Whenever he’s online – all 800 or so of our followers start tweeting him…so that leaves 70,700 followers (and then some) that are probably also tweeting him.  I daresay his timeline moves quickly. He sees what he sees, he replies to whatever he likes, interests him or catches his eye.

Sure, @DailyDuranie has gotten a couple reply tweets from John Taylor and even Andy Taylor before. So yes, perhaps that makes us amongst the few that have been lucky and that might somehow mean that I’m biased. Even so, I feel fairly confident that the rest of you can easily do the math here. One guy – many, many followers, tweets, requests for retweets. It’s just not possible to always respond. It’s not a competition, and Twitter should definitely not be the validating reason for remaining a fan.

At a time where there is much discussion about whether someone should start a drumstick collection or a picture collection from the band and whether or not that’s really “fair” to everyone else, I simply have to ask why any of that really matters? There are so many people out there that have never even seen the band live. There’s a ton of people that can’t even AFFORD to get to a show or pay for an album. I’d bet that most of those people would just be thrilled with a show and even without ever being to one they are still huge fans of the band, so why should I care that I’ve never gotten a reply from a band member?

Sure, having picks and sticks and pictures are great bookends to what might add up to be over 30 years of being a fan in many cases. There’s no question that they are desired items for a lot of people, myself included. Having John or Simon reply on Twitter can be exciting, of course. My only caution is to keep it all in context. At the end of the road – it really should be the music that is remembered and savored, shouldn’t it?

-R

Being Followed

It is pretty rare when I drive attention to a blog written by an ex-wife of a band member.  That’s not because I don’t want to support anyone, but rather because I would imagine that just maybe that person or people would prefer to leave the Duran Duran days well behind, and with good reason I am sure.

All that aside on a day like today, because Julie Anne Rhodes posted a blog today that I think is well-worth reading.  It is focused directly on people like you and I. The fans.  It’s a reminder that these people we love so much – the band – really do have lives that go well beyond the stage.  Before I go much further, the link for the blog is here.  Please read it before you read the rest of the Daily Duranie blog today.

Naturally, Julie Anne’s point is really not about fans, but rather it’s about the time taken away from her daughter when she was young. I truly admire her for focusing on that specific aspect because as I know myself, above all else – I am a Mom. It’s funny because as I’ve mentioned – my husband is pretty well married to his Blackberry. It’s something I’ve grown used to out of pure spite, but I have to say – a dear, dear price has been paid by my children. My two oldest have had their father cut outings and even vacations short in order to get back home in time for a phone call, a meeting or a last minute business trip. My youngest is quite honestly surprised when her dad arrives home in time for dinner at night, and I’m not exaggerating. Granted, Walt isn’t a rock star by any means, but he also doesn’t save lives and there isn’t anything that annoys me more than having our family time interrupted (or my sleep!) by the persistent ring of his cell phone.  I guess I’m saying that I completely get where she’s coming from, and perhaps that’s why the boundaries are extremely clear to me.

There is something very, very wrong when we believe that we’re owed or entitled to more than a performance on stage. Yes, I know I’ve written many times about how the band should be on Twitter and interact with fans. That is really as much a part of their job as it is for Walt to answer his cell phone on our anniversary, Christmas or even while we’re on vacation.  I don’t like it, but it comes with the territory. (Although for the band, I’m hoping they know when it’s time to shut the damn thing off. My husband? Not so much!)  Sure, it’s normal and natural to hope for a smile or a wink when they’re out in public after a gig and catch our eye. It’s quite another to expect them to take time out of their day when they are at home, or even worse – to resort to saying nasty things about them, their families, their children, wives, girlfriends, etc.  These people really are human, and the band is simply their career.  Let me just say it here: if my husband’s co-workers or customers start showing up at our house looking for him to sign things, that’s the day when the electric fence goes up outside!  It’s funny, because that’s exactly what we’re asking of these guys when we show up unannounced whenever or where ever they’re going to be. Happenstance is one thing, but continually planning to be where ever they are is another. I just wanted to applaud Julie Anne’s blog and hopefully drive more people to read what she has so eloquently written.

It is so rare when someone writes about what it’s like “on the other side”.  I really hate that the wives, girlfriends, children, etc have to be so wary of fans, yet as I just said – they have to be. I can’t blame them. It’s just a shame that so few put the rest of us in such a horrible light.  In just the past two days I have heard of no less than three people on Twitter whom interacted with Daily Duranie that ended up being someone completely different from whom they indicated they were online. Sure, that’s a common thing, but it’s still disgusting, and let it be known – I won’t support that sort of nonsense. I’ve read about a couple fans who have stalked specific members of the band, and to be honest it all sounds rather sinister at this point.  I’ve had to block two people from not only my own Facebook page, but also Daily Duranie. I’m not even a celebrity for crying out loud, and I’m starting to believe that April is the month for Crazy Fans. I’ve watched a swarm of fans continue to tweet Simon without pause until he acknowledged them, and I’ve just gotta ask “Why?”

As much as I study fandom – both the social and psychological aspects, I just don’t understand and will probably never completely understand why people do not feel validated unless a band member acknowledges them. I try to remember that fans come from all different walks of life, all different circumstances and perhaps the ones that need the most hand holding really do NEED it, but to pester as though you’re still twelve years old and deep in the throws of puberty? I don’t get it. Maybe it’s really that I just don’t want to understand that kind of thought process.

And now, I must mentally prepare myself to sit through Glee tonight.  I hear they’re going to perform a couple Duran Duran songs.  I can’t even begin to imagine….

-R

Andy Taylor’s Twitter Session

Today I have had a chance to read the transcript from Andy’s Twitter Session.  You can read it yourself  here.  There was a lot to read since the whole session took like 6 hours and I wasn’t able to read it super carefully as I have friends visiting this weekend.  That said, I do feel it necessary to comment on a few things related to this little direct to fan event.  First, I want to comment on Andy participating in something like this.  Then, I will comment about some of the more interesting questions and responses.  Lastly, I will observe how fans seemed to react to Andy after the fact.

Andy took time out of his day to answer fans questions.  As I stated before, this session took about 6 hours with a couple of breaks.  He let everyone know ahead of time that he was going to be doing this by tweeting it, posting it on his facebook, and sending an email.  This allowed fans to know exactly when they needed to be on Twitter and gave them a chance to think of questions that they might want to ask.  Some of those questions, in fact, included why he wanted to do something like this.  His answer usually involved that it gave him a chance to speak directly with fans as opposed to talking through a journalist.  This makes sense to me as journalists can distort interviews, leave off part of what was discussed, ask some questions while missing other ones and more.  In my opinion, this is great that Andy announced when he was going to be on and great that he stayed on as long as he did.  Talk about being fan friendly!!!  I also really like the idea that he wants to communicate with the fans without a middle man.  He isn’t afraid of us and isn’t afraid to answer questions!  Now, of course, John Taylor does something similar by answering questions that fans ask on Twitter.  The difference being, though, that John doesn’t tell anyone when he will be on.  Fans just have to luck out and there is no time to prepare.  Beyond that, he isn’t on nearly as long as Andy was.  To be fair, I don’t know that anyone could or should expect any celebrity to be on Twitter for 6 hours.  Thus, it isn’t like John doesn’t do what he should do as much as it is that Andy went above and beyond.   

During this 6 hour question and answer session, Andy was asked and answered a variety of questions.  Some of the questions had to do with what Andy is currently working on.  Some of them had to do with real life issues like moving to Ibiza, parenting, grandchildren and more.  Still others had to do with Duran Duran, which isn’t unexpected.  As far as his current projects, it sounds like his album, Motherlode, is coming along but that there is more work to be done.  This, of course, will be released independently, which seems like Andy’s way as he does like his freedom.  When it gets released, it will probably be released on vinyl, despite Andy not being a huge vinyl fan.  He does like designing the cover, though!  I was a little surprised to find that he views being a solo artist as a lot of work and classifies himself as more of a band guy.  Another thing that I was surprised by was that he like recording music the best out of being a rock star as opposed to be being on the road.  Although, he seems to be getting the touring bug soon, which I really hope is true!!!  I would love to see him live!  As for real life questions, I laughed that he won’t feel fulfilled in life until he is a grandparent but he doesn’t want that for awhile.  That reminded me of my parents.  They wanted to be grandparents but knew that once that happened they would now “be old”!  He talked about how chill Ibiza is and how the sunshine there is great but he does miss some things about home.  Now, as for questions about Duran, he was asked about his relationship with John and Nick, Reportage, and more.  As a John Taylor fan, I was particularly interested in Andy’s answers about John.  He said that there was no bad vibe between them.  When asked about John’s upcoming book, he did comment that in order for there to be juice about him, John would have to be able to remember things.  As for bad vibes with Nick, he said that there weren’t any vibes at all.  Interesting.  Reportage is a project that he hopes to finish and says that he isn’t the one holding it back.  Again, I find that interesting.

After the twitter session was over, it was clear that a lot of fans appreciated that Andy was willing to do this for all of us.  I saw many comments comparing Andy’s session with John and Simon’s interactions on Twitter.  Obviously, I totally get why we would want all of them to do this but I also like that they are different.  I would want their personalities to come through.  I also saw a number of people say positive things about Andy.  For some people, the fact that he did this also reinforced their belief that he is a totally cool guy.  For others, they became bigger fans.  Then, other fans started to see him in a positive light for the first time ever.  Let’s face it.  Andy has been a polarizing person in Duranland.  Some fans loved him and some hated him.  Maybe for those fans, they liked Warren or Dom better.  Maybe they didn’t like how Andy left when he did in 2006.  I’m just happy that this polarization seems less pronounced now.  It feels like people don’t seem so black and white about what they think of him.  Personally, I think that Andy has lots to offer and I hope that we all get a chance to get to know him better!

-A

Missing Out

In case you all didn’t hear, Andy Taylor held a little twitter question and answer session today.  If you all weren’t around to participate or see the questions asked and answered, I hear that the entire thing will be up on his website soon enough.  Anyway, my original plan for today’s blog was going to be talking about what questions were asked, how Andy answered them and even how the fans dealt with both him and each other.  Alas, this will not be the case as I was not around to witness it for myself, despite it going for over 5 hours.  (Wow!!!  Talk about impressive!!!)

Why wasn’t I around?  I was working.  More to the point, I was working at a job that doesn’t really allow for too much non-work computer use.  In fact, while I check my personal email and do some basic searches online during work, I never use it to check any social networking site.  If I must check facebook or twitter, I do it on my phone, which isn’t easy, either, as the building gives terrible cell reception.  Besides, even if I could do social networking at work, I wouldn’t really have the time.  In fact, there are many days that I get very little of my to do list done as one crisis happens after another.  I suppose this is the life of a special education teacher working with the intense population that I do.  Just to give you an example from this morning, I was getting ready to go to one class when one of my assistants comes in to report inappropriate behavior.  This behavior is such that I knew the information had to go straight to the assistant principal, which I did.  The principal wanted me to get the child from class and put him in Detention (our room for children who have been misbehaving).  Unfortunately, I had to be in the class so I had to go to a different class to get a different assistant to cover me.  Then, the principal asks me to get another child as he was a witness to a crime out in the community.  On the way to retrieve these two children, a colleague stopped me as a student we share who had left the building and wanted to know if I had information to find him.  Therefore, at that given moment, I literally had to be in 4 different places.  My point in telling this is to explain why I don’t have the time for much fun at work!  Of course, it also explains why I’m so tired and need to go on tour!  LOL!  

Andy’s twitter session began at 10 am, my time, right in the middle of work.  Now, I could try to take the time to read through his tweets and others, but I don’t really have the time for that either as I have plans this evening.  In fact, I have plans in about 30 minutes.  Perhaps, I will take the time tomorrow to try and catch up with what took place in order for me to properly write about it.  Right now, I have the sense that I won’t ever be able to really catch up, though, based on the nature of twitter.  I might see the completed transcript when it gets posted but I doubt that will adequately describe the mood, the energy, the reactions from the fans and that’s what really matters to me.  Yes, yes, I definitely want to know what Andy said.  Of course, I do.  Yet, Rhonda and I are students of fandom, of popular culture.  We need to see what fans do and say in order to begin to understand why.  We know how we think and act but we doubt that we represent all of Duranland!  Thank goodness!  Maybe Rhonda, who did have a chance to witness some of it, will want to blog about it later. 

Obviously, my situation isn’t unique or even that note-worthy, really.  Yet, missing out on things in fandom is part of fandom, too!  Everyone misses things.  Everyone.  All of the members have missed things.  It happens.  I know that and understand that.  It doesn’t feel very good, though…as I glance at all the tweets going back and forth between Andy and fans and between fans and fans as it looked like a ton of fun.  It, especially, doesn’t feel good after having a tough day at work.  For me, fandom has always been a lovely escape from the harsh real world that I work in and today was never a more obvious contrast.  I’m sure that I’ll give over being bummed about missing out today and about how I wasn’t able to give you guys the blog post you were hoping for!  As I stated earlier, I do have plans this weekend, which will definitely help.  Perhaps, some of you will summarize the twitter-a-thon in such a way that I will feel like I was there and was a part of it.  You all could share some suggestions on how you deal with being bummed about missing events experiences in fandom.  After that, maybe, I’ll feel better.  Of course, a good dinner, a couple of friends and a few drinks will help, too!  I know this much.  Tomorrow is a new day and there will be more to participate in and more to witness in the land of fandom and Duranies. 

-A