Going Right Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Earlier this week, my writing partner dared to say, “Durantime sucks”.  She explained that she is impatient and gave reasons why she might be more impatient this time around than previous times.  Fair enough.  The blog post, which if you didn’t read, you can find here focused on how her fan experience and Durantime.  Yet, this post is going to focus not on how Durantime hurts me (and it does) but how it hurts Duran Duran.  It seems to me that fans just aren’t talking or thinking about Duran Duran much despite many efforts, including ours to keep the conversation going on a daily basis.  It feels to me that apathy is growing.  I’ll give you an example from my personal life.  Recently, Duran Duran posted a couple pictures of John in front of a computer screen with captions to increase our interest.  Now, I don’t think it is any secret that my Duran fandom is a big part of my life.  I’m half of a blog that writes EVERY SINGLE DAY.  We have written a book on fandom with Duran Duran as the case study.  We have planned a convention and meet ups and working on a future convention.  Yet, when those pictures were posted, I found myself (ME!!!!) saying, “Yeah, whatever.”  Honestly, it didn’t catch my attention or make me excited.  Then, what was the result?  That John did a video about his perfect album?  That’s fine–no criticism there, but it just didn’t excite me or interest me, when in the past, it would have.  This led me to start looking around at Duranland.  If I’m finding myself apathetic, what is the rest of the fan community like?

In general, it seems to me that people just aren’t that interested right now.  Conversations about Duran have dwindled.  Just look at our stats.  They have gone down and every time we bring up the question of why–we get the same response.  “There is no news right now.”  Twitter seems much, much quieter on the Duran front than it did a year ago.  Of course, two years ago during the height of All You Need Is Now, twitter was filled with constant activity.  I felt like I couldn’t keep up at all.  Now, I don’t even feel like I need to check in much to know what is happening.  What about Facebook?  Well, there are always groups posting pictures and things and some people participate but it seems like a small dedicated group rather than a vast population of fans.  Now, of course, you might be saying something like, “As soon as the album comes out, fans will be back.”  Will they?  Have they always?

Ask anyone who has been around Duranland for a long time about momentum.  Long time fans will point out that Duran often doesn’t capitalize on momentum.  The examples are many…from doing side projects in 1985 rather than continuing as a five piece, not touring after Liberty was released, doing an album of covers right after a comeback album, etc.  The time in between albums has always been a problem since the mid 1980s.  I am willing to bet that each and every time Duran has taken a long time between albums or chosen a path that doesn’t capitalize on success, they have lost fans or lost potential fans.

When I look around at the Duran fan community now, in 2014, I’m struck by the fact that the majority of us are adults with some significant responsibilities.  Many of us have families that we need to worry about.  Careers are screaming for our attention.  We have a lot of real life worries to focus on.  This makes it even easier for any or all of us to walk away.  We have other things that need our time and energy.

Now, of course, people are going to point out to me that they are still on Twitter and still talking about Duran.  Yes, I know that there are some.  I would point out that many of us who are still around have made CONNECTIONS with other fans.  Many of those connections have been made on tour or online, sure, but many of them have been made through attending meet ups and conventions.  Having time to meet face-to-face solidifies any connection made online.  I know that there are people I feel closer to after having met them in person.  For example, there are many people I now call friends after having met during the summer of 2012 during one of our meet ups and having the chance to get to know better at the convention last year.  These connections are keeping people in the community during this downtime.  I would go so far as to say that they might be keeping many of us…fans.  Certainly, we know that excitement is infectious.  Thus, if you are around other people who are thrilled about something, it is likely that you will become that way, too.  This means that those with significant connections will feed off each other once there is news and something to really be excited about.  Those without connections might not even care when news happens.  The band have completely slipped from those people’s minds.

Connections matter.  They, especially matter, in a fandom in which the idols take a long time between projects and don’t always capitalize immediately on success.

-A

12 thoughts on “Going Right Out of Sight, Out of Mind”

  1. Great blog, Amanda. You are spot on with regards to why connections are so important, especially in this fandom right now. Those relationships are what will continue long past the careers of the band, that is for sure. -R

  2. I agree, Amanda. We have a FB group where we all met through Duran Duran, and I can’t even tell you the last time anyone even MENTIONED the band, the new album or a tour.

    1. It is good to know that I’m not the only one seeing the lack of Duran talk. I’m hopeful, though, that groups like yours will come back simply because you have each other to build excitement together when there is something to talk about.

      -A

      1. Usually what we’ll do is try to find one venue that’s accessible to all of us and try to all meet up for a weekend. Otherwise, we all share our excitement and anticipation for an upcoming gig that we’re going to. But lately, there’s been very little talk about the band, and much more talk about life, family, marriage, kids, etc. At least we can say that the band brought us all together.

  3. Happy that, although there isn’t news on and connection with the band, in the fandom fans are close together, during the long waiting of “something” to come out.
    Happy that the band’s is still hauting our chats.
    PS. I do miss the AYNIN time when the guys really “were with the people”, kind of, on Twitter, FB…

  4. I think you hit the nail on the head. As we’ve grown up, our responsibilities have grown up as well. Duran has ALWAYS been able to suck me right back in; however, right now I feel a bit apathetic. Pics of my fave (the original and best JT) barely peaked my interest. Memories of being unaware of a new album and hearing Sunrise come on the radio, recognizing it as DD at the first chords, chills and tears…I’m having a hard time reimagining that excitement. Years later, new house, birth of twins, career jumps, and recent death of father…that youthful joy seems so far away.
    I’m hoping that all I need are those few new bass licks, drum beats, instantly recognizable synth notes, and Simon’s voice to break me out of these grown up/winter doldrums. A tour wouldn’t hurt either! 😉
    Thanks for keeping us ‘lazy’ fans in the loop. Your work is appreciated!
    -@suddsgirl

    1. It definitely sounds like you have had a lot on your plate and more! It is hard, I think, for fans to be there and excited when they aren’t around and when real life is so demanding. I only hope that all of us can be brought back and be brought back with the excitement that matters. Thank you for reading and commenting!!

      -A

  5. I never know whether to post here or on FB – I know people get passionate about it on FB, and would be happy to respond there as well…

    I am with Lori – stuff happens in life that pulls you away from paying attention to the “silly band” stuff day-to-day… but I can say that i have never paid more attention than now – after AYNIN and the tour and convention planning (still sorry I missed it!). Having actual, live, real people to connect with and share with makes all the difference in the world. Not just a DD board with random snarky people and their comments, but real people that I “know” and “know” me makes it different.

    I couldn’t agree more about connections and having that help keep my DD awareness on higher level in my life that it would be without the personal connections.

    1. You are welcome to post wherever you feel like! It is really about having actual, real people to connect with and share with that matters and works to keep awareness and fandom alive!

      -A

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