Is Anyone Out There?

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

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

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

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

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

-A

 

29 thoughts on “Is Anyone Out There?”

  1. I think the “off line” fans stop “following” the guys' happenings 'coz they got a life to live, a family to enjoy: that's how the ones I know justified with me their “absence” from the fandom.
    How I think do they get updates? The traditional media are today rplaced by Twitter and Facebook and I kind of noticed that they're often more updated than their official website is.
    The Fan Community Message Board, I agree, is like a ghost town, I regret for saying that: the Forum is a desolated land: what to do to revamping it? Simply finding a moderator who talks to the fans, who interacts with us as the band “HQ” do outside.
    Second Life? It's a place for parties, not a place for news.
    So, my lazy friends, former DD fans, are spending their lives having a great time and when they find some spare time they use the band's FB or Twitter to get news on the band. Ha!

  2. Everywhere we go – including The Killers concert the other night, I find Duranies that didn't know we had such a thriving community online. That kind of thing blows my mind, just because you'd think most people had SOME sort of access to the internet these days. Maybe I need to open my eyes a bit wider to the world. I live in Orange County, where everyone is connected, plugged in and probably “wired to the back teeth”, as John says in his book. (although not in quite the same context…LOL)

    On the other hand, I wonder where all the Duranies who were on DDM once really went. Did they just quit? Did they move on, grow up…get frustrated….??? Are they still out there?? This past week I've read so many messages from people who say they miss “The old DDM”. I find that comment and others like it very interesting because I have to wonder what made “The old DDM” so much different. The process is the same. The forum is the same. So what changed? THE MEMBERS.

    Why? And why can't we replicate that somewhere else?

    Maybe some things just aren't meant to continue forever….. I don't really know.

    Good questions. I wonder if we can come up with some answers. 🙂

    -R

  3. Or maybe I should just start a new message board…if we had a message board, between that, the blog, our convention and meetups, we'd pretty much have the fan community thing locked up.

    Naturally, we wouldn't have presales or be able to offer VIP stuff, but to be honest – I don't NEED that in a fan community anyway. I mean, someone else can do that stuff. I'm more interested in making this FUN for the fans.

    -R

  4. I think your analysis about DDM and social networking sites are right on. That said, I find those “fans” who say that they aren't online because they have a life or a family, offensive. I absolutely do have a life and a family AND can be part of this fandom. That is a lame excuse from people who don't seem much like fans, to me.

    -A

  5. having been a part of other forums where this has happened, i definitely agree what makes a community a thriving, interesting forum/whatever are the people.

    when a chat room i belonged to (this was well over a decade ago) started dying, people stopped visiting. perhaps they got real lives. maybe others found actual forums for the band where they wouldn't gave to sit around hoping to catch the right people. regardless, it splintered.

    the same thing happened with the dd online fanbase. everyone who had been a part of one place is now spread throughout what could be dozens of sites. and none of these places are thriving; you have to log off for a month to find ten threads with new posts. by then many of them are old, obviously, and you'd be that guy, coming in after everyone else has moved on.

    i would love it if there could be an online community that had a large, active list of participants.

  6. Me too. I think a lot of people joined DDM thinking that it would be this amazing experience, and perhaps for a while it was. After that 2005 tour though, people started having difficulty justifying the expense of membership, due in part to the fact that the band wasn't doing a huge tour at the time, Andy had parted ways from the band, and let's face it – DDM never quite lived up to the hype. So people started letting their membership lapse. Then others stopped posting, and because the boards weren't getting as much usage, people stopped checking, or didn't check as often. And now – it is apparently a ghost town of sorts.

    I like the idea of a central, online community. It seems to me that there must be a way to reach out to many of the groups out there and come up with some sort of umbrella site that connects everyone. Hmm…

    -R

  7. It's true though. I feel like there are so many different websites and forums that it's now been diluted and people are bored with them. I really wish there was 1 website/forum that people would go to that was fun and interactive. DDM forums are a joke. I might check them maybe once a month, and then there isn't anything on them that keeps me there or interested.

    I'm really thankful that you guys are here, and provide an avenue for us Duranies that are online and seeking out a community.You should feel really good about that!!!:)

  8. I know a lot of non US and non UK Duran fans avoid DDM and a couple of the boards because they are dominated/cater to (particularly) US interests. This isn't a criticism, but just an observation. Fans seem to prefer to mingle with those who can relate to their experience. I know from about 2005 onwards it became very obvious that DDM put 95% of their effort into the US/UK fans…so why stick around when you get ignored?

    There's plenty of fans in other markets and areas, they just hang out with their own folks generally. The Australian fanbase is very active.

  9. I use to get online back in 95, but with a very slow, and crappy computer, but not once at that time did I think that there might be Duran Duran sites/boards, so of course I never looked. Then I lost online access for several years, except to occasionally get on at a friends house. In 2010 a neighbor set me up with a Facebook account, so that I could come over, and play Farm Ville with him. Though I still did not have online at my house, I was also still visiting a friend every other month, or so who lives South of Oklahoma City where I was living at the time, and would get online there to access my Facebook account as well. He also helped me set up a Yahoo account too, but again during that time I still had no idea that Duran Duran was online, and didn't think to look either. In Nov. 2011 while visiting my best friend, I suddenly got a wild haired idea to see if Duran Duran had a Facebook band page, and guess what?! They did, and that is where I found out that not only did they have a new album out, but they were on tour as well. But to make a long story short, I would never have realized that their was a Duranie community online if I had not gotten that wild haired idea, and searched. Since then I have found other Duranie sites (obviously), but the few I first encountered are as mentioned, now ghost towns. Thank the Gods for Daily Duranie, I am so glad that I found this blog.
    As to how to find other Duranies, or maybe get a central Duranie hub going, I'm not sure how to do that, but it would be nice. It sure would have been a big help to me when I first got back online in 2010. Though I did have a thought, that could be useful, if we could find someone with the knowledge to put it into action. Remember when you first sign up for Facebook, and in the profile it asks about music interests? Well my thought is what if there's a way to get a notification on a (central site?), or something similar, whenever someone checks off Duran Duran, or one of the band members as a music interest. Then send them a friend request to introduce them to Durandom online. That way instead of them either never knowing about Duranies online, or having to seek us out, we seek them out, and invite them to play. But a central site would be helpful, or even just a few Duranies set up to be notified when a Duran Duran interest is checked. What do you guys think of that idea, could that work? And if so does anyone know how, or know someone who would know how to set something like that up?
    By the way as my own small attempt to help spread the word of Durandemonium, I now have a poetry page, and have included in my events section a link to the Durandemonium web site, I hope you guys don't mind? Here's the link if you want to check it out for yourselves, http://kijanipaca.wix.com/feywynns-poetry ,

  10. Hi! I'm new to your blog and I have been finding it really interesting reading some of the entries over the last couple of weeks.

    The original question you asked how do fans find out what is going on with the band if they are not online. Well, I personally know one person who doesn't have access to the internet, and she actually writes me letters, about once every 3/4 months a year. She doesn't just write about DD related stuff, but anything, but will ask me what is going on in the world of DD. I also wouldn't say she was just a casual fan either, she just doesn't have access to the internet.

    So that's one way some people can find out news, as long as there are others that are willing to write a letter on paper! Sometimes you can't beat a good old fashioned letter.

    I myself use twitter to find out DD related news, and from the old days of forums I am in touch with a small group of fans who keep in touch by email. I have found myself missing the old days of interaction on forums, the friendships you could make, the excitment of chatting about and upcoming tour/album. Most forums that are still going, as somebody else said, you have to log off for a month to find new posts.

    And by the way, I think it would be an excellent idea if you set up your own message board. I think you'd certainly have people posting. Myself and a friend were recently discussing how we have missed forums so you have two posters straight away :), and it seems that you get quite a lot of comments here to see that it could be a fun and thriving forum. I would certainly join, and I'd try and round up any friends I have that also miss those days.

  11. Can I straddle the line on this one…because I see it both ways? I agree with a few of the earlier posters who talked about other stuff (family) getting in the way of active fan participation. Although I would make a distinction between the generic term “family” and “children.” Between work and the kids, I simply have less time to devote to anything than I did, say, 7 or 8 years ago. It's just a fact-there aren't enough hours in the day. I'm fans of other things–e.g. NFL, MLB, reading, certain t.v. shows–as well as things I used to do an want to get back into (e.g. running and writing)–so with all of that, it's a zero sum game as far as the time I devote (e.g. when it's the fall I'm online doing fantasy football all the time, which means everything else takes a back seat…). I guess one could argue that it means I'm less of a fan–I should make DD the #1 thing at all times–but in my mind, it doesn't…I'm still playing them in the car or on my iPod nearly every day…making mixes…trying to like Man Who Stole a Leopard…

    But–to one of Daily Duranie's points–if anyone out there dismisses making connections w/ other fans as a huge and rewarding part of DD fandom…then they are sadly mistaken. And if they can't devote even a little time of whatever percentage of time they devote to Duran on a weekly or daily or monthly basis–then they are missing out. I never would have said that a few years ago but it's true.

    This post is an example…I have two crazy boys under the age of 4 attacking me. I must sign off…dang…and here I had more “Man who stole a Leopard” jokes ready to go…

  12. We are glad that you found us, too! I definitely think there needs to be a hub and Duran's facebook wouldn't do it. There is little means of interaction and nothing beyond the official news.

    As far as promoting Durandemonium goes, we love it! The more people there, the better!

    -A

  13. I wouldn't be opposed to writing old-fashioned letters but how would I know where, who to write to?

    As for setting up our own message boards, you just never know when Rhonda and I are crazy enough to do it. After all, that is what happened with the convention!!

    Glad that you found the blog!

    -A

  14. I certainly wasn't arguing that one should neglect one's family or children for fandom but the idea that it means you can't be a fan and be a parent is just silly. Clearly, you do. Clearly, Rhonda does. Likewise, I'm able to maintain a job or two and still be a fan.

    As far as making connections go, I think that is truly the most important part of fandom.

    -A

  15. Lonely Satellites mainly – it was a very active board and now FB. LS has existed for about a decade.

  16. Yes, I understand that on Facebook there is little interaction, but could it not still be employed as a touch stone for first contact, a way to greet people, and tell them about the Duran Duran sites/boards?

  17. My computer, and my cell phone are both in homage to Duran Duran, though I do not listen to their music on a daily, or even weekly basis. Every morning when I wake up, and this has been a constant in my life, I have music going on in my head, usually just one different song a day. I do not even get pick the song, I just wake up with a song playing in my head. But since seeing Duran Duran in concert last year, lately every morning it has been a Duran Duran song playing in my mind. So I haven't really needed to play their music as much, because I wake up every morning hearing it in my head.

  18. Glad to hear you wouldn't be opposed to writing old fashioned letters.

    I simply got in touch with my friend in Holland thru another DD fan friend of mine who likes to write letters (she does have internet access!)that used to publish her own magazine four times a year. Unfortunately, she has now stopped the magazine due to lack of interest from people so I'm not sure how you would find people that wanted to write. Most of my recent friends I've got in touch with thru Duran were from the old message board. My friend in Holland is interested in writing to new DD fan contacts, if you wanted to to write, and also have the interest, then I could email you thru your dailyduranie email. (I would write and ask her if she wanted me to pass on her details) I hope that is not sounding forward at all.

    And if you do set up a forum, I would certainly look out for it. I do miss the interaction with fans, emailing is great but it's great to have discussions with other fans too, so also thanks for this blog.

  19. A decade is seriously long term these days – that is to be commended! Do you know who the organizers of that board? I'd love to get in touch and do something for Daily Duranie with them! -R

  20. So, late to the comments but wanted to put in my two cents 🙂 I am ~ and like many of you, have been a huge fan since way back in the 80's. I joined DDM in 2004 for the presales, and still hold my membership there. Anyhow, I occasionally read the boards on DDM and visit this blog. Of course I get my DD news & happenings online. But I normally more of a lurker than anything else. I am somewhat introverted and always feel awkward meeting new people. One of the things I love about seeing DD up close & personal (despite the obvious, lol!) is that I never feel alone at their shows. I am lucky enough to have a few girlfriends to go to shows with… however I am also lucky enough that my job and my hubby allow me to go to a LOT of shows. Sadly more than my DD girlfriends can attend. People always ask me if it's weird to travel & go to concerts alone but as I am sure you guys know, it totally isn't. At least with this community. Every time I travel I get a vip or early entry ticket and there are always other crazy DD fans to make friends with.

    That having been said though…there are also DD fans who meet up at concerts in large groups, many of whom I recognize by face. As a socially awkward person, I have a hard time acknowledging them with more than a nod or a smile even though I recognize them from show to show (waiting in line for so many hours, lots of time to people watch, lol) Likewise on the DDM boards or whatnot, it feels strange to but into conversations and say, “hey I saw you at…” And of course as many have mentioned DDM board posters can be less than kind at times. So when I see a large group of fans, maybe one or two are friendly people who look familiar but one or two maybe someone I recognize as being kind of a jerk online, so I just keep quiet & keep to myself. Personally I have enough drama to deal with in my everyday life and will definitely NOT seek it out during Duran time.

    I've made some great friends through traveling alone to see DD, and I have renewed and maintained some great friendships through DD. But do you remember the Seinfeld episode (sorry I don't remember which one) where Jerry makes a statement to the effect of he already has three friends and doesn't need anymore? That sounds so cold and callous but as a person who is easily overwhelmed by social stuff that statement sort of makes sense to me.

    So, maybe some of the non-participatory fans are also a little awkward? Or they are fulfilled with what they have and are not seeking new involvements?

  21. Would you believe it if I tell you that I, too, feel awkward meeting new people? While I think it is very cool that you feel good going to shows alone, I would hope you would consider coming to one of our meetups, sometime, if we are at the same show.

    All of that said, I suppose you are right. There definitely can be fans who don't really want/need to meet with other fans or might be content with where they are.

    Thank you for your comments.

    -A

We (Amanda and Rhonda) appreciate discussion and differences of opinion. We respectfully ask that you fully read the blog before bitching us out. If you're only here to take us down a notch, note that we moderate replies (meaning we're not printing rude comments). Thanks a bunch!

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