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.