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

6 thoughts on “Looking at the Reasons”

  1. Amanda, I thought you did a great job addressing the comments made yesterday here. It is not easy to write something that is not in full support of the band. Its been a very good exercise in writing. I'm learning just how succinctly I need to state my points, and that no matter what I write, there is always someone who reads what I've written differently. It's a constant learning experience, but a good one. (For me) Overall, I think its been a good discussion. There are many angles and nuances here that we couldn't even begin to cover in a single blog – and they continue to be expanded as people chime in with comments here and on Twitter. I'm still fascinated by just how differently people have responded here as opposed to Twitter, and I have to wonder why that is the case.

    I really have a difficult time believing that John isn't interested at all in fans. Maybe that is just my own emotionality and refusal to see what is happening right in front of me. In my heart and my head I have to think that social media is used for a variety of different purposes. As Bryony pointed out yesterday, it is very difficult to read his book and not believe he isn't genuine in his emotion and concern. I just think that at this particular moment in time, we as fans wanted to believe he was coming back to Twitter because he missed chatting it up with us from time to time, and instead – the realization was that he wasn't really coming back of his own accord, but that he is coming back to Twitter on Monday because it's a promotional event. I have no idea whether he plans to come back again after the event – and I'm not going to openly speculate because quite honestly, it would be of no help. It is simply THIS event that happens to be promotional, and like any other artist – he has to use the tools he is given. Fair enough. It's one of those times where the fairy tale doesn't quite live up to cold hard reality, and really – that's OK. It's not the end of the world by any means – but I can understand and even share in the tinge of disappointment. We can't expect it to change though, and as someone said yesterday – It is what it is. This is true.

    I know there are many out there that don't feel anyone has the right to be disappointed, to be annoyed or to even blog about it. I disagree. They'll be putting my dead body in a pine box before I ever stop writing about what I believe, and I hope that others do chime in. RESPECTFULLY. We spent far too long not being able to articulate what we think, and so yes – I'm going to use this tool, this blog, to create some of our own synergy. This hasn't been an easy discussion, we've certainly taken some heat for openly saying what we believe, but you know what? It hasn't ALL been horrible. I've found that I'm not the only fan who thinks the band could actually stand to pay a bit more attention once in a while. We aren't just there when they're at a show. We're here ALL the time, standing behind them (at least virtually if not really in person!) Over the past couple of days (Ok, the past week – but that's another story for another time), I've gone through the whole range of emotions – and despite what some believe, I am not the only one out there struggling at times with the idea of still being a fan, a true diehard FAN of something, at my age, wondering if it's all for nothing.

    The good news? It isn't. (all for nothing) Even if I decided that it was my time to go…I would still have a fantastic group of friends. I've watched people come together as a result of things I had a hand in planning, and I've learned more as a blogger and writer than I learned in the ten years prior. It was never “for nothing”.

    -R

  2. Thanks for this. Great summary, both of you. I've had another thought about his return and why it's not explicit about whether it's promotional or a full return. Maybe he simply doesn't know until he comes on to do the advertised, contractual chat how he feels about Twitter? After all, the central tenet of all 12 step recovery is 'one day at a time'.

  3. “Not here, on the blog”. Okay! I'll state my case here. I didn't realise I was supposed to comment here rather than Twitter.

    Firstly, I apologise again if you took offence, but I was not insulting you. I was referring to the contents and way the blog was written. I was not directly insulting you. Please understand the difference. You have noted above that you welcome discussion. Yet you didn't discuss, you immmediately took my words as a personal insult and discussed no further.

    I assume the Twitter comments were directed at me. I can assure you that I do in fact have a clue, and I was not calling people names or being rude. I'm also a nice person! If you took what I said as rude, then once again I apologise, but I suspect you don't understand my line of thinking.

    Had you written that to me, I would have gone back and reread my blog, to see how it could have been taken that way, and get a better understanding of another point of view.

    On reading today's blog, I now have a better understanding of your point of view. You also expanded on some of my points, which I appreciated, and once again, have a better understanding of where you're coming from.

    I was simply pointing out that the way it was written sounded like the pointless complaints of a teenager. It's not you, it's the way it was written. It just came across that way. Do you understand what I mean by this?

    Something else I very much want to point out, as I think our countries may have differing concepts of the term, is that when Australians begin with “with respect”, we are stating straight up that this is not intended to offend or insult. It's pointing out a point of view that perhaps others hadn't considered.

    On the JT thing. Yes, his timing is clearly co-inciding with the book thing, but he does lurk on Twitter and read about the various happenings in the Duraniverse. Even shoots off the occasional DM. So he is there, still connecting with fans, but just not publicly. This is a great excuse to launch himself back into the Twitterverse, rather than just say “Hi, I'm back”. We shall see!

    In the meantime, I hope you will accept my apology and try to understand my point of view. It was not my intention to cause a disturbance in the Duraniverse. 🙂

  4. You can comment here or on Twitter. The point that was made was that, for the most part, the comments on Twitter were in agreement with my original blog post and the ones here disagreed.

    You were not insulting me? My writing is ME. It is my thoughts on any given day and when you say that I was demonstrating “bratty” behavior or acting as if I didn't get what I wanted on Christmas, I will take that personally. Everyone would. Maybe, you wouldn't be offended by being told that you weren't acting like a grown woman but most people would.

    I appreciate that you wanted to clarify yourself. Let me give you advice. If you want to discuss points, it is important to stick to the actual points rather than making statements filled with judgements about how someone or someone's writing sounded. Then, it is more likely that a discussion can actually take place. I, like many people, won't have any conversation with anyone insulting me.

    -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!