This has been a big week for us. Perhaps, you heard that we started a little message board. If you missed that piece of news, you can get all of the details on this post here. We are a couple of days into it and I am already thrilled that we decided to go ahead and do one! Of course, as Rhonda explained in her post, the point of a message board is to not only foster communication and dialogue about our mutual interest in Duran Duran but also to create a real community. I have found in all facets of my life that connections between people really matter. At work (teaching high school), relationships mean everything. Studies have shown that students are more likely to work harder and learn more from teachers they feel that they have a connection with. I know that my job is far easier and more enjoyable since I have people I work with that I am friends with. Look at Rhonda and myself. We work really well together. Would we, if we didn’t have the close friendship that we do? I doubt it. Yes, we might respect each other but I think we work harder since we not only feel some obligation to ourselves but also to each other. This need and importance for connections even mattered on the campaigns I worked on. Everyone in the Obama campaign, for example, from the top down to neighborhood team leaders worked to develop and keep connections while keeping focused on the goal. This strategy really worked at President Obama won handily twice. I’m sure the friendships between the members of Duran matter, too. What is my point? Connections can and do matter. They really matter with fandom, too, and I am already seeing many connections being formed and renewed on our new, little message board!
Once upon a time, Rhonda and I frequented a little message board named DuranDuranFans.com where we met and met many others whom we now call friends. While we both spent time on duranduran.com’s then message board and on DuranDuranMusic’s message board, the one on DDF felt like home. Why? Simple. The connections were richer, deeper there. It felt less competitive and less judgmental than other boards. Instead, the atmosphere was one of support and friendship along with a heavy dose of laughter. I’m already getting that sense on our new home. I’m seeing people from DDF coming back and reconnecting. I’m also seeing friends from other boards doing the same. This makes me beyond happy–for them, for the band and for myself! I hope that everyone who comes to hang out finds lots of great friends! I still think it is pretty funny that I technically “met” my best friend on a Duran Duran message board. Wouldn’t it be cool if others could say that about ours?!
I truly do believe that the increase in quality and quantity of connections really work to keep fandom going! Obviously, message boards are such in that they create tons and tons of topics to discuss all the time. In this case, the discussion will almost always surround Duran Duran, in some way, shape or form. The members think and talk about Duran each time they log on. Thus, Duran is always on members’ minds. Beyond that, frequently, message boards can be places in which excitement is reinforced!! For example, I can already see how our excitement for the UK fans and those going to the UK for shows will be increasing in intensity from here until the end of November. Then those fans will take all that energy to the shows with them and sending it back to the band, making better, more enjoyable shows for everyone! The better and more fun people have at Duran events, the more likely they will go to other events, right? Simple. Give the fan/customer something of value and they will keep coming back over and over again! That can only help ticket and album sales!! It is a win win!
I’ll be really honest here, too. I think the message board is also a win for me. If more fans stick around longer, then I hope that will encourage Duran to stay around for as long as possible, too! I don’t want to imagine a time in my life when I’m not blogging, doing fan events, talking about Duran, buying their music and other products and touring. It would be like going from technicolor to black and white. My life would be very dull. So much of my life surrounds this fandom that having it end would be like cutting off an arm. I would be missing something very significant! On top of all that, I’m really looking forward to connecting with people myself. I LOVE making Duranie friends and I don’t get to do that much as much as I would like in the world of social media now. For example, I keep my personal twitter locked down–not because I’m that private of a person but because I teach TEENAGERS. I don’t want my students to see what I’m tweeting about! EEK! Talk about scary! That said, if any/all of you want to follow my personal twitter (@apustz) feel free to send a request. I welcome Duranies! Anyway, I’m hoping the message board will provide another area for me to wave my Duranie flag and get to know people!
On that note, I’m off to go check the board and see what people are talking about!