Do you remember the best days of duranduran.com? You know the ones – back when the board had plenty of members, and you could get on the message board day or night and keep yourself busy for hours because messages were flowing like water? Do you remember back when something would be posted, you’d comment, and then you’d have a difficult time finding the post without going back through 5,000 pages of threads? Then over time, the board slowed down. There were still plenty of posts, but most of them had absolutely nothing to do with the band whatsoever. Then of course there were the times when the board would be visited by some guy posting as stillbreathing. Ah yes, good times, good times.
Those moments ended several years back when the message board forum for dd.com was shut down and members were “encouraged” to cough up $35.00 (USD) to join the “official” fan club. For a lot of fans, this is where their journey with the online fan community ended. Jump ahead to late 2010, and it’s obvious that we’re starting to get a glimmer of what the dd.com forums used to be – but this time, on Twitter.
At first, Twitter seemed to be a useless time waster to me. The idea of “following” my friends, only to read that they were at work, school, etc. seemed so, well, dumb! I’ve had a twitter account for about 2 years now (give or take), and I never really got much out of it. I “followed” celebrities I liked (which seemed very voyeuristic to me at the time), and checked in occasionally. I’m even more fascinated when people I don’t even know start following me – because lets face it – my life isn’t exciting enough to attract attention beyond my circle of friends. Then Amanda and I decided that a good way to chat with fans about various DD news and happenings would be through twitter, so we set up the Daily Duranie account. At that point, Twitter started becoming more and more populated with other Duranies, and today – I can go online at any time, day or night – and read tons of DD tidbits, or get opinions from other Duranies about blog topics, their latest album or even their latest video. If that weren’t enough, Simon and John have graced Twitter with their presence in recent months. Simon has had his account for a while (but he’s tweeting almost daily now), and John has embraced Twitter with vigor. If you don’t think that Simon and John have added to the fun (insanity)…I invite you to be on Twitter when they are tweeting. Seriously.
I’m not the only fan to notice the similarities to the old days. Just today I read a quote from @Ramona44, “Okay, I just realised that this twitter thing is like the old fan forum on crack. lol No wonder why I’m here al the time. ha! #duranfanforum. It’s true…and it’s very addicting. Another buddy of Daily Duranie @fanGirlsOnline (coincidently she is also doing a study on fandom) made a similar comment today on Twitter “.in which case it’s like DDM on crack + an after-show-party showdown at the band’s hotel bar, lol. Wot a mess.” (please ignore the grammar/spelling – it’s a 140 character limit on twitter. We get creative) The fact is, with members of the band occasionally on twitter, exchanging tweets with fans – and with the tweeting back and forth with one another, it certainly does remind me a lot of touring.
Even six months ago, I would have gone so far as to say that being a fan wasn’t as much fun as it once was. The band felt incredibly “far” from the fan base, the fans themselves weren’t frequenting message boards, and while I know many of us were still looking forward to the new album – I know I wasn’t alone in thinking that the best times were in the past. Lately though, I’m not so sure. Seems to me that being a fan at this point in my life is liable to be just as much fun, if not more, as it was before!