Last night, I was watching V with my family, and since it started to completely gross me out and disgust me (stay with me….), I grabbed my laptop and figured I could get some work done. Ha. I should have known better, really. I hopped onto twitter only to find Mr. John Taylor spouting some sort of nonsense about sticking around for the “Official” Coachella announcement (because that clearly wasn’t obvious enough for me to understand that while John had also told us all – liar liar pants on fire – it was very “unlikely” for them to play Coachella, they really WERE playing!) I’ve got your number now, mister…. It really was *unlikely* for them to ever play Coachella, but it was also really *unlikely* that they’d ever reunite with Andy again…and they did. *sigh* I really need to learn how to translate Duranspeak better than I currently do. 🙂 It wasn’t long after I tweeted back that yeah, he also had to stick around so that I and 3000 other buddies of his could give him a rough time playing Coachella after telling us that it was unlikely that he said Night Tweeties. (oh John, you’re a funny one, aren’t ya?) I won’t go into the number of times I refreshed dd.com until it was FINALLY announced that yes, Duran Duran is playing Coachella on April 17th…nor will I go into the myriad of reasons why I am not going. No really, I’m not going. Festivals and I are not friends. Regardless, I do think it’s a fantastic opportunity for them, and while I do have some serious reservations – I will keep those to myself until after the rest of the tour is announced. John says those dates are coming next week….we will see.
While bantering to John, I my mind wandered to a written “conversation” I’d had earlier in the day with Amanda. I’m currently working on a chapter for the book about Facebook and Twitter, and I’m brainstorming the topics that I would like to cover. I have quite a list going, but one thing we wrote back and forth about was that because of the fact there are so many of us who have been fans since our early teens or even earlier, many of us feel as though we know them. I would argue that yes, we do know them – we know exactly what they wish for us to know about them. The trouble is, and I think this is a common side-effect for any long term fan, we tend to feel as though there’s a relationship between the band and ourselves, and of course – as we know once we stop long enough to think about it – it’s truly just one sided. As I’ve mentioned before, the band doesn’t have the foggiest idea who I am. (probably a good thing) I will say that I’ve been to a few shows in my day, and I’ve had the opportunity to be near the front enough to gain their attention. (I’ve been taught how to clap properly to Red Carpet Massacre by John, I’ve also sang with him a time or two…I’ve had Roger attempt to throw a stick to me, and I’ve laughed right along with Dom). That said, they don’t really know me. I can’t imagine any of them would recognize me, and I know they don’t know my name. I might think that I know them, but the truth is – if they saw me on the street they’d walk right past me – and rightfully so. What really adds to the confusion of where the line between fan and friend really lies is the premise of social networking. Sites such as Facebook and Twitter initially began as ways to maintain friendship. You add “friends” to your facebook account, and you follow people on twitter. At one point, celebrities didn’t really utilize either facebook OR twitter – it was about friends. So now, we’ve got Duran Duran on facebook; John and Roger are on facebook, as is Dom….and we’ve got Dom, John & Simon on Twitter. Even I have a hard time remembering that these guys don’t KNOW me. I’m bantering AT them as though I’m giving a friend a hard time. (as opposed to WITH them, because, let me be honest here – they’ve never retweeted something I’ve said or even acknowledged me at all) I would never openly tell the guys they should stop coming to facebook or twitter, absolutely not – but I do need to remind myself from time to time that I’m just a fan. I’m one of…well…a LOT of people out there. I suppose this topic does tie in a bit with the validation topic from yesterday, but it’s an interesting facet of what social networking sites have done to change or evolve the definitions of celebrity and fan.
Which brings me to patience, of which I have very, very little. Not sure if any of you caught that yet. Twitter is great in that we get almost instant gratification since it takes place in “real time” – but that 140 character limit thing can be a problem. Then there’s facebook, which is much more an “at your leisure” sort of thing. Messages can sit in my inbox for as long as I wish, I can reply at length, and the pace is less frantic. In the past week, Amanda and I have expanded our horizons to include a new facebook page for Daily Duranie, and quite honestly I’m amazed at the differences in the fans so far. There are people we’ve befriended that are active both on facebook and twitter, and then there are people who seem to stay mainly on twitter and mainly on facebook. What’s really fascinating to the two of us, being the social science observers we are – is that the types of fans we find in either place truly differ quite a bit! It is a bit early for to draw conclusions on what I’ve seen so far, but it’s fascinating that the mechanics behind each of the social networking sites attract different types of fans altogether. I suppose it makes sense, but very interesting, nonetheless. Are you a patient fan, or more like me where you want it all yesterday? 🙂