Yesterday’s winner: Picture D
I don’t think it’s going to come as a big surprise to anyone who has read the blog…or knows me personally…that I have a bit of an issue with patience.
I like things to happen on time. I don’t like waiting, and being kept waiting is even worse. My kids know that if I ask them to do something once…they’d better get moving because if I have to ask again, trouble is coming. Nobody wants trouble, trust me.
So, when I say that I hate Durantime, it is from this vein that the emotion arises. (Yes, you probably should feel sorry for my children.) HOWEVER, I also very much believe my impatience, is substantiated in this case. I will reference a brief conversation I had with my dear blogging partner last night. I’m paraphrasing because there was a lot more being discussed than just this one thing…but you’ll get the point:
R: So I argued with someone about Durantime, because I dared to say that I think it sucks.
A: AYNIN WAS shorter. They toured (did a few dates) in Summer of 2009. It wasn’t a full tour, but we did see two dates. (Las Vegas and Costa Mesa, in case you’re wondering as you read this…) Then in December of 2010, they released All You Need is Now (single). That is 16 months from the final show that we saw (Amanda and Rhonda) to single. It has now been 17 months with virtually NO end in sight.
Let’s all take a deep, dejected sigh, shall we? Do it right now.
Go ahead and argue with Amanda about her dates. I know better (and she’s right on this one anyway). So while I would agree that this is all part of the process and they need to take their time to get it done the way they want – I’m really not asking them to rush, I swear I’m not! There IS a reason why I’m beginning to feel antsy. Even better? It’s OK that I’m starting and maybe YOU are starting to feel that way. (Although truth be told I was feeling antsy last May….but even I know when I’m being unreasonable!)
All of that aside, I’ve been thinking to myself as to why it feels so much longer this time, and for me, it really does feel like forever since we last heard great things from them, much less saw them in person at a show or even on TV. I made the comment yesterday that I don’t know how I survived before FB and Twitter… but when I think back to the years between Red Carpet Massacre and All You Need is Now, I recognize a few things:
1. I was not in love with RCM, and so for me personally, I think I was almost dreading the next album, assuming that it would be more of the same. I can remember hearing who was producing AYNIN and getting bits and pieces out of the studio, all the while wondering if I’d dislike it as much as I did RCM. I was interested, but a little worried all the same.
2. Amanda and I spent many, many hours writing the beginnings of our manuscript during that downtime between albums. We didn’t start Daily Duranie until September of 2010, so our extra time was spent writing. We were living in our own bubble of Duran, so to speak.
3. On a personal note, I had a toddler in my house back then. Duran who??
4. I never even had the smallest hope of seeing the band on Facebook or Twitter, much less tweeting to them and getting a response of any kind – vague or pointed, retweet or “I’ll answer you directly but I won’t use your name so as not to draw unneeded attention”. <insert smile here> So, it didn’t occur to me to miss what I never had.
Of course, it wasn’t long after we started the blog that John Taylor joined Twitter. He made the wait fun, as did Simon – who I’m not intentionally ignoring here, it’s just that he’d already joined Twitter many months prior (even if he didn’t use the account very regularly). Then Roger joined on Facebook and for a while, he even participated. Where IS that drummer these days, anyway?? The more I heard about the album, the more anxious I became..and of course I was excited at the possibility of seeing the band again too. I don’t honestly know when Dom joined Twitter, but I loved seeing all of them tweet. It felt like they actually wanted to talk with all of us, see what made us tick and get an overall feeling for what was going on. It made the wait fun. More importantly, it created a bridge between the fans and the band – something we’d never had before.
Naturally, we all get involved in things and can’t make our way to socialize every day. (Although I usually do… but you know, that’s part of the deal with blogging, and it’s part of my personality at this point. It’s the only way I can actually talk to my true friends, the ones I really care about…so I make the time.) I probably should spend less time on Twitter and updating FB so that I can finish the various pieces to the publishing proposals…. Maybe the band is similar in that they really have to remove themselves from the world in order to get work done…I don’t know. This blog really isn’t a statement of whether they should be on Twitter, or whether they should be engaging fans, or just sending me emails for that matter. HA! However, this post is a simple statement of my impatience, and the fact is – we all miss them, whether it is that we miss shows, new music, promotional appearances, tweets and posts, or all of the above.
If I could talk to any of them – and as is typical I must make the statement that I highly doubt any of them are actually reading my mindless drivel – but I digress. If I could actually speak to them, I’d tell them that while I know among the most asked questions is “When is the album going to be finished?” and that has to be incredibly annoying, I hope they can see that they’re actually MISSED. I know my counterpart never loved having John on Twitter because of any number of reasons that I won’t go into here. I, on the other hand, did. It wasn’t necessarily because I traded messages with the guy – he didn’t respond to me any more than anyone else, and many times I came online well after one of his much beloved “Tweet-fests” anyway and missed them…but the point was I loved just seeing a teensy snippet about THEM as people. I don’t know how to better articulate that. I know their music. I see their videos, read their interviews, etc, etc. But back when John tweeted, and even when he would occasionally post things on Instagram – it was kind of like getting a glimmer of him as a real person. That’s cool.
While my personal favorite band member hardly ever tweets these days (I’m looking directly at you, Dom.) – the one thing I do like about his tweets is that they’re rarely about music or the band. He’ll post what he’s watching on TV (Game of Thrones though? Really?? How about Sherlock?!?) or he’ll just mention that he’s out with his family doing whatever it is that they’re doing at the time. It’s not like I need or want to know when he’s going to go brush his teeth – but in some basic way it is as though we’re (collectively – the fans) communicating with him as though he’s a normal person, not just a guitar player for Duran Duran. It makes him more real.
No, I don’t really need to know when the album is going to be finished and they’ll be back on the road…I guess…but it’s also kind of nice to just be like normal people. Almost like friends, except that we’re not really going to meet for coffee or speak because there’s some weird unspoken “You’re a fan, I’m a rock star” deal. So bizarre.
I’m WAY over my allotted word count for the day (week!), so I’m going to go back to being unsatisfied and impatient, and you all can go back to whatever it is you spend your time doing each day. I’ll catch ya all on Twitter or Facebook….well, everyone ‘cept the band I suppose….hope the studio doesn’t swallow ’em whole!
(Yes Amanda, I really did use words from Come Undone to title this.)
Every now and then I read something from a fellow fan on Twitter that cracks me up.
The other day I was on Twitter, and a dear, kind-hearted fan posted that he/she was on a serious campaign to get the band to do a fan-cruise. Yes, you did read that correctly. He/she wanted to know my thoughts, and then they kindly asked if I’d be willing to start using a hashtag for a DD cruise to get the idea trending.
Now I’m sure there are many fans out there who believe, in their kind little Duranie hearts, that the band would love for nothing more than to spend an extended weekend with an entire cruise ship filled with Duranies. I mean, we are fun people, right?!? But then again, those who have been around for any length of time know what it can be like when the band is around. (What I wouldn’t GIVE for a good photo of two girls ripping each others hair out to get new John Taylor right now… Ok, here’s what we’re going to do: envision Sing Blue Silver and the rush that takes place when they open the doors to the arena. Don’t remember? Go get your DVD and watch it!)
The fact is, and I really hate using this word to describe my fandom – but we’re just a little on the overwhelming side. Yes, I’m aware we’re all adults now. Yes, I know that we should have outgrown this fascination and fantasy that we could end up with one of them as our forever mate. Yes, I know they’re all either married or involved. The question is – has any of that really stopped us?
I think we all know the answer to that. There’s really no need to embarrass ourselves by posting the answer. *winks*
However, even with all of that aside. Would the band really consider a cruise? I have trouble even asking that question without laughing. As someone reminded me – the band IS known for yachts and champagne. Yes, yes, I am well-aware. A yacht and a cruise ship are very, very different things. Somehow, I just don’t see Nick boarding a neon-glitzed cruise ship, ready for several days of chatting it up with fans, a few rounds of bingo and maybe hitting the buffet. Call me crazy. I can’t imagine Simon putting up with ANY of us for very long without being under the influence of copious amounts of alcohol (perhaps that’s the point?). Never mind poor John – I don’t think he’d ever leave his stateroom or balcony for fear of actually running into a screaming crowd of us in one of the narrow ship hallways. Roger – well, Roger might be found tanning on an upper deck, but he’d always have to be on the lookout for John hiding behind a planter, ready to take Instagram photos at any given moment. Funny, I could see Dom going along with the idea, but only because he has no idea what he’d be in for. (I almost feel sorry for him. Almost.)
As much as Duran Duran is known for being the jet-setting, champagne-consuming, supermodels and sunshine type of band the media and their branding has made them out to be over the years – the difference is that they don’t typically do these things with fans. Those that have seen those inner-workings are among the prized few. And, I would argue there is something about the fact that they’ve always been a little elitist and a bit removed from us common folk, that we secretly like. Maybe it’s a love/hate sort of relationship. We hate that they spent so much time portraying themselves as being above us when we were younger, to a lesser extent I think they still try for that image now, but in some respects, we love it. We love the chase. We romanticize the idea that if they’re really the elite and they’re noticing us…well…that’s gotta mean something, right? Self-esteem boost, here we come!!
Otherwise, what’re we all still doing here?? Is it really just about the music? Maybe for some, but for everyone? Give me a break. I SEE the Facebook groups we’ve been invited to join, guys. It’s not just the music between us. Sometimes it’s a little girl panic, too.
So, while I might be willing to board a cruise ship with my friends for a weekend of girl fun, I’m not expecting to run into Nick at the buffet, Simon at the art auction, Roger on deck, or John pretty much anywhere on the ship. (Yes, I know I’m leaving out Dom. Truth be told – I think he’d go even AFTER my warnings. Silly man.)
In my daily pursuit of DD news, I ran across this blog that I thought I’d share here… enjoy!! -R
I haven’t blogged about Direct to Fan marketing lately since the band is still in the studio (quiet as can be)…but I ran across something today in my mail that intrigued me enough to throw it out here on the blog, just in case anyone is reading!
We all watch videos on YouTube. In this day and age, I don’t really see how one can escape YouTube – we go there to listen to songs, see clips from various shows and TV, and yes, even the occasional music video. There’s a whole royalty payout system that goes on (or doesn’t go on, depending upon who you talk to), over there that I don’t really understand the full mechanics of – but in any case, it prompted a few folks to come up with a platform they call Audiam. Ultimately, Audiam seeks to help artists receive royalties from YouTube, as well as introduce new methods for exposure.
One such way they want to increase exposure for bands is by having the band encourage fans to take their music and create their own videos. The way it works is the band chooses one song and tells their fan base to make videos for it. That seems, well…like something that has been done before, but what’s different is that this time, the fan gets paid. *blinks* Wait a second, why on earth would a band want their fans to get paid for using THEIR music?!? Good question.
Here’s the scenario: Duran Duran comes out with their new album. They want videos for their music – so maybe the band decides to do a video of one of their songs, but there’s another song that they’d really love to use in order to gain more exposure. So they announce that they want fans to create their own video to the song. Granted, fans are going to get paid for these videos being viewed, but for the band – it’s about exposure. Maybe 10 fans who wouldn’t normally use Duran’s music decide that they want to create a video. They each upload that video and it gets viewed 1000 times. That’s 10,000 views the band didn’t have before, and if the band does it right, they can even have the fans direct viewers back to the original piece of music or another video of theirs from the fan-made video. It’s about numbers, and it’s very similar to doing an ad-campaign. For free.
The band has done a similar thing before when they did the Genero video contest for AYNIN, and TV Mania even allowed fans to create franchises and then submit videos and music in a contest. (Hey, did that contest ever end?!) This is simply another version of the same sort of promotion, once again creating a sort of “We’re all in this together” feel.
While I’m not at all sure of the economic viability in such a platform – for the artists or the company itself, it does seem that more and more these days, fans are being put in the drivers seat as opposed to being the passive passenger…or purchaser. There are still any number of annoying obstacles in the way for bands these days, as they stumble to figure out how to use many of these new platforms to benefit their bottom line and increase their exposure. I don’t envy those who make their living trying to figure out the answer to getting paid (from streaming, YouTube, etc.) or learning how to maximize the possible benefits to social networking. I see enough on SEO as it is – being told that we need links everywhere and so forth. My personal opinion is that while all of this is fine and good, the personal connection has to be there. People are far more willing to go out of their way for people/bands they like and who they feel respect them in return. The ONE thing I learned in sales was that people buy from people that they know, like and trust. It is just not possible for one band to know every single one of their fans…but they can certainly put themselves out there to try once in a while. It’s a good system for the people who are smart enough and sincere enough to put the time in to make it work.
“…and we unravel towards the place where all loose ends go.”
I love that line in Before The Rain. That song, off of AYNIN, was one of the few songs that I didn’t immediately love. It was a song that grew very strongly on me over time, andI know it’s one of the songs that I will probably always hold dear from that album. That particular line though, stuck with me from the very first listen. There’s just something about the whole “loose ends” sentiment, for some reason it strikes a chord.
I want to thank everyone for their kind words and encouragement towards our new site. I do like the way it’s evolving, and I think that as Amanda and I grow more used to the inner workings here, we’ll become more comfortable. What feels like a trial right now to us, because we’ve needed to change some of our processes in order to utilize all that WordPress has to offer, will become second nature once again. I welcome that.
Personally, I feel like this is the beginning of a new era for Daily Duranie. It’s the logical “next step”, so to speak. The timing is especially good because we had the old website set up (for the most part, although we did go through significant layout changes there once or twice.) during AYNIN, and now that a new album will be making it’s way, we’re ready for something new.
As we get used to this site though, I’ve been dealing with some loose ends on the old site. Saying goodbye, I suppose. I posted a message giving the new address, and in a couple of days, I’ll simply redirect the site to this one, and lastly – probably next weekend, I’ll delete our blog from Blogger. It is bittersweet in many respects, but on the same token I’m excited for what may lie ahead.
Right now, we have quite a few “loose ends” to get knotted before we can really move forward with firm plans for what comes next. I have the book proposals to work on. Amanda will be editing more chapters from the book and putting together our bibliography. (which is far more work than I would have ever considered!!!)We are still working on getting the highlight video from the last convention edited (no, we haven’t forgotten and we’re working to get that accomplished as quickly as possible, but we’ve run into several snags along the way), we have many more questions than answers regarding the possibility for a next convention…and in the next several weeks we’ll be addressing all of those loose ends, tying and finishing them off.
In the meantime, I bask in the joy of finishing a major loose end – this website!
If you have been paying attention to my posts the last few weekends, you know that I have been focusing on conventions, including why fans attend, why should celebrities attend, what kind of activities are found there and more. Based on those discussions and based on my research, I am starting to wonder what Duranies really want in a convention. I have described what normally takes place in a convention, including activities like vendor fairs, screenings, panels, games, and more. The post which describes all of this can be found here. I also know what took place during Durandemonium 2013. For those who were not in attendance, the activities we had during the convention included get-to-know-you as Duranies games, an author’s panel, a screening of A Diamond in the Mind, games, banquet with dinner and dancing, and late night clubbing at Late Bar’s New Wave night. Were those the right kind of activities to have? Should other activities be part of a Duran convention?
When we designed Durandemonium 2013, we had ideas of what had liked in the past at other meet ups and at the first convention we attended in 2004 in New Orleans. We liked having the chance to party with fellow Duranies whether at a bar or a club. For us, that party culture is a big culture of Duran Duran culture. After all, Simon does say that Duran Duran is the band designed to make you party. Yet, I’m well aware that there are Duranies who don’t party as much as say…we might when we are together. (This is probably a good reason why Rhonda and I should live far away from each other!) Thus, for those fans, maybe partying at a club or bar wouldn’t be that important to them. A lot of Duranies are collectors and spend a lot of time and money shopping on ebay or trading with other fans. We didn’t do much with that due to space restrictions. Perhaps, that is something a lot of people really would like. We did have a raffle with lots of great items to give away. Is that enough or would people prefer a place to just buy without having to worry about winning? Maybe an auction would have been a better route to go with those cool items. It seemed to me that most of the attendees at Durandemonium liked the screening of ADITM. I know that we loved it. Is that something that should always be included? If so, do people have preferences about what should be shown?
While we did have an author’s panel, we didn’t do much with attempting to get celebrities there for obvious reasons. This doesn’t mean, though, that it isn’t important to some fans. We are aware that it does matter to people. The question is how much does it matter? Would you only attend a convention if one or more band members was there? Would you want a convention with, at least, celebrities connected to Duran in some way? Would you want a focus that is broader than Duran Duran? Maybe, you would be able to justify spending the money to go if it was focused on a few of your favorite bands. Then, of course, more to the point, how much would you be willing to spend to attend a convention with a celebrity or two? We know how much concert tickets are. Would you be willing to pay the same as a VIP ticket? More? How much more? Then again, maybe, there are some fans who welcome the idea of getting together with other fans without the band being around.
I’m aware that I am asking for people’s ideal convention. Obviously, as someone who has organized a convention and planning another one in the future, I am MORE than well-aware that everything that people want cannot happen. Convention planners, like us, have an extremely limited budget (as in nothing, zero, zip, nada) and that other elements can limit what is possible. For example, at the last convention, we didn’t have a lot of space to do things like a vendor fair. That said, I’m truly curious what Duranies really would want in a convention. What would make you spend the money and take the time to go to a convention? How much would you be willing to spend and would you be willing to travel for it?