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?
Sometimes I just have to wonder.
Like many of you, I saw the tweets for John Taylor’s 2013 year end mixtape: the music that got him through the year, kept him inspired…and whatnot. I sped through it the first time I listened, primarily because I didn’t have time to sit and listen to the entire thing. I will admit, his choices didn’t necessarily bowl me over, but I didn’t really expect otherwise. He and I are very different in our musical tastes (oddly, given he’s in the band I’ve loved since childhood…), but on the same token – it’s how we learn, isn’t it? We try new things. We keep introducing new things to our palette. What you might not like the first time may grow on you. At least, that’s what I tell my kids as I’m serving them another helping of brussels sprouts. So I’m listening…really listening…again today.
I joked with a few friends on Twitter several days ago, when we saw yet another tweet suggesting the mixtape – I couldn’t remember the last time something had been tweeted about so often by the band, and I didn’t understand why this was such a big deal. I’d mused that maybe very few people had listened, but I didn’t check at the time, and quickly forgot about it until this morning.
So when I clicked on the link this morning and found that just over 5,000 people had listened – I was a little surprised. On Facebook alone, Duran has over two million “likes”, and yet only just over 5,000 care enough to click? Why is that? People, including myself, cry out regularly that the band doesn’t seem to be very active on social media these days. We’re dying for some interaction. Yet, we don’t even bother to check out the mixtape when given multiple opportunities?
I can’t speak for everyone else, but I can certainly tell you why I felt like the mixtape wouldn’t hold my attention for long, aside from my kids and a husband distracting me, of course. When I glanced down the list of artists, there were very, very few that I recognized, much less knew I would enjoy. It is in these moments when I start questioning the loss of my youth. Have I really become THAT set in my ways? Am I really THAT unyielding? I love many different types of music, so why not give John’s setlist a chance? I may be going over that hill, but I’m doing it while kicking and screaming.
So I am. And I’ve got to say, I really like Ghost Loft. (which tells you about how far in I am right now – not far, but I’ve got all day.) I probably won’t come out of the mixtape a Kanye fan (Not a single chance in hell), but I might find something new that I hadn’t heard of before, and that isn’t a bad thing at all. Besides, I’m in John Taylor’s musical head. How bad can that really be?
I have very exciting news to share. Amanda and I have spoken at length about moving this blog to a “real website” for months. (Ok, so it’s really been years – but if the band can get away with “Durantime”, why can’t we???) I’ve tried several times to get into the mindset of “Website Developer”, and each time I would eventually give up, promising to come back to it at some point.
Since the very first days of this blog, we’ve gotten complaints from time to time about comments being “eaten”. I know what they mean – I’ve written more than one comment here that has been taken to the “Great Beyond”. Not only that, we wanted to be able to incorporate everything, the blog, our book progress, future news for meet-ups, gatherings and conventions, photos galleries, and whatever else we decide to talk about, in one place. So, there was more than enough reason to persevere and figure it out.
I’m happy to say that after a month of work, the new Daily Duranie site is nearly done!
The website itself is fairly simple, and is a huge improvement from the current format. I don’t want to give away all of the details, but we have a way to show off the posts we think deserve to be highlighted, yet it’s easy to see what we’ve been working on most recently. We also have pages for news on our book, a way to see photos from our past meet-ups and convention, and room for all kinds of things to come: such as future meet-ups and Daily Duranie road trip info (should the band ever tour again!), and whatever else happens to comes up.
As a helpful guide, I’ve come up with an FAQ of what to expect!
So when will this big change take place?: We are glad you asked! After conferring, Amanda and I have agreed to switch the blog on Sunday, January 19th. Now, since a good portion of our readers come from outside the US, we should probably make the caveat that we will be working on West Coast US time – that means GMT-8. For a significant portion of the day for the rest of the world, it is very likely you will still see this website. The plan is to make this a seamless switch, but there is certainly the possibility that at least for a portion of the day, www.dailyduranie.com will not work. Understand that we will be undergoing final “construction” at that time, and I will already be aware of what is or is not working. When the website is ready, it will come up as intended. Daily Duranie has never in it’s history actually “been down for maintenance”…so this is a first! We appreciate your patience, understanding, and support.
Our Email and RSS Feed subscribers: What our readers should be aware of is that as of Sunday, January 19th – if you are currently signed up to receive our blog by email or RSS Feed, you will likely no longer receive it until you’ve signed up on the new website. (If this changes, I will let you know – but for the time being, I believe you’ll need to sign up again) We apologize for that inconvenience, but there’s really no way it can be helped. The RSS Feed for the blog is something that I am still addressing, and once it’s ready, you’ll be able to use that as well if you wish to keep up with the blog that way. Also, for our readers who may not wish to share their email address with Amanda and I – you should know that while we’re able to see how many subscribers we have to the blog, we really do not have access to your email address, nor do we send out “junk mail”. There is a form up on the blog that says “Follow by email”. You simply put your address into that window and you’ll be ready to go.
I’m already on WordPress, can I just use that account to follow?:The good news is that if you’re already signed up on WordPress, it’s very simple to follow the blog – there’s a button up on the blog for that. I’m still working on making sure the RSS Feed functionality is ready, but it should be all set up by Sunday.
What about mobile users, will the blog be able to be seen on mobile devices? I am working on getting the mobile version of the site more readable. Right now it’s able to be seen but the formatting is downright strange. Unfortunately, that appears to be a common problem for users of this template, but I am aware of the issue and am working on it.
Will I still be able to see all of the old blogs and comments?: Yes!!! All of the blogs and comments that are kept here in archive on this blog have been moved. One small issue is that since we’ve already moved all of the archives and comments to the blog – any comments that are made on THIS blog as of last Friday (January 10) will not be immediately moved to the new site. I will be working on manually copying/saving to the new blog as time permits.
Will your email still work?: YES! Our email address will not change throughout the process and will continue to function as normal.
What is the new web address for the site? Will that change?: Right now, the site is “hidden”, and on Sunday, we plan to switch www.dailyduranie.com to see that website instead of this one on Blogger. For our readers, nothing should change other than what you see. Your links to our website should still work. That takes a little configuration on our end. While the plan is to do this switch seamlessly, on that day, there remains the possibility that the www.dailyduranie.com address will still point you here, or in the worst case scenario it may not work at all because it will be down for maintenance while the switch is occurring. When the site is ready, it will come up as normal, and with any luck, the site won’t be down for any length of time at all.
If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to post them here as a comment, contact us on Facebook or even on Twitter!
I have never participated in a “meet and greet”. Over the weekend, Amanda posed the question of why meet and greets would be beneficial to the band – and she received answers, mostly ranging from how wonderful of an experience it was for the fan participants to suggestions that the band would miss out on hearing how much their music has affected others. I had difficulty answering the question myself, because I really don’t know what a meet and greet is really like as a fan, much less what it might do for the band.
What I can say as an interested bystander is this: the quality of the experience is entirely dependent upon the situation. I’ve heard of the dank, dark, super fast “hi and a quick photo” hallway meets…I’m not even sure we properly add the word “greet” in there. I’ve read of the times where only a couple of the band members could make to the meet and greet in the hallway, and truth be told: I have difficulty seeing how any of that could possibly be beneficial to anyone, least of all the band.
In all fairness to the band, when you are forced to come out of hiding night after night, put on a smile in the most unnatural of situations, say hello and then (on many occasions) be felt-up by overenthusiastic fans that have forgotten their manners while having their 30 seconds in front of the band they’ve loved since their teen years – I can’t say that would be beneficial. In my opinion, it’d have the opposite effect. I’d want barriers put up around fans, and while I’d love for them to buy my album and come to my show – I’d also like them to be kept a good 25 feet from me at all times.
On the other hand, when you finally win that chance at a meet and greet, and you sit at home thinking about all of the things you want to say after all of these years – when the time finally comes for you to be in front of any one of them, much less all five of them, and you’re led down a dimly like back hallway and told, “We don’t have time for anything but a photo and it has to be a group one, please don’t try to talk to the band – they don’t have time”, that’s hardly worth the effort to buy the damn tickets to begin with, and those same fans have absolutely no trouble going online and sharing that delightful episode with everyone who’ll read/listen/reply. I can’t really blame them, either.
I have had real trouble underlining benefits to the band myself – because when I consider what the meet and greets have consisted of in the past, I see almost no benefit. From the lack of response we received (truly – for all of the people who have ever done an M&G, very VERY few were able or willing to say much about it), I suspect similar feelings hold true for others. However, if I were to pose the same question to those who attended the VIP party prior to the MoMA screening – I would bet that more than a few could give solid reasons why those types of events work – and not just work for fans, but for the band as well.
Perhaps that alone is food for thought.
So, those that are on Twitter…or even Facebook to some extent, know that John, Simon and Dom made good on their agreement to play a gig for an AmFAR charity auction winner yesterday evening. Dom tweeted a picture from Courcheval, France this morning, taken from his hotel room. It had a beautiful view of snow-covered mountains behind the hotel. He said something about wishing he could ski. I shudder to think. As I tweeted back in response, Rhonda does not ski. No, no. The idea of careening down the side of a mountain with essentially no brakes aside from the techniques you learn on a pair of skis…well…there’s a reason that my family calls me ‘grace’. Need I say more?
As for the gig itself, I saw one photo that I really can’t post here because I don’t know the owner…but John, Simon & Dom were all wearing black tie & tuxes, and to this starved Duranie, they were a sight to behold. It has been a very long 17 months since I last saw the band live, to be sure. It’s never good when you’re contemplating in your head just how much money it would take to pay the band to come play a private party, and just how many of my Duranie friends would be willing to help me pay for such a deal. Can we set up crowdfunding for that?? Ha!
In the meantime…for those of you lucky enough to live in England and are close enough to London, you can go see Dom Brown’s band, Blue to Brown, perform on January 17th at The Armoury…it’s FREE, and apparently since Duran Duran won’t be touring for quite some time, Dom’s band has a standing once-a-month gig happening at this pub. Come on now, you can’t really beat that unless of course it was in my backyard here in Sunny California! If you can’t go for yourself, go for me, take video and post it! Either that, or I need to set up some sort of Crowdfunding deal so that I can fly over to England and see a gig for myself. It’s research for the blog, right?!? Probably not, but one can dream.
I keep waiting for a photo to show up of the AmFar gig they played yesterday that I can post…if you’ve got one, send it our way and I’ll put it up here!
There are moments during the course of a day where I’m so consumed by the mechanics of getting through the day – going through the motions, if you will – that I forget why we started the blog, or for that matter, why I insist on continuing (even through what I feel has become the “Sahara Desert” of waits from one album to the next). In the past couple of weeks though, I’ve had two completely separate things happen to remind me exactly why Daily Duranie exists.
I don’t believe it’s any secret that Amanda and I are good friends. To be honest, I don’t think the blog could be what it is if it weren’t for that friendship. We usually work well together. That said, there have been moments when we haven’t seen eye to eye, and those are times, however few they might be, that really end up strengthening our friendship. Last week, we had one of those times, but in this case – I think it was probably a really big moment. A turning point, actually. It’s important to remember that Amanda and I are but two people (no, we really are not the same person – there are truly two of us who write blogs!), and we live a couple thousand miles apart, no less. Amanda has certain goals for herself, ideas for her career going forward, and I have some of my own. Without getting into a ton of detail, the time came for us to really talk about our plans going forward, and discuss what each of us wish to accomplish. During this series of emails, it was very clear that each of us had a very different idea of how it all would work, and what role each of us would be willing and able to play. In this case, it was really me letting Amanda down, which I realized was going to be a big problem, and for a bit, I was very concerned that our friendship was in jeopardy. Luckily for me, Amanda was willing to pick up the phone and make the phone call that I was not – and we talked it out. While our positions and goals did not change, we were able to come to some sort of agreement on how we could move forward.
Yesterday, I spent much of my day getting my son back into the old grind. We had a parent/student/teacher meeting in the morning that ran long, and after we had errands to run before getting my youngest from school. By the time I was able to sit down to take a look at Twitter, it was already evening here on the west coast. I saw that a friend had tweeted something that caused me concern. Not thinking twice, I immediately messaged this friend, offering my love and support – because when it comes down to it, that’s all that really matters in this world. The funny thing, is over the past few weeks, there had been more than a few things that had been tweeted, dissected, discussed and retweeted back and forth between the two of us and a small group of our friends, and we never quite saw eye to eye. Even so, when I sensed her distress in her tweets, the very last thing I considered were the discussions where we didn’t agree – all I could think of was making sure she knew that I was there when and if she needed.
Every single time I’m asked about this blog and why we do it, I wish that I could properly describe THESE moments in words, because when it comes down to it – I don’t write this blog because I love Duran Duran. That might have been what started this journey, but the reason I keep going is because of the friendships I’ve made along the way. I feel far more accountable to Amanda, my friends, and the people who read this blog every day than I do Duran Duran, yet I can assure you that we still support the band. Maybe that is what makes this blog different and gives it personality, and maybe it’s also the reason I continue to cross the Sahara desert in search of another oasis!
I live in Wisconsin. In general, people in Wisconsin today are focused on two things. First, it is still football season and the majority of the people of Wisconsin will be tuning in this afternoon to the Green Bay Packers playoff game. (Yes, if you notice, I point out “majority” because I’m in the minority and am not a Packers fan.) The Packers are a big deal here and fans are everywhere. The other thing that people here are thinking about is the “polar vortex” that the meteorologists are calling the impending cold front. Yesterday, temperatures were around 30 degree F. Right now, they are around 5 degrees. More significantly than that, as the temperatures continue to drop to an expected -23, the wind is picking up. Thus, we are under a wind chill warning starting at 6 pm for wind chills of between -40 and -55. At that temperature, frostbite can happen between 5 to 10 minutes. Yet, I’m sure that this will not deter Packers fans from descending on Green Bay to watch the game in person. In fact, I’m sure that people will show their Packer fandom proudly. For example, I saw this picture being shared and liked on Facebook this weekend.
What does this picture say about fandom? Simple. It shows that football fans are expected to demonstrate their fandom, right? This woman should not only wear Green Bay colors but should be willing to go nearly naked to show her dedication. She should ignore the fact that she could get frostbite or risk death all in the name of fandom. The fact that I saw people liking this and sharing it says that people are cheering this. I didn’t see one comment that said something like what I thought when I saw it, which was, “Oh my goodness, this would be the stupidest thing to do. That isn’t cool. It is just dumb.” Yet, I guarantee that there will be some “fool” nearly naked at the game today who will get his/her 30 seconds on TV as I have seen in on plenty of other games. I have never heard one comment about how crazy that is or how stupid a move that is. Never.
I wish I could say the same about the reaction I get when I tell people that I’m flying somewhere to see a few Duran shows. People will tell me all the time about how crazy that is and that I’m taking my fandom too far. At least, my expression of fandom is not putting my life and body at risk like this picture shows. So, why is the football fan acceptable but I’m not? It seems obvious to me that sports fandom is truly accepted and other fandoms are not. I was at the store yesterday like everyone else in the dang city and the majority of people were buying beer for the game. People were open and excited about watching the game. Would Duran fans or other music fans say the same? Would we be as open if there was a concert on TV? Is this acceptance of sports fandom because sports is just a large part of American and Wisconsin culture? What is the tie to sexism? That picture doesn’t show a nearly naked man, after all, does it? Most men like sports. Is that why sports fandom is acceptable? Why are some extreme behaviors in some fandoms acceptable and others not?