Tag Archives: Duran Duran social networking

A Break in Time

How many of you follow Duran Duran’s social media?  If you are reading this, my guess is that most of you do.  Why?  Do you follow their Twitter account in order to get news and updates?  Is their Facebook page one that you follow in order to get features like “Facebook Page of the Week” or “Watch It Wednesday”?  Perhaps, you like all of the above.  Maybe the big goal is simply to know when a new album will come out or when new tour dates are announced and the rest you just skip over.

I’ll be honest.  I follow the band’s social media mostly for news.  For example, this week, DDHQ posted the video of Duran Duran and Chic singing “Good Times” on stage together during this recent tour again with a statement about how this should happen again.  It got me thinking, wondering.  Was this post to prepare us for news of that rumored East Coast date?  During the latest Kafe, there was some implying that Australian dates with Nile Rodgers were set up for 2017.  Could that post be hinting about that?  I wonder.

Does this mean that I skip the other parts?  Sometimes I do.  I know.  Shocking.  The horror.  Shame on me.  I’m pretty busy so I always have to limit what I look at on social media or how often I even check out the online world.  While I like that DDHQ shares a “Facebook Page of the Week” unless I’m really into it, I might not check it out.  Sometimes, I have already liked the page that they share.  That said, sometimes, the posts/features that are shared that I might skip over from time to time catch my attention.

This past week, the photo below was shared:

Duran 87

While good Duran pictures always grab my attention, this picture make me think.  First, it made me think of the different Duran “eras”.  When we look back at their legendary career, I think we can all acknowledge that there were many eras.  For example, we are in the midst of the Paper Gods Era.  Before that, we experienced the All You Need Is Now Era.  Just like with all types of history, once enough time has passed, people can examine those different time periods.  We can decide what went well and what didn’t.  Heck, people can and do this with their own lives.

Looking back, then, fans can pick out their favorite era(s) and the reasons behind those favorites.  Maybe, one’s favorite era is the Rio era because s/he love the videos from that time and became a fan then.  Others might choose the Medazzaland era for the experimental music.  Then again, others might still claim that the current era is their favorite.  I know my gut instinct is always to say the current one is the one I like best.  Can I judge a current Duran cycle as well as I can older ones, though?  I don’t think so.  I need time and context to really analyze it.

Then, of course, there might be some discussion about what the different eras are.  While my first response is to declare each era to be based on the studio album released at the time, I recognize that it isn’t that simple.  Where would Wild Boys and A View to a Kill fit in?  Do they go with the Seven and the Ragged Tiger era?  Are the Power Station/Arcadia side projects a separate era?  Duran played a mini-tour in 2009.  Do those shows connect with the Red Carpet Massacre album or the All You Need Is Now album?  What about the Fan Show of 2007?  A CD was played with new tracks off of RCM but that was months before the album release.

What do you think?  What are the different Duran eras?  When do they stop and start?  Then, after deciding that, which one is your favorite and why?


Looking for the Real World

My high school students are addicted to their cell phones.  Our school policy to have them “off and away.”  For many students, this policy is equal to having their arms cut off or their tongues removed.  It is torture.  Why are they so addicted?  Simple.  Social media.  They are constantly on Facebook or Snapchat, following their friends’ every move.  Of course, I recognize that I, too, am pretty addicted to my phone and to social media.  I think it is a pretty common problem to have in our modern times.  After all, social media provides many of us with a means to communicate with friends and to connect with others.  It can also be a news source and a means to engage in fan activities. Social media provides an easy way to discuss one’s interests and discover new ones.  It is certainly a big way that bands get information out to fans and to try and recruit new ones.  This certainly is different than how the music industry and its fans operated when I was a kid and I wonder if it is an improvement.

When I was a kid (and I absolutely HATE phrasing any sentence that way!), I discovered new music through one of three ways.  I heard the song/artist on the radio, I saw the video on MTV or Friday Night Videos or I heard a song/artist/album through friends.  It seemed relatively simple then.  For me, I listened to a lot of Chicago Top 40 radio.  In 1984, for example, B96 was constantly on, as was MTV when I was the one to choose what was being watched in our TV room.  These sources, of course, introduced me to Duran Duran and I have never looked back since!  That said, during those years, I couldn’t JUST listen or watch Duran Duran.  I had to put up with a lot of music on the radio that wasn’t from my favorite band.  Many videos aired before the 24 hour video channel would air the latest Duran video again.  I had no choice but to be exposed to lots of other artists.  For me, then, in a way, it was good that I had to wait for songs/videos I wanted to hear/see.  I definitely found some songs and artists that way that I wouldn’t have with today’s structure.  No, in the day and age we live in now, I can go to YouTube or Spotify or Pandora or whatever to see and/or hear a song from someone instantly.  I’m the DJ and the VJ now.  I decide what gets played, when.  Heck, TV is such that I don’t have to wait out performances or interviews to get to ones I’m interested in as I can always record shows and watch them at my leisure later.  It seems like a great situation for consumers, right?  It is, for many reasons.  I don’t have to put up with anything I don’t like.  On the same token, I might be missing out on great songs and bands this way.  Then, I also wonder what it is like on the other side of the coin.  How is it for the bands and artists?
I suspect it is similar to consumers in that there are both positives and negatives.  On one hand, bands/artists don’t need to rely on radio or TV to get their music out there.  This has to be a positive for up and coming artists.  Plus, all bands/artists can connect with their fans, which really does help keep fans interested.  That said, there are SO many social networking sites to monitor, to post on, to respond on that I have to wonder if there are just too many choices for fans and artists.  Look at every email Duran Duran sends out in terms of their social networking information.  It always says this:
 Don’t forget to Bookmark:

The Duran Duran VIP Fan Community
Duran Duran on Facebook
Duran Duran on Twitter 
Duran Duran on Instagram
Duran Duran on Google Plus 
Duran Duran on YouTube
Duran Duran on SoundCloud

This is a LOT of places.  Someone has to update those.  Someone could take a lot of time to respond to fans on all those.  After all, we all know that each social networking site is different and has different types of audiences.  Look, for example, at the reaction to Duran Duran’s participation at the Al Gore Climate Change event.  The reaction was relative quiet on Twitter but Facebook had LOTS of passionate responses.  How do bands/artists really know what the fan base really thinks?  How do bands/artists really connect to fans on ALL of those sites?  It could be a full time job.  Social networking takes a lot time.  I know that Rhonda and I spend a lot of time on social networking.   After all, we post our blogs here on our website and link to it on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Tumblr, our message board, and more.  Some days, we spend a lot of time reading and responding to comments we get on all of those places and that is just what we get publicly!  Of course, all of the feedback that bands/artists get on social networking isn’t always positive.  Some of it can be pretty negative.  Again, when I think of my childhood, the criticism that bands like Duran got seemed to be centered around the press.  That wasn’t fun, I bet, but might be easier than dealing with criticism from the press AND the general public.  All this got me thinking about how overwhelming social networking is and can be makes me appreciate any and all times that DDHQ (the social networking people working for the band) does respond to people or does like some statement or retweet something.
Social networking, I guess, like everything else has its positives and negatives for bands/artists and fans.  It isn’t going to be going anywhere soon.  It is here to stay.  In fact, I suspect that there will be more and more social networking sites in the future.  While bands/artists might be able to their music out to more people, at times, it seems overwhelming.  At those times, I long for the easier day and age when I just had to watch MTV and listen to Top 40 radio.

Duran Duran on Twitter

Do you still wait to see Duran Duran on Twitter? How many still hang out on Twitter wondering when/if the band will show up?  I remember the good old days when John or Simon used to occasionally check Twitter. I remember when social engagement, interaction…or whatever you want to call it seemed to matter (even if it really didn’t).

I still use Twitter. I still read my timeline and I still comment whenever I feel like it. I think I got into the Twitter habit just before John came along, before I really noticed Duran Duran on Twitter, and I’m still there. I like the idea of it feeling sort of like a chat room that is occupied 24/7. I can go in there, post whatever I’m thinking at the time and leave. Sometimes I’ll get into short conversations with friends, and sometimes not. I also check out what other people are saying, and yes, I will even check on what fans are tweeting to the band. Call me masochistic, or even just curious. Sometimes I get the best blog ideas that way. Other times, and this seems to be happening far more often these days, I come away feeling melancholy…or even just sad.

The other day I was reading Twitter and saw so many posts congratulating Dom on his tenth anniversary and asking John where he was…so many leaving heartfelt notes of how much he means to them, or how they can’t wait for the next album. Weirdly, it struck me that at this point, I’m not even sure those tweets get read. It wasn’t that long ago when it was obvious that yes, they were getting read. There would be responses to things when Duran Duran was on Twitter that seemed to come out of nowhere. A question would be asked, sometimes even in jest, and suddenly without warning, an answer would appear. They might not even mention names or do a RT, but you knew that the intended band member had seen your tweet, and dammit – they were answering you. Duran Duran On Twitter. Incredulous! There was this magical moment when All You Need is Now came out – maybe it was because it was clear the title song was about our relationship with the band as fans, maybe it was because the band was active on Twitter and Facebook, and maybe it was because of all of those things – but it felt like there was some sort of really cool synergy taking place. It wasn’t “The Band” and then “The Fans”… it was “Us”.  How amazing was that??  Yes, it got crazy at times. I was on Twitter and Facebook and saw it firsthand. Fans would lose their shit when John Taylor would show up. Many of us would sit back, pop some corn and watch with interest. Others would join in. The thing about all of that though was that it generated interest, energy and joy, whether you were watching or participating. Frankly, I was curious about the change in tide…the change in relationship between the fans and the band at a critical time after Red Carpet Massacre. Utterly fascinating stuff if you’re me. It felt good to be a Duranie because Duran Duran was on Twitter…talking to fans!

The other day I made comment after reading some of these recent tweets to band members. I mentioned I thought it was so sad, because it is obvious that fans still care enough to try and engage without really much encouragement to do so from the band. I had some responses back that ran the gamut from “the band will be back when they’ve got something to promote” (which in turn felt very disingenuous to the person who responded) to the fact that despite the drawbacks (for the band) in being open and accessible with fans, that they should have realized what they got into with fame. All in all, I have to say there were very few responses that indicated (to me) much empathy towards the band. I can’t imagine this makes it an easy place for the band to start from when it comes to promoting this new album, so I have to ask – is it really that much trouble to say hi once in a while?  Is it really so horrible?? Is it really that unnatural?  If so, why is it so natural for the rest of us?  Maybe that’s the real question.