Tag Archives: Message Boards

How We Get Connected

The lyric, “This is how we get connected,” from Last Night in the City is one of my very favorites.  It is the essential idea behind fandom and fan communities.  Being part of a fandom can be very different than just being a “fan”.  Let me explain what I mean by that.  I am a fan of a ton of different things.  I really like vanilla lattes so I’m a fan of them.  My closet is full of boots as they are my favorite type of shoes so you could say that I’m a fan.  I enjoy the TV show, Designated Survivor so that makes me a fan.  That said, I’m not a part of any fandom related to any of those.  No, to be a member of a fandom, I believe, means reaching out to others.  It means making connections.

I remember when I fell for the TV show, Roswell, at the end of the 1990s.  Initially, I sought out online information to find spoilers as I was impatient about what was going to happen.  Soon enough, I found a message board in which fans spent time talking to other fans about the show.  I never really thought about doing something like that but after lurking for awhile, I decided to try it.  Not surprising to anyone reading this blog, but I really liked it.  That fandom and message board came at the very right time in my life when I needed to make connections with others.  It helped to ease a sense of loneliness and isolation I had from having moved to a new city where I knew no one.  Likewise, before joining that board, part of me really believed that I was all alone in the love for a little TV show and more.  Once I started chatting with people, I loved it and soon enough feelings of sadness were pushed to the side.

Then, of course, I fell back in love with Duran Duran.  This time, I didn’t hesitate to reach out to find other fans.  I had learned that making and having those connections were essential both for my outlook on life but also made being a fan fun.  Initially, those connections formed at a little message board called DuranDuranFans.com.  Over time, those connections and other, newer ones moved over to social media.  First, it was MySpace then Facebook, Twitter, etc.  Now, though, the chatter on social media is different.  It is a lot less about Duran Duran and a lot more on current events and politics.  This shift happened over time but partly as a result of less conversation about Duran and more concern about the current state of U.S. at least with the people I am connected to.

I do miss chatting with other fans about Duran Duran.  That said, I’m thankful that we have this blog so that I can still express how I feel about what is happening with the band.  In many cases, responses on Twitter or Facebook to blog posts remind me of those initially formed connections as people are simply talking about Duran and nothing else.  Back when I first joined the Duran fandom, post reunion, I needed that connection with other fans a lot.  Realizing that others loved the band as much as I do helped me to embrace my love for the band in a way that I wouldn’t have done if I remained a lone fan.  My fandom grew much deeper as a result.

Now, it is different.  It is no longer about forming connections but about keeping them.  My fandom is as secure as it ever has been.  It isn’t going anywhere.  That Duranie card will never leave my possession.  Those initial interactions with other fans have either become deeper in which a real, genuine friendship has formed or they have faded over time.  In participating in social media now, I do want to maintain those friendships.  Absolutely.  Yet, just like my Roswell fan self of the 1990s, I need to know that I’m not alone.  In 1999, I feared that I was the only person, especially the only adult, watching and enjoying the heck out of a TV show.  When I joined in on the message board, I understood that I wasn’t.

Something similar is true now, too.  I still worry that I’m all alone in how I’m thinking and feeling about what is going in my country.  When I see others say or feel like I do, I am comforted.  It allows me to not feel so alone.  I feel stronger with more hope.  That matters a lot to me.  This doesn’t mean that I don’t want to maintain my connections from the Duran fandom.  The opposite is true.  I want those friendships to be strong and I still want to discuss any and all happenings with the band.  I wish that there were more opportunities to do that.  Maybe there are and I’m not just aware of where.  Where do all of you talk about Duran these days?

When I was a kid, I remember thinking that I needed to choose one clear identity.  Was I going to a dorky person obsessed with bands and clubbing?  Was I going to be a serious teacher dedicated to helping her students at all hours?  Would my entire life be focused on political activism?  Throughout high school and college, I found myself picking one and attempting to dive into that one aspect fo myself.  For awhile, I would be extremely happy but over time, I found myself frustrated and missing a different element of my personality.  Now, I recognize that I am and need to be all of those things and can be simultaneously.  I can’t and shouldn’t try to hide part of who I am even if that makes me unpopular or uncool.

Therefore, I need to be able to connect with others for a variety of reasons.  My teacher friends allow me to vent or express concern over my job.  Political associates make me feel supported and reassure me that I’m not crazy.  My fellow Duranies remind me of good times and the band that I  love.  I need all of those connections.

-A

Are we still a Networker Nation?

In yesterday’s blog post, I mentioned the power of social media. Although I don’t have Sirius XM radio, within moments of the interview John Taylor did with Richard Blade on Monday, I knew what had been discussed. I felt triumphant.

Say whatever you like about the evils of Twitter and Facebook. They can definitely be a cesspool of humanity. I agree that Twitter can seem like an echo chamber. I don’t believe that Twitter changes anyone’s mind, and I don’t think it is necessarily the best place to chat about politics. In all honesty, I stay off of it as much as possible anymore because it isn’t enjoyable. The population of people that once posted has changed.  I think even the very function of Twitter has changed since its inception.

However, if I need information quickly, Twitter is my failsafe. I can put a question out there, and get an accurate answer in an incredibly  impressive amount of time. Twitter is reactive, sometimes explosively so. Facebook seems to be more of a warm, fuzzy place…most of the time. It is where I connect with extended family, and it is where I have learned things about family members that I really didn’t ever need to know. It is also where I get good and bad news from childhood friends, and find out that my former high school crushes have gained several chins and collected wives along the way in the same spirit as I have Duran Duran ticket stubs. Even so, I don’t tend to loiter on social media as I once did.

I do miss sitting around and tweeting with friends. It was like a giant chat room, and no, we didn’t always agree. That didn’t matter, though. It was about the gathering, the communication, even the immediacy and yes, even the friendship. Something happened though, and for all of the good that could be found, Twitter turned angry. It isn’t very enjoyable much of the time. I don’t see many fans on Twitter these days, at least not that are there for the pure enjoyment of being a fan. I suppose we take our cues from the band to some extent, who themselves seem to have left social media – at least as recognizable people using their own names (Not that I know otherwise. I’m just saying that if they wanted to participate under a blanket of anonymity, they probably could.)  I can’t really lay blame in any one direction. Even so, when I need information, it does have its place.

I don’t think we can ignore the fact that within moments of news breaking, whether that is a devastating earthquake, or a tour being announced, it is being discussed on Twitter. The same holds true for Facebook, although the reaction time is longer. Social media has its place, but where do we go to really enjoy being fans without the trappings that “real” life on social media has to offer? Is it that we’re all just too busy now? It wasn’t that many years ago when the message board and/or forum of DDM was a bustling place. Post counts jumped by the dozens within seconds. Does anyone still talk about the band anywhere?

Oddly, we have a message board that is largely ignored, and I need to shoulder at least half of that responsibility. I find that I spend very little time “online” these days. It isn’t because I have that much less time, it is because the last thing I want to see or do is talk politics, or read about more horrors taking place within my country. I don’t need five hundred friends sharing the same comments, memes, and complaints. I’m sick of it.  Rest assured, I feel the same as many of you, although likely not with the same intensity as some. I’m just tired of talking about it all, or reading about it. So, I stay offline as much as possible. I can’t imagine I’m alone. I check out Instagram, I smile at pictures. I love cats and dogs. I need the good things more than I need to read the bad things five hundred times.

So while there is certainly power within social media, and our fingers flying across the keys does far more to “spread the word” than it used to, I have to wonder where the fun has really gone. Is it time to fire up the message boards again? Sometimes, I wonder. I miss our online fun.

-R

The Daily Duranie Message Board

Today is a big day for Daily Duranie.  Why, you ask? Well, Amanda and I decided to finally jump into creating a community with both feet…and have created the Daily Duranie message board!

The idea of creating a community wasn’t something that came across our minds as we began the blog. We’ve said numerous times that our “Grand Plan”, was just to write and see where it took us. We recognized that we found a lot of fault with Duran Duran Music – the paid fan community, but we weren’t really offering much in the way of solutions. So, over time we’ve offered some solutions (Such as hiring the two of us to run it – and we’re still 100% serious about that idea!), but we’ve also tried to pave our own trail and offer the community a “place.” It seems only fitting that we add a message board to that mix.

Facebook is a fantastic place. There are many Duranies from all over the world, tons of groups to join, pages to follow (like Daily Duranie!), and people to connect with.  What Amanda and I have found with Facebook is that there IS no central place for Duran Duran to really chat without a post being lost amongst many other posts. Diehards get lost in the shuffle, and that sense of community that Amanda and I feel is so important, tends to be watered down by what feels like hundreds of comments like, “Oh wow, they’re still around!  I haven’t seen them since 1985!”  There is absolutely a place for those fans in Duranland – it’s just not necessarily the same place that long time, diehard fans wish to be all the time, and that’s OK. Twitter works similarly – it’s a great place to come and openly share short bursts of thought. However, it too has limitations. You can’t really get into a long discussion with others quite as easily, and it can be difficult to follow.

Message boards can work to help in that situation.  We think our message board will be a good place for fans to call home because on one hand, in-depth discussions can be had without someone asking where Andy has gone; but pictures can also be posted and properly “admired”…and let’s face it, we can laugh at some of the funnier things the band does, too. There’s room for everyone, whether you’re a diehard Duranie “lifer” or someone who is rather new to the idea of traveling to see the band and spending your extra time reading a daily blog on Duran Duran.

Yes, many a message board has come and gone. Some might even say that the time has passed. Oddly (and this was definitely not planned), on this day four years ago – the message board that Amanda and I called “home” was put to rest. Traffic had all but died out there, Facebook and Twitter being a little more of an attraction for many, I suppose.  Perhaps for some, that still may be true. Rest assured, we are not expecting this one board to be the answer for all. It’s one piece of a much larger puzzle, or an added benefit of Daily Duranie. We’re looking forward to the party – and the bonus with the message board is that it’s always going to be there, 24/7 – for anyone who wishes to join in the fun. Otherwise, it’s gonna be me and Amanda trading posts, and we’re 100% totally OK with that!

Our Daily Duranie message board is a kind of Duran Duran themed hideaway – fans can go there, chat about the band (and other things) to their heart’s content, with little outside notice or influence. One doesn’t need to worry about their mom stumbling into a thread talking about John Taylor, for instance (because similar things have happened to me, for instance!)…and if you want a little more separation from your real life and your fandom life, you can have that on a message board. Additionally, this message board is a great place to plan meet-up parties, announce and plan touring information…and even plan the next convention for 2017!

I’m very excited to announce that the Daily Duranie Message Board is open for business as of this morning. A link to the board can be found on our home page (message board – pretty self-explanatory, no?). I’ve created the initial framework, and I think the basic “house” is complete – but we need all of YOU to make it a real home. Please come and join in the housewarming party!!  All are welcome, and I sincerely hope we see many, if not all of you on there!!

-R