Over the weekend, Amanda wrote a blog asking what seemed to be a pretty simple question – can we really know the band? Amanda’s blog was interesting to me for a number of reasons – particularly because most people who responded on Facebook wanted to tell their story. I know that Amanda was really dismayed when readers noticed the summary snippet on Facebook and just answered her question about being a fan – and I can understand why, because her blog really wasn’t about that, it was merely a question to get the juices flowing. When did you become a fan?
It is the one topic that gets people talking, every single time. People very much want to tell their story, and I want to embrace that. We just need to give them a place to feel safe and be able to share how they feel.
In a lot of ways, that’s the reason this blog exists. When we first started Daily Duranie, we wanted somewhere to tell OUR story. Yes, we wanted there to be somewhere online that people could come, read, relate and respond, but all of that really has to do with telling our stories. For whom? Well, I don’t know – maybe to at least a certain degree I naively thought that if our stories (and I don’t just mean my story or Amanda’s stories, I mean fans in general) were out there, someone would read. Who is that “someone”? Anyone. Everyone. And sure, that includes Duran Duran. I’d be an idiot if I didn’t admit at least that much.
I can’t say I’m speaking for Amanda here, because believe it or not, we never really vocalized between one another about Duran Duran reading the blog specifically. Those words were never spoken as we started out on this venture. First of all, why in the hell would the band care? Secondly, it almost seems egotistical to assume that the band would even READ our blog. (and quite frankly some of you have rather enjoyed telling us that in some of the more colorful comments and emails we’ve gotten over the years) They’re busy guys. Why would they care about a fan blog?!? Fair enough. Thirdly, even when we first requested a link on duranduran.com – we were politely told that they weren’t doing that any longer. To me, that pretty much explained everything I needed to know. So, we just kept writing and didn’t worry so much about how many or whom. We just kept telling our stories.
I tried to consider what fans would want to talk about when I wrote the blog each day. After all, there’s a lot of drama that goes around the fandom, isn’t there? Whether that drama is about getting close to the band, still acting as though we’re 12 instead of in our 40s, or about the constant undercurrent of competition that seems to linger – anyone who denies the drama either purposefully doesn’t see, or isn’t really involved in the community to notice. And that’s fine. But I really wanted there to be somewhere that would shed light on all of that, plus more. People genuinely want those stories to be told. I know this because as we wrote more and more, people read, and shared, and read some more. So the blog was more about what it is like being a fan than loving the band. And at some point, seemingly out of nowhere, a link went up on the band’s site for this very blog.
Largely unnoticed by fans (we can see the amount of traffic comes from there to here), for us, the link is symbolic that we must matter to someone because the band doesn’t link very many sites. We genuinely appreciate that vote of support and confidence. The link has been up for a few years now, maybe more, and I don’t spend time worrying about who might be reading or what our traffic looks like. Sometimes it’s hard due to one thing or another, but I really try to write from the same emotional place I always did instead of worrying about hitting keywords and crap that doesn’t matter.
It’s the stories though – the stories of how or when or why – that seem to matter most. I don’t really think that people care so much about how I feel regarding the Grammys, or what I think of the band’s latest video – maybe some do, maybe some just want someone to argue with – but I think what really connects with people is when we give people the chance to relate to being a fan. They want to tell their stories, and they want someone to read those stores, and SEE them as people, not just as nameless faces in a crowd. Not just as hands outstretched for a handshake, not just as fingers grasping various memorabilia to be signed. We want to be seen.
Can you SEE me?
Do you KNOW me?
Do you RECOGNIZE me?
Do we really know Duran Duran? I think we do. We know as much as the band wants or needs us to know. The question becomes much more complicated if we’re asking whether or not we know Simon Le Bon, John Taylor, Nick Rhodes or Roger Taylor, of course, but I think we know Duran Duran.
I think the real question worth least pondering, is whether or not the band really knows their fans.