We've had our challenges as well, and these challenged mostly had to do with human resources. Once we started to grow, I realized there was a need to delineate tasks associated with DDTTRH. The Youtube piece was overseen by Jason and the Artist interview piece was Anitra. Then Kandice became in charge of the petition (we nicknamed her fondly the 'Petition Duchess'). Christian's talents were on making websites and he had the extra charge of reaching out to other Duran fan sites to ask their support (if you go to 'Fansites' under the heading 'The Effort' most of those sites there he helped spread the word to). The other thing we felt we needed early on was a logo to represent our effort. To do that we had a logo contest and there were many who entered. It was Nabeel from California that won. He created our first logo:
The other thing we felt we needed was a Rock Hall Liaison. This would be someone who hopefully had connections with the Rock Hall that could reach out to committee members and let them know about us. Someone volunteered for that position. She started off fabulous. In fact, given that we were doing research on Duran Duran (mainly on bands that were influenced by them and where Duran Duran was mentioned in media), we needed someone to write up something about how Duran Duran has been involved with community service. She did an amazing job on a writeup to this effect. You can see it at our website under the Duran Duran--Community Service link.
The next thing I was working on with her was a letter which we would present to various persons on the Rock Hall committee letting them know about us. We went through a draft and a final version, but nothing went farther. It got so bad the not hearing from her, that after repeatedly reaching out to her and not hearing from her, the rest of the staff and myself decided to let her go. I found out later that she had taken an extra job and had no time to help out. To this day I wish she had just said something instead of just not communicating.
I still have that letter by the way--any volunteers to send it out to people on the Rock Hall committee?
Then there was what happened with Nabeel. He had a serious car accident. He was hit by a UPS truck and from talking with him, I believe it damaged him extensively. I had conversations with him after his accident and I could tell how down of spirits he was. Then there was a point where I didn't hear from him again. Others of the staff were concerned about him and also tried to reach out, but nobody heard anything back. To this day we don't know what happened with Nabeel. He will always have an important place as part of the history of the DDTTRH effort...particularly in giving us our first amazing logo. We let Nabeel go after not hearing from him for a long period of time.
There were other challenges too. I had one guy who was interested in helping to be our Blogging Specialist. I trained him and everything. Then, I remember there being floods in his area and he told me he no longer had time to help (which is fine--I was happy he at least said something). I tried to get someone else in his place, and there was a promising candidate to do it, but that petered out quickly.
Then there was the matter of trying to call City, Country Representatives. One of them we called and I was hoping they'd be more 'asking us what they can do' vs. us 'telling them what to do'. We also needed help to translate our blogs to different languages. Several signed on and when I gave them work to do, nothing came back. There was someone (Mr. Mystere we call him) that was very helpful with French translations...but he was an exception to the norm. Another exception was Radio Creme Brulee--we were excited when Pranav (who owns it) reached out to us and was willing to represent Chicago. I actually met Pranav in Chicago when I was on a business trip. We had a great chat on ideas of how to promote the effort. It led to our first Youtube promotion which so far has been fairly a success. In fact, it was thanks to that discussion that I had the courage to reach out to Katy who works with Duran Duran who gave us signed posters (and she was very happy to do it). Pranav has not been able to help us as much as he wants too...but something I appreciate about Pranav is that he has told me upfront how busy he is and while he wishes he could do more, he does what he can.
This is really all we wanted from people, and still do. If they can't help, don't say they can and then quit. If they start and can't help, let us know, please be upfront with us instead of not communicating straight up with us. We understand that everyone has lives and is busy. If you want to help, great, give in what little ways you can...we would appreciate that. But just 'don't give' because you think you're being inconvenient to us or know you can't give more than you think we expect. What I'm trying to say is that any little effort you do is appreciated, because all the little efforts eventually will add up to something great.
You might ask why this is important to blog about? One of the reasons that has caused rifts and problems in our group is essentially this...the lackluster or 'lack-of-follow-through' commitment of some of the fans to DDTTRH. We even had one representative, who was to represent us in California. He said he had connections with some famous people and it was thanks to him that we received an email of support from a friend of the band's. Then, he had offered to present shirts to the band with special messages to the band on our behalf. I was less disappointed about him falling through on the t-shirts than I was with the dropping off from committing the support (or at least being upfront with me on reasons why). I actually enjoyed my conversations with him and I was looking forward to somewhat of a friendship...but I've tried and tried to reach out to him and its as if no one is there.
And the other thing that was troublesome was when I asked Kandice if she could help with the representatives and when she reached out to him and others, she was not contacted back. It was almost as if they felt as they were being treated 'less' because I was having another valued member of our staff contact them. I never understood this and don't to this day.
Or perhaps you are of the camp that since a couple of members of Duran Duran have said they don't like the Rock Hall (though haven't said explicitly that they would not accept nomination [:--had to put that in there), that we should just do nothing to raise awareness about the band. It doesn't matter to you that the band's friends and many other have shown support for DDTTRH. You of all people should know that the band avoids trying to be recognized for the great contributions they've done for the music industry. I believe that if they were nominated, they would be gracious about it. I mean--if they were totally against the Rock Hall (which I believe they're not), why would they donate historical pieces to them? Did you know they did that?
You don't have to go very far in the fan community before you meet someone who 'wants a piece' of Simon, Roger, Nick, or John. I mean, who wouldn't? DDTTRH is different than this...it gives you an opportunity...different than any fan group out there...the opportunity to give back to the band that has meant so to all of us...thats what its always been about. Take away everything else...the imperfections of the people serving in DDTTRH...the structures and organization...the promotions...the 'Rock Hall' in our name....whats left is its sole mission. We seek to raise awareness of a band that had made history and continues to do so.
- Learn about other unique challenges that we've had at DDTTRH. Some of them, I admit I unintentionally caused...some I admit I have no idea on earth why they happened, or why they were a source of such contention.
- The next blog will also set the stage for the blog about 'The Epiphany' and why that was so important to DDTTRH and changing who we are.