A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was a part of some online communities for Nine Inch Nails and the Lords of Acid. So long ago in fact, that my username is no longer in the system. It’s ironic that it’s been so long I don’t exist in their little sphere of existence anymore, as I used to be on those sites incessantly a few years back.
My motives were purely to talk to other fans of my favorite bands. To get information about when I could see them perform. To find out about fan appreciation fundraisers before anyone else. I still to this day have a limited edition CD from LoA, signed by all the members of the group, that has the distinction of being a different color from the mass release. Oh, and my signatures are real, not a copy. But I happily paid $50 at a time when I didn’t have a lot of money purely to have music from my favorite group before anyone else.
There was a time in my life where my life revolved around music. I worked as a DJ at 2 separate times in my life. Once for our local college station KSUA, and once for our local rock station (now it’s alternative) KKED 104.7 the Edge. Both for between 3 1/2 to 4 years. If I was awake, I had music on. Driving, reading, on the computer, at work, whatever. There was always music. Now, I find that I consume music differently, but almost as intensely.
My motives were to surround myself with music I enjoyed. Immerse myself in it. Be connected to my favorite artists, and the fans that were just as rabid as myself. I followed LoA for a month across the US attending multiple concerts, meeting up with fellow fans. For the music. For the shared experience. I think that what I was seeking, and participating in is similar to what Shirky was talking about, with intrinsic motivation. No one was paying me to do anything. I wasn’t being paid to follow the band. I wasn’t paid to be online all the time, talking about their music, planning trips, exploring art and future releases. It was all because I was intensely interested in them, and wanted to be there. Wanted to be part of the experience.
Part of me still wants to be part of the experience. And part of me just wants to get the music before anyone else, go to a quiet place, and just lose myself in it. Just for a little while.