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Sunday, August 10, 2008

You Say Good-Bye, I Say Hello

Reading through the massive amounts of emails waiting for me from my week and a half off the computer enough to annihilate several thousands of my gray matter particles. Some of the things you, dear readers, write to me are completely astounding. I'm guessing throughout all the written missives, I was missed. In turn, it seems I missed out on some changes in the Hicks' internet websites as well as the rumored start up of a promotional campaign related newsletter.

Whereas a few of the Taylor Hicks' related websites have given it up and shut down, another newsletter idea has been broached to help in marketing Taylor Hicks. I found this discussion on the "Official Soul Patrol" site. The goal and purpose of this newsletter described; "Join the Marketing Taylor Hicks newsletter! No spam. No email or group conversations. Your email address is not shared with anyone. You will receive one email per week filled with lots of information on how to help market Taylor's music. This weekly email newsletter is for people who like American Idol winner Taylor Hicks, and want to help market his music. The newsletter is filled with lots of marketing information! To subscribe, send an email to marketingtaylorhicks-subscribe@yahoogroups.com."

About a dozen folks gathered in that thread to talk about Taylor Hicks and this 'grassroots' planned effort of guerilla marketing. This newsletter is to stand, from what I comprehend, as a guideline on better ways to reach out to the mass public to inform and recruit interest in Taylor Hicks and his music.

Taylor Hicks has his compilation CD due to hit the Target shelves on August 12th. Goal one of this group and other Taylor Hicks' fans, to get folks to buy the CD. Thinking is, if someone buys this CD, they will love it and become stalwart fans. That brings me to the discussion, however muted in this thread for the newsletter. As always there is that Soul Patrol aspect and moniker to contend with, and no matter how it's phrased if you are not ready to stand up and shout "Soul Patrol" or become a board member, you just "ain't" a fan. Not really.

As this poster writes, being content to just post and blog about Taylor Hicks a paltry effort to try and keep his name up and noticed. "Congratulations PBF and whoever else is involved in the creation of this great idea. It's refreshing to see the fans actually doing something and taking positive steps to help Taylor instead of just posting and blogging about it. It is one thing to talk about doing something while it's another to actually do something about it as you and other supporters are doing." Yes, that newsletter will certainly be the cure for the common sales woes. I mean why hasn't anyone done this previously? hmm. Wait, there was that Modern Whomp Magazine attempt. Interestingly this individual starting the newsletter and that individual with the now defunct magazine effort have something in common...

How well this idea will go over is hard to tell, especially in light of what this newsletter publisher may be dealing with regarding potential associations. One example, one poster was simply having problems just grappling with the grassroots idea, she writes, "Purple, I'm sure you have fans who are interested in this, however, I'm curious and need more information. Who is in charge of this? Who authorized it? What are the goals? I have a lot of questions about it..."

Regarding 'authorization' I believe point is missing here, that working under the 'grassroots' ideology puts aside any need for any sort of authorization. As far as 'goals' I think it's self evident what the 'goals' are intended.

Then there is this happy poster who simply decides to write in song, "Love lifts us up where we belong...." I like them, short, simple and random. One other was concerned she was knocking but she couldn't get in to the membership area, "Am I one of the ones floating around out there? I sent my request to join."

Where's the 'net to reel her in?

Apparently something wandered amiss as one of the moderators wrote, and in context it sounds more random than the singing poster, "Lets stick to the topic of this thread.

ANYONE having personal issues with who is saying what on other blogs, needs to take this to either PM or Email, NOT on the boards."

I went back to reread and did not see anyplace in which anyone mentioned anything untoward or out of place...that was followed with the non-fan discourse, "Why would "nonfans" want to join to help Taylor ?? Is it just Ideas in general to help different artists or just for Taylor?"

Which was answered with "By "non fans" I mean people who are not part of the sp/fan boards."

That brings me back to circle on the fan/non-fan issue. "The majority of people who voted for Taylor have lost track of him or have ceased to be as enamored as they initially were. This is a way to learn how to get these people back into the Taylor Hicks camp."

That creates pause; consider the ways that many of Taylor Hicks' current on-line fans behave. I mean, you can't joke around about Mr. Hicks, you can't question anything he does, anything he has said, you must always present a completely over the top fan aspect or you are accosted, insulted, and labeled a non-fan. Hopefully the newsletter will aide in how you can actually cultivate and gather fans rather than run them off.

Fuel for thought, if someone disagrees with you and you have a goal to bring them over to your viewpoint, what is the most effective manner of approach? Certainly you catch more flies with sugar than vinegar, but many of the fans only know vinegar, sugar the last thing they consider.

Many in this fan base of Taylor Hicks, who label themselves Soul Patrol, are of the opinion that if you don't fall in line and think and act like they do you should be beaten bloody and cast onto a teeming ant pile. Seriously, there are some rabid and vicious members of this base that have turned away many a fan from fear of what steaming pile they're stepping into. I have folks who read me regularly, email me often but won't post - certainly not with their usual on-line names for fear of retribution or worse. It's silly yet true. Association with me likened to hanging with the Devil himself because I dare to speak my opinions and my mind regardless of the common accepted theories of thought regarding Taylor Hicks. To joke, to question equals 'smearing the man's name' and other nonsensical bullshit that clogs up the rational for even wanting to show support for the man.

Lest you think I'm trying to claim any originality for this thought, this poster in the thread proves there are many who think this way, "I'm sure Taylor has lots of supporters out there who prefer not to be involved in board politics. I can't say that I blame them."

So will this newsletter lend any insight, change anything or alter the current Taylor Hicks on-line culture? From my stand point, I seriously doubt it.


  1. Thank you for your thoughts. I found this such an interesting read. I can relate to many of the issues included in your post.
    I run a Taylor Hicks forum called The Real Deal. I also do graphic/website design. There have been many times when I was NOT welcomed with the "IN" crowd because my thoughts and or exspressions did not reflect those who feel the need to make the Taylor Hicks fandome a robotic place filled with only one thought or emotion.
    My forum, although a happy place. Well structured and maintained and filled with good people. Has not developed into one of your booming sites. Why? My thoughts- Because I in one sence am a nobody. I do not know Taylor, Bill, or Joni or anyone involved with them.
    I guess the point im acctually trying to make here, without sounding like im whining about my forum. Would be, your right.. if your thoughts and opinions do not reflect those of so called click. Then you are assumed not worthy of attention other then bad vibes.
    I applaud those who are trying to break from this and work there butts off to get Taylor's name out there. Its not easy it is most assuredly hard work.

  2. Anonymous10:23 PM

    I'm tired of trying to turn people on to Taylor. Nobody's listening, nobody cares. I think a grassroots effort is a cool idea in theory, but he needs professionals guiding his career. We may never know what went wrong in the past, but the SP can't turn it around.

  3. Anonymous8:51 AM

    Fans cannot turn people on to Taylor - it's a lost cause. Only the powers that be can do that. If you're a fan, buy his music - that's the only way to truly show support.

    Another thing that totally bugs me is all these charity sub-groups that have sprung up - Troop Drive, Taylor's Angels, Bluzkat, Harmony, etc. etc. I would like to know how in the world does this help Taylor's career? I just don't get it. These people started these org. to benefit themselves, not Taylor.

  4. Fans can help to direct others to an artist's work, buy the music, share some tunes, write about the artist. Fans can also kill an artist's career. It's a delicate line between being a fan and being a Fanatic. The Fanatics run off more people than they understand by their actions.

    Regarding the charities, I think some have their heart in the right place, some are simply attention seeking.

    I mean it is rather self-gratifying to say you are running a charity in the name of Taylor Hicks or anyone in celebrity you admire. Folks then think you have some inside to the star, a real attachment to the star. It's a self-feeding fantasy.

    Regarding benefiting his career and his music, man, unless one of them manages to fund a lab that cures some sort of disease, they're not furthering his career. Bluzkat the exception - they've been around Mr. Hicks a long time.

    Thing is Mr. Hicks isn't stepping forward to speak for his named charities, he is not doing any work to promote the charities, they are largely just another fan forum. If it makes them feel good though, and helps a person or two along the way, no harm and no foul. Let them do their thing. I don't criticize anytime someone wants to help another soul.

  5. Anonymous11:18 AM

    Let's just hope their heart's in the right place, but there is no way to know that for sure. Personally, I'm suspicious of anybody who starts a charity in an entertainer's name. If you want to do good deeds, just do it on your own - no need to attach an entertainer's name.

  6. Anonymous6:40 PM

    LOL!! I've been lurking here forever!! I was the one who wrote "Love lifts us up where we belong!" As you could see that thread was about to go into some kind of fight over what a fan should be and what the intentions are of "real" fans.
    I figured I'd use a little Joe Cocker to ease the pain. Didn't work but I thought it was hilarious anyways. Love your blog, Blues. Seems to pinpoint all of my concerns. Especially this wacky fan base. o.O

  7. Nice you popped in, I loved your input - it was perfect in that thread. I'm a mad fan of "random". ha

  8. Anonymous7:49 PM

    I love being random! And I have been like that on many occasions on that board, which as of right now has been eerily dead.

    My favorite random post, "I was thinkin' Bob Marley, yeah!".

    Sometimes it's better to chuckle to yourself on the randomness then actually take those threads seriously. It will put you in a state of depression, otherwise.


    Oh and I always wanted to tell you, I love the videos you put up! Very nice. :)

  9. I went to the Castro event here in Rockwall with a big glitter poster - man it was kewl, with "I'm thinking Bob Marley on it!" lolz

    Wonder if the boards are quiet because of this whole "Early Works" stress so many are putting themselves through?

    Taylor Hicks should learn a little from Castro, and perhaps it wouldn't be so strange in his fan world. Who knows. Obviously this current situation isn't working out that well.

    Man, I love me some Bob Marley...