The Truth About Fan Clubs

<– Click on this photo to go to the Dear Amber, We ❤ You!  fan page.

And click on this photo–>

to go to the SpanishPod JP Rocks fan page.

Yes, Amber and I have fan pages on Facebook.  Technically, they are old-fashioned, Facebook “group pages” (circa 2008).  They are not the new-fangled “fan pages” that  famous people now have, that people can go “like” but not be notified by constant updates.

And no, we did NOT start our own fan clubs.  I repeat:  we did NOT start our own fan pages.

No.  We did not.

We started them for each other.  Big difference.

This was back in the day when both Amber and I worked at Praxis Language.  She had a show called “Dear Amber; the Insider’s Guide to Everything China.”  She tackled the tough questions, like “What are the ugliest sculptures in Shanghai?”  and “Why do Chinese men grow out that pinky nail?”  I was a regular guest on her show.  We pioneered such terms as “to meiyou” (i.e., to tell someone 没有 just because you don’t want to talk to them) and “to upstream” (i.e, to walk to a spot in the street in order to stop a taxi before it reaches other people who’ve been waiting longer than you).

The show was a blast; it had a huge following, and it won one of the Best Podcasts of 2008 on iTunes.  I can’t find it in the iTunes store anymore; I could be wrong, but I bet the ChinesePod folks removed it.

And of course I was across the office from Amber at SpanishPod.

Anyway, Amber and I could see ourselves coming up with this entertaining stuff… we cracked ourselves up, anyway.. but our listener base wasn’t growing as fast as we would have liked.  We Amber suggested all kinds of things to the bosses, but they always said no, as our proposals always involved things like money or time.  Money our bosses could be counting greedily by the light of the streetlamp streaming through a grimy window; time we factory workers could be stamping out podcasts.  (Yah, the bosses had an amusing Model T assembly-line approach to creativity; the same was true of the guys at ILL.  You know they didn’t pay our lunch hour?  I digress.  Long story short:  they didn’t believe in promotion; only production.)

So Amber and I had to find ways free ways to promote our products on our free time, and we ended up starting each other’s fan clubs as a way to promote ourselves, and therefore our products.  It wasn’t much… really, it wasn’t much… but it amused the both of us.

We both left Praxis when it was clear to us that it wasn’t the career vehicle that we needed (it was going in the opposite direction, actually).  Eventually we both ended up sitting next to each other at ILL in Manhattan for a while, but that company was dissatisfying to work for as well.  Oh well, getting to New York got better opportunities for both Amber and me; it was not necessarily a step forward for either of us, but it was more solid footing to find other jobs in the US.

So anyway, now we’ve got these Facebook fan club group pages… not a lot of activity anymore, but they still manage to amuse us!   Don’t be shy about joining… hahaha…

2 thoughts on “The Truth About Fan Clubs

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