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U2 => General U2 Discussion => Topic started by: aurabender on March 12, 2014, 02:34:18 PM

Title: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: aurabender on March 12, 2014, 02:34:18 PM
I was going to derail a "news" thread, but figured I would start a new one instead to maybe provoke a general discussion.
I think this current PR mess the band has found them self in, and it is a mess, is a very good example of the band's strange failure to embrace modern media and technology. As unnamed "sources" stir turmoil, which is then spun into a storm by the media, the band is clearly to blame. Imagine what a simple "tweet" from a single band saying something like "No big delay...just still working on the album" could have done to calm the waters?
I understand that somewhere along the way the band chose to consider themselves "above" the daily grind of instant media such as Facebook and Twitter. But if the President of the United States can post on Facebook, and the Pope can tweet, four guys in a band can. Bono may think he is above the Pope and The President of the United States, but he isn't.
When you look at the "official" Facebok page of the band during all of this, it is a joke. This is ironic when you think that this is the band that, with Zoo TV, probably pushed modern media technology forward by a good five years .
For the most part, the band seems to have  been willing to leave modern media in the hands of its fanbase. Which is great until your fanbase becomes entirely confused and splintered. I think that a lot of the not as great as expected reception of NLPTH was in how it was packaged and delivered.
No one wants to see the members of U2 tweeting about their breakfast choices of the day, but they are literally absent form the  conversation. I think this mess in the media now is a collision of the Live Nation forces and their grasp of getting ANY news out quickly and briefly to the online world, verus the standard  support that U2 has had on their team for years, who believe in very grand, but very sparse moments in the limelight.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: eddyjedi on March 12, 2014, 02:39:36 PM
I agree a simple tweet would suffice from their twitter page. They could post videos from the studio et al. The secrecy is infuriating
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: an tha on March 12, 2014, 02:43:39 PM
U2 are the worst band that i have an interest in for communicating with their fans. I know they are 'huge' and all that - but they are incredibly backwards when it comes to communicating.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: imaginary friend on March 12, 2014, 02:45:13 PM
all that stuff might be irritating to some people, but it has nothing to do with their job, which is making music.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: Johnny Feathers on March 12, 2014, 03:00:33 PM
Fans would never be happy.  "Still working on album", as a tweet, would only cause fans to speculate further.

Some artists are pretty good at social media.  Trent Reznor is one.  But it's funny how all of this rampant speculation only serves to emulate how things used to be before the internet--back when they made the best music of their career.

Non-issue.  What needs to change is fans demanding the band talk to them like they're best friends, giving updates on how they're doing.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: Runtmg on March 12, 2014, 11:25:28 PM

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Fans would never be happy.  "Still working on album", as a tweet, would only cause fans to speculate further.

Some artists are pretty good at social media.  Trent Reznor is one.  But it's funny how all of this rampant speculation only serves to emulate how things used to be before the internet--back when they made the best music of their career.

Non-issue.  What needs to change is fans demanding the band talk to them like they're best friends, giving updates on how they're doing.

Nonsense.  Fans buy albums.  Fans but concert tickets.  Fans identify with artists.  The problem here is that fans don't identify with the band anymore.  Asking fans to change is silly.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: Siberian Tiger on March 12, 2014, 11:38:19 PM
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all that stuff might be irritating to some people, but it has nothing to do with their job, which is making music.

And for now, we don't really even know IF they are actually making any music. The whole debacle is muddied by so many perspectives and spin doctoring.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: Argo on March 13, 2014, 02:48:33 AM
I don't think the problem is about them not embracing or understanding technology. But rather, what we have here is a failure to communicate. Any form of communication at all (for the nit-pickers I am discounting anonymous spokespeople giving a vague single update to 1 media organisation), let alone something as advanced as twitter. I'd be happy with an update on a stone tablet at the moment. 
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: Siberian Tiger on March 13, 2014, 08:28:50 AM
Anonymous spokes people; any of us could claim to be one of those, as some on this forum have claimed to have inside connections in the past.  It's kind of annoying to hear The Guardian use the phrase "spokes person". It sounds pretty unreliable to me.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: emuhunter on March 13, 2014, 08:40:14 AM
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Anonymous spokes people; any of us could claim to be one of those, as some on this forum have claimed to have inside connections in the past.  It's kind of annoying to hear The Guardian use the phrase "spokes person". It sounds pretty unreliable to me.

But, the difference is if WE went to Spin, Rolling Stone, etc claiming to be an anonymous spokesperson there's no way in hell they'd publish what we had to say. That's what people don't seem to get.

A spokesperson is someone designated to speak for another individual, which is how big organizations get messages out to the media (especially when they're trying to not overstay their welcome in the public eye, such as a band who just came off a charity single/Oscar nominated song campaign but that is wrapping up an album and getting ready to release THAT as well). Nothing unreliable about that.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: Argo on March 13, 2014, 08:48:24 AM
If the spokesperson is authorised to say something to refute something else, what's wrong with them being prepared to identify themselves ie Joe Bloggs, spokesperson on behalf of U2, says ....
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: emuhunter on March 13, 2014, 09:47:03 AM
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If the spokesperson is authorised to say something to refute something else, what's wrong with them being prepared to identify themselves ie Joe Bloggs, spokesperson on behalf of U2, says ....

Because traditionally that's not the role that spokespeople play. If it's "Joe Bloggs says ..... " people will be caught up in "WHO IS JOE BLOGGS TO SPEAK FOR U2?!" as opposed to taking the statement at face value as a representative of the band. Also, there is a BIG difference between "unnamed sources" and "a representative of the band," even if the representative isn't named in the article. An "unnamed source" requests anonymity before sharing their information, which in and of itself is something of a cause for careful consideration on the part of a reader.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: Runtmg on March 13, 2014, 10:19:07 AM
The proof is as they say in the pudding.  No one from the U2 camp is denying the validity of the story.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: Edgedisciple on March 13, 2014, 10:19:58 AM
It would be great (to me at least) a tweet or a post on FB sometimes from one of them personally to update us... I don't think it would cost so much for them do it. But I know that's impossible. They still want to mantain this "aura" of unattainableness that might have worked well in the 90's and early 00's, but is anachronistic in this new decade of social media. Even irritating for many fans. But it's not just their problem, all the big bands seem to act this way.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: Johnny Feathers on March 13, 2014, 11:05:19 AM
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Fans would never be happy.  "Still working on album", as a tweet, would only cause fans to speculate further.

Some artists are pretty good at social media.  Trent Reznor is one.  But it's funny how all of this rampant speculation only serves to emulate how things used to be before the internet--back when they made the best music of their career.

Non-issue.  What needs to change is fans demanding the band talk to them like they're best friends, giving updates on how they're doing.

Nonsense.  Fans buy albums.  Fans but concert tickets.  Fans identify with artists.  The problem here is that fans don't identify with the band anymore.  Asking fans to change is silly.

Fans not identifying with the band is only a problem if they then don't buy the albums or concert tickets.  We can argue whether or not that's been the case, but I'm guessing 360's massive success is a pretty good argument against that theory being a reality for them.

David Bowie went 10 years without any public statements.  Peter Gabriel has been talking about I/O for practically decades.  The band doesn't owe anyone a statement on what they're doing.  Sure, it can be frustrating if you're a fan and are eager for the next album--but that doesn't entitle them to any kind of update.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: emuhunter on March 13, 2014, 11:07:39 AM
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The proof is as they say in the pudding.  No one from the U2 camp is denying the validity of the story.

Perhaps because it's still being worked on and they don't in fact want to say it is DEFINITELY coming out yet.

There's a HUUUUUGE difference between "still on track for 2014 but we're working at this point so we don't want to jerk anyone around" and "nope, we're giving up and punting the ball (to use an American football metaphor), better luck in 2015 gang."
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: emuhunter on March 13, 2014, 11:08:06 AM
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Fans would never be happy.  "Still working on album", as a tweet, would only cause fans to speculate further.

Some artists are pretty good at social media.  Trent Reznor is one.  But it's funny how all of this rampant speculation only serves to emulate how things used to be before the internet--back when they made the best music of their career.

Non-issue.  What needs to change is fans demanding the band talk to them like they're best friends, giving updates on how they're doing.

Nonsense.  Fans buy albums.  Fans but concert tickets.  Fans identify with artists.  The problem here is that fans don't identify with the band anymore.  Asking fans to change is silly.

Fans not identifying with the band is only a problem if they then don't buy the albums or concert tickets.  We can argue whether or not that's been the case, but I'm guessing 360's massive success is a pretty good argument against that theory being a reality for them.

David Bowie went 10 years without any public statements.  Peter Gabriel has been talking about I/O for practically decades.  The band doesn't owe anyone a statement on what they're doing.  Sure, it can be frustrating if you're a fan and are eager for the next album--but that doesn't entitle them to any kind of update.

Well said Johnny :)
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: LToy on March 13, 2014, 06:23:42 PM
I think the bigger problem that affects U2 is they have never figured out how to deal with negative publicity.  U2 has a track record of always reacting to a story once the press has gotten wind of it, rather than being proactive.  Think back to the backlash U2 got from the alternative community when Island Records filed the copyright & trademark infringement lawsuit against Negativland & SST Records, or how U2 handled the backlash when they moved their publishing business from Ireland to Holland to avoid paying higher taxes.  U2 &, more tellingly, their PR Dept have never figured out how to control the narrative that the press writes about.   It seems that whenever these stories were published by the press, U2's standard modus operandi is to react to the story.  Very rarely is U2 able to control the press & control how the narrative is written about them when "news" occurs.

In contrast, someone like Lady Gaga is the perfect example of the tail wagging the dog.  Regardless of what you think of her music or her as an artist, I have a ton of respect for her ability to control the press & manipulate them into writing news stories that have nothing to do with her talent (aside from music critics & fan blogs) and everything to do with her antics, usually off stage.  In this way, she is able to direct the spotlight on her in a way that the press writes stories about her that makes people curious about her music without the stories really being about her music.  I think it speaks volumes that right now with no Gaga album or tour on the radar, there is nothing in the news cycle about what her plans are.  The only thing in the news with Lady Gaga's name attached to it are stories about her charity foundation & some questionable expenditures. 

Meanwhile, in the U2 camp, it's been generally nothing but negative response after another by fans piling on the band due to the perceived lack of progress regarding the as yet unnamed album.  And the worst part is, that this is one of the few times where they were trying to be proactive with various band members talking to different members of the media & it was the band themselves that pulled the plug.  Talk about self-inflicted.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: Messenger on March 14, 2014, 04:16:45 PM
The recents even notwithstanding, I'm pretty sure U2 has had a pretty big sway over how the press portrays them. Their grip might be loosening though.

It isn't a case of them not understanding the technology. They don't feel the need to do so. Bono is already one of the most interviewed people on the planet. And you want him to have more contact with the public? How many different ways can he say "we're working on the album and the process is going favourably"? And would you expect him to say "it's going terribly?" if that was the case?

The comments they've made have been numerous, they just haven't been what people want to hear. Do you want them to update you on every single morsel of progress? I can see it now: Bono tweets "one more song finished!" Two days later "scratch that. more work needs to be done". A million fans reply "wtf!"

I guess instead of two big freak outs (Billboard & Guardian) we could have dozens of minor freak outs. Would that be an improvement?

Fans are currently restless and want (different) answers or an album, some want both. But they will only be happy with one of them (and depending on the quality of the album, possibly neither).
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: m2 on March 14, 2014, 04:24:28 PM
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all that stuff might be irritating to some people, but it has nothing to do with their job, which is making music.

That's kinda like saying the LA Lakers job is only to play basketball. And they don't have to worry about doing anything to get people to come watch the games.

Or like saying Starbucks only job is to make coffee, and they don't have to provide any customer service communication.

U2's job is making and playing music, and simultaneously cultivating a fan base that will consume its music. In the old days, when cultivating the fan base involved mega PR campaigns via traditional media outlets, U2 were among the best at that part of their job. Today, they're not very good at the new ways of cultivating a fan base (primarily online -- website, video, social media, etc.).
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: briscoetheque on March 14, 2014, 04:27:48 PM
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Anonymous spokes people; any of us could claim to be one of those, as some on this forum have claimed to have inside connections in the past.  It's kind of annoying to hear The Guardian use the phrase "spokes person". It sounds pretty unreliable to me.

But, the difference is if WE went to Spin, Rolling Stone, etc claiming to be an anonymous spokesperson there's no way in hell they'd publish what we had to say. That's what people don't seem to get.

Actually I disagree. Not anyone from the forum, but if m2 for example got in touch with supposed 'inside info' I think there's a better than even chance that it could get published under the press favourite "a source close to the band".

Actually we should try that.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: Siberian Tiger on March 14, 2014, 11:04:52 PM
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Anonymous spokes people; any of us could claim to be one of those, as some on this forum have claimed to have inside connections in the past.  It's kind of annoying to hear The Guardian use the phrase "spokes person". It sounds pretty unreliable to me.

But, the difference is if WE went to Spin, Rolling Stone, etc claiming to be an anonymous spokesperson there's no way in hell they'd publish what we had to say. That's what people don't seem to get.

Actually I disagree. Not anyone from the forum, but if m2 for example got in touch with supposed 'inside info' I think there's a better than even chance that it could get published under the press favourite "a source close to the band".

Actually we should try that.

Ok, not anyone in the forum. But there have been many interlopers who claim to do so. They come in for a little while, make their exorbitant claims, then disappear when time proves them to be wrong.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: m2 on March 14, 2014, 11:08:12 PM
Sorry, had to remove several posts from a banned account, as well as a couple posts that replied to them.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: bondylan on March 14, 2014, 11:12:32 PM
For the longest time I've been hearing a lot of mouning about how Bono talks to much and blah blah blah ,well maybe the band is sick of all  the whining and are now gonna just let the music do the talking . It worked for Led Zeppelin and others,  they rarely did any press, their just gonna drop the album boom  and you'll either love it of hate it .More than any other band I feel U2 has been kind and gracious to their fans ,we should be patient and wait .
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: Siberian Tiger on March 14, 2014, 11:40:56 PM
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For the longest time I've been hearing a lot of mouning about how Bono talks to much and blah blah blah ,well maybe the band is sick of all  the whining and are now gonna just let the music do the talking . It worked for Led Zeppelin and others,  they rarely did any press, their just gonna drop the album boom  and you'll either love it of hate it .More than any other band I feel U2 has been kind and gracious to their fans ,we should be patient and wait .

Well they have been doing a LOT of talking recently, so not sure how your assessment adds up.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: feedback on March 14, 2014, 11:45:14 PM
True. And lot of talk of empty promises at that.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: bondylan on March 14, 2014, 11:47:40 PM
Seems to me they clammed up after the billboard article.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: MyMindCanWander on March 15, 2014, 02:32:56 AM
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all that stuff might be irritating to some people, but it has nothing to do with their job, which is making music.

That's kinda like saying the LA Lakers job is only to play basketball. And they don't have to worry about doing anything to get people to come watch the games....U2's job is making and playing music, and simultaneously cultivating a fan base that will consume its music. In the old days, when cultivating the fan base involved mega PR campaigns via traditional media outlets, U2 were among the best at that part of their job. Today, they're not very good at the new ways of cultivating a fan base (primarily online -- website, video, social media, etc.).

I don't entirely agree with that analogy.  It depends upon what you mean by the term the LA Lakers (forgive me, I'm British, and I'm only familiar with US football, so I'll refer to this generically as a sports team,  if I may) and U2.

I'd say that the job of the members of the sports team is primarily to maintain their fitness, learn their role in the team, and play the sport effectively, doing their utmost to win.  If the players do all that, they don't have to worry about doing anything to get people to come and watch the games, because the fans will be there.  And other professionals employed by the organisation can worry about things such as ticket pricing, merchandise, seat design and whatever else is important to improve the fans' experience.

And so it should be with U2, I would have thought.  Let them write and perform the music, and let the rest of the organisation handle the media.  I tend to agree with Imaginary Friend on that.

Yes, I think it is possible to argue that the U2 organisation has not coped as well as it might with the latest media storm.  But I'm prepared to respond positively to a spokesperson's statement and wait for the album.

And yes, sports teams do occasionally require their players to do more than just play: to appear at events, and to respond to interviews etc.  However, in the UK, I'd have to say that I'd much rather watch footballers playing the game and exhibiting their skill, rather than hearing them talk about the game.  Of course, there are some very eloquent footballers but I think the usual fare is at worst, tongue-tied and inane comments, or at best, vapid and trite.  And in the US, was there not a minor storm of derision poured on the head of Marshawn Lynch in the lead up to the Superbowl?  He's clearly not at ease with the media, but had to appear for an hour, so he stood about not saying very much.  What an incredible waste of everyone's time.  I think the modern obsession with media coverage is putting the cart before the horse.  I'd much rather watch Lynch playing football than being made to try to talk about it.

And to respond to the main point: I think the modern technology is more of a problem, in itself.  Looking at Twitter for example, I can think of more problems it's caused in a sporting field: various players have been tripped up by it and disciplined as a result.  Even Rio Ferdinand who, I think, was the first proficient user of it over here, was derided and described as a "professional tweeter" because he seemed to be doing rather more of that than actually playing, as age and injury were catching up with him at one point.

Yes, OK, I guess the new ways m2 mentions of cultivating a fan base are important.  But still less important that what, I hope, are the most important ways of doing it: writing and performing music.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: connemarawithin on March 15, 2014, 10:42:58 AM
This is not only a problem caused by ignorance (intentional or otherwise) of social media. It's also a problem largely of U2's direct making. The articles in Billboard and the Guardian became a problem because not only have U2 been publicly hinting at an imminent album for years (and not just Bono), they also embarked on what, to all intents and purposes, appeared to be a promotional run-up to an album when they did the Super Bowl, Fallon, etc. Sure, it morphed into something different, but to the casual observer (or even to the not so casual observer) it sure looked like the beginnings of the typical U2 promotional campaign. If they would all shut up in the media about the progress on any new music, then I'd be willing to grant them a "Bowie" and agree that their only responsibility is to make music. However, when they bait the bull by constantly talking about new product, and then not delivering, they have to own a share of the blame when the difference between their words and actions causes fallout in the media and their fanbase. Finally, on the subject of technology and U2, in this day and age is anyone above social media, especially individuals or organizations who court media attention? The LA Lakers are an organization built around the talents of a group of individuals and is in the business of making money. Starbucks is a brand concerned less about coffee and more about providing individuals attracted to that brand with a positive and familiar emotional experience. U2 is both an organization built around profit AND a brand dedicated to providing a feel good experience. To say that U2's only responsibility is to produce music willfully ignores the realities of both business and who and what U2 have become and are today. Yes, without coffee or basketball, there would be no Lakers or Starbucks. However, to reduce either organization to its most common denominator does not fully explain their success (or lack thereof) in the marketplace. So too, U2. Their continued ignorance, or misuse, of social media does nothing to help their organization or brand given their recent penchant for courting media attention in what may be perceived as a confusing manner.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: MyMindCanWander on March 15, 2014, 11:25:24 AM
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U2 is both an organization built around profit AND a brand dedicated to providing a feel good experience. To say that U2's only responsibility is to produce music willfully ignores the realities of both business and who and what U2 have become and are today.
Hmm.  I would argue that the only way that U2 creates profit and provides a feel good experience is by producing music.

I still say that is their primary function, and the only one they need to worry about.  And it's precisely the lack of it that's caused the latest storm, in contradistinction to the message implied by recent public statements made by the band members.

I agree that could have been handled better.  But, I place much less weight on any artist's mastery of social media than their skills in their own artistic endeavour.

I think that close attention to the actual product (I wouldn't call it a common denominator, btw) of any business is precisely what explains how successful it is.  It wouldn't matter how glitzy the advertising is, or how comfortable the seats are, or how charming the staff are, if the coffee Starbucks served tasted foul.  Similarly, if a Sports team had the most attractive stadium with the best half-time food, it still wouldn't be well supported if the team played negatively and lost every week.

All of those extras help, of course.  And yes, I can see that many people have been irked by their statements about the supposedly forthcoming album over quite an extended period of time, and now the latest apparent delay.  I don't see, though, how expressing how het up we all are is going to help the situation in any way. 

I still contend that we're in danger of all placing far too much importance in media statements, rather than the music.  I'm prepared to wait for the album.  If it comes, great.  If it doesn't, I'll be saddened.  But how the band talks about it, or not, really makes no difference to me.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: connemarawithin on March 15, 2014, 11:37:25 AM
Quote
I'm prepared to wait for the album.  If it comes, great.  If it doesn't, I'll be saddened.  But how the band talks about it, or not, really makes no difference to me.

With the possible exception of posting on a fan forum in a thread about how the band communicates.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: aurabender on April 14, 2014, 01:46:44 AM
Comments seem to have become narrowed to the album delay announcements and the chaos the band's response (or lack there of) caused. That is hardly the point. It is only one small piece in the band's overall failure to adapt to new technology and social media. And yes, it is THE BAND'S job to grasp these things, not their management or staff. U2 have not been about just making good music since Bono put on The Fly's shades.
If you are going to take a decade to record about 9 songs and release them, social media is a great way just to let folks you are not dead. I am not talking about us, the fans. We already know more than we should. I am talking about the general public. It does not have to be too personal and it should not be some sort of press release. Bono meets interesting people every day or goes to interesting places. Snap a pick and post them on twitter or FB. Nothing to personal and it does not always have to be music related. If an when something like the Billboard article comes out, social media allows the band to address it immediately and get in front of it. So if, let'ts say, Edge drops a brief post article tweet "Album status not really changed, still working and moving forward", there we have been much more confidence in that then some undisclosed spokes person. Springsteen is an icon that gets it. Bono wants to know if the band is relevant today. Regardless of how great or just good the next album is, the honest truth is....they are not that relevant today. They are like my grandparents trying to figure out the DVD player.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: paddyattitude on April 14, 2014, 01:54:10 AM
thanks God they don't use that rubbish!! Twitter, instagram and so on. To me A facebook account is enough. And i don't need them to communicate on each movement they do. I want my U2 to keep some Mystery. And they don't owe us any statement so far. nothing was planned and there was no release date for the album. so i don't know why they would need to justify themselves on something that was never going to happen anyway. I want them to live their lives away from that internet crap, and to release music whenever they feel the need to. If you guys can't realize that they have other things to do in their lives, well get on with yours!
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: Messenger on April 14, 2014, 04:15:27 PM
Whatever they would hypothetically tweet/post would never be enough for the fans who always want more.

And the last thing the general public wants or needs is pictures and more info about Bono and his travels. The indifferent people will stay indifferent, the haters will use it as fuel. Does his personal life really need to have a higher profile? Do any of theirs?

And I consider the recording of an album as personal time.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: paddyattitude on April 14, 2014, 04:26:26 PM
the recording of an album is personal time indeed!
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: Argo on April 14, 2014, 06:51:46 PM
I don't really have any need whatsoever for U2 to take to Twitter etc. I won't see it as I won't be wasting time on that medium (just this one). All I'd like is the occasional update on their website and whilst I completely respect it is their music and they can take all the time they want with it, I have a bit of a problem re the lack of updates where they themselves have led us to expect a release around about now. A couple of sentence update would do wonders. On the technology front, I would like to see them embrace some sort of app for the next album and tour to connect to fans.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: xy on April 19, 2014, 02:23:24 PM
I prefer the silence since NLOTH over the insta-comments we were bombarded with after ATYCLB and Bomb.

And I realllly don't need U2 posting on FB, Twitter etc...
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: oopoopsonob on April 21, 2014, 01:13:40 PM
Exactly.

I don't need see any need for twitter whatsoever. Regardless of U2.

Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: briscoetheque on April 21, 2014, 03:41:05 PM
Just stop checking in every day for news, and do what we used to do... Something else whilst we wait.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: durk on April 23, 2014, 02:41:46 PM
This thread is spot on.
I've said all this before on here.
If you want to how it's done in modern age - check out the blitz of a rollout that coldplay is putting on right now.
It's textbook.
Makes arcade fire's look like baby food.
It's frustrating because u-2 went a long way in creating the model - but somehow - without having the goods- they just feel small, burned out and rather insignificant right now in comparison.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: aurabender on November 20, 2014, 03:48:38 AM
I hope you don't mind me kicking the dust off this old post, but with the most recent  new following Bono's terrible accident, and also the whole Apple fiasco, I think it is is very relevant.
Let's go last first. The bike accident. From a PR standpoint, I don't think this could have been handled much worse, starting with the band's response on their webpage. Ick. The initial reports of a "bike accident" leading to a week of canceled TV appearances made Bono come across as a dottering old fool. The band's upbeat tone and levity in their post on their website only made  this perception worse, to the pnt you had comments here form the likes of Flyboy and toher decrying that something "fishy" was going on.

Dear Edge, Larry and Adam,
Careening off your bike in a high energy bicycle accident and fracturing your eye socket and shattering your elbow to the point it is sticking out your arm is NOT a "spill". 

If, I did not know that all the band members probably approved the  statement put on the webpage, I would argue that the fool who wrote it should be fired. I am going to wager it was someone who has been with the band forever, a trusted remember of the U2 family, and this is the problem. A lot of these folks have been with the band foooooorever.  Not yes men (or women), but just out of touch. I think this is possibly what also has led to the (no album this year) article in Billboard, as well as the Apple mess. (I believe Bono's argument that the band did not mean for the album to be placed on every Apple device, but that they did not grasp that  was happening is a sign of the problem.

I would like to see the band stop using their website as the main forum of releasing information ad perhaps expand their footprint on Twitter and Facebook. (I don't use either much, but I grasp the importance of a band like U2 needing to do so.) I would like to see a more personal voice from the band, with all the band members participating a little. (We don't need Katy Perry volumes of  information, but a little bit form all four members would add up to a lot.) Also, the band needs some fresh blood watching over their PR. You want the folks who helped you with Zooropa on board, that is great, but they do not get to be in charge. The band needs some eyes watching over their shoulder that understand modern media, and who know what should be said, when it should be said and how it should be said.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: soloyan on November 20, 2014, 06:23:27 AM
I absolutely disagree.

I'm a cyclist and, as serious as Bono's injuries go, it's a just a bike crash. It happens to a lot of people and since "full recovery is expected", why make a big fuzz about it ?

If the band had come forward with funeral faces and insisted on "major trauma" or something like that, it would have lit up the fire (media attention, paparazzis, rumours...)

Because, all in all, it's not such a big deal. Bono crashed, went to the hospital and will get well. End of story.

Imagine if the band had "dramatized" things... Bono is supposed to fight against poverty & hunger and yet, he's whining about a bike crash ? Major bashing would have ensued.

Get over it, please.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: jenniferh aka jen on November 20, 2014, 07:07:50 AM
Maybe at the time of the announcement the band didn't know the full extent of the injury. Plus it was a PR person writing the statement.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: Flying_Leg_Kick on November 20, 2014, 07:16:20 AM
Do you think it's maybe their management or whoever they use for PR that's the problem?

Sometimes I wonder if they've signed one too many NDA, rendering them silent on just about everything project-related.  To a fault.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: rcamu2 on November 20, 2014, 08:13:24 AM
they absolutely understand technology. maybe it's just none of our business. more kudos to them for NOT stooping to the mindless minutiae of twitter
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: lazyboy on November 20, 2014, 08:17:34 AM
I like the disconnect. They're a rock band. I'm interested in their music. I don't wanna follow them or anyone else on twitter. If I want to hear from a celeb I'll read their books/interviews, watch them on chat shows or documentaries. The more people who shy away from this "share everything!!!" society we live in the better IMO.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: sceptic on November 20, 2014, 08:55:30 AM
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I like the disconnect. They're a rock band. I'm interested in their music. I don't wanna follow them or anyone else on twitter. If I want to hear from a celeb I'll read their books/interviews, watch them on chat shows or documentaries. The more people who shy away from this "share everything!!!" society we live in the better IMO.

I agree with this and some of the previous posts. We don't really need to know everything. Keeping a bit of mystery can actually work for the good. Even if it's become more difficult in these social media days.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: stigman on November 20, 2014, 10:00:19 AM
I'm interested in U2 for the music, I couldn't care less that they have little interest for social media,at the end of the day they don't need any of that stuff.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: Flying_Leg_Kick on November 20, 2014, 01:52:18 PM
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I like the disconnect. They're a rock band. I'm interested in their music. I don't wanna follow them or anyone else on twitter. If I want to hear from a celeb I'll read their books/interviews, watch them on chat shows or documentaries. The more people who shy away from this "share everything!!!" society we live in the better IMO.

I agree with this and some of the previous posts. We don't really need to know everything. Keeping a bit of mystery can actually work for the good. Even if it's become more difficult in these social media days.

YMMV

Smaller bands have embraced social media in a very effective way.  Smaller bands, though, probably couldn't support a fan club like U2 has.  But, it's not like U2.com is this super exclusive spot for insider information.  And, for that matter, it seemed like it took U2.com a little long to even make it into something worth visiting.  Smaller bands...these other communication mediums work for them for many reasons, youth and newness probably at the top of them; they're more a product of the culture than U2 is/was.

For me, I don't want to know what Bono's eating for dinner, or what he thinks of the current season of Scandal.  But, I do think the band marginalized itself a bit by shrouding itself in near total secrecy for three or four years, probably because of a tightly written NDA or two, where the industry embraced these mediums.  I, as a fan, don't need 24/7 inundation.  A postcard now and then with some toss-away material...others do it, U2 could and should be, too.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: SlyDanner on November 20, 2014, 02:31:13 PM
Unfortunately we seem to live in a world where everyone is entitled to know everything about everyone, RIGHT NOW.  Instant gratification through social media.  The band are failing and not doing their job by not giving us what we want - no what we need - no what we have a right to - when we want it.  Let's all fire U2, those swines.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: rcamu2 on November 20, 2014, 02:46:54 PM
what exactly does "marginalized themselves" mean ?

they will announce a tour and it will sell out in minutes without the aid of social media.

Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: ZooClothes on November 20, 2014, 02:48:15 PM
I remember the old days when I would get computer time at the library to find out anything I could about the album that ended up being Pop.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: aurabender on November 20, 2014, 09:33:38 PM
A lot of the response I am getting seems to be that fans don't need a large quantity of information from the band, and with this I agree totally. No one  is suggesting  daily reports from the band on Facebook or Twitter. And I will repeat that I don't really use either. We are not talking about the quantity of information being produced by the band through modern media technology, we are talking about the quality of the information. I was speaking largely about incorrect information being released, the the ensuing back tracking or struggle clarification that follows. Facebook and Twitter only come in to play as a means for the band members to possibly address things  they choose to address quickly. I am not  suggesting the band share recipes.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: soloyan on November 21, 2014, 06:23:13 AM
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I absolutely disagree.

Imagine if the band had "dramatized" things... Bono is supposed to fight against poverty & hunger and yet, he's whining about a bike crash ? Major bashing would have ensued.

Get over it, please.

Bono just confirmed what I said yesterday :

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bono/ebola-is-what-happens-whe_b_6193506.html
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: Flying_Leg_Kick on November 21, 2014, 07:11:39 AM
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We are not talking about the quantity of information being produced by the band through modern media technology, we are talking about the quality of the information. I was speaking largely about incorrect information being released, the the ensuing back tracking or struggle clarification that follows.

I get what you mean, but I don't think that's technology.  That's more a bad publicist, manager, agent, or consultant than it is technological savvy.  With the right people on the ground, those folks could (and should) be able to handle almost anything for the guys via any number of services and through virtually any/every media channel available.

I definitely think there's some quality control issues, though.  Like, especially their marketing.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: jenniferh aka jen on November 22, 2014, 06:32:59 PM
I don't think it's Livenation. If anything, U2 has Livenation more under their control for image purposes. U2 is a cash cow.

I bet they have been staying under the radar with social media is an effort to not give away details of the album/tour plans/Bono's recovery. Edge will probably start tweeting again at tour time.

I do miss Adam's videos.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: ZooClothes on November 22, 2014, 08:22:07 PM
Stopped reading at "U2 failure"
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: m2 on November 22, 2014, 11:38:11 PM
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Stopped reading at "U2 failure"

Really? Why is that?
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: ZooClothes on November 23, 2014, 12:27:48 AM
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Stopped reading at "U2 failure"

Really? Why is that?
Just poking a little fun at my perceived hyperbole of the thread title. I did read the OP. I don't see a "PR mess" nor Bono thinking himself above the Pope or the POTUS simply because they use social media (I wonder if either of them have thought of using free podcasts on iTunes, but i digress). Plenty of people who don't have Facebook/Twitter don't see a problem, and I'm pretty sure plenty of people who have Facebook/Twitter don't see a problem either. One of the reasons i posted earlier in this thread about going to the public library computer for band nuggets pre-Pop is that I miss some of that mystery and mythology about my favorite band.  They were shrouded in secrecy and anticipation and I loved it. My apologies to the author and the mods if it came across as offensive in any way.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: ian ryan on November 23, 2014, 01:58:08 AM
This is something that really puzzled me about U2 over the last decade or so. They had the rights to their digital music written into their contract in the early '90s. They saw downloading music coming that early on. They had the first number 1 song on iTunes. They had the U2 iPod. Edge and Bono were so vocally supportive about downloading their material from the early 2000s on, as long as no one was getting ripped off. After Atomic Bomb, though, it felt like they really lost track of digital media and, by extension, social media. I think the iTunes SOI release will work out for the best in the long term as it has people talking about U2 a hell of a lot more than they would be otherwise, and there are a ton of people who were pretty unaware of U2 previously who now are aware of them. I like that they're still looking forward to how to release their music, but their social presence still leaves a lot to be desired.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: Flying_Leg_Kick on November 23, 2014, 11:33:12 AM
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could be a NDA with Livenation?

could it be that livenation has them in a vice grip?

edge used to tweet some pictures, didnt he?

that was so cool!

The he just stopped.

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This is something that really puzzled me about U2 over the last decade or so. They had the rights to their digital music written into their contract in the early '90s. They saw downloading music coming that early on. They had the first number 1 song on iTunes. They had the U2 iPod. Edge and Bono were so vocally supportive about downloading their material from the early 2000s on, as long as no one was getting ripped off. After Atomic Bomb, though, it felt like they really lost track of digital media and, by extension, social media. I think the iTunes SOI release will work out for the best in the long term as it has people talking about U2 a hell of a lot more than they would be otherwise, and there are a ton of people who were pretty unaware of U2 previously who now are aware of them. I like that they're still looking forward to how to release their music, but their social presence still leaves a lot to be desired.

I don't know if it would be Live Nation or UMG (Island/Interscope).  Apple, otoh, especially if they've had some remaining "dibs" on various U2 projects.  If the plan was to always launch a new U2 album at an Apple event, regardless if Apple was going to buy it to "freely release" it, the "silence" seems to jive with Apple's style.

UMG's acquisition of Island is one that I think made the group better on that front.  Being a collector, chasing after some of the Island material was just maddening.  The moment Universal took them over, it was like the floodgates opened, and while U2 material was spread further out, it didn't seem to be so difficult to acquire.  I know some of that was a change in the industry models, the movement to digital files over tangible mediums, iTunes and U2's relationship with Apple in general, but it seemed to just get easier.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: ian ryan on November 23, 2014, 02:14:25 PM
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Stopped reading at "U2 failure"

Really? Why is that?
Just poking a little fun at my perceived hyperbole of the thread title. I did read the OP. I don't see a "PR mess" nor Bono thinking himself above the Pope or the POTUS simply because they use social media (I wonder if either of them have thought of using free podcasts on iTunes, but i digress). Plenty of people who don't have Facebook/Twitter don't see a problem, and I'm pretty sure plenty of people who have Facebook/Twitter don't see a problem either. One of the reasons i posted earlier in this thread about going to the public library computer for band nuggets pre-Pop is that I miss some of that mystery and mythology about my favorite band.  They were shrouded in secrecy and anticipation and I loved it. My apologies to the author and the mods if it came across as offensive in any way.

But that is simply not how publicity behaves in this day and age. You may find it comfortable considering it's how you came to know the band, but there are many millions of people who use those services daily. It was really, really, REALLY weird that U2 didn't have an active presence on Twitter for so long. In many ways, it seems so antithetical to how canny and ambitious they were during the '90s. They stayed on top of the media presence better than any other band out there, and it felt like they were going to continue into the '00s with the way they promoted ATYCLB.

I think dumping McGuinness and going with Oseary has been a big step in the right direction, as they at least feel a little ambitious about it again. The website could still use a major overhaul, and they could definitely use more of a presence on Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter, as opposed to still focusing on Q and Mojo.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: Flying_Leg_Kick on November 23, 2014, 05:37:14 PM
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But that is simply not how publicity behaves in this day and age. You may find it comfortable considering it's how you came to know the band, but there are many millions of people who use those services daily. It was really, really, REALLY weird that U2 didn't have an active presence on Twitter for so long. In many ways, it seems so antithetical to how canny and ambitious they were during the '90s. They stayed on top of the media presence better than any other band out there, and it felt like they were going to continue into the '00s with the way they promoted ATYCLB.

I think dumping McGuinness and going with Oseary has been a big step in the right direction, as they at least feel a little ambitious about it again. The website could still use a major overhaul, and they could definitely use more of a presence on Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter, as opposed to still focusing on Q and Mojo.

Very well said.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: ZooClothes on November 23, 2014, 06:04:44 PM
I understand all of these points and they were very well articulated. But as someone who has none of these social media outlets, it may not register as much with me. I personally think their iTunes release method trumps all of them.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: ian ryan on November 24, 2014, 11:19:03 AM
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I understand all of these points and they were very well articulated. But as someone who has none of these social media outlets, it may not register as much with me. I personally think their iTunes release method trumps all of them.

And I agree on the iTunes deal. In the long run, I think that will prove to be a smart move, even if there was some blowback initially. However, just because you don't use those social media outlets doesn't mean that there aren't millions of fans and more millions of potential fans who do. If they maintain what they're doing, you'll be happy. If they branch out into the new opportunities, other fans will be happy and they may make new happy fans. It seems silly to just cover one side, rather than both. Your use case may be developed over time, but that no longer means it's the most popular, or even the most common any more. At this point you may be the outlier rather than the mainstream in their fan base and their potential new fans. 
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: ZooClothes on November 24, 2014, 01:45:35 PM
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I understand all of these points and they were very well articulated. But as someone who has none of these social media outlets, it may not register as much with me. I personally think their iTunes release method trumps all of them.

And I agree on the iTunes deal. In the long run, I think that will prove to be a smart move, even if there was some blowback initially. However, just because you don't use those social media outlets doesn't mean that there aren't millions of fans and more millions of potential fans who do. If they maintain what they're doing, you'll be happy. If they branch out into the new opportunities, other fans will be happy and they may make new happy fans. It seems silly to just cover one side, rather than both. Your use case may be developed over time, but that no longer means it's the most popular, or even the most common any more. At this point you may be the outlier rather than the mainstream in their fan base and their potential new fans.
And I think a year or five years from now they'll have more new fans because of SoI (and SoE) on iTunes  than anything they could do on social media. But I definitely get it. I just don't see a "failure" or a "problem".
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: Flying_Leg_Kick on November 25, 2014, 01:31:35 PM
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I understand all of these points and they were very well articulated. But as someone who has none of these social media outlets, it may not register as much with me. I personally think their iTunes release method trumps all of them.

And I agree on the iTunes deal. In the long run, I think that will prove to be a smart move, even if there was some blowback initially. However, just because you don't use those social media outlets doesn't mean that there aren't millions of fans and more millions of potential fans who do. If they maintain what they're doing, you'll be happy. If they branch out into the new opportunities, other fans will be happy and they may make new happy fans. It seems silly to just cover one side, rather than both. Your use case may be developed over time, but that no longer means it's the most popular, or even the most common any more. At this point you may be the outlier rather than the mainstream in their fan base and their potential new fans.
And I think a year or five years from now they'll have more new fans because of SoI (and SoE) on iTunes  than anything they could do on social media. But I definitely get it. I just don't see a "failure" or a "problem".

I don't know about that.  I think U2's strength above all has been their ability to perform at an unrivaled level in a live forum.  To that extent, some of the social media, PR gaffes, or mistakes have had both a profound influence over the perception of the band to no change at all.  Heck, NLOTH was a commercial flop (for U2 anyway) that is somewhat redeemed by the overall popularity and success of the 360 Tour, whereas the rush job that was Pop and Pop Mart took its shots in the US, while Europe had a different experience; Pop's success or lack thereof is a very debatable one.

Until some good touring cleanses some critics' or humbugs' palates, the current efforts only have what they have going for it: a mysterious effort with some production hiccups innovatively yet divisively delivered, though upstaged by another project that's just as shrouded in mystery.  I don't consider myself a hater or even an embittered fan turned critic.  But I think I do see what some critics and ex-fans see.  I have opened up as a music fan because of U2, including my indulging in social media and the internet to follow the acts I enjoy.  To me, it just seemed like U2 "disappeared" for some time there, and when they resurfaced, thanks to that absence on different platforms, their "surprise" wasn't met with open arms and loud, positive praise.  It came off as a bit eery, tacky, and, because of the almost unapologetic nature of the ploy, arrogant.  I don't think full transparency from the band is any right entitled to a fan...but the choices to abstain from certain platforms and stay consistently mum on the project until it released - to mixed reviews and a lot of questions - that sort of obscurity in the current landscape just doesn't jive.  You can't expect people not to notice that.

I don't think the band needs constant reassurance through incessant media inundation, either, but as ian ryan said, I don't think reliance on Mojo, Q, and other print media is exactly how to go about it.  This is a band that wants to reach everyone.  Do you do that by falling off the radar for some time and keeping your projects a total secret, spilling the beans in a rag every once in a while, or do you have to use these obscenely popular platforms to assist?
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: MASTER YODA on November 25, 2014, 01:38:10 PM
I remember reading an article on how they were supposedly fascinated by Technology, it doesn't make sense they don't use it.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: rcamu2 on November 25, 2014, 03:28:50 PM
They just used it to achieve possibly the widest mass distribution of a new album by any band ever.


Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: ian ryan on November 25, 2014, 06:50:41 PM
On the bright side, they've finally made their website look somewhat modern and easily navigable, with the bonus being only available as vinyl and download. I like having a big U2 CD collection, but this is definitely the right direction for them to go in overall.
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: summerrain on November 26, 2014, 12:34:50 AM
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I understand all of these points and they were very well articulated. But as someone who has none of these social media outlets, it may not register as much with me. I personally think their iTunes release method trumps all of them.

And I agree on the iTunes deal. In the long run, I think that will prove to be a smart move, even if there was some blowback initially. However, just because you don't use those social media outlets doesn't mean that there aren't millions of fans and more millions of potential fans who do. If they maintain what they're doing, you'll be happy. If they branch out into the new opportunities, other fans will be happy and they may make new happy fans. It seems silly to just cover one side, rather than both. Your use case may be developed over time, but that no longer means it's the most popular, or even the most common any more. At this point you may be the outlier rather than the mainstream in their fan base and their potential new fans.
And I think a year or five years from now they'll have more new fans because of SoI (and SoE) on iTunes  than anything they could do on social media. But I definitely get it. I just don't see a "failure" or a "problem".

I don't know about that.  I think U2's strength above all has been their ability to perform at an unrivaled level in a live forum.  To that extent, some of the social media, PR gaffes, or mistakes have had both a profound influence over the perception of the band to no change at all.  Heck, NLOTH was a commercial flop (for U2 anyway) that is somewhat redeemed by the overall popularity and success of the 360 Tour, whereas the rush job that was Pop and Pop Mart took its shots in the US, while Europe had a different experience; Pop's success or lack thereof is a very debatable one.

Until some good touring cleanses some critics' or humbugs' palates, the current efforts only have what they have going for it: a mysterious effort with some production hiccups innovatively yet divisively delivered, though upstaged by another project that's just as shrouded in mystery.  I don't consider myself a hater or even an embittered fan turned critic.  But I think I do see what some critics and ex-fans see.  I have opened up as a music fan because of U2, including my indulging in social media and the internet to follow the acts I enjoy.  To me, it just seemed like U2 "disappeared" for some time there, and when they resurfaced, thanks to that absence on different platforms, their "surprise" wasn't met with open arms and loud, positive praise.  It came off as a bit eery, tacky, and, because of the almost unapologetic nature of the ploy, arrogant.  I don't think full transparency from the band is any right entitled to a fan...but the choices to abstain from certain platforms and stay consistently mum on the project until it released - to mixed reviews and a lot of questions - that sort of obscurity in the current landscape just doesn't jive.  You can't expect people not to notice that.

I don't think the band needs constant reassurance through incessant media inundation, either, but as ian ryan said, I don't think reliance on Mojo, Q, and other print media is exactly how to go about it.  This is a band that wants to reach everyone.  Do you do that by falling off the radar for some time and keeping your projects a total secret, spilling the beans in a rag every once in a while, or do you have to use these obscenely popular platforms to assist?

But how could they spill the beans on those platforms if the goal was a surprise release?
Title: Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
Post by: Flying_Leg_Kick on November 26, 2014, 07:25:04 AM
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But how could they spill the beans on those platforms if the goal was a surprise release?

When and how were the surprise.  It wasn't like we didn't know they were working on an album (actually, two at one point, if one counts the remix or dance album).  We've known that since 2010.  Heck, maybe even before that, since they said they had material for multiple albums out of the NLOTH sessions.  But, unlike NLOTH, we weren't getting blog posts or Instagram shots of them in the studio, or tweets about laying down a beat or riff here and there.  The guys and Danger Mouse said they couldn't talk about it.  So, to me at least, it seemed like U2 signed their whole life away on this project.

If that's the case, that they did hide this thing entirely with the help of non-disclosure agreements with Apple or their label or whatever, I think that's a PR or management issue.  That they gave that part over to people who may not have quite grasped modern media and social networking, or to people who thought they did and were going to revolutionize something, only for it not to pan out.  Or, maybe this project was supposed to be something way bigger, but SoI was all that they could release?