From fan letter to site redesign: A tale of online fandom.
Those of you reading the site at its URL rather than through feeds or email will notice it’s got a new look. Appropriately enough, this is a direct (if unintended) consequence of one of my own favorite experiences in online fandom:
A couple of years ago, I downloaded a song called “Last Real People” by a woefully underappreciated Swedish band called Thirdimension from their record label’s website. The song’s got one of the catchiest choruses ever, and who can resist singalong lyrics like Machine guns for the weak and disabled/Alcohol for everyone else? I remember being stopped cold in the frozen food aisle of the grocery store when I heard that chorus on my iPod for the first time.
By the time I got their records for Christmas of 2004, I was completely hooked. So hooked that I did what I rarely do and wrote a fan letter. I was giddy with glee when one of them answered my email. I wrote back. He wrote back. I wrote back. He wrote back. By summer we were planning to meet when I visited Scandinavia. He and his girl hosted me and my sons for a lovely evening of Thai food and conversation and gave us a place to sleep in Malmö. Now, nearly 2 years and literally hundreds of emails later, the giddiness is gone but I’m lucky to count him among my closest friends. I’m also lucky because when he’s not making music, the multitalented Slivka is a graphic designer specializing in album covers and websites (see for instance Thirdimension or eMiL Jensen’s sites) and now I get to count him as the genius behind the looks of my KU website and this blog as well.
If you love catchy pop with great harmonies, check out Thirdimension. If you need some graphic design, Slivka just might be your man.