A sisterhood of rockin’ moms
Now this is what the Internet is supposed to be about:Mothers who have a passion for the Dave Matthews Band share their lives with each other on the band’s fan club Web site, and by e-mail now that they know each other.This would fit the definition for communities of interest, where media entrepreneurs see a brave new world in commerce if they can only tap the right ones. The paper you are reading today represents a community of geography. Our shared interests concern mainly where we live, own a second home or happen to visit. We do share plenty of passions, too, of course, starting with a necessary affection for snow and wild places. There’s no reason to be here otherwise.By extension, we all have common interests in local politics – that is, the decisions public entities make that affect all of us for better and worse – culture, our children, work and on and on. Pretty much because we live next to each other.But the DMB moms, that’s something else. Without the World Wide Web, well, forget it. These women would never know each other like this. The real world is a little better place because they do.Groupings like this form the soul of the Web. This is the true human connection part of all this technology.My connection to the DMB moms is secondhand but quite personal. My wife is a member.I see the joy, and some sorrow, this group brings her, even though she hasn’t met any of them in person, yet. The joy comes from their shared love for the band and music, and sharing each other’s celebrations. The sorrow comes from sharing, too. The human story cannot be all celebration, not even online.It’s the sorrows that tighten the bonds between people. Who is there when life turns against you? I can tell these women are there for each other in that most important way.Not that I’m privy to their conversations, or even know their names. Some of it comes from snatches of stories my wife tells me. A lot of it I just see in her eyes after she’s been online. Or maybe it’s the glow of her good mood.The serendipity of it all resonates with me. No marketeer came up with the idea of moms, many of them in middle age, meeting each other on a rock band’s Web site. As far as I can tell, they just started talking to each other.One of the moms sent out a homemade cookbook to the others for Christmas. The book leads with some comments about how the moms feel about their group, some of them profound.I’m not objective about this, but I think the most succinct and to-the-point summation came from my wife:”Sisters!”Exactly what researchers find lacking in our modern world: neighbors who no longer know much about each other, people on the move, changing jobs and communities, and finding themselves with no one to talk with, really talk with.Music speaks to our core, our soul. So if you find a band or artist who speaks to you this much, it’s hardly surprising that you might find something crucial in common with other fans. Children are pretty core to a parent’s existence, too. But I’m not aware of any DMB Dads’ thread online, so there must be something to being a mom that’s essential to the mix here.My wife and I use the Web much differently. She interacts much more than I do. For me, the Web pretty much is a research tool. I don’t chat. I don’t check the bank account. I don’t buy anything. I don’t compare hotels ahead of taking a vacation.I use it to catch up on news, and to explore places, issues, events and people – and often for how to spell a name I can’t find in the dictionary. It’s a library for me. It’s a living thing for my wife. I think she has the better grasp, actually.I look people up. She becomes friends with them.The DMB Moms will soon become a bit less virtual for her. Several of the moms plan to meet at a concert – Dave Matthews Band, of course.They’ll meet for the first time but already know each other well. How cool is that?Managing Editor Don Rogers can be reached at 748-2920, or email@example.com. Read his blog at http://www.vaildaily.com/section/BLOG
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