Keeping Balance While Running a Michael Jackson fan group/blog

Legacy of Love: Michael Jackson Fans United

was a meetup group that I started, with a purpose.

With a huge goal in mind and lots of love for MJ in my heart, I set out to build a community for Michael Jackson fans in the New York City Tri-state area. I succeeded (with the help and participation of fans and with the help of my devoted co-organizer).

Legacy of Love

, the little group that started in May 2010, now has almost 300 fan members, notable mentions in real publications, and even a good relationship with many of the other stand-out organizations in the community.

After the first two years,

Legacy of Love

became more of a struggle for me to maintain. I attribute this

mostly

to a lack of free time. But, it's important to also note that I treated it as a job and endured peaks and valleys, just to make sure that I kept all of the members happy. Well, in making sure that everything was well organized and enjoyable for members, I lost my passion for Michael.

Yeah. I lost it.

I know, it's strange.

I used to be so excited, so passionate, like an MJfangirl SHOULD be.

*hangs head in shame*

After taking a couple months off, I have reevaluated things and can now listen to Michael again with

ease and not feel like I am forcing his music on myself. I can actually go to my DVD rack, and pull a Michael concert or Vision off of the shelf and anticipate watching it.

I used to be confused as to why some of the largest fan groups, blogs, and forums shut down after such a great run. ESPECIALLY after 2009. I felt like now more than EVER, people would be interested in working to keep the legacy alive. But now I realize, maybe those fans were like me?

Putting promoting Michael's legacy above their own personal enjoyment and experiences being a fan.

My advice to anyone running a Michael Jackson forum or fanpage? 

TAKE A BREAK. 

Do not do what I did and risk losing your love for Michael Jackson. 

Do any other fans out there who run blogs, MJ focused groups, websites, forums etc. get tired of MICHAELING? 

I would love to hear your comments.

The Glory Days of Being a Michael Jackson Merchandise Collector


During my teenage years, I used to go online almost daily after school- checking out eBay and other sites to find Michael Jackson collectibles. Every now and then I could come across an original tour shirt or jacket in my size (small- which is SO rare to find on those sites). I would also do lots of searches for first edition copies of Moonwalker, Dancing the Dream, and other Michael Jackson related books. I would get into close bidding wars with others- it would give me such an amazing rush, especially when I won something I'd been searching on for a while. 

One day though...  Michael Jackson merchandise would become extremely easy to come across. Was anyone else feeling bittersweet in 2009, when all of a sudden the Michael Jackson Bravado store popped up?

(PS: Does anyone know what ever happened to that? Did it shut down, I tried to find it last week and it seems to have vanished!) 

In 2009, and for a good solid 2 years, it became SUPER easy to get Michael Jackson themed shirts, jackets, socks, and pretty much anything else you could imagine. Like many fans, a part of me was in love with all of this new merchandise available but- another part of me said- hey wait.... let's have a moment of silence to remember WHY this has happened. Bittersweet, right?  *sigh*

I cherish most of my eBay finds a lot more than the shirts I've gotten in the past 5 years. The most important of those items to me happen to be my HIStory era hoodie, my Victory Tour authentic jacket, and my Triumph tour shirt. All very amazing finds and items I wouldn't trade in for the world. 




 I have to say that now, it just doesn't feel the same. There was something special about collecting novelty items that were coming from other fans around the world, people who found treasures during Spring Cleaning, and people who just regarding the items as trash- but became rare commodities for fans like us. 


I miss those days. 




PS: I have to thank all of my new followers and subscribers! It means so much to me that you would add my little old blog to your blog feeds. I have had a lot of "life taking over" moments these past few months but, I have so much to review, update everyone on and a lot to talk about. 

xx


Be sure to follow MJFANGiRL on social for more! 

Is Twitterland the New Michael Jackson forum?

(image via)



It was not until I got on Twitter one day late last year and discovered the tag #MJFAM that I realized how many of us Michael Jackson fans were devoting our 160 characters to the King of Pop.

I made some of my closest friends today on MJJC (when it used to be MJJForum!) and even met Shanda through soliciting members for meetup (when it was still a wee little group) on that very forum. With less and less visible online interaction on Michael Jackson forums since his passing, I have to ask...




Is Twitter the new go-to place to meet Michael Jackson fans?

Have you made any fan friends on Twitter?

The Bittersweet Taste of BAD 25



As we get closer and closer to the date of BAD 25's release, I have become aware of yet another issue that has divided the Michael Jackson fan community.

I feel like every time a new album or song or item comes out, there is controversy over whether purchasing these items is showing support for the estate. Some fans still have issues with what the release of posthumous material means. Obviously Michael is not here it. Obviously Michael did not cut any new tracks for it. But obviously (to me anyway) it is still Michael's work.


Now running a Michael Jackson fan club here in New York City, I am totally aware that all fans will have different opinions on different subjects. That is why, at  Legacy of Love, we choose to remain neutral on these types of topics. Yes, my co-organizer and I have our own thoughts and desires, relating to what we'd like to see happen with unreleased material and the anniversaries of previously released material. But so what!!!! Legacy of Love was created to celebrate Michael's legacy and all of what he's accomplished. It also was created to help preserve the camaraderie of the Michael Jackson community on the East Coast. So when a fan logged onto meetup last weekend, and began to accuse me and my co-organizer of NOT being REAL FANS, I was too THROUGH.

He proceeded to urge us to celebrate the "OLD BAD"...


You serious? .....  o_O



I mean I have the old BAD album...


On vinyl.
On cassette tape.
On CD (original album and 2001 remaster).
On iTunes in mp3 form.



 Isn't that enough damn support?      


Was Michael resurrected and forced to like re-record this album for the 25th Anniversary? 'Cause that just went WAY over MY head. All of the material on BAD 25, including the tour footage... Is OLD!


A word for those who don't know how we get down at Legacy of Love...


We will celebrate what we want, when we want at Legacy of Love and if you want to get into the politics of posthumous Michael Jackson, find someone else to entertain that. Its not that serious for me because my goal is to promote and preserve the togetherness of the Michael Jackson community, through celebrating his artistic career. Not everyone is going to agree on everything but, I'm assummmmmming that everyone who calls themselves a Michael Jackson fan, DOES like his music...           I mean... Ya'll do right?

We are not a charity for a reason. (We do have a charity that we love and support, which is Heal The World for Children- check them out here!)

We are not a protest group for a reason.
We remain neutral for a reason.
We celebrate the fans and Michael as an artist-- PERIOD.

I REFUSE to be peer pressured into not recognizing the 25th anniversary of one of the greatest pop albums of all time. Yes, of all time. If you don't want to dance to a song that he recorded, worked his ass off on promoting and perfecting in 1987, that's on you. No seriously. I totally respect that. But, that's not my style.


We work hard on our Meetup.

We pour lots of energy, money, time and LOVE into this group and refuse to have anyone else tear our groups spirit and mission down. We do this out of pure love and dedication to the man. We do not get paid to do this. Its seriously out of love (and some of my passion for event planning).

If you want to debate about what you THINK happened to Michael and what you THINK the fans should be doing, write a letter to the Estate. Log onto a forum. Rant and rave on your Facebook. Subtweet ALL you want. Tweet AT me (I'm MJFanGirl_blog btw.)

Just please.  Don't bring it to Legacy of Love.

We have many other events talking about the "OLD" material. You are free to attend any or all of those, if you aren't into being a part of anything related to new releases. I support everyone's right to have a voice and an opinion but, I have too much going on in my offline life and I can't be but so bothered to debate for hours on this. (But, I DO love comments, so feel free to leave one!) I know what he means to me and I know what part I've personally done in this community.

*Cue Janet Jackson break -- What have YOU done for [the MJ community] lately?*


So in closing I ask...

Are we wrong to to be celebrating BAD 25  ????

Do you prefer being a part of clubs that peer pressure you into leaning one way or do you like being a part of an MJ club that is neutral?  


PS: Don't forget to Pre-Order BAD 25  if you haven't already done so! 8 days and counting...


The Michael Jackson Fan Community...Divided We Fall?

(photo: sodahead.com)
As you all know by now, there's been some inner drama (that has been very much public, thanks to social media) in the Jackson family, involving Michael's three children. Over the past few days, I've personally kept mum about this because I've been trying to just watch and observe, instead of getting all heated about something that virtually, is not my business. I will say that I feel for all parties involved and I have never been a part of a huge family like the Jacksons so, I really don't know what it's like to try and get so many people on the same page. (As we see, it's pretty much impossible!). I hope the best for Michael's children because we all know how much he loved them. Apart from this, the one thing I notice is that this issue AGAIN has divided the fan community. It's so sad to me that Michael stood so much and believed so much in togetherness but, we argue and lash out at each other over the simplest of issues. Why is that?

Yes, Michael was our "leader" of some sorts but, I'd hope to believe that we all carried a part of that hope for unity and peace in each of us.

If it's not the Jacksons issue now, it was the MICHAEL album a few months back. And before that it was where Michael's children should go. Before that it was where Michael should be laid to rest. And what really happened to him. Let's not to mention the division between fans who think Michael is still around somewhere on this Earth.

ENOUGH ALREADY! 


I just wish that we could all stand together instead of lashing out at each other.

We all love Michael for the same reasons, generally speaking. I am learning to try and stay neutral, watch things play out and keep my opinion to myself! I love my Michael Jackson friends and would do anything to keep them around! We are like a little family and I love the unity I feel when at the more positive events like the Heal the World for Children's Annual Children's Festival on Michael's birthday or at the Brooklyn Loves MJ Party held every year by Spike Lee.


 Feel the love and let go of the anger!


In other news, I am having a really great great week. I won't go into much detail but I am happy and very appreciative of things that have been going on in my life right now.  I am way more open to a lot more possibilities and just trying to be more positive all around. I have my moments, like all of us do but--  I have been going out way more and enjoying spending the hours of my life outside of my home, and with family, friends, and loved ones. I went to an IMAX theatre for the first time (ever!) to see a major motion picture and it was OUT of this WORLD! Totally awesome experience (and worth being sleepy and having to wear my glasses at work the next morning. *smile*)

I will have to say that I have ALWAYS been somewhat of a loner (especially in high school!). For the most part I can do without having a million people around me and I just stick to my core group. It's taken me years and years to realize that it's OKAY to have friends who share your same interests (or your MAIN one). Plenty people are friends with people who like the same sports teams, who love to travel, who enjoy eating at fancy places, or who just live in the same neighborhood and it's convenient. At the peak of my fandom, I was totally happy to come home from school and talk for 6 or 7 hours on the phone at nights with fellow fans online and on the phone, about how simply awesome and amazing Michael is. Now, I will say that Michael plays a bit of a different role in my life. My fandom has evolved as I have evolved as a person and I am sure others feel the same as I do. I am still every bit grateful and inspired by him but, now I want to go out and live my life. Living with the dream and the love that MJ so graciously taught me and all of us, and enjoying every moment (or trying to at least!)



How do you feel about the MJ Fan Community? Do you feel that we will ever be united again? 
Are you happy to be a part of it or are you done with trying to get on the same page as your fan friends?

Talk to me! 

TMI Talk: Jackson Siblings Contest Michael's Will



Okay, so I just happened to be laid out at the beach when I logged on to Twitter and saw the MJFAM rumor mill pumping feverishly with the news that the Jacksons (well some of them) had released a letter to the estate, asking the executors to step down, and insisting that the will being in used is not Michael's latest version.


Supposedly this letter also included some news that Mrs. Jackson had a mini-stroke. Paris (Michael's daughter) then takes to Twitter to refute these rumors, sending a tweet directly to her uncle Randy, demanding that he stop lying and have some respect for his mother.

Ummmm... DRAMA!

While everyone is still confused about what the heck is going on in the Twitter-sphere (is that even a word?) the major fan clubs release a letter in support of the estate and in disagreement with the Jackson siblings. Can I be the first to say... Who cares?

Personally, I am a fan of Michael's solo music AND his time with the Jackson 5/Jacksons. I love that family and their music so, all of this inner circle stuff is mostly just annoying to me! I don't feel that I even have a right to be signing any letter or passing anything around stating my opinion about situations like this, which is why Legacy of Love NYC is NOT and never will be a part of these types of events. I don't believe in fan clubs signing/co-signing/having a stance on these matters because at the end of the day, it's really a personal issue for the executors and the family. (Shame on whoever leaked/released that letter to the public!)


I enjoyed the JACKSONS Unity Tour twice last month and will thoroughly enjoy the release of BAD 25 and the first official DVD release of the BAD Tour, in all of its glory. I guess I say all of this to say... Can't We All Just Get Along?



#MJFAM - what say YOU?

Are you tired of hearing about these disagreements between the Jacksons and the estate? Or do you kinda like it, cause it keeps the MJ community active and busy with something new to debate?