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.

My Michael Jackson fandom, ever evolving.


There was a point in my life when Michael Jackson was the focal point of every single day. And at the beginning, my life outside of home compared to my time in my room were two different things.


Let me introduce you to MJFanGirl in high school. 
hi there, my name is mjfangirl and i am so studious, yes i am!


Here's what I went home to:
No space to sleep. Peep the old school phone!

Masquerade ball? Why yes, I will attend... as SIR Michael Jackson!


Michael Michael Michael Michaeeeeeeeel.

Here's an example of how my day may have gone as a high schooler:

I would pretty much wake up for school, get dressed listening to Michael, in between staring at the Michael Jackson posters on my wall. Head to school with Dangerous or Bad remastered CD in my Discman player, riding the bus and singing along in my head.

I'd open my Michael Jackson binder to take notes for class. During lunch, I'd head to the library and log onto MJJForum (which is now MJJCommunity). I might even use some time to print photos of Michael using my print allowance at school, to add to the ever-growing collage on my wall. I'd then go home, and spend hours watching Michael videos on Jetzi's site (this is BEFORE Youtube), downloading clips of Michael, and sometimes just spending time watching one of MANY MJ VHS tapes I made.

And after dinner, I'd juggle talking to my MJ fans on AIM, bidding for rare items (t-shirts!) on eBAY, commenting on online forums, and working on my Jackson 5 website. Yes... I had a Jackson 5 website.

Anyone in high school could tell you that I was the Michael Jackson fan. 
Let's be clear- I decorated my locker with his photos, collected any newspaper with his face on the cover, danced like him in every talent show. People thought I was obsessed but, I went to a small intellectual high school, so rarely was I ever bullied. I am sure I was made fun of behind my back but, for #MJFAM, that just comes with the territory.

What they don't know was that Michael Jackson fandom was more than just an obsession or a past-time for me. It was sort of a fantasy. There's no denying that I always fantasized about the numerous possibilities of how I could be a part of Michael's life. Maybe I could be his friend one day. Or marry one of his nephews, so I could be a Jackson too! Part of that fantasy still holds true in a way. It'd be my dream to work on the Michael Jackson estate team, using my experience, knowledge, and devotion to MJ to help promote his legacy to fans both old and new around the world.

I guess as time went on and I went away to college, met new people, and made new friends- Michael faded into the background. Every now and then, my fandom comes back with a burst of energy and excitement. I guess the way in which I show my love for Michael has evolved. But, I will never forget (and my oldest friends and family will never allow me to forget!) the golden days of my fandom.



Has your Michael Jackson fandom evolved through the years? 
What are some of your most memorable moments as an MJ fan?


Be sure to follow MJFANGiRL on social for more! 

Baby Fever? A Babies Go Michael Jackson review


Have any other MJFam out there had baby fever? I will be the first to admit, I sometimes catch myself daydreaming of what my children would look like, what they would be like. I wonder if they'll be children of their time or old souls like me. I wonder what they will think about Michael. Let me tell you this... if my kids grew up hating Michael because they were force-fed his music and videos by their dear old mom, I would probably die a little on the inside (kidding!). I want them to be exposed to all different types of music... seriously, I do.

So, I got to thinking, what better way to start em off early than just playing his music? For all of you MJFAM who are soon to be mommies (or one day in the future mommies like me), I have found an awesome way to introduce your children to Michael Jackson's music in a very subtle way.

    BABIES GO MICHAEL JACKSON! 


Yes, you heard me right... BABIES GO MICHAEL JACKSON


Babies Go Michael Jackson is one of the few Michael Jackson themed lullaby albums that I have come across and in my humble opinion, the best pick of the bunch. A lot of the other CD's have fast-paced jarring songs that just end up sounding like old-school midi ringtones as opposed to lullabies.

Here is the tracklist:

  1. I'll Be There
  2. The Girl Is Mine
  3. Heal The World         
  4. You Are Not Alone   
  5. I Just Can't Stop Loving You
  6. Man In The Mirror   
  7. Thriller          
  8. Bad 
  9. Beat It
10. Billie Jean    
11. Black Or White
12. One Day In Your Life               
13. Human Nature
14. We Are The World

This album is composed of Michael Jackson songs that have been transformed into lullabies. Each song features soft bells and chimes, covering both the sounds of the vocals and the track combined into one easy-to-listen-to melody. Covering songs like "Human Nature", "We Are The World," and "I Just Can't Stop Loving You," all the day down to "One Day In Your Life" (whatchuknowaboutdat!?), this album is good enough for babies and Michael Jackson loving mothers to enjoy together.

Here is a sample track, one of my personal favorites from this lullaby album "I'll Be There":







I think that Babies to Go Michael Jackson would be the perfect gift to any MJ fan who is a mommy (or daddy) to be. The songs are familiar yet soothing and have just the right appeal for little ears. 
Babies to Go is available for purchase from amazon.com in both CD format and as individual MP3s. 

--
So, do any of my readers have MJ fan friends who are having babies soon or are new parents?
What do you think of the pop song lullaby CD trend?

I'd love to hear your thoughts!




How to Meet & Make Michael Jackson Fan Friends

For a while now I have been talking about how much my MJ fan friends mean to me. We have a 

special bond 

because 

we are so closely connected to Michael 

that the way we connect to each other is 

THROUGH his music, his love, and his overall message. 

Here are some of my personal tips and recommendations for finding and making lifelong friends within the Michael Jackson community.

(MJFanGirl with some of the THIS IS IT background dancers.)

1. Find Fans! 

In my years of making Michael Jackson fan friends, I have found that the most surefire way to find like-minded individuals has been on online Michael Jackson fanclubs and forums. Some of my favorites back in the day were MJJForum (now 

MJJCommunity

), the Michael Jackson chatroom on America Online, and believe it or not- just using yahoo.com to do random searches for Michael's lyrics and upcoming events, which would lead me to lots of those homemade Angelfire and AOL Hometown fan sites. Those were the ways that worked the best for me in finding other Michael Jackson fans in my age group. 

Now there are so many more options! With the introduction of social media, one can use Facebook, Twitter, fan forums, and even Instagram as tools to help connect with other Michael Jackson fans. I would recommend singing up for one of my favorite forums - 

MJJCommunity

 and creating a Twitter account. MJJCommunity is not as active as it used to be pre-June 2009 but, there are many threads (hundreds of them) and thousands in the archives, that will expose you to some of the pointed and intricate conversations that other MJ fans are having.  If you are a 

Facebook

 lover,  there are several groups for MJ fans that you can find by doing a simple search of MJ Fans, Dangerous Album, Michael Jackson Fans, or even Michael Jackson's smile. By writing on the wall or just reading what others are talking about, you can choose to participate in some really great and fun convos. Lastly, Twitter is helpful because it literally provides minute to minute updates on what is going on in the Michael Jackson community and if you're more into the gossip/scandal/latest happenings type of convo- this is definitely for you. I tend to stay away from the drama on Twitter but, find it to be easy to make friends because other fans are always talking about what songs they are playing, what Michael-related Youtube videos they are watching etc. (Psst- 

follow me on Twitter here!

2. Share Your Favorites. 

A guaranteed way to make friends in the Michael Jackson fan community is to share your favorites! If you have landed upon this article because you were looking for a way to make friends in the fan world, you already have an idea that there's a huge difference between the general fan and the big Michael Jackson fan. If you are looking for those who have an understanding of Michael's music outside of "Billie Jean" and "Black or White", you need to open up and share what your favorite's are!  One of my best friends today is a woman who knows and loves almost every song I love--- she is like my MJ fan twin! 

I usually start off by saying

"What's your favorite song?"

. Michael fans usually can never choose just one- so that opens up conversation for a lot! You could also talk about your favorite Michael moments, maybe your favorite fan forum to visit, or even discuss how you became a Michael Jackson fan in the first place. 

I started off as a fan of the Jackson Five, so when I first got the chance to interact with other fans, I really craved getting to know those who loved Michael's music from the Motown era and when he was a part of a group as well.   I remember the first time I spoke to someone who shared my love for the song

"Someone Put Your Hand Out

". She was a fan from Australia who I'd met online back when I was in high school, and we went on to have many phone and chat messenger conversations. It was just this really cool friendship that we developed and as many MJ fan relationships, we are on and off friends. Our friendship is always there but it sort of moves in waves- despite this, I always love speaking with her when I get a chance and always remember how good of friends we were after sharing our favorite songs with each other.  

3. Start a Conversation - a non-Michael related one! 

One of the important things to realize about having Michael Jackson fan friends is knowing that you usually will have much more in common that just being a Michael Jackson fan. Many of the people that become fans of Michael Jackson actually have a LOT in common. Start a conversation! 

Don't be afraid to deviate away from the topic of the King of Pop around Michael Jackson fans. I find that many fans (like myself) have sort of obsessive personalities and have at LEAST one or two more things that make us tick. I have many other interests and I am always so amazed at how versatile and interesting other fans are. Whether you are talking about others in the Jackson family or your favorite television show or places you've traveled to... or even your favorite class in school-  Try it!

4. Choose wisely. 

I will be the first to admit that there are a LOT of different people in the Michael Jackson fan community.

Like any other situation where you are looking to make friends, I urge you to take it slowly and be observant before you jump head-first into a friendship. I've made dozens of friends throughout the years in the Michael Jackson community and I am happy to say that I am still friends with the majority of them.

However, just because someone is an MJ fan, doesn't mean that you have to be friends, that you will get along, or that you'll even have much in common besides loving Michael.

I tend to gravitate towards people who not only love solo Michael but also appreciate the Jackson 5/Jacksons eras, those who are climbing the career ladder (like myself!) and also those who are laid-back, like to shop, and are open-minded people. Not everyone in the

#MJFam

is like this... but I don't sweat it! There are always plenty fan-fish in the sea ... :-).

6. Don't sweat the small stuff. 

"But they told me... a man should be faithful and walk when not able and fight til the end but I'm only human..."      The last and perhaps, most important point is--- remember, we are all human. We all make mistakes, have quirks and slip-ups. We all have things about us that make us unique and depending on the day and time-- can make us annoying! Don't sweat the small stuff!

(Me on the far right at my very first fan event-- making a banner of support for the trial in 2005!)

Remember, most Michael Jackson fans have not have experiences with best friends. I have found that many of us find the best friends we will ever have in other fans. It's taken me a lot of learning and years of trial and error to figure out how I can be the best and most supportive friend. It takes time!

PS:

Don't argue about Michael!

Michael Jackson is the reason why you became friends in the first place-- why argue about whether he looked better in Wayfarers or Aviators, or gold pants, or whatever.  Relax, chill, enjoy  :) .

Well everyone, those are my tips for making friends in the Michael Jackson fan community. 

Please feel free to share your tips with me and let me know what you think!