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Is the LPU still relevant?
#1
Big question for a first topic in here, ha! A lot of fans have been saying how they don't like the current LPU and never hang out there anymore. It's pretty sad that the LPU community is kinda disappearing - no more chats, message board discussions, blogs, etc. (yes, they still exist, but they aren't used as often as back in the day). What does that mean for the LPU? I feel like in the future, it won't be much more than a kind of online store for presale tickets and m&g passes. Where is the community factor?  Shrug
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#2
To address the question – “is the LPU still relevant?” I will say yes, it indeed is. However, the role of the LPU has changed over time.

For a long time, even with the persistence of online fansites, the LPU was the central hub in the community. I personally joined the forums in 2004 and from 2004 to 2008ish, they were THE place for discussion. It was the largest congregation of fans online for the band, in my opinion. LPA was pretty big at that time and we had linkinparkforums.com as well. But the LPU was thriving.

Their shift to a new CMS with LPU9~ (forgot the exact year) forced them to wipe the message boards. This was arguably the biggest mistake in LPU’s history. The community there completely died THAT day on the LPU. No longer did we have threads that we had discussions in for years and at that time, there was no incentive for fans to start fresh. Instead, they dispersed to the fansites and it grew LPA quite a bit. At that time, LPLive started our forum and we benefitted greatly from this LPU (for a lack of better term) fuck up.

So there is no central LPU community online anymore, there’s no disputing that. However, it has marked a shift to a more in-person LPU community at shows. We’re seeing the international meetups, cover band shows, LPU Summits, and more where fanclub members from around the globe meet and hang out. It’s a new type of LPU. In a different way, it has brought a lot of people closer than ever before. Instead of chatting back and forth on a forum all day, there are events organized by fans and even the band that encourage the fans to meet up. Now we see fans flying all over the world more than ever before to stay with others, travel their countries, and attend their events/shows. The LPU Summits idea was genius and I hope to see it continue into the new touring cycle. This one brings diehard and casual fans alike together from all over the world to one specific Linkin Park show, with lots of stuff going on around it.

So yes – the LPU is still relevant. It is no longer the central hub for exclusive videos and media like it used to be, either. In 2014, Chideo brought us unprecedented access to proshot videos, behind the scenes videos, and more during Carnivores Tour – all content that the LPU should have been delivering all along. But this was just the start. We now see an over-saturation of companies and sponsorships that have loads of exclusive content to themselves, with Mercedes being the extraordinarily oversized elephant in the room that everyone DOES talk about but also Shazam and more. They offer behind the scenes looks at things as well. And the LPU is still there in spurts, throwing us some studio footage here and there. But it isn’t the central database for this media like it once was. However, it doesn’t have to be. With companies taking over these exclusive video premieres of behind the scenes and proshot videos, it leaves the LPU to focus on other things.

For example, the LPU is allowing fans access to TV tapings, exclusive press Q&A/promo/performance events internationally, and more. This is pretty unheard of for a fanclub to do. Yeah, the “UK Week 2003” promotion for Meteora had something similar but that was essentially a one-off exclusive in one country. The scope and scale of the LPU doing this is increasing and allowing more fans access to the band than ever before. Isn’t that the goal of the fanclub at the end of the day – to bring the fanbase closer to the band? In this regard, they are succeeding across the board. Plus, we are still getting exclusive LPU CDs every year, something the band does not owe any fan but decides to do anyway.

So in summary, the LPU is not what it once was, but it has stood the test of time and has evolved and adapted to new system that has brought fans closer than ever before by emphasizing on in-person events for Linkin Park. If you look across the board, I know I use the Metallica comparison a lot, but their fanclub is similar. All of their exclusive behind the scenes videos are just posted by the band now and have nothing to do with the fanclub. That’s what Linkin Park is doing, but via sponsorships and companies. That’s really one of the only comparable fanclubs since so many of them don’t allow meet & greets with the bands and to make up for it, they don’t release any exclusive content either. What the LPU does with Summits, an annual CD, exclusive member-only access to events, etc is unheard of in the music world. The online community is taken care of by the fansites and the LPU takes care of the rest – the big stuff. There is no need for a band chat anymore on the LPU if Mike just hops on Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Twitter, etc to take questions. These were designed for when social media was not nearly as big as they were and is another sign of the LPU adapting. Why waste time, money, and resources working on chat functionality, message boards, etc if the fansites and band take care of those things themselves?

#LPU2017
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#3
(16.04.2017, 17:49)hahninator Wrote: So in summary, the LPU is not what it once was, but it has stood the test of time and has evolved and adapted to new system that has brought fans closer than ever before by emphasizing on in-person events for Linkin Park. If you look across the board, I know I use the Metallica comparison a lot, but their fanclub is similar. All of their exclusive behind the scenes videos are just posted by the band now and have nothing to do with the fanclub. That’s what Linkin Park is doing, but via sponsorships and companies. That’s really one of the only comparable fanclubs since so many of them don’t allow meet & greets with the bands and to make up for it, they don’t release any exclusive content either. What the LPU does with Summits, an annual CD, exclusive member-only access to events, etc is unheard of in the music world. The online community is taken care of by the fansites and the LPU takes care of the rest – the big stuff. There is no need for a band chat anymore on the LPU if Mike just hops on Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Twitter, etc to take questions. These were designed for when social media was not nearly as big as they were and is another sign of the LPU adapting. Why waste time, money, and resources working on chat functionality, message boards, etc if the fansites and band take care of those things themselves?

#LPU2017

Great observation! The fact that the LPU is super unique in the way how it manages to bring the fans together is one big point I completely missed. And yes, we do have quite a few great online communities already, that's true. I guess I'm just a bit sad about that one community, the LPU community, completely falling apart. Of course the fans who were there can just register at other message boards, but I guess it's always sad to see everyone kinda spreading out. Most of the LPUers who were active use social media now anyways. In my opinion that can't replace a "proper" fan community. Message boards, etc. are just more like a little online home with "your people" coming together to have their own little online place. 

I'm a member of the Green Day fan club "Idiot Nation" and damn, what a mess that one is! They have a proper online community but the site is totally buggy. Most die hard GD fans are members of the "Green Day Community" a fan forum by their fansite "Green Day Authority" which just shows how right you are with the claim that fansites sometimes are the better option. Definitely saves them resources, too!
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#4
I think the LPU is becoming more physical and tangible- I've been in the LPU since year one, and I never really felt a part of it or any community until 2012 when I went to Cape Town for the Summit. And so, through all the Summits, the actual interactions, the actual eye contact, even the simple trading of a pen for a stranger- but LPU member- to write down their bid at the Summit Auction; that all made little connections, and it has so much value.

And because of the physical interactions the LPU Summits and exclusive events have provided, I can still feel a better sense of community now with someone I only know or meet online- I KNOW I can have a chance to meet them somewhere in the world, more than earlier years, or they know a fellow LPU member, and I met them in person. 

I myself wasn't really a fan of the chats- the explosion of typing, people not understanding the rules- both written and unwritten. I couldn't enjoy them. And to be honest, it was hard to join in on the non-band-member chat. If you weren't on every day every hour, you could tell there were tight-knit circles in it and it was extremely exhausting trying to be a part of them. I'm perfectly fine with the fan site forums, the candid Instagram Live moments, the Snapchat stories- it's more open and welcoming.
Fly with me under the wings I gave you. \ #ArmchairMasterchefJudge #LPAmbassador
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#5
(19.04.2017, 03:35)nlopezdearenosa Wrote: And to be honest, it was hard to join in on the non-band-member chat. If you weren't on every day every hour, you could tell there were tight-knit circles in it and it was extremely exhausting trying to be a part of them. 

This is so true! I was on almost every day and felt part of the community but I saw that it was hard for "outsiders" to feel welcome there. Many of them were ignored, some were even gossiped about in parallel chats. This side of the LPU sucked big time and was one of the reasons why I didn't show up in the chat as often as I used to after a while. I just hate exclusion and I'm gonna make sure that the LPFC forum will welcome anyone.
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