For the past eight years, I've been managing the @U2 Calendar. For those of you who aren't familiar with the page, it's a place where we list band appearances, tour dates, memorable birthdays and anniversaries in the U2 world, plus a limited amount of tribute band appearances and local U2-themed happenings.
I like having this responsibility because I get to know many of the fans who regularly submit items and I learn about events that I never would know existed otherwise. One such entry is an online concert coming up a week from today.
In the Second Life community, a group of fans who go by the name of "U2inSL" (U2 in Simulated Lives) will re-create the PopMart show in their virtual setting to raise awareness for Feed a Smile. I think it's a creative, fun example of fan expression.
For a taste of what this is like, watch this video from a few years back:
As you've probably heard, the next U2 Conference will take place in Cleveland, Ohio, in April. Early-bird registration will be available starting Feb. 1 and the fee is $$249 per person through March 10.
The academic sessions have already been announced, but the eight Mainstream/Popular sessions still need speakers! Now is your chance to throw your hat into the ring and participate. Simply browse the available topics, decide which idea appeals to you most and fill out the relevant topic form. You're welcome to pitch for more than one topic, and the final deadline for entries is Feb. 8.
For those of you who didn't attend the last U2 Conference in 2009, the presentations are very informal, the crowd (fellow U2 fans) is very kind and the vibe is jovial. Put simply: Don't be intimidated by the pitch forms. These sessions are very low-pressure and more about connecting with fellow fans than anything else. Please participate if any of these ideas spark your fancy! We're all family here.
All of us @U2 news hunters regularly receive alerts when mentions of the band pop up on the Internet. Earlier this week, we were inundated with word that a new species of spider had been named after Bono. As I'm not a fan of insects, these frequent updates, which all featured colorful photos, were unwelcome. But I had to think: If I had another spider standoff like the one I wrote about here, would I have reacted differently if it was of the Bono variety? Probably not.
But I bet there are fans that will venture into the desert to catch a few. If you do: Please don't send us any photos of your discovery — we'll take your word for it.
© @U2/Kokkoris, 2013.