Blog Group Topic #3: Community


The Blog Group has expanded again!

New member @PamellaLee joins @TamaraStecyk, @Joanna_Farley, @JenBanksYEG, @Sirthinks @livingsanctuary, @Jasmine09 and I in our “blog-about-one-topic-once-a-month” blogging group.

This month’s topic is: Community.

I wasn’t too sure what I was going to write about when this topic was chosen but when I read @Joanna_Farley‘s post about her wonderful dancing community, I knew exactly what my post would be about!

In the year 2008, I was obsessed with So You Think You Can Dance. Well, two years prior to that I was also obsessed with the show but I picked 2008 as the year to talk about because that was when Season 4 aired and that was when dancer Mark Kanemura came into my life!

I am not a good dancer. I’ve always wanted to be but I’ve always been too stiff, too unsure of how to move my hips, and too self-conscious. But that didn’t stop me from loving watching people who could dance and Mark Kanemura could dance. At that time I had already been actively posting on Idol Forums, particularly in the SYTYCD section – talking with the most obsessed of the obsessed SYTYCD fans. The group of fans supporting Mark quickly became the most devoted of that season and I quickly became one of the, I guess you could say ‘leaders’ of the group.

That group that I’m referring to, us Mark fans, were called “Markers” and boy were we ever passionate about this dancer who had captured our hearts.

With my previous background making websites and my technologically-saavy abilities to grab Mark videos, make screen captures, make graphics, etc., it paved the way to the creation of Mark Kanemura Online, a fansite for Mark, as well as a place where, after the season wrapped up, the Markers could still gather.

Because you see by that time we had become extremely close, some Markers closer than others, but all of us shared a very strong bond nonetheless. There was Marker representation at almost ever SYTYCD tour date after the season finished, we became friends with his wonderful family — sisters, cousins, his mother. We helped raise money for his dance studio in Hawaii and beyond things ‘Mark’-related, we supported each other with whatever was going on in our lives. Markers supported Markers in situations ranging from “I hope I do good on the test tomorrow!” to things as heavy as having family members in crisis and just needing some ears/eyes to listen/support. Markers flew across the country to visit other Markers for various reasons Mark-related and not, and there was even a huge group of about 20 of us that came together in the Summer of 2009 for what we called “Marker Con” – a big convention where we all just basically hung out – went to the beach – went to Disneyland – and took a dance lesson from Mark!

We had become quite the family, quite the community.

Alas, the years of devotion and the years of intense chatting and relationship-forming came to an end. More and more Markers stopped visiting the website and the forum – where most of the relationship building had taken place – because well, life happened. I started TV Broadcasting at NAIT which was easily the busiest time of my life and I neglected the website – it stopped getting updated.

To this day the website remains relatively empty. What was once busy with visitors and new posts, discussions, etc., at all hours, is now lucky if it gets a single post in a day.

Still, the Marker community stands out the most for me. Yes I have a working community, my actual family, my friends, the Twitter community and all of those other important aspects that have shaped and are shaping my life, but I need to stress the importance of the Marker community. It was a huge part of my life and even though it’s relatively ended now, I will always remember it.

I’d also like to note that just like the Marker community, I also had an intensely passionate online community that formed when I created a fansite for a Korean boyband I loved back when I was 13. I’d also like to note that the Idol Forums SYTYCD community itself – left a lasting impact on me.

I’ve met so many incredible people through these online communities and it makes me sad that I can get so close to people but then just like that, the closeness dies, the every day chatting ends.

And yet, still, I know if I’m headed to Toronto, if I’m headed to Nebraska, if I’m headed to Hawaii, wherever, there are people I can shoot a message to, to let them know I’ll be in town. There are people from the Marker community, from the online communities that I’ve been a part of, that – although I may not still speak with on a regular basis, I know that if I end up in their neck of the woods, it would be completely fine and even necessary, for us to meet up.

People in my life are always coming and going but the memories and the relationships that I have with them will remain and I’m grateful for that.

So when I sit and think of community, yes, I think of all the typical communities one would think of, but the online community particularly shines through

I think it is amazing that because of the Internet, I’ve been able to befriend so many great people whose personalities absolutely click with me, that I would not ever have connected with if it hadn’t been for some forum or some website online.

And that is my post for the blog group’s topic of community.

Hope you enjoyed!

The Markers after a dance class during MarkerCon 2009!

Linda :)

1 Comment

  • Joanna says:

    awesome post! Now you make me wish I’d written about the online community I was part of from 2006-2008! Gah, will have to remember it for another day :)

    Really enjoyed reading this, thanks for sharing!

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