spelling it out, because I know what I look like

It’s all about driving traffic, which is like a sport with me.

When I retweet nice things people say to me before I tell them thank you, it’s not because I’m showing off. I know last night might have seemed like that, and maybe times past have, too. I’ve been a lurker for years, and I cater to lurkers. I make it easy for lurkers. So I get up at 2:30 this morning, check my notifications, I see someone new faving those retweets down the line and then faving the thing the retweets referenced in the first place, in this case the Big Ass Spider review link tweet, and I can see immediately they went to that review ~because~ they saw other people talking it up. (I can back this up with time stamps and trackers.) When someone who doesn’t even follow me and (I find out later) isn’t a fan of something in particular but goes in a direction I point anyway (especially to a  movie review full of spiders, egads), I’ve done my job right.

I have studied the greats (aka Wil Wheaton, Chris Hardwick, and top bloggers) on driving traffic. I spent a whole year reading books and tutorials by other people who figured out how to drive traffic, build followings, and amass armies. There are several ways a person can ‘grow twitter’, but the honest way is with content. We hear about content all the time in phrases like ‘media driven content’, but what does it really mean? Anyone can create content, especially out of other people’s content, but can just anyone create content that makes people click? It’s all about the click. All the analytics you see are about how many clicks you get, going in all directions, and they base projections (likelihood of more clicks) on the way past performance is trending in the stats. It’s exactly like sales projections, which I’m familiar with because I worked in a giant retail chain for five years and sat in on weekly sales projection staff meetings.

But the click isn’t enough. If you want the repeat clicks (returning IPs), you must engage. I created an authors list on twitter, and I’ve watched a wide variety of authors tweet for nearly two years. The biggest fail I see (with anyone on twitter) is tweeting continually about only one or two things, like a link to amazon to buy a book, ‘check out my website’, and no matter how clever the tweets get, it’s still the same thing over and over with very little change, which doesn’t inspire me to come back very often. Having 30,000 followers you never engage with is like throwing business cards to people on a bus but never looking at the people who are looking at you. Even Lady Gaga interacts with her fans on twitter. She tosses out goodies and calls them cute pet names and highlights and links fans she thinks are sweet or cool, even though she certainly doesn’t have to.

Twitter is the new IMDB of the masses, if you will. We are all on the stage now. Everything we do is selling something, and I don’t just mean for someone else. Everything about you as a person IS sales. You are your sales. If you can sell yourself well to the public, you get better returns. Twitter is like door to door sales in high speed. People are ‘shopping’ (browsing) for something to keep them amused, entertained, engaged. Maybe they enjoy heated arguments, or maybe they enjoy all the tiny details of woodburning, but whatever it is, if they find what they’re looking for in your twitter but then never come back and click your links, it’s because you’re boring (not engaging) or they have to invest too much of their own time into doing their own work just to get to your stuff.

Think of it like this- twitter is the candy bowl on the counter. People like fresh candy and a colorful variety to choose from. If you have the same old bowl of hard butterscotch on the counter, all you draw are the people who like butterscotch. Maybe that’s exactly what you want, and maybe you think you’re doing well with a following that reaches into the bowl only occasionally when they want another butterscotch, but if that’s the way you do things, you can hardly bluster about no one else reaching into the bowl.

Don’t be afraid to engage. There are people out there doing very well not tossing the same old business card out on the bus. Thank people who give you feedback and allow them spotlights in your timeline because lurkers like checking out the people who say something is cool (lurkers like identifying with fellow fans). My feedback people were awesome enough to drive my Big Ass Spider review up to 91 hits within a couple of hours, which is nice for new people to see when they drop in from search engines. Friends and fans are the bread and butter to your lurkers. Don’t stand alone without your friends.

I’m kinda backward in some ways because I’m not always in the same step as the mainstream flow around me, or even in step with the cool deviant-from-the-mainstream subsets. Sometimes I find it a little surprising that I’m actually onto something before other people discover it. Like, I became aware of Norman Reedus before I ever started catching up on The Walking Dead this year because I’m so into youtube and had already seen Pandorum on Syfy before I joined the tweet. Twitter is crazy about him, and guess what, he’s making loads of money at comic cons because he’s engaging the fans on twitter and in person. When I see frustrated authors who don’t understand why their book sales are low and bluster on about no one is writing reviews on Amazon or see bloggers actually threatening to close their blogs because they don’t get as many comments as they want, but then see them put as little effort into driving traffic to their content as the same old tweet schedule every single day because they think it clutters up their timelines to retweet and talk to people, I turn and walk away. Lurkers are like that.

the making of Lexx

Emergency ‘just in case’ salvage while Xanga continues installing new composition editing tools that seem to be obliterating my old vid posts.  This is a copy of a post on my Lexx fan blog dated 3-24-13 that got 8,840 views before Xanga brutally uprooted and moved to new servers at the beginning of September 2013.

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It’s fun to see what goes into how a show is made. This is a collection of youtubes loaded by fans. If you love this kind of stuff and are interested in Lexx once again becoming a viable product, check out The Lexx Revival Project.

Movie Television – “The Making of Lexx” – part 1
Movie Television – “The Making of Lexx” – part 2
Lexx-Extra Stuff(part1)
Lexx-Extra Stuff(part2)
Lexx-More Extra Stuff(part1)
Lexx-More Extra Stuff(part2)
Lexx-Even More Extra Stuff(part1)
Lexx-Even More Extra Stuff(part2)
making of Lexx season 3 part 1 of 2
making of Lexx season 3 part 2 of 2
Lexx season 4 wrap reel (Part 1/2)
Lexx season 4 wrap reel (Part 2/2)

Learn more about Lexx here. Get back to my Lexx fan blog –> GrandFortuna.

Little Lexx

I joined the Little Lexx (http://littlelexx.net/) forum on November 9th of 2005. To this day, never before or since were there as many users online at the same time in that forum as June 4, 2007, thanks to my presence, and thanks to a handful of other users making me almost as famous as the Lexx actors for awhile. The train wreck was magnificent.

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Years later I have the opportunity to help keep this forum ‘alive’, as it were. Other true fans have been paying out of pocket for years to keep up the domain registration and web hosting, and even rescued the forum from something awhile back that nearly took out the history. I’m not sure what happened and what went into the salvage, but I was grateful to find the forum hadn’t disappeared. It looks a little scantier than it originally did, but thankfully a lot of the archives are still there.

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As of right now, Little Lexx doesn’t expire again now until 2016. I don’t own the Little Lexx domain. I’m not an admin, and I’m not in charge of anything. I am only a contributor. I’m not interested in using the ‘bored’ to promote myself, and I’m not there to be a superfan. There are plenty more Lexx fans who know a great deal more than I do and have spent a lot more money and time on souvenir acquisitions, attending conventions, and building fan sites. I generally don’t team up with other fans any more to get things done or make things happen, and I suck at stalking the actors. I’ve also been out of touch with other fans for several years. But when 2016 rolls around, I’ll be first in line again to keep that forum paid for.

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I just don’t want this forum to disappear. A little over a year ago I gave some deep thought to making a solid commitment to a few things, and Lexx is one of them. Even though I gave away most of my own collection and deleted my original fan sites, which were somewhat prolific, Lexx was part of something very important that was happening in my private life, and I accept now that Lexx is part of me and how I survived some really hard stuff, as bizarre as that sounds to some people.

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Going forward, Lexx is part of who Janika Banks is. There is much much more to me, and I’m already coming back more prolifically than before with some pretty big projects underway, but Lexx is part of what started it all and will remain part of who I am.

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I’m not a nostalgic sort because I’m aspie, not really into contacting people. Most of my previous internet relationships during Lexx years ago came from other fans contacting ~me~. I love fans and I love fandoms, but I’m not going to jump back in there and run any message boards. One of the great mantras “Lexx is dead” (I hear that so often) problematically came about of continual unnecessary board wars, in my opinion, which can be traced historically across several forums, and seems to be a problem more in the United States than anywhere else. I’ve been contacted by fans around the world, literally, asking me (why me???) why this was happening and why I didn’t just go fix it. My answer is 1- it’s not my job, 2- I’m not out to compete with or be better than anyone, 3- why don’t the people asking me do it themselves, and 4- I honestly can’t believe so many people around the entire globe are that afraid of 3 people. I’ve never seen anything like it.

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While other actors are finding ways to flourish in social media, some of the Lexx actors have disappeared for years and not been very present for the fans. Some are just now finding their feet on facebook and twitter. Fans still have an awful time finding them because meta searching is so dismal. To date, the best way to find Lexx actors is still through loyal fans and their websites, and even those are sadly neglected. You can click on this pic to get to that site.

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Social media is the future. Want more Lexx? I’m working on making sure you can find more in the search engines. THAT is what *I* do. I’m the only fan in the United States on twitter that I can find actively linking Lexx on a regular basis, besides a random fan here or there tweeting from getglue or whining about netflix. Other long ‘dead’ scifi fandoms have huge representation on twitter. While other fans still link long abandoned Lexx fan sites, I work on creating all new stuff. I don’t just sit around talking on a message board about Lexx. I actively seek out fans on tumblr who think no other Lexx fans exist, I blog about Lexx, I still get new screen shots no one has ever gotten before. Click this pic to follow me on twitter.

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Commitment. I know I failed the fans when I dumped all my stuff and walked away. I know I suck for that. But unless I really die this time, it’s not going to happen again, and I just put my money where my mouth is on the Little Lexx forum. Lexx is NOT dead. Lexx is finally merchandising through places like Target, which I used to only dream of. Brand new Lexx is cheaper now than used Lexx in gamer stores, and I know because I bought up all the used Lexx in my region. I had gamer store clerks clearing Lexx merch out of other stores in another state and mailing it to my house so I could give it away as prizes one day. I’ve already given away a complete used Lexx and a complete new Lexx to people who actively attend Lexx watches, even though that was never part of my intention with social media. Still, I did make this offer…

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A few fans have done Lexx reviews on youtube and still cosplay Lexx at conventions. I’m not a journalist, and although I enjoy digging this stuff up, I don’t consider it my job to link everyone I find. I’m not into salvage like I used to be when I was first horrified that Lexx was disappearing off the internet. My agenda with Lexx is being true to the story and the characters, first and foremost. I’m working on a couple of Lexx projects relating to that. My stuff will come into existence with or without forums and fan sites, but if other fans would like more interaction and more traffic to their own stuff, Little Lexx is still around, and several of us still check it to see if anything new is happening. We would love to see your pictures and youtubes and whatever else you’ve got going as a Lexx fan.

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stats for Lexx fans, and waving to the U.S. Airforce

Note to stats addicts and Lexx fans- You’re welcome.  

Today is the last day for paid site meter on my Lexx fan blog. Tomorrow my year expires and most of the information I can see right now will drop back off and be lost forever. Since Xanga moved my Lexx blog to new servers at the beginning of this month, and since I still have no freedom to reinsert my tracker html while my original html is still ‘dust’, and since we have no idea if this could take another month or two, I see no sense in paying another $60 on top of the hundreds I’ve already put into going public again as a Lexx fan- actually getting close to saying thousand(s) at this point if we count donating to the Xanga Relaunch. Well, ok, add in the 3-year domain renewal I’m doing this week for the littlelexx.net forum and I can throw the ‘s’ on that thousand. So anyway, today I’m excavating site meter for what stats I can still see.

The very first thing I’m running into is that site meter is still seeing someone hitting the blog every few days.

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Remember, the new obliterated page (still the same blog) is on a different server, but it still has the same web address. As soon as all my Xanga html is plugged back into place by the Xanga Team, site meter should be able to see visitors again, and it will start keeping track again even if it’s not still upgraded to premium. If and when my original html work shows back up somehow, maybe I’ll pay for premium again. This is the detailed info I’m getting on that hit, which I’m betting is Xanga support working on ‘settling the dust’ as they keep saying. If that’s not it, I’d sure be curious who is actually still being counted.

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Before we go on, remember from a previous post at So, Lexx… that original counts were lost when site meter itself moved to a new facility just as I was resurrecting my Lexx blog last year, so this is the second time in right around 12 months I’ve lost a lot of information on a 9 year old blog. Let’s just laugh this off as a learning experience in keeping one’s self from slipping down the steep slope of arrogance. I’d love to really brag it up, but alas, cheers and let’s move on.

Please note at the bottom of this graphic that while my site meter is still paid for, I can see the last 4000 hits…

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as demonstrated here. After today it goes back down to the most recent 400.

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I clicked on number 3,999 and can see this information. I get full IPs with paid site meter, but I’m blocking them out to partial IPs to be nice.

Domain Name patmedia.net  (Network)
IP Address 208.115.206.xxx (Patriot Media and Communications)
ISP Patriot Media and Communications
Continent  : North America
Country  : United States  (Facts)
State  : New Jersey
City  : Bernardsville
Lat/Long  : 40.7262, -74.5949 (Map)
Language English (U.S.)
Operating System Microsoft WinXP
Browser Internet Explorer 8.0
Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 5.1; Trident/4.0; .NET CLR 2.0.50727)
Javascript version 1.3
Resolution  :  1024 x 768
Color Depth  :  24 bits
Time of Visit   Nov 23 2012 8:36:09 am
Last Page View Nov 23 2012 8:36:23 am
Visit Length 14 seconds
Page Views   5
Referring URL http://www.xanga.com/
Visit Entry Page http://grandfortuna…./767742511/the-lexx/
Visit Exit Page http://grandfortuna….atic.ak.facebook.com
Out Click  
Time Zone UTC-9:00
Visitor’s Time Nov 23 2012 5:36:09 am
Visit Number 2,264

  Visitor Path Duration (s)
Referral http://www.xanga.com/ 0
(1) http://grandfortuna.xanga.com/767742511/the-lexx/ 6
(2) http://grandfortuna.xanga.com/76…in=http://static.ak.facebook.com 3
(3) http://grandfortuna.xanga.com/76…in=http://static.ak.facebook.com 2
(4) http://grandfortuna.xanga.com/76…in=http://static.ak.facebook.com 3
(5) http://grandfortuna.xanga.com/76…in=http://static.ak.facebook.com 0

If I want to see a world map, I can see the last 500 hits on paid site meter. Tomorrow that will drop back down to 50 or 100, I think.

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Isn’t that cute?  All the Lexx fans are cute little dots. I can hover over each dot and see more info for location and user

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and if I click the dot I go straight to its detail page, like what I just copied above on number 3,999. I’m thinking about zipping through the 4000 hits tonight and listing all the different countries I see for posterity. If I’m not too tired I’ll add an edit below with that list.

This little dot caught my eye. Big wave to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado.  If you are interested in knowing more about that, here’s a link –> United States Air Force Academy

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I was curious what someone from the USAF would be doing on my Lexx blog, so I clicked to get the details page. Please note the search phrase “tv spaceships in meters”. From there you can see this person was referred to my post “How big is the Lexx?” See it for yourself –> How big is the Lexx? | GrandFortuna’s League of 20,000 Planets

Domain Name (Unknown) 
IP Address 140.32.16.x (Naval Ocean Systems Center)
ISP Naval Ocean Systems Center
Continent  : North America
Country  : United States  (Facts)
State  : Colorado
City  : U S A F Academy
Lat/Long  : 39.0107, -104.8669 (Map)
Language English (U.S.)
Operating System Macintosh WinNT
Browser Safari 1.3
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/28.0.1500.95 Safari/537.36
Javascript version 1.5
Resolution  :  1366 x 768
Color Depth  :  32 bits
Time of Visit   Aug 2 2013 1:01:32 am
Last Page View Aug 2 2013 1:01:32 am
Visit Length 0 seconds
Page Views   1
Referring URL http://www.google.co…ust=1375509233467154
Search Engine google.com
Search Words tv spaceships in meters
Visit Entry Page http://grandfortuna….how-big-is-the-lexx/
Visit Exit Page http://grandfortuna….how-big-is-the-lexx/
Out Click  
Time Zone UTC-7:00
Visitor’s Time Aug 2 2013 12:01:32 am
Visit Number 6,103

[<<]  [>>]
  Visitor Path Duration (s)
Referral tv spaceships in meters
(1) http://grandfortuna.xanga.com/771872138/how-big-is-the-lexx/ 0

Sometimes I see dots from our troops overseas, sometimes I see dots from Langley, VA (CIA), but mostly I see lots of cute little random dots. There are a handful of dots that have been hitting my Lexx blog regularly for several years, and by regularly I mean usually weekly, and when I opened it back up to public again, even daily for awhile. Most of the regular dots are in Canada, Russia, France, the UK, but mostly the Los Angeles area, and I’m just going to be really vague and leave it at that. Hello Los Angeles.  If someone out there is thinking about making more Lexx, please remember that I think Bradley James would be awesome to play Thodin if you do backstory –> http://www.syfydesigns.com/showthread.php?341-LEXX-The-Dark-Zone-Stories&p=905&viewfull=1#post905

The funniest dot is United Arab Emirates referring in because of the Lexx phrase “the most powerful weapon of destruction in the two universes”. I used to see that quite a lot.

Back to my Lexx blog stats. I posted these graphs before, but here they are again for fun. Keep in mind these are conservative numbers. I used to use 3 different trackers to catch all the stealth and proxy users. I don’t think site meter is that great, but I love the cute little charts and graphs.

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I archived the view counts on my Lexx posts before the big Xanga migration. This snip is from the “How big is the Lexx?” which I linked up there.

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 I won’t list them all here, but that and my other top Lexx posts got more hits between them this year than my entire Lexx blog originally got when the show was fresh several years ago. I think this is significant because I keep running into fans who make comments about Lexx being ‘dead’. Um, yeah, in the show the Lexx died, but the show itself is far from dead, obviously. It’s not visibly huge on the internet because it’s not really airing very well anywhere, showing up in spurts now and then on Netflix, finally available in stores and on Amazon, but for a couple of years it seemed like Lexx would go out of print and disappear off the market forever. Here are a few examples of how dead Lexx is. The first one is the Lexx index page.

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Not bad for a ‘dead’ show in only a few months’ time. Worldwide traffic. I honestly didn’t expect this at all. Also, this is why you can’t trust the site meter counts. Check out this list of how many hits these posts got.

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I know, right, the Lexx index page at the top has less than a tenth of the Xanga count. Go down to the 119 on the link that says wormhole riders. Now look at how many hits Xanga recorded for that post before the move.

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I know site meter was stringently only counting those as entry pages in that list, but I’m pretty sure this last one was hit more directly from twitter than anywhere, as me, Holly, Ellen, and the Wormhole Riders were all tweeting it several times over a period of a couple of weeks. So I don’t think site meter catches near what comes in. Funny thing is, Xanga’s internal tracker should have been able to cross reference to site meter, but it rarely did, so Xanga was catching all different hits than site meter. I was able to watch those hits come in every time I tweeted, so I know they weren’t bots. And of course, a number of those hits were the steady fan traffic coming to the main website page or the Lexx index page and then clicking on the title. What’s really convincing for how bad site meter is for actual traffic is a post I made that has nothing to do with Lexx. On that entry page list at 192 hits is Diabetes and Steroid Meds, and this is the count Xanga got by the end of August, with 99% of the hits coming in from search engines, so I’d certainly call that entry page counts.

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That’s quite the discrepancy. In case you’re interested in that, here is the link –> http://grandfortuna.xanga.com/2013/02/21/diabetes-and-steroid-meds/ I’m sorry the font color is so horrible now on that since the relaunch, I’m going to have to fix it. But not tonight. Spent my evening fixing the “How big is Lexx?” post. 

Whew, what a long post! Need a brain cleanser after all that? Here’s what I’m listening to right now.

So, Lexx…

This is a huge deal, and a priority in my life.

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It’s who I am. That’s probably a scary sad thing, but I accept and embrace it.

I had a big Lexx fan site for years at grandfortuna.xanga.com, I blew it up and it disappeared because stuff, it’s back now as a hobby doing the biggest Lexx film study ever on the internet, and my blog host is obliterating (hopefully temporarily) all my cool html with a move to new servers that is taking months. So I stopped the film study, thought I’d be back on it by now, but that mess is making me crazy and I’m thinking very seriously of copying the html to another host now, like Blogger, more for redundancy than anything. I can’t wait another month or two for the ‘dust to settle’ with Xanga tech support. Eventually I hope it’s bigger and better than ever and will be the coolest, but for now, life is a little too much on hold and this isn’t cool.

The site stats before the server migration look like this. Site meter didn’t move with the servers, so it has stopped counting. It was pretty conservative, didn’t catch incoming that other trackers did, like anon browsing, proxies, repeat IPs, etc.

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You can’t see this count at the bottom of my grandfortuna page anymore. Site meter went through a server move, too, so between this and the charts, that total count should be a lot higher if you add in the old days before I took down the original Lexx fan blog.

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What you can’t see any more since the server migration is the internal view counts on each post, like the Lexx index, which is the most accurate, and quite a big count for just one post.

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Because of Lexx, I have friends around the world. Thanks to Lexx being at the root of my motivation to go public, I am expanding across the internet in ways I hadn’t even planned on, lotta fun things falling into place.

Lexx is my hobby. It’s not really an obsession because I gave away my collection to various fans around the world and deleted most of my folders. I put away the DVDs and didn’t watch them for years. But because I got so involved in Lexx and the Lexx fandom for a couple of years, I’m pretty familiar with it, and when I need to unwind, I’m finding it very cathartic again to spend a little time breaking it down into screen grabs and blogging about the show. When I first got into Lexx it was my ticket out, my distraction from a very painful illness and a death in the family. I didn’t talk about my own stuff online, I talked about Lexx. I made Lexx my focus on long sleepless nights, during long boring shifts at work, through very scary and sad stuff I had to go through in my life. Lexx may seem silly to some, but for me it was a blissful reprieve. Perhaps a very odd one, but it worked.

I’ve grown. I don’t hide behind Lexx any more. I’m in other fandoms, and I don’t hesitate now to show my real face and talk about my real life, which is pretty rare in the Lexx fandom. I’ve expanded into the Merlin fandom and have mixed the two into my own little MerLexxian thing on twitter and syfydesigns. I’m working on pulling all my internet identities together, and I’m ready to be a solid real person in this world, not just some avatar with a fan obsession.

I love fans. I love the people behind the masks. I love that they create wonderful things distracting themselves from the bad days that they have, too. I’m glad to be connected to people all over the world, and I’m making some awesome and wonderful friends who mean a great deal to me, more than they can ever know. We can be very good for each other. Because I’m a MerLexxian, it’s not at all out of place for me to put this video here at the end of this post because I’m full of feels now.

And of course-

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