Jump to content
  • Zoo Articles

    News, reviews, info & general look around the #U2Community
    It's twenty years to the week since Aaron J Sams decided to make a 'U2 Web Page'. Part of a University class project, that webpage became U2Wanderer.org and with long-running collaborator Carl Uebelhart and other contributors, the site is still going strong.
    We asked Aaron for five tips on running your own U2 fan site.  Here's what he told us - including how the late, great Johnny Cash sent him his thanks and his autograph. 'Truly one of the most memorable moments I’ve had working on Web sites.'
    I’ve been making U2 lists most of my life. Early in the 1980s I had a list of U2 singles and B-sides that I would update with each release. Twenty years ago this week that list became a U2 Web page as part of a university class project. For a bonus I found a way to get it published on the World Wide Web. That list of U2 singles has become the discography section of U2Wanderer.Org. Over these last twenty years I’ve learned a few things about running a U2 site and here are a few thoughts I had to share with others looking to start something similar.
    1. Pick something small and build. You won’t launch a Web site tomorrow about the band that covers every last aspect of their career. There is just so much information about U2 after a career that has lasted over 30 years. Pick some aspect of the band you enjoy and start with that. Maybe start with a focus on the bibliography of books dealing with the band, investigate the chart history, or start a Facebook group about the band’s Zoo TV tour. If you pick a favorite aspect to get started you can always build from there. My starting point was a list of B-sides and where to find them. We added the discography, lyrics, chart positions, collectibles and much more over many years.
    2. Over 20 years the most enjoyable aspect of working on a U2 site has been communicating with other fans. I’ve been lucky to work with fans from around the globe over the last 20 years and had an opportunity to have contact with many more. So many faces and names flash before me as I think back on the people who have helped me out over the years – and from so many countries -- Mexico, Spain, Australia, Croatia, Poland, Greece, Ireland and so many more. The site has opened the door to so many people that I would not have met otherwise.
    It’s also important to find good people who share your interests. Without my longest running partner Carl and all of the staff at U2Wanderer.Org I might have given up on it years ago. It has been nice to work with people and get to know them through the projects we work on, even if we have only rarely had the chance to meet in person. It's important to have someone who will pick up the reins when you need a break, or who you just might want to discuss an idea with.
    3. Every fan has something to offer, it doesn’t matter if they’ve seen the band 75 times - or 1. It doesn’t matter if they have two singles or if they have them all. A site will be aimed at a wide range of fans from all over the world and you should expect communication from a range of backgrounds and experiences. We all have one thing in common and that’s a love for the band. Some of the most positive interactions come from the places you least expect it.
    One of the earliest contributors to U2Wanderer.Org sent her first suggestions when she was 14, after having seen the band only once... taken kicking and screaming by her grandmother! She’s helped decorate the place and is still ready to offer up an honest opinion on any design changes we make. It was also because of her that Johnny Cash became aware of a U2 Web site that was named after the song he did with the band. He sent me his personal thanks and also his autograph. Truly one of the most memorable moments I’ve had working on Web sites.
    4. Don’t be afraid to take a break and work on other things. If you want to do anything, you best enjoy it. If it stops being fun or seems like too much work you might need a break. I always struggle between tours to stay focused on working on the site but there is nothing like a new song or a new tour to renew that energy for me. We are currently working to finish off a major update, probably our largest, with a definite boost of fresh energy from the release of Songs of Innocence.
    5. These days you need to use social media and get involved in the community. Web sites are just one way to discuss the band these days. There are Facebook pages to moderate. On Twitter you can discuss things with fans around the world. Zootopia is one forum where fans gather to discuss the band. It's important to learn where your audience gathers, and to look into the different options for communication you might want to use. This is where you'll find the people you want to work with – whether it's on a Web site, or through a Twitter campaign, or through a Facebook post. And if they are discussing what you are doing it will help gauge how your work is being appreciated. I have to admit, it always puts a smile on my face to see my site getting a mention - especially when people might not know I’m watching.

    Ordinary Love, written for the movie Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, is now released in a 10-inch vinyl pressing to mark Record Store Day.But its a limited edition, which means not everyone will get one… so we’re delighted to announce we’ve bagged 25 copies to give away free to fans!  
    Remember the #U2FTGU Competition - where we asked you to show us what you had built 'From The Ground Up'? Well, this time all we are asking you is to show us some of your 'Ordinary Love’ - and take inspiration from that amazing lyric video by Oliver Jeffers and Mac Premo. 
    Take a line or section of the lyrics from Ordinary Love and personalise it. 
    Make a hand-drawn sketch, write on on a blackboard, scrawl it on the beach, in the snow - make it out of pastry, plasticine or ketchup - tattoo it on a friends arm (with their permission , write it in the sky when you’re next up in a plane… which line(s) you write or how you write it and present it is down to your own imagination…   
    How to enter?  
    Simple! Just take your photo / video / written piece of your creation, and add it to this Zoo Forum Topic thread. If you also show it in your favourite social network site (like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) remember to tag it with #U2OrdinaryLove so we can find it…   
    You can tweet your love to @u2 & @u2community ( & we will R/T some of the best, but again, please remember to add the hashtag #U2OrdinaryLove or we might miss it). Just make sure whatever you create, to make it publicly viewable, and that it sticks by the forum House Rules, and the winners will be chosen sometime in December.  
    So, time to get creative!    
    20 of the vinyl Ordinary Love copies will go to the best entries from U2.com full subscribers, and 5 copies are up for grabs to anyone who is a free member of U2.com (if you are not already a member, you can sign up for free here)   
    Ordinary Love by U2 Lyrics : 
    The sea wants to kiss the golden shore
    The sunlight warms your skin
    All the beauty that's been lost before
    Wants to find us again 
    I can't fight you anymore
    It's you I'm fighting for 
    The sea throws rocks together
    But time leaves us polished stones 
    We can't fall any further
    If we can't feel ordinary love
    We cannot reach any higher
    If we can't deal with ordinary love 
    Birds fly high in the summer sky
    And rest on the breeze
    The same wind will take care of you and
    I will build our house in the trees 
    Your heart is on my sleeve
    Did you put there with a magic marker
    For years I would believe
    That the world couldn't wash it away 
    'Cause we can't fall any further
    If we can't feel ordinary love
    We cannot reach any higher
    If we can't deal with ordinary love 
    Are we tough enough?
    For ordinary love 
    We can't fall any further
    If we can't feel ordinary love
    We cannot reach any higher
    If we can't deal with ordinary love 
    We can't fall any further
    If we can't feel ordinary love
    We cannot reach any higher
    If we can't deal with ordinary love..     
    Are you tough enough?…

    Its not every night you get to go to the movies with U2. Over a dozen of our subscribers (and their +1's) did on Monday night.
    The movie was Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, at a special screening at the Ziegfield Theatre, New York - hosted by U2 themselves, along with Idris Elba, Naomie Harris, Bob & Harvey Weinstein & Anna Wintour. We asked New York U2.com subscribers to simply send us their their names to go into the hat for a chance at tickets for this event, and just about everyone who put their names down managed to get an invite!
    When our lucky winners got to the venue, initially there was a slightly worrying delay about everyone getting to their seats in time but it was all good by showtime. 
    @U2'sJersygirl tweeted us : 'Thank You! I'm in the front row #Mandela' followed up soon after with a snapshot of U2 on stage
    @rperl136 got excited : 'as U2 was walking off stage #Bono and #Edge both shook my hand!!! #lifeismade #U2OrdinaryLove'
    @NYCLeila big smiles : 'We all got in. Thank you!. My seat is in the 6th row... saw Guggi outside'
    All went quiet on the twitter front for a couple of hours as the movie played, but soon afterwards it looks like some our winners got to meet some of the band and sent us their initial thoughts about the experience :
    @LisaSWelch : 'What can I say? Amazing, Moving, Enlightening... #Mandela' & 'Saw the guys. Handsome as ever...'
    @swsunnybird : 'Just got to say hi to Adam Clayton' & '#Mandela is an inspiration. It was U2 who made me aware of him so many years ago'
    @roselace91939 and her +1 got a photo together with The Edge
    @erin_design : 'Wow! What an amazing film. Fantastic to see the band so close too'
    @nicneal13 : 'Powerful movie - amazing song from the boys!'
    @KPN1 : 'amazing film! A beautiful introduction of the band by Mandela's daughter! Bono was almost speechless!'
    It was, by all account one special night to remember. And we all thank the U2.com team & associates for making it happen.
    We will be hoping for some more in depth reviews, photos and feelings about the night from those who were there, keep an eye out in this thread in the forums and more in the subscribers only topic
    Update : U2.com has posted more about the night in the News section, with video
    Walk on...


    More U2 Propaganda!

    By bigwave, in News & Features,

    Over the years many fans have asked the question, 'Are there online copies of Propaganda magazine?'
    Well, until now, officially the answer has been no. Back in the early days of U2.com a few articles from Propaganda were made available online, but never a full edition (not officially anyway).
    Very excited to see the Achtung Baby Scrapbook Edition chosen as the magazine to debut back issues of Propaganda online, and to have been involved in the creation of the online editions.
    Its been a long time coming, but I think the U2.com team has come up with a great way for all subscribers hereto be able to view some fantastic content, some of it never before seen online.
    It looks great of any computer or mobile device, and very cool is the way you can flick through in full screen, zoom in & out and jump to selected pages very smoothly. 
    We are all invited to add comments as to what we think and asked which edition would we like to see made available next - so please make your choice known by leaving a comment here, or over on the main U2.com article page.
    Achtung ya'll...

    This Friday, 10th May is Bono's birthday & here is a chance to join a group of dedicated fans in celebrating our singer's 53rd by getting involved in a great project...
    Formed in October 2002 by a group of U2 fans inspired by a visit there by Bono, African Well Fund is a registered non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for building and maintaining wells in Africa.    Struck by the relatively low cost of building a well and the enormous difference that a well can make in the life of a village, they were convinced that raising the money to build a well was an easily achievable goal.    Each year U2 fans are invited to help Africare 'build a well for Bono's birthday', and to date have raised $220,000  to fund the construction of clean water and sanitation projects, that are benefiting more than 56,000 people in Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Uganda and Zimbabwe.   This years fundraiser specifically aims to raise $10,000 (of which they have raised 25% to date), to fully fund the Mali Dibaro School WASH Project, a $50,000 project to be implemented by Africare that will benefit over 1,800 schoolchildren and community members.   There's no official link to Bono or U2 but if you'd like  to donate or get involved you can find out more here, and even add your birthday message, which will be included in a card that will be sent to Bono / care of Principle Management.  

  • Create New...