I’ve been a Hanson fan since 1997, I’ve seen them close to 40 times live and the majority of my teen years were spent obsessing over them. In 2007 I started getting into the Jonas Brothers, whom I’ve now seen live 5 times. Both bands are similar in that they are brother bands and they draw in the teen crowd.

Lately I’ve been thinking about how much easier it is to be a Jonas fan now than it was to be a Hanson fan then. (And I’m not only talking about the fact that Jonas fans don’t seem to get bashed nearly as much as Hanson fans did – maybe because Jonas doesn’t have long “girl hair”)

When Hanson was first popular, we had just gotten the internet in my house. In order for me to sign on to AOL, I had to use DIAL UP. It took FOREVER and sometimes it found a super slow connection and it could easily take 10+ minutes for an image to load on a website. Now there is DSL and cable and you can load a picture of the Jonas Brothers in seconds.

MP3s were unheard of. We shared Midi (really crappy instrumental files) and WAVs of Hanson.

Message boards were not as prevalent. I met most of my Hanson fan friends on a newsgroup, alt.fan.hanson. (love you girls!)

I used to have to tape EVERYTHING Hanson was on. One of the first VCRs I had in my room was a ghetto hand me down that was my parents. It had no remote and it had no programming feature. If I wanted to tape it, I had to be watching it, and I had to have quick reflexes when shows came back from a commercial break if I tried to “edit” it as I went along (which I rarely did and I ended up with 6-8 hours tapes that had maybe an hour or two of Hanson, if that, on the whole tape!)

With the Jonas Brothers – I haven’t taped a thing. I don’t have to stay up past my bed time to record them on Conan. If I wanted to, I could DVR the appearance, or I could record it to a DVD instead of a VHS.

But the greatest technological advancement to come in the past 10 years or so I would have to say is YOU TUBE. I miss the performance, I get a good nights sleep, and the next morning I watch it on youtube. It’s fantastic.

With Hanson, if people uploaded performances, we’d have to actually send the files to each other. There was no youtube and there was no sendspace or large file sending sites.

I remember Hanson’s first tour, it was announced through their fanclub. Which was a MAGAZINE. That came in the MAIL. Not email, snail mail. Their very first “fan club presale” you had to call a number and say what show you wanted tickets to. I didn’t bother to call so I’m not sure how it workedout.

Now, for both bands, you log into the fanclub website and get all your presale codes and head over to ticketmaster.com (I bought my first Hanson tickets over the phone!) There’s flash intros, the sites play music (that AREN’T midis!) theres message boards, videos can be uploaded… it’s ridiculous the leaps and bounds web design had taken in the past 10-12 years.

I first got interested in HTML and web design because I wanted to make a Hanson website. I started with one on AOL’s free hosting. I also made sites on angelfire and geocities. (Now when I see people using those sites Im like WHAT?! Owning your own domain is the new ‘in’ thing) I taught myself HTML and took a couple classes in college. No one seems to code their sites just by using HTML anymore. There’s tons and tons of affordable web design programs and tons more if you’re willing to spend the money for them.

Now I use dreamweaver… but the need for a “personal site” isn’t needed as much in these days. My site had my concert reviews on it (now I have this blog!) and my photos (now there is myspace and facebook where I upload stuff) but for something fun to do in my free time I keep it. Even if the content is repeated everywhere.

I also think the advancing of the internet is what is keeping the jonas brothers relevant. From 1999-2000 Hanson fans went through what we like to call a “Hanson Drought” We posted on our newsgroup, we called the Hanson Hotline (similar to the new “Say Now”) and waited. Even if the Jonas Brothers aren’t in the spotlight or on tour (busy recording their TV show for disney) they can send out myspace blogs, fanclub emails, etc. (They also are go-go-go making albums where Hanson took the time to put out their records – another thing I think that hurt them) Jonas can also TEXT their fans – where as when Hanson was big and I was 15 I didn’t have a phone. My 15 year old cousin has a blackberry. Times are changing…

I don’t know, “comparing” the bands like this has been on my mind a lot lately.. I just feel like the Jonas fans have it a lot “easier” than us Hanson fans did. You know.. we had to walk to concerts in the snow with no shoes.. up hill both ways!! 😉

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