This is merely an observation but one based on viewing somewhere around 500+ Facebook groups dedicated to Nirvana and/or Kurt Cobain. I’ll update this post if I recognise fresh characteristics or anything deviating from these points.
Firstly, South America owns Facebook! It’s incredible how many South American sites there are. At least fifty percent of the 500+ groups I’ve observed are from the region (I’ll accept they might also be from Spain or Portugal — my language skills are minimal.) My theories range from the speed of development of Internet connections meaning it was the age of Facebook before that region sought to express its Nirvana fandom; to a preference for social groupings as opposed to the very individualistic style of Europe and the U.S. More views are welcomed.
Britain and the U.S. oddly don’t seem to have too many Facebook groups dedicated to Nirvana. Then again, why would we? In the case of the English-speaking world, there have been effective channels for relaying Nirvana information and unifying fans for over a decade with LiveNirvana and the Internet Nirvana Fan Club leading the pack. British and U.S. users also seem mistrustful of unofficial efforts, instead congregating in the greatest numbers around the official/semi-official sites of individuals, bands or labels. Also, instead of actively engaging with groups it seem more the norm for people to present themselves as unique individuals (“I’m special! I’m me!” screamed the dust speck.)
The Italians have a beautiful habit of using lines from songs as the title of their Facebook groups; it was such a common characteristic I could usually tell at once if the group was for Italian Nirvana fans. The Polish similarly tend to incorporate their references to Kurt Cobain or Nirvana into longer sentences — group titles can be ten words. They also all seem to give personal email addresses at the top of their groups so that people can contact them individually. This is unusual, most sites are fairly anonymous revealing little of the individual who built them.
Not wishing to spread national stereotypes but I’ve yet to find a Nirvana Facebook group in Germany that permits strangers to participate or comment. They’re all closed. I’ve frankly found Eastern Europe and the Balkans more welcoming. I’ve seen a few from Asia-Pacific, nothing from the Middle East outside of Israel or Africa but I need to mine more deeply.
I’d like to state, for the record, that my favourite site names so far are definitely “Give Us Back Kurt Cobain and We’ll Give you Miley Cyrus” and “God, Give Us Kurt Cobain and We’ll Give you Justin Bieber.” Oh, and those named “Come to the Dark Side…We Have Cookies.” There’s also a guy on Twitter who makes me chuckle with his macabre Dead Kurt Cobain @gunreviews; “Kurt Cobain, dead but effectively brings you reviews of weapons and tactics from the great beyond. A total parody, unless you are intoxicated.” He’s a pretty good artist too.
I’m also stunned by how friendly and decent people are. The NirvanaItalia site happily added information about the book. LiveNirvana, Nirvana Live Guide and the Internet Nirvana Fan Club have all been a delight. On Facebook too, remarkable friendliness on all sides, a mass of people, sharing a love of a band, simply being polite and encouraging. It’s been a nice feeling; helps me keep going.