I'll never sell my celebrity memories

It’s really dawned on me recently how much people dislike change, and do everything they can to resist it. 

Take Facebook for example, the social networking site which now has 100 million users worldwide. Over the last few weeks it has re-designed it’s site and is now forcing it’s members to use the new version. 

But it’s created a public outcry and petitions and protests sprang up all over the place because many users were resisting the changes. 

I know how it feels first hand, as I re-launched my free memorial website GoneTooSoon a couple of weeks ago. 

The site has grown phenomenally since it’s launch 3 years ago and now has millions of visitors every month, so it was definitely in need of updating, not only to cope with the growth but to provide new features and improve security. 

I’ve had people crying on the phone, emails from users who’ve had sleepless nights and a number of letters, all asking to go back to the original version. 

There was even an online forum created to bring back the old site! 

I had anticipated it would take people a couple of days to get used to the site but nothing on that scale. But a couple of weeks on, everyone seems to love it and has forgotten about the original one. 

The only thing I’m disappointed about is my group of friends will be capped to 5000 now on Facebook, but I won’t be launching a protest. 

Celebrity autograph hunters 

Being an avid autograph hunter from the age of 12, I’ve noticed that celebrities are getting fussy about what they’ll sign these days. 

Leeds United Football club have just warned their players to be vigilant when signing autographs as so many of them are ending up on auction sites like ebay. 

I know of one sportsman, whose girlfriend made £30,000 in a year from selling signed shirts, and even jock straps. 

So it’s big business and celebrities management companies are onto it. I’ve witnessed stars like Shayne Ward, Gareth Gates and Ricky Hatton at book signings where fans have brought along items for them to autograph but their management refuse to let them sign anything other than the book or record they are currently promoting. They also ensure that all the messages are personalised to reduce the opportunities for selling them. 

One guy has even ended up in prison through selling fake autographs, and it’s been said that you can make thousands of pounds every week if you’re good at collecting real ones. 

Perhaps I’ve missed the boat then as I’ve never sold any of the thousand or so autographs I collected when I was younger. My favourite one is a signed record cover from Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson which I will always treasure and never sell. To me the whole excitement is meeting the stars and getting them to sign it for you, not buying it on the internet. 

I also moved on to taking pictures of celebrities instead, especially if they were happy to pose with me. 

Fortunately I’ve only been embarrassed a few times by people asking for my own autograph so I don’t expect they’ll ever end up in an auction! 

Dream Girls 2008 

I’m looking forward to Saturday 4th October when the Dream Girls will be taking to the stage at Halifax Victoria Theatre once again for a one night spectacular soul and motown revue. 

The event is in aid of 3 charities - The Samaritans, RSPCA and Endometriosis UK and there are sure to be some stars there on the night. 

It was great fun last year so I’d definitely recommend it. Check out their website www.yorkshirecharityconcert.co.uk for more details. 

I’m hibernating for winter 

This will be my last column of the year, as I’ve decided to take a winter break. 

I’ll still be out and about, and am looking forward to updating you on all my gossip in the New Year. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed keeping up to date with my antics as much as I’ve delighted in sharing them. 

See you in 2009!