Since the onus is on me to “get things started,” I thought that it would be best to suggest and solicit some flexible ground rules for this new forum.
There have already been a few suggestions posted, so let's discuss those ideas first.
The idea of doing more than one book a month is an idea I am not all that crazy about. I believe that we should try to remain focused on a single book for a period of time. That period of time does not necessarily need to be a month. A new selection will be made when the current thread begins to lose steam. This could be a month, two months, or even two weeks. Keep in mind that I will keep the threads open to discussion within their own folder for a while longer, so this will lead to the variety desired and suggested by Rick Maue (though I will eventually “lock” them). But as the “moderator,” the responsibility for selecting and opening the threads is on me. Therefore, unless you want to discuss my choices, please email me with your ideas and desires.
Limiting the selections to any particular “age” of book is also too limiting. Though it would be wise to steer away from brand-new books, given their limited distribution within their first few months of publication. Also, please keep in mind that I won't be buying every new book that hits the shelves. This is not to say that I will not open discussions on new books, or on books I don't own. It just means that I will allow time for the masses to digest a new publication, and that I will have little to say myself (see; there's an upside already). The bottom line is, this forum will discuss the books the group wishes to discuss, which is why your emails to me will be an important part of the process. As Richard alluded to, please do not clutter the forum with requests: clutter my inbox.
Keeping to Jack's original idea, the purpose of this forum is to help everyone: beginners and hobbyists (of which I am a part – though I take the study of magic very seriously, and have so for over 30 years); professionals and performing amateurs. This will be a place to ask questions, voice opinions (civilly) and give advice. To those professionals and performing amateurs out there, we ask that you be generous with your knowledge. I've always felt that one of the greatest ways to learn is to teach.
When mulling over my thoughts for this “rules” post, one of the things I considered was to “ban” posts regarding the sticky issue of crediting and “intellectual property.” But I have changed my mind, This is the place that such things should be discussed. However, I will insist that any posts in this area be civil and supported by documented facts, and that you state your source(s). There will be no hearsay accepted. The last thing we want is for these threads to degenerate into an argument of suppositions and personal opinions. It is these types of denigrating arguments that prevent knowledgeable people from getting involved. Let's not turn away someone like Max Maven with such behavior. We would be quite lucky if we could get someone like Max participating in our discussions.
All right – let's hear from you. I hope to have our first title going very soon.
“Talk” to you later,