It's interesting that this discussion went from is it good that "Street Magic Magazine is available to the public" to the revelation that magic club membership is dropping.
It's true, many magic clubs have become stale, but it's not just young magicians they don't appeal to.
I wrote about my idea of 'The Perfect Magic Club' on our blog almost two years ago:
Part 1 http://magicunlimited.typepad.com/magic ... t_mag.html
Part 2 http://magicunlimited.typepad.com/magic ... mag_1.html
Part 3 http://magicunlimited.typepad.com/magic ... mag_2.html
Some clubs found these ideas helpful, and wrote to tell me they were able to increase their membership and that's great. I think every club needs to experiment and to try new ideas to keep their members interested and to attract more members. (Though, there are some clubs who have made it quite clear to me that they don't WANT new members... they're happy the way they are).
Another area of magic that's being affected are conventions. Many conventions run by clubs and societies are phasing out because no-one could be bothered running them any more, and the few that remain and continue to be successful are run by magic dealers. People who have a financial stake in the success of the event.
(I would LOVE to hear that Ellusionist or Penguin decide to run a magic convention. They would attract soooo many young magicians eager to learn and they could expose them to top flight magicians LIVE instead of on the computer screen. But financially, could that end up costing E or P business as their customers discover they can jam with each other and swap tricks for free? After all, any bricks and mortar magic dealer knows the guys from the local club are the ones who spend the least money in the shop...)
That brings us back to Street Magic Magazine. It's published by a dealer, Black's Magic, and the bottom line is that it will have to be a financial success and attract more people to his e-store. It's a brave move. Yes, they could create more magicians, but the main aim has got to be to create more customers.
Chris Wasshuber is right. Magic is transforming. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing... time will tell.