I completely support Richard in his decision and was, I believe, the first to write him and tell him so. Time each day is limited, especially with a monthly production like Genii. Having an expensive, time-consuming bonus like the Forum as a service to non-subscribers makes little business sense.
Like any small magazine, Genii is massively labor-intensive. The magazine is produced by a tiny number of people. Imagine running a business where every month you had to produce a new, high-quality product that was similar in format to the previous months product, but with all new content. Well, thats what magazine publishing is all abouta new production every single month of the year. How many of you could do that?
On top of keeping up the quality you have to deal with writers who are either paid a small stipend or donate their time and talent, advertisers who dont necessarily always get their copy or their ad revenue in on time, and subscribers who miss issues, and the political dimensions in dealing with various magic societies. Having been in Richards position with a magazine I edited some years back, I know exactly what hes going through.
Out of all of this he is supposed to make enough money to support himself and his family.
On top of all of that, far too many magicians are cheap bastards who fail to understand the real costs and the real values of things. Genii is dirt cheap for the quality of product you get. It should be far more expensive than what Richard charges. A rate of $53 is peanuts compared to some niche market publications. It could easily be half again what Richard now charges and still be under priced.
I'm amazed to hear of guys who buy some lame DVD that's full of crappy, unworkable "magic" for an exorbitant price but cant afford $53 a year for the quality of news, articles, and effects that Genii provides.
Just reading one review and avoiding a crappy book or DVD would save you the cost of the subscription. It should pay for itself in those kinds of savings alone.