Floating Table spam

Discuss products and their reviews in Genii.

Postby Bill Mullins » 10/24/12 01:11 PM

I just got an unsolicited email for a booklet on how to build a floating table, from Vandoren magic.

I don't know to what extent, if any, the design steps on Losander's work. I do know that I didn't sign up for emails from Vandoren, and since his business practices include spam, I'm suspicious of how he operates with respect to the work of other magicians.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/24/12 01:43 PM

Report him, Bill, for SPAM violations.
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Postby Joe McIntyre » 10/25/12 07:58 AM

I got one also.
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Postby Carl Skenes » 10/25/12 10:23 PM

Me too, and also reported.
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Postby VanDoren » 11/18/12 03:52 PM

Gentlemen,
I am sorry if you were offended by my email. I have accumulated emails over the years of magicians that occasionally, normally less that once a year, that I send emails to. If you don't wish to receive them, a simple request at the bottom of the page will remove from my list. If you are on my list, I receive your email address from communications, business card, or pubic displayed information indicating that you are open to receiving emails. Again, I don't bombard people with emails. I send them out occasionally, and if you don't want to be on the list, it is easy to remove yourself.
As far as my book is concerned. It is amazing how a person is condemned before knowing the content of his/her writings. I could elaborate, but I don't feel it is appropriate here.
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Postby Donhdunn » 11/18/12 07:05 PM

Hey, guys, there's a difference between spam (such as magicians getting emails pitching Viagra, diet pills, and the like) and magicians getting one pitch for a product they might actually be interested in. I'm willing to be none of you received an email from VanDoren before and certainly won't get another from him in the future. And he's right about criticism -- what, daring to infringe on another magi's product!!! -- without bothering to investigate exactly what he's offering. For all anyone knows, maybe he's talking about building a floating four-legged card table or the kind of round oak table spiritualists used to make float with a slotted ring on one finger. As he says, hit "reply" on your email and say, "no more emails, thanks" -- how hard is that?
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Postby Bob Cunningham » 11/18/12 07:22 PM

Definition of spam:

An electronic message is "spam" if (A) the recipient's personal identity and context are irrelevant because the message is equally applicable to many other potential recipients; AND (B) the recipient has not verifiably granted deliberate, explicit, and still-revocable permission for it to be sent.

An unsolicited e-mail sent to magicians for a magic product is most certainly spam. Even if recipient has an interest in the topic being advertised it is still spam.

Otherwise I could not classify all the Viagra and diet pill e-mails I receive as spam. I am interested in the topic. I mean just for my cousin - not for me personally!
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Postby Bill Mullins » 11/18/12 10:52 PM

VanDoren wrote:I receive

Should say "I take"
your email address from communications, business card, or pubic displayed information indicating that you are open to receiving emails.

The mere fact that I have an email address that you can find doesn't indicate that I'm "open to receiving emails". I make it available to select communities, such as the Genii Forum, to enable participation in those communities. Given that you have only this post, you aren't really a member of the group, and it should be painfully obvious that the email address isn't there for your commercial purposes.

As far as my book is concerned. It is amazing how a person is condemned before knowing the content of his/her writings.


No one has condemned you. I made a very specific observation and gave the reason for so doing. If I'm wrong -- if your booklet is not related to Losander's work, or is not taking advantage of the reputation and goodwill he has built -- then no doubt your satisfied customers will point out the error of my ways and I'll stand chastised off to the side while you sell a bunch of them.

[crickets chirping]

Okay, that didn't happen.

Seriously, why does one need to read a book to form a negative opinion of it? I don't need to watch "Honey Boo Boo" to decide it would be a waste of my time.
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Postby El Harvey Oswald » 11/19/12 02:13 AM

I find that deleting and/or "unsubscribing" works.
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Postby Bob Cunningham » 11/19/12 09:55 AM

El Harvey Oswald wrote:I find that deleting and/or "unsubscribing" works.


Spam should NEVER be unsubscribed. This only tells the spammer that they have a legitimate e-mail address and will generally result in MANY more spam messages.

The most useful response to spam is to report it and block it.

Bacn (pronounced like bacon) on the other hand are those news alerts and advertisements that we have signed up for (sometimes unwittingly). They can be unsubscribed from without negative consequences.
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Postby mrgoat » 11/19/12 10:04 AM

Bob Cunningham wrote:
El Harvey Oswald wrote:I find that deleting and/or "unsubscribing" works.


Spam should NEVER be unsubscribed. This only tells the spammer that they have a legitimate e-mail address and will generally result in MANY more spam messages.

The most useful response to spam is to report it and block it.

Bacn (pronounced like bacon) on the other hand are those news alerts and advertisements that we have signed up for (sometimes unwittingly). They can be unsubscribed from without negative consequences.


That's not always true, imo.

If they are using a legitimate Email Service Provider, then unsubscribing will absolutely work. So if you see any of the big ones (constant contact, lyris, mail chimp etc) in the bottom of the email, then unsub will work.
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Postby Bob Cunningham » 11/19/12 10:28 AM

We may be disagreeing about terms. Legitimate online marking firms go to great lengths these days to avoid sending SPAM as defined in my previous post. However they my inundate you with BACN.

What can be confusing to end users is that they often do not remember (a) having checked a box (or NOT unchecking a box) inviting marketing from a company or it's affiliates (b) having previously done business with a company.

Because of the legal issues involved (at least in the US) very few legitimate companies engage in SPAM.

Of course if your inbox is being filled with BACN you may not care if it is technically spam. However, BACN can and should be unsubscribed.
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Postby Bill Mullins » 11/19/12 12:40 PM

Is BACN an acronym for something?
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Postby Bob Cunningham » 11/19/12 12:49 PM

I don't think so. My understanding is that is just spelled differently to distinguish it from the delicious breakfast food :-)
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Postby VanDoren » 12/30/12 12:12 PM

Some of this discussion, said that I use spam. Which I explained earlier that was not true. Others said that my book was exploiting other peoples work. The table discussed in my book can be floated this way among other ways. Watch the Video and you be the judge!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOH31EbcdZ8
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Postby mrgoat » 12/30/12 02:19 PM

Nice jacket.
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Postby Pete McCabe » 12/31/12 02:58 AM

I think that's an old Marlo jacket.
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Postby billmccloskey » 12/31/12 10:27 AM

The suggestion not to unsubscribe from all spam is an outdated one. It might have had some legitimacy in their early 2000's but today there is little downside in unsubscribing. If the "spam" is delivered by any of the major Email Service Providers (ESP's) then you will be unsubscribed. Real spammers just keep sending to the same addresses: it won't matter if you try to unsubscribe or not.

But there is a difference between "spam" and email that is sent illegally (in violation of the US's CAN-SPAM act or other countries more stringent rules).

Scrapping websites for personal information, as seems to have been done here, is not necessarily illegal, but it is CERTAINLY bad practice and if enough complaints come through on that IP address, ISP's will block it, resulting in no mail from the sender being delivered to anyone. If Mr. VanDoren has not had a run in with Spamhous, my guess is he will shortly resulting in a complete shut down of his business.

Bottom line: scrapping websites for email address is bad, bad, bad.
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Postby mrgoat » 12/31/12 10:42 AM

VanDoren wrote: If you are on my list, I receive your email address from communications, business card, or pubic displayed information indicating that you are open to receiving emails.


That's illegal, is called spam, and you shouldn't do it. But you shouldn't rip off losander either.

So I guess you are just a horrible human being that no one should do business with.
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Postby VanDoren » 01/01/13 11:18 AM

Pete,

It is not a Marlo Jacket.
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Postby mrgoat » 01/01/13 11:32 AM

VanDoren wrote:Pete,

It is not a Marlo Jacket.


Wooooooosh!

Image
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Postby Richard Hatch » 01/01/13 01:12 PM

The first few pages of VanDoren's book may be searched on Amazon.com and if you search on "Losander" you'll find his comments on the history of the floating table in the Foreword (misspelled "Forward"). They don't inspire confidence...
http://tinyurl.com/b97tqtk
There is an ad for the book in the January GENII. I'd love to see it reviewed in GENII as well!
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/01/13 01:57 PM

I have yet to see any verifiable evidence that Losander did not create the Floating Table that he sells which uses a modified Zombie gimmick (ala Al Schneider and Tommy Wonder) attached to the table.

There's some guy named Vladimir who's been selling knock-offs of Losander's table for over a decade and he claims to have come up with it first, but where's the solid evidence?

In the meantime, Losander and his father build beautiful tables but are forced to sell them for lower prices because the jerks in China are selling rip-offs and Mak Magic has been carrying them in the United States.
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Postby VanDoren » 01/03/13 11:44 AM

Thanks for the catch Richard. As I am sure with most magicians, I can't afford an expensive book editor and I am sure my book has mistakes. One of the great things about Createspace Book Publishing is it can be corrected. It is being corrected as we speak. Tanks again.
Everyone seems to focused on one concept in the book. I would just like to say that the book discusses the science behind the table and explores new ideas of how one might use this type of table to create new and different ways to perform this illusion as shown in the video posted earlier. It discusses how to change the weight and how the reader can be creative in the construction. I am not in competition with anyone. My reader is the magician that enjoys having fun and getting dirty in the work shop. I have had two magicians call me and ask me to build them tables. I refused!!! This books is all about being creative and pushing the envelope of how a table can be floated.
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Postby mrgoat » 01/03/13 12:53 PM

VanDoren wrote: I can't afford an expensive book editor and I am sure my book has mistakes.


So, you illegally spam, you state as a fact your book has mistakes, and you have poor taste in jackets.

Sounds like a winner!
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Postby Richard Hatch » 01/03/13 02:49 PM

VanDoren, how about submitting the book to GENII for review? There are currently no reviews on amazon. It would be nice to have an independent opinion of the content.
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Postby mrgoat » 01/03/13 02:50 PM

Richard Hatch wrote:VanDoren, how about submitting the book to GENII for review? There are currently no reviews on amazon. It would be nice to have an independent opinion of the content.


Good idea. I could do with a laugh.
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Postby Andrew Pinard » 01/03/13 02:51 PM

Curious: Does Genii have a policy of requesting/requiring review copies prior to running advertising?
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Postby mrgoat » 01/03/13 03:21 PM

Andrew Pinard wrote:Curious: Does Genii have a policy of requesting/requiring review copies prior to running advertising?


That would be a very odd policy. I worked in magazine publishing for 8 years and never even heard of the idea of only running ads for products that have been reviewed.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/03/13 03:22 PM

The reviewing of products is not linked to the advertising of products.
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Postby Andrew Pinard » 01/04/13 12:12 AM

My apologies, my point was not a requirement of connecting advertising to reviewing, it was more a question of editorial review of a product prior to accepting and running advertising (not a printed review/critique of a product).

The decision to review a product is separate but certainly would be expedited by having the product at hand. I have been involved with a number of journals that would not accept advertising without having an opportunity to "view" the product firsthand (to determine whether it was in line with their "standards" as to veracity - truth in advertising).

Whether or not the product was ultimately selected for a published review/critique had "no" bearing on whether the producer was also an advertiser (although I'm not going to mention that this type of "editorial decision" did or did not affect the "quality" of the published review).

And, to clarify (and cover my butt), I am *not* referring to Genii. Any similarity to any person, organization or periodical is purely coincidental...

It does raise several questions (and perhaps warrants a broader discussion) of how products are selected to be reviewed. We struggled with that at times with The Magic Menu:

Do you review everything submitted?
Do you not accept submissions and only review products purchased to avoid bias (think Consumer Reports)?
How do you partner the reviewed item with the appropriate reviewer?
What is the appropriate way to disburse submitted items?
- etc...

Again, I'm not looking for answers from Genii. As a long-time subscriber (hell - life-time), I get the writer's perspective over time from reading multiple reviews.

But feel free to ignore me (my wife does from time to time - and appropriately so)...

Happy New Year!

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/04/13 12:21 AM

We were not supplied with a review copy of this booklet. I ran the ad once, but probably won't run it again.
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Postby mrgoat » 01/04/13 05:00 AM

If a magazine links editorial with adverting it is corrupt. When I was an Ad Manager I would never be able to influence editorial, not in 8 years of doing it. I would get a editorial list of what was in the issue and could sell sympathetically round that, but that was as far as it went.
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Postby Andrew Pinard » 01/04/13 10:15 AM

Mr. Goat:

I don't disagree with you.

That being said, even receiving free product in exchange for a review always seems to me to be a bit skeevy...

If we substitute the phrases "advertising" and "products submitted for review with no expectation of return" with "revenue" and your initial statement becomes: "If a magazine links editorial with *revenue* it is corrupt."

Hmmm... So:

If a periodical or organization wishes to review products, should they only review material that they purchase? In order to avoid any appearance of impropriety?

Should they, as a matter of principle, return the product to the vendor? (Or is the quid pro quo of review-for-product an equitable transaction?)

This is for the sake of argument only.

In our industry, only a few reviewers (at most) are compensated by their publishers for their effort. Most reviewers only receive compensation through the free swag they receive. We have seen a few relatively high-profile reviewers unload their review copies as second-hand merch at some future date, but we're not talking big dollars.

One could argue that our industry is not big enough to "pay" people for their efforts, but is that one reason why we have a relatively small position in the food chain?

I admire and appreciate that Richard demonstrates great integrity when he refuses advertising from vendors due to ethical concerns. Any small, family-run business lives and dies by the incoming revenue and it can be hard to balance principle with the need to put food on the table. Just one more reason why I decided to become a life-time subscriber.

As a person with toes in different aspects of the industry (full-time performer, independent producer, editor of a magic history/collecting publication and periodic hired gun helping others produce items), I do wish that there was a medium to have these types of big discussions about the business. Unfortunately, most of our conferences/conventions and organizations seem to be focused on other issues and rarely dedicate any serious effort on improving the field at large...

Finding this discussion very interesting.
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Postby mrgoat » 01/04/13 11:07 AM

Andrew Pinard wrote:Mr. Goat:

I don't disagree with you.

That being said, even receiving free product in exchange for a review always seems to me to be a bit skeevy...

If we substitute the phrases "advertising" and "products submitted for review with no expectation of return" with "revenue" and your initial statement becomes: "If a magazine links editorial with *revenue* it is corrupt."

Hmmm... So:

If a periodical or organization wishes to review products, should they only review material that they purchase? In order to avoid any appearance of impropriety?

Should they, as a matter of principle, return the product to the vendor? (Or is the quid pro quo of review-for-product an equitable transaction?)

This is for the sake of argument only.


Yes. They should either buy them or get review copy loaners. Absolutely. In my opinion.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/04/13 11:36 AM

That's just not the way things work, gentlemen.
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Postby mrgoat » 01/04/13 12:33 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:That's just not the way things work, gentlemen.


It is in mainstream publishing.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/04/13 12:46 PM

But we're not in mainstream publishing.

Film critics get free tickets to the screening of films. They give either good or bad reviews.

What we do is no different.
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Postby Bill Mullins » 01/04/13 01:55 PM

mrgoat wrote: It is in mainstream publishing.

Not always.

Most book reviewers of mass market books get review copies for free.

I used to write for a trading card magazine and got product samples all the time.

Consumer Reports is the only magazine I've ever heard of that makes a point to independently purchase everything it reviews.
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Postby mrgoat » 01/04/13 01:57 PM

Bill Mullins wrote:
mrgoat wrote: It is in mainstream publishing.

I used to write for a trading card magazine and got product samples all the time.


I said mainstream publishing.
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