Trouble on The Magic Cafe

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Postby Guest » 07/06/07 09:35 AM

JR, your vision of free speech is puzzling.

Why would any forum want to encourage "arguments, flaming, finger pointing, innuendo, and personal attacks"?

At the same time, thank you, Richard and Brad, for creating a new Genii Forum category.
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Postby Guest » 07/06/07 11:53 AM

I'm just guessing but I don't think that is his version of Free Speech.

What I gather is that when an argument does occur, posts that do not agree with the current political stance of the website get deleted, and the thread gets locked. Once locked, the thread often looks very different than where it ended up before the cleansing. Quite convenient for some. Certainly not an accurate representation of the original thread.

To make matters worse, posts that do remain are often edited, sometimes completely altering the intent of those posts.

This is not unique to the Kids Magic thread. There was a thread started by Jamie Grant asking "why all the hate" regarding the new Street Magic Magazine. People were mostly giving answers that were not popular and not in favor of the magazine. James Clark wrote a very childish and defensive post that was replete with special characters throughout: (@#$^@$%^@$%&^@$%^@$%^@$^@). I was quite impressed.

Once it was realized that James made a huge mistake and looked childish, combined with the negative nature of almost all the posts, out came the mop-up crew. . .
After the cleansing, the locked thread had a completely different tone.
A complete 180.

It's frightening to me that a thread that takes a natural path, as ugly as it might be, gets stopped, edited (to suit an advertiser perhaps?), the intent reversed, and locked so no further views may be expressed.

Look at it now:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/view ... orum=227&8

This is NOT how this thread looked and in no way is indicative of the feelings of the original posters. Clark's childish post has been removed, all the negativity has been removed, explanations to Jamie (bless his heart) as to why all the hate have been removed, and now it's just a benign "It's always hard at first. Go get'em tiger" thread.

For all the good the website does, this is something I really think needs to be addressed.
I'll admit that having paid advertisers makes it tricky.
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Postby Guest » 07/06/07 12:06 PM

I think a section devoted to Entertaining Children would be a good addition to the Genii Forum.

Other than that, who cares what happens on the Magic Cafe?

Why are we wasting time and bandwidth discussing it?
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Postby Guest » 07/06/07 03:55 PM

"Other than that, who cares what happens on the Magic Cafe?

Why are we wasting time and bandwidth discussing it?" :sleep:


On this matter, I would agree David. The ridiculous editing that has gone on whenever the professional entertainers have come out with the truth about entertaining kids is nothing short of a disgrace. This is why so many are leaving their ranks. Let us move on to new and more welcoming pastures. JR
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Postby JKeppel » 07/07/07 12:18 PM

Ah, its discussions like this that make me remember the "Magic Circle Jerk" blog. I wonder what ever happened to him.
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Postby Guest » 07/07/07 02:36 PM

The Cafe has way too many rules and I for one am getting tired of it.
They call it "Magicians Helping Magicians", but whatever you do, do not, and I repeat do not give a link to E-Bay if anyone is looking for something and you know it is for sell on E-Bay. You will get a reprimand from the chiefs and your post will be deleted..Freedom of Speech, right...
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Postby Guest » 07/07/07 08:00 PM

"Ah, its discussions like this that make me remember the "Magic Circle Jerk" blog. I wonder what ever happened to him."

I am sorry, JK, but I am not familiar with "The Magic Circle Jerk" blog. Please can you enlighten me? I am an Associate of the Inner Magic Circle Gold Star, and an overseas member. I am always interested in these things. Thanks! JR
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Postby Guest » 07/07/07 08:25 PM

TMC has it issues...
personally i don't think steve likes me.

He also won't move the Women's section
to a better place.

We are "Odds & Ends"
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Postby JKeppel » 07/07/07 09:43 PM

Roger, "The Magic Circle Jerk" was a blog about magic that ran about a year and a half. It was run by someone who was kicked off of The Magic Cafe and it was hysterical. The Guy gave his comments about magic no holds barred and it was always good for a laugh. It up and dissapeared last november and unfortunatly you cant even view the archives anyomre. I dont know who the guy was in reality and there were MANY rumors about who it really was. Where ever this guy is now I salute him and miss his humor.
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Postby Guest » 07/07/07 09:50 PM

(this is a thread about 'strange things happening at the Magic Cafe, thus my post is on topic and part of the exchange....please don't ask me why I'm posting about the Cafe!)

The big joke about the Cafe is all the bleating and crying from various management types about how the Cafe is beyond having to answer for anything because it's free, and it's Steve who pays for everything.
The presumption is that because Steve pays for everything, nobody who visits the Cafe deserves to be treated like the customers they are, but rather like annoying children, unwelcome and dirty.

As a matter of fact, if you raise your voice or ask any questions you're immediately threatened with either being kicked out for a month, or kicked out for good if you don't shut up and do as you're told.

Why are the Cafe users customers you ask?......as opposed to The Genii Forum where we are all, in fact, guests of the management?

Because there's many thousands of dollars worth of advertising on the Cafe every month. It's the Cafe users who visit and read those banner adds......that makes folks who visit customers. Every 10 banner ads equals around $1000.00.
There's around $4000.00 worth of banner ads each month on the opening page ALONE, and there's hundreds more banner ads strewn throughout the rest of the forums.

It's time somebody said this...........despite all the Cafe rhetoric otherwise generally indicating that all Cafe users are in effect freeloading whiners who need to shut up and follow the forumula because Steve alone pays for all of this, and all us content creators are nothing more than trash.......
SOMEBODY IS MAKING A BLEEDING FORTUNE OFF THE CAFE!!

So what's a magician to do?

In the end, folks DO need to thank the people who set up these boards and forums, especially when they let us access them at no charge.
In return, management of the boards needs to understand that the folks who visit in turn provide most of the CONTENT to the forums, and therefore are a HUGE factor in the success of the board in question.

In the end it is what it always is....when everybody respects each other it all works as it should.
The Cafe management stopped respecting all the Cafe users a few years ago when the Cafe reached critical mass.

The Cafe no longer has to worry about one or two (or even 50) unhappy users.

Those users who may not be happy at any given point in time don't stop the ten grand or so worth of advertising from flowing through the Cafe coffers every month......and for the folks that run the place, it's all about that $10,000.00......it's not about the folks who create 100% of the content that makes that ten grand possible.
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Postby Guest » 07/08/07 01:16 AM

Because there's many thousands of dollars worth of advertising on the Cafe every month. It's the Cafe users who visit and read those banner adds......that makes folks who visit customers.
Isn't it the other way round?

The visitors pay no money to the Cafe, so they are not its customers. Who pays money to the Cafe? Only the advertisers do. So:

- The advertisers are the Cafe's customers.

What is the product being sold to the advertisers? You are.

- The visitors' ad-viewing eyeballs are the commodity which the Cafe sells to its customers, the advertisers.

It's the same model as TV, except the Cafe doesn't have to pay money for its eyeball-attracting bait (er, content). As you note, that's created gratis by the users. The Cafe does pay for the TV-land equivalent of studio and equipment for content creation, though, as well as for the broadcast equipment.
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Postby Guest » 07/08/07 09:11 AM

It was run by someone who was kicked off of The Magic Cafe and it was hysterical.
I believe i know exactly who you are talking about.
I'll have to ask him about it...
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Postby Guest » 07/08/07 09:14 AM

Funnily enough, I used to have a banner ad on the Cafe last year, advertising my limited range of products. After two months of advertising, I was told I was not allowed to renew the ad. No reason was given. I was throwing money at them, and they were not accepting it! Go figure! JR
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Postby Guest » 07/08/07 09:16 AM

It could be the other way around Ted, it depends on how broad you want to go with the word 'customer'.

I don't pay to walk into Walmart either, and yet I'm a customer when I'm in there.

Either way, the Cafe is a rather depressing place these days.
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Postby Guest » 07/08/07 02:12 PM

"If Richard chooses to set up a forum on this board for children's entertainers, that is his prerogative. I hope it is wildly successful. There are things that are tolerated on the Genii Forum that aren't on the Cafe'. That is also Richard's call."

Hello Amos! On the above statement, I totally agree. However, I disagree with everything else you said in your post. If you have had a great experiece on the Cafe, that is wonderful. I would never want to take that experiece away from you. However, many have not had good experiences over there, especially on "The Little Darlings." That is why I am very excited that Richard has agreed to open up a new area on this forum for the discussion of the popular arena of children's entertainment. I look forward to it, as I am sure many others do. JR
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Postby NCMarsh » 07/08/07 05:49 PM

There are things that are tolerated on the Genii Forum that aren't on the Cafe'.
Honesty, for example.

Regardless, we should all quit griping and appreciate these folks taking the time and investing the money so that we can have a place to socialize
Bull. The Cafe is a business, and a shady business at that. Kids come in bright eyed and eager to learn about magic and they get hyped and hoaxed into buying over-priced garbage dreamed up in mom's garage by the latest internet magic celebrity.

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Postby Guest » 07/08/07 06:03 PM

I enjoyed chatting briefly with Richard at the SAM Convention, and I believe that he welcomes almost any topic of interest to Genii members, controversial or otherwise...

opie
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/08/07 06:09 PM

Opie, good to see you and I loved your rubber band routine (to swerve off the topic). Send me that good part for Genii!!!
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Postby Guest » 07/08/07 09:10 PM

Thanks, Richard.....I will try to get with Ramone Galindo to do the video next week......Thank you for asking.....opie
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Postby Guest » 07/13/07 10:46 AM

I'm late into the conversation, but I did have a weird experience with Magic Cafe as well. I joined them a few months ago... Didn't get to post much because of my schedule. Finally got around to checking the forum. I saw Cody Fisher was on all week. No one was writing to him!

Cody posted that we could talk to him about anything, didn't have to be his magic. So, having a relatively new website of my own. I asked him about products and business advice, as well as advertising.

I was permanently banned. Come on! How can we talk about the business if we can't talk about the business?!? I guess it's because I'm not some naive 14 year old from Idaho. I'm looking for a place where I'm allowed to talk and ask questions!
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Postby Guest » 07/13/07 08:26 PM

I don't pay to walk into Walmart either, and yet I'm a customer when I'm in there.
Nope. Walking into WalMart makes you a potential customer, or perhaps a former customer.

Buying something makes you a customer.

Watching a commercial doesn't make you a customer, and neither does reading the occasional banner ad.
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Postby Guest » 07/13/07 08:39 PM

Potential customer, past customer, customer.....all semantics for the topic under discussion.

Ask any Walmart employee and they'll tell you that they're told never to forget that every single human being in that store that's breathing is a customer.
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Postby Guest » 07/13/07 10:15 PM

Alright:

My first and ONLY experience with the "Crap-Ass Cafe" (copyright castawaydave 2007) was during a period when Mike Ammar was scheduled to answer questions.

They requested queries in advance of his appearance, so I asked about his handlings of The Gallo Pitch, which I had seen Mr. Ammar demonstrate during an early-80s lecture, but could not recall the details. I was one of the first people to add a question.

After a week or two of build-up, there were maybe 50 or 100 questions listed; to-which the Maestro began posting brief answers.
He literally responded to ONLY the most-recent posts.

After a few days of his responding ONLY to the most-recent queries (say, #80-#100) I wrote back saying something to the tune of, "Perhaps you could answer some of the earlier questions in the thread?"

Evidently, that was horrbily-rude heresy beyond the pale, and my posts were immediately eliminated.

I have never-again logged-onto that piss-poor site.

Magic Cafe, my ass.
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Postby Guest » 07/13/07 10:20 PM

Note: that should have read "horribly rude"...I just washed my hands and I can't do a thing with 'em (har har!) :p
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Postby Guest » 07/16/07 11:42 AM

I must say I am comforted by the fact that I am not the only person to have had a bad experience with the green place! It really is quite extroardinary the number of professionals who have been banned over there for speaking their minds, and imparting priceless knowledge. It is wonderful that the new "Children's Entertainment" area of the Genii is only one week old today, and is already attracting a lot of interest and good creative discussion! JR
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Postby John LeBlanc » 07/16/07 02:27 PM

I'm not going to make excuses for Steve Brooks or The Magic Cafe -- it's not my board or my place. Although I've had my share of irritations over various issues and threads, I'll just say that my dealings with Steve have left me with the impression he does his best to do the right thing, and that's all one can expect from another person.

But I will say two things in general: as anyone who has done it will tell you, running a discussion board of any size can be a royal PITA from time to time; and there's always three sides to every story. Given the amount of traffic over at the Cafe, someone's toes will be stepped on from time to time.

Anyone who thinks they can do a better job of running a board is always free to start up their own. Experience is the best teacher of humility.

John
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Postby Guest » 07/16/07 06:20 PM

"I'm not going to make excuses for Steve Brooks or The Magic Cafe"

In my humble opinion, John, you just did! JR
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/16/07 07:46 PM

I'd like the part of this conversation that involves crapping on The Magic Cafe to be finished now. Thanks.
Running this little Forum is, in fact, a BIG pain in the tush. My definition of purgatory would be to run a big board like The Magic Cafe. Better them than me!
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Postby Guest » 07/16/07 08:55 PM

Thank you Richard.
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Postby Guest » 08/22/07 06:46 PM

I too have walked away from the cafe. After years on being on as a regular, I had a small dispute with the management. I was threatened with being kicked out. My answer was to just walk away. I leave it to the 12 year olds to take control.

It started off great but has gone down hill fast. May it rest in peace.
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Postby Guest » 08/22/07 08:12 PM

The cafe is generally a mess! It is full of junk. People (not magicians) fishing for secrets, bad reviews, and blatant marketing attempts. I bet 50% of the users on there are NON magicians, or duplicate accounts of regular users! Someone should look into that.

It needs to be cleaned up, and better managed. Everyone I talk to thinks the cafe is ridiculous...
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Postby Guest » 08/22/07 08:20 PM

I regret my coarse language.
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Postby Guest » 08/22/07 09:32 PM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
I've just asked our webmaster, Brad Aldridge, to create a new category in the "Tricks and Illusions" area to be called: Children's Entertainment. ...
But it's in the "Biz, Buzz, Collecting, Etc." section - a strange place!

CHS

[added by edit]

On this board, I've generally defended the Cafe, believing that good folks post on the Cafe (just like here) and that a wholesale dismissal of the Cafe is not fair (nor is it accurate, really). The irony is that a few of the chaps who have "dissed" the Cafe on this board have, IMO, really made asses of themselves here.

That said, I prefer the quality of discourse here. It just better suits my tastes.

[added by another edit]

P.S. If Frank Starsinic's characterization is accurate regarding what happened in the "Why All the Hate?" thread, then the Cafe mods should hang their heads ...
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Postby Guest » 08/22/07 09:42 PM

Originally posted by John LeBlanc:
I'm not going to make excuses for Steve Brooks or The Magic Cafe -- it's not my board or my place. Although I've had my share of irritations over various issues and threads, I'll just say that my dealings with Steve have left me with the impression he does his best to do the right thing, and that's all one can expect from another person.

But I will say two things in general: as anyone who has done it will tell you, running a discussion board of any size can be a royal PITA from time to time; and there's always three sides to every story. Given the amount of traffic over at the Cafe, someone's toes will be stepped on from time to time.

Anyone who thinks they can do a better job of running a board is always free to start up their own. Experience is the best teacher of humility.

John
Excellent post, John.

- Steve H
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Postby Guest » 08/23/07 04:46 AM

Originally posted by Jesse Feinberg:
...It needs to be cleaned up, and better managed. Everyone I talk to thinks the caf is ridiculous...
IMHO it's a pretty good barometer for where we are in magicdom.

The current "big thing" appears to be a web page offering on www.whatistheory11.com and there are over seventy five (75!) pages of discussion and puzzle solving in progress to date.

Remember the movie "If..." or Mary Shelly's Frankenstein? What happens when adults abandon their responsibilities?

On the plus side there are some who are exploring the Tenkai Pennies trick and are slowly working their way toward an edge grip version and may even discover the EG2FP transfer in the process.

IMHO such journeys of discovery are a significant part of ones education. Just a little sorry to see it come at the price of being done in public and among peers who have not so much as read the standard texts.

As others have mentioned there is a Christian/Mammon heavy influence present so the necessary counterspells and animal sacrifice rituals have to be organized and discussed in code.

Yog Sothoth Eternum,

J
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Postby Guest » 08/23/07 10:39 AM

JKeppel mentioned that the Magic Circle Jerk archives can't be viewed anymore. That's true, but you can still enjoy Andy's writings on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, at http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://mag ... ogspot.com .

-- David
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Postby Todd Lassen » 08/24/07 08:06 AM

Wow, that is cool. Never heard of the 'way back' machine. Thanks for the link David.

http://web.archive.org/web/200210130749 ... ldout.html

I can even go 'way back' and see reference to the work I did, for which I never got paid or credited. :)
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Postby Guest » 08/24/07 08:51 AM

Todd, though your name is still anathema and discussing you is taboo (ON THE CAFE), none less than Kainoa Harbottle has recently praised your work and you as a resource for the coin guys.
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Postby Todd Lassen » 08/24/07 11:47 AM

Anathema? Ouch, that hurts. Well...Not. Is that general consensus? :)

I can make coins, but I'm not a valuable contributor to magic boards...YET. My only skills with the pen THUS FAR, it seems, are ...bitching, promoting my wares, and rude sarcasm. The good stuff is coming soon though. :)
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Postby Guest » 08/24/07 12:21 PM

Originally posted by Todd Lassen:
Anathema? .... Is that general consensus? ...
My guess is that's ONLY among the mods/managment there.
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