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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Why can't we just HELP the new folks learn the ropes? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Jim Poor
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Fairfax, VA
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OK, all the replies to questions that basically amount to a very thinly veiled "Do a SEARCH you MORON!" are really getting old.

Why can't we all be a bit more gentle and reply something like this:

I did a quick search using the following terms: "Jamie D. Grant" in the user name field and "Price" in the search term field to find an answer to your question. Here is the link: link,,,,,,

Now, many of us spend enough time on the Café that we can tell who is lazy and who is just making a newbie mistake. The newbie mistake folks will take a post like I suggest and learn how to search a bit more effectively before asking.

The lazy folks might need to be reminded a little more firmly, but does it REALLY matter? I bet most of us could do a search and post a link with a polite reply faster than we could craft a "witty" (A.K.A. catty) response involving reading a book written by Peter Cottontail to learn about Table Hopping!

If you're grouchy, do a search on "Bad Mood Club" and go join it. Get your frustration out and then come back and make a useful contribution to Café society.

<<<---Putting on the flame suit, but I don't really give an animated rat's pitootie!


Best,
Jim

Posted: Feb 10, 2007 10:10am
Oh, and as a bit of background on why it matters to me.

I was recently at the local B&M magic shop talking with several regular customers. I mentioned something I read about on the Café. The reply I got was "the Café is nothing but a bunch of cat fights. A bunch of girls gossiping."

Is that how we want to be known?

come on now!
Habu
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I throw fire at your face Smile

I ignite flames in your general direction Smile

I hurl molten lava on your shoes Smile

I... oh wait, I agree with you, Smile

Please ignore the initial three lines Smile
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Real name: Rick Jackson
Habu: Taken from SR-71 spy plane I worked on. It's name came from a poisonous snake on Okinawa. Hope my magic isn't poisonous!
BrianMillerMagic
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It's depressing that the Café can be known like that. I've received a lot of help here before, and I do my best to try to help even when the typical questions show up. Some people on the Café are certainly more helpful than others, but I wouldn't say there is more unhappiness on the Café than anywhere else. Compared to other internet forums for magicians this one is relatively calm, from what I've seen.
evolve629
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Brian is right - so far the Café has been helpful and full of information. Some certainly are more ready to help than others. But just hang in there and keep trying if you don't get the answer right away. Usually when I don't get an answer here, I will hit the books or DVDs to find it. I often search related words of an effect using the search engine here.
One hundred percent of the shots you don't take don't go in - Wayne Gretzky
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Habu
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Brian I agree with you about the quality and courtesy of the Café in general, I have, however felt like Jim on the odd occasion.

I have been a member of other forums, one for a digital painting program called painter, and one for an online gaming group for Medal of Honor.

I can tell you for certain that compared to my experiences with those, that this Café shines bright and raises itself far above those in its compassion and comradeship.

That being said, as Jim mentioned, when it is necessary to refer someone to a simple search it could be done in a polite and helpful manner.

I have done searches for a single word and had 30 pages of seemingly non related posts come up, based on the titles of the post. I am not going to read through the entire post list to see if one happens to be on topic. I am sure others have experienced this as well and if a new user has this happen then they will not even try.

One of the ways this could be rectified is try to make sure that topic titles specifically mention the key point of the post.

The other suggestion is that instead of saying "do a search" we should explain that an advanced search will give them much better results (although it is not always accurate either)

My flaming thoughts on the subject.
www.magicbyhabu.com
Real name: Rick Jackson
Habu: Taken from SR-71 spy plane I worked on. It's name came from a poisonous snake on Okinawa. Hope my magic isn't poisonous!
BrianMillerMagic
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True what you've said about the search. When doing a search here you do have to be quite specific, and for the most accurate results use the advanced search. In the event that I cannot find a seemingly relative thread on the first page, maybe two, of a search then I will post a new topic asking about it. It is a little odd that people seem more willing to help the experienced performers than "newbies." I suppose it is like how huge multi-million dollar companies can get loans no problem, but a small struggling family owned business that actually needs the money can't get a loan at all. The world works in mysterious ways - sometimes that's lucky for us Smile
KyleThorson
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Not to mention, by only reading old posts you might not be getting the input of any of the new blood around. Asking the same question the umpteenth time might actually spark another great conversation on the topic that would have never happened if you only did a search.
montemagic
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I agree, I have had trouble finding things with the search option.


New Users keep in mind that if you do find an old topic, posting a question into it will bring it up to the top of the list again.
Aim To Amaze
tupawk
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I am still new here but have found the Café to be very helpful overall. Compared to allot of other online forums this one is pretty tame, helpful, and contains mountains of great knowledge.

Unfortunately, what you posted about is just the "nature of the beast" with online forums. It is very hard to police them, anyone can sign up, etc... The less mature members feel the need to be superior to others asking for help by starting flame wars, trolling, and just general rude behavior.

I also agree that the search function can be hard to home in on what you are looking for (always a good idea to at least try one before posting a new topic though Smile). And if you do find an old post like Monte said posting in it to bring it to the top is a great idea. I just read over an old post about routines because someone did that.
Andy the cardician
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Honestly, there are members in this Café who enjoy flaming and arguing for the arguments sake. But I do not think that they are the majority. Having said so, the bad impression is always stronger.
Cards never lie
Bob Sanders
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Quote:
On 2007-02-10 14:09, montemagic wrote:
I agree, I have had trouble finding things with the search option.


New Users keep in mind that if you do find an old topic, posting a question into it will bring it up to the top of the list again.



Nearness to the top is a very decisive method of identifying active and inactive topics.

Certainly there are some real gems hidden in the older posts. Why not start there if your objective is to start with the obvious. It is not obvious to many new members of The Café. Old posters have been there.

Enjoy!

Bob Sanders
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Bob Sanders

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AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
Jamie D. Grant
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Jim,

I did a quick search of the following terms: "Jamie D. Grant" in the user field and "Why can't we get along" in the search term field to find an answer to your question:

Here's the link:

Link

Lol,

jamie

p.s. Smile
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Josh Riel
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I get a little tired of the "Use the search function" people too. If they are that irritated with the question to join in the conversation, just to say the above. Don't visit the thread, or at least add a bit of information. Although I must say those kinds of posts are getting fewer than they were a while back.

I have had bad luck with the search function, but have never tried the advanced one. However as I don't have many questions to ask, it really isn't a big deal.
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
Jim Poor
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Jamie,

Touche! Smile

Even funnier since I used one of your posts as an example to begin with.
Jamie D. Grant
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Quote:
On 2007-02-12 01:37, Jim Poor wrote:
Jamie,

Touche! Smile

Even funnier since I used one of your posts as an example to begin with.




Lol,

Sometimes I find myself quite witty...

Your Pal,

jamie
TRICK OF THE YEAR: Industrial Revelation, BOOK OF THE YEAR: The Approach, The AIP Bottle, and my new book Scenic 52, can all be found over here: SendWonder.com
Kindness takes practice. My TEDx talk
Angio333
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I agree with Jim Poor. As a new user I found the Café to be friendly over all. Please do not take this post as a bash on a very good forum with really good people.

However, after reading the resopnse that some people give to some simple questions on ther people's posts, it makes new people not want to ask basic questions. Remember that asking a question that was asked before can provide information that was not in a thread from 3 months ago.

On another note...one thing that I find disheartening about getting into magic is that there seems to be a huge wall put in front of beginners. The only club in my area that I know of is a IBM ring. Based upon a response to my email, it appears that they rerquire you to already lknow several tricks and be working on or have a routine to attend the meetings. So in other words, beginners get excluded.

Thanks
- C
montemagic
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Quote:
On 2007-02-12 09:59, Angio333 wrote:
I agree with Jim Poor. As a new user I found the Café to be friendly over all. Please do not take this post as a bash on a very good forum with really good people.

However, after reading the resopnse that some people give to some simple questions on ther people's posts, it makes new people not want to ask basic questions. Remember that asking a question that was asked before can provide information that was not in a thread from 3 months ago.

On another note...one thing that I find disheartening about getting into magic is that there seems to be a huge wall put in front of beginners. The only club in my area that I know of is a IBM ring. Based upon a response to my email, it appears that they rerquire you to already lknow several tricks and be working on or have a routine to attend the meetings. So in other words, beginners get excluded.

Thanks




I think that they probably want you to show that you are interested and are willing to put in the practice that it takes to learn some basics in whatever area you are interested in. I have had friends that want to learn, usually after seeing a particular effect, and I start them off with something basic. I want them to show me that they are actually want to learn opposed to just wanting a particular secret. Now that doesn't mean that every "newbie" is just out to get your secrets, but this is a business of secrets, and there are certain things that you have to do to "earn" those secrets.
Aim To Amaze
jimbowmanjr
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Jim,

I agree with you to an extent. I think people should be reminded to use the search function on any forum like this, repeatedly if necessary. A certain amount of tact when reminding someone of this would be nice to see once in awhile as well. I search the forums here regularly and find some incredibly interesting posts, which is usually why I don't have much to say here =)

I think the overall feeling from people who try and be helpful is that there is simply too much spoonfeeding going on and want to see more people doing the legwork on their own. I don't think you would fall into that category but I am sure there are plenty of people out there who would rather just be handed their answers on a silver platter every time they ask a question, especially a question that has likely been answered multiple times.

--Jim
Jim Poor
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Quote:
On 2007-02-12 12:23, jimbowmanjr wrote:
Jim,

...A certain amount of tact when reminding someone of this would be nice to see once in awhile as well...


Jim,

Exactly! Yes people need to be reminded, however, comma, we can be nice about it, and help at the same time.
Best,
Jim
Jaz
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It's sad when discussions start to heat up and don't stop.
Sure, there's a lot of laziness, strong opinions and ego trips going on here at the Café but it's still a fine resource for help and information.

For me it's easier to walk away from the nonsense rather than become a part of it.
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