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Special user
566 Posts

Profile of Seth
It's just my opinion, but isn't the Café gettting a little too diversified in terms of its different sections and topics?

I guess it's to make room hopefully for more people to join (even though that would make it lose its sense of community more so that it has already done)

The majority of posts are in only a few sections: cards, coins, mentalism, theory and reviews really...

It's just getting a little nutty to check so many threads...

what do you guys think?
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Inner circle
1184 Posts

Profile of JimMaloney
I first felt that way about 80 forums ago...

Books and Magazines for sale -- more than 200 items (Last updated January 17th, 2014. Link goes to public Google Doc.)
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Inner circle
2110 Posts

Profile of marko
There's so many forums now that it's hard to know where to post your question or topic. I'm sure Steve could eliminate the mind benders and dealers section and no one would notice. And some of the division between books/videos/tricks/illusions etc in the trading and reviewing areas is unnecessary.
Thought: Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage.
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Inner circle
1253 Posts

Profile of Schaden
I agree with you Marko. It is just becoming too clouded.... Take out the Black art forum(no one posts in it). Also, the deletion of 'Odds and Ends' will work... What's this forum supposed to do?

Preston Burt
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New user
55 Posts

Profile of Preston Burt
I agree, waaay too many sections. I feel worried when I post a question whether or not I posted it in the right category. I too feel that several of the sections could be combined. (for example: put the escapes forum with the illusion forum, or put them both in the stage category for that matter) I think it might be a little intimidating for those who are rather new to magic and visit the Café.
Jonathan Townsend
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Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27151 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
I don't believe there could be 'enough' diversity.

In the six months I've been reading here, not too many lovecraftian tentacles have appeared to set the mood. Likewise not many PKDick stories have been adapted into card tricks.

I suspect some newbies looking for hope are going to drown in a sargasso sea of unmotivated variations and posts that offer fuel for argument though offer little to advance the art.

However, on the fringes where the standard deviations fear to camp, there are those who are doing art and seeking knowlege.

Just last week we had an AMAZING discussion among those who understand how legends are built and those who just want to know about the kernel of truth that all good stories must have. The thread is now locked, though the issues are just as releveant today as they were thousands of years ago.

Welcome to magic. The wand admirers will post where they choose. As will those who do not use a magician's wand in performance. I hold that our strengh is in our diversity. all the coins I've dropped here
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Inner circle
1253 Posts

Profile of Schaden
You should place the new "good, bad and the garabage" into the old one. Then you can just have one link to the split forums. Then place the 'Odds and Ends' into this forum but, keep this general forum still.

Steve Brooks
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Founder / Manager
Northern California - United States
4763 Posts

Profile of Steve Brooks
Running and organizing any kind of venture is never an easy task. No matter how much planning and/or thought one places into a project, there will always be obstacles that seem to appear out of thin air to create problems.

When this happens, you either find the best possible solution to the crises at hand, or ignore the situation and wait for the boat to eventually sink. Not being an Olympic swimmer, I have always elected to choose the former plan of action. Smile

When I started The Magic Café the idea I had was pretty simple, or though it seemed that way at the time. Smile
Create an online community where magicians and entertainers of all ages, regardless of beliefs or gender could gather in a civilized atmosphere to discuss and learn more about the art we all love so much.

I knew there would be problems, as I watched on a daily basis the utter chaos and mayhem that existed on other Internet magic forums. This insane pool of negativity and unchecked fighting and bickering still exists on these other sites even as I write this post. But then again, that was one of the reasons I created this place. I was confident (and still am) that a structured and well planned community could be a real possibility.

I realized that hard work and a pitbull mentality would be needed for any kind of success, but this was a burden I was willing to bear. I assumed from the beginning that by enforcing order and demanding common courtesy, I would make enemies from strangers I have never even met. Yet this seemed like a small price to pay when considering the many folks whose lives I would be able to brighten each day.

Like any community that is built from the ground up, much planning would be neccessary. One must have rules of conduct, and consequences for those who fail to follow those rules, lest the entire community suffers.

Future growth is a given here, so anticipating the eventual need for expansion must be a part of the plan. With growth of course comes change. For some people, change is not an easy pill to swallow. Indeed, there are those who would rather suffer the illness of chaos and disorder then consume the medicine of diversity.

You know, diversified is an interesting word. But what does it really mean? A quick look at the dictionary shows the following:


A To give variety to; vary: diversify a menu.

B Distinguished by various forms, or by a variety of aspects or objects; variegated; as, diversified scenery or landscape.

C Separated and diversified one from another.

D Having variety of character or form or components; or having increased variety; "a diversified musical program ranging from classical to modern"

I believe that most of the above pretty much applies to how The Magic Café is structured. The idea is to give as much variety as possible while maintaining order and logic. Keeping folks on topic is never an easy undertaking, but providing a map certainly aids folks in choosing the correct roadways to travel. Having no order of subjects (specific forums) is akin to a dvd with no chapter listings or a book with no index. Can you imagine? Geez, what a nightmare that would be, especially in larger volumes.

Can you have too much diversity? Think about that for a few moments. Can you have too many ideas? The copyright and Patent offices don't think so. Too many books? Ask Barnes & Nobles. Too many drawings or paintings? I hope not.

I think that to limit any kind of creativity would be a real crime. But limiting magicians to specific magical styles or routines would not only be wrong, but would be counter productive at best. That said, I try and provide as much diversity here as possible.

Please know that many of the latest additions to The Café are a result of actual requests from members who have a real interest in those specific areas. Many of these requests can be read in the various topics found in the I want to see the Manager forums, still other requests were sent to me via private message or email.

While I don't neccessarily add a new forum everytime someone makes a suggestion, when I have repeated requests concerning a specific subject matter from various members, I do give the idea a little more thought and consideration. While we don't hold elections and or count votes for such changes, I do take my members needs to heart. Smile

There are some changes made, that while not a suggestion, just seemed to be the logical thing to do. Case in point would be both the Let's make a magic deal! forum and The Good, the Bad, and the Garbage forum.

Both areas are extremely popular, and were becoming very disorganized. Dividing these into seperate areas provides not only easier access for our members, who can now look for a specific item (dvd, book, etc) much more quickly, but helps our Café team members keep everything current and looking good. Seperation also makes it much easier to spot those few people who would otherwise try and take advantage of my generosity.

Unlike some sites, where members must scroll through countless posts, hoping to eventually find something that interests them, The Café is divided into specific areas. If you don't have an interest in a specific forum, I would suggest you don't read or post there. Pretty simple I think.

I agree that a new person coming to The Café for the very first time may become a bit overwhelmed, but not any more then the young lad entering his first magic shop, or the college student who walks into the campus library that contains thousands of books and stands three stories high! Smile

There are a few more additions and changes coming to The Café, but I can honestly say with total confidence that nothing is ever done here on a whim. Much thought and consideration goes into every single change and/or addition made on The Café.

I realize that the possibility of pleasing everybody will probably never happen, but I can live with that because I know that I've done the very best job I possibly can to create a very special place in the world of magic. To that end, I think I have had at least a small measure of success. Smile

While I can certainly appreciate your comments and points of view, I sincerely hope you can now understand mine. Thanks so much for your continued support and participation here.
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
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