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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » I want to see the manager! » » Topics Being Deleted » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Gerry McCambridge
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New user
12 Posts

Profile of Gerry McCambridge
Guys,

I had two posts deleted. One about watches, and one allowing other mentalists to make some extra money.

Details on the money thing are still on my site under "Mentalists Only" at http://www.mentalist.com
Burt Yaroch
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Inner circle
Dallas,TX
1097 Posts

Profile of Burt Yaroch
It has been said before but I think it bears repeating: We are all guests here of Mr. Steve Brooks and Co.

The reason this board is the best on the web is precisely because of how it is run. If you don't like how Steve's running things, send him a PM. He will always clarify his position quickly with respect and courtesy. I personally feel that it is a poor showing to be openly complaining in your hosts living room (or Cafe).

As soon as any group of 10 of you have combined to have as many deleted posts as I have had, then perhaps you can complain. Smile

Steve, I hope I now speak for everyone here when I say you are doing a terrific job! Keep up the great work! Smile
Yakworld.
Steve Brooks
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Manager
Northern California - United States
4630 Posts

Profile of Steve Brooks
I wanted to answer this topic myself, making sure there was no doubt in anyone's mind as to who posted this reply.

After reading the previous posts in this topic (more than once), I had to do a little soul searching, thinking about how I was going to respond. Normally, it is my policy to handle most matters behind the scenes. No sense wasting other people's time with matters that only concern a few. However, I felt it very important that this subject of censorship and staff actions be addressed for all to see.

I started The Magic Cafe last September, and there were several reasons, the biggest being the lack of any sort of order on the other boards I frequented. Little cliques of thugs seemed to have more control than the so called moderators. Profanity was the norm, and common courtesy was nowhere to be found.

Did I complain? No. But I observed for a very long time. I watched in amazement, as staff and moderators would beg and plead for members to behave themselves, threads would seem to go on forever, often fighting over things I last heard about in grammar school. A lot of anger...very little magic.

But I became amused even more, as I saw posts deleted with no explanation at all, while other posts that were way out of line remained. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to any of it.

I watched in disgust as young magicians would join in the conversation, often asking simple questions like; "Where would be the best place to buy a good book on magic?"
Instead of professionals giving kind advice, and helping the next generation, I saw a huge amount of people attacking and or flaming them. This was usually done in a very cocky, arrogant and Nazi-like manner. Answers often came in the form of; "Get off this board, this is for magicians only!" or sarcastically, as in; "Can you keep a secret?...so can I".

I just could not take it anymore. I felt something had to be done. I mean, this was totally ridiculous.
I gave it some thought, and wondered how I could pull this thing off. After all, who am I? Nobody knows me, I'm not a celebrity, and I'm certainly not a rich person. On top of all that, these other boards were big...and established.
Further, many were owned and operated by some magic heavy weights. How could I possibly hope to compete?

One evening I sat down, and I started planning out this site.
I designed the graphics, the look, and the theme. I then planned out the topics, taking great care to include things I knew magicians would be interested in. In the meantime, a few folks I know got wind of my plans. They did everything possible to discourage me. If you have ever read my post signature, you know I am not a quitter. In fact, when I start a project, magic or otherwise, I pretty much have a pitbull mentality.

After the board was designed, the most important aspect of this crazy idea of mine started to take shape. You see, I decided right away, if it wasn't going to make a difference, then why bother at all? I began to formulate a philosophy, a code of conduct as it were. I knew that I would ruffle a few feathers, but that was okay. After all, there were plenty of other places that people who might not agree with my approach could go.

The theme here, is that of a Cafe or restaurant, and I often look at it the same way I would if it were really a building serving food. The members are like the customers. They come in to enjoy what our menu has to offer. My staff and I do our very best to make them feel at home. We like to treat them like family, as it were. Now we don't have a bar, so people of all ages can enter, the more the better! Let's face it, there is plenty of room.

We do our very best to help our customers enjoy the food/advice/information that we have, and make sure they have a clean table, free of garbage (profanity, rudness, etc).
Most customers like that, and a happy customer is one who will not only come back, but tell others of their experience.

Society has forgotten what the words customer service really mean. I encounter the lack of it on a daily basis.
Cashiers who cannot count change, and just throw the money at you...never a smile or a 'Thank you'. The Magic Cafe was going to be different!

But as in a real restaurant, you sometimes get a few low lifes who crawl out of their holes, and decide to make their way into your establishment. You can always spot them, they never quite fit in. They have never heard of a dresscode, they are usually loud, and obnoxious. They demand much of the waitstaffs time, and offer nothing in return but grief and a dirty table.

There behavior is so bad, that if you allow them to continue enjoying your generosity and hospitality, your good customers start leaving.
You see, the customers who made your Cafe a success don't want to listen to the hecklers and drunks. That's why they come here. They count on the professionalism of our staff to handle the situation for them. And so we do.

I do not charge for membership here, I offer it as a privilege, not because it is a right...it's not. This is my home, and I expect folks to have the common decency to respect my rules. If I ask you not to smoke, I assume you'll respect my wishes, and smoke outside. Not ask me, "Why? I can smoke in other people's houses, what gives?"

My rules are pretty simple and straight forward, and I ask very little in return. Unfortunately, very few members have ever actually read the rules and posting guides. Take a look at the number of views in those forums, then look at our membership numbers, I think you'll agree.

This topic is a prime example. It was posted in the mentalism area...way off topic. I moved it to the 'I want to see the manager' myself. But that's okay, my staff and I correct these kind of mistakes everyday, you just may not notice.

Is there censorship here? Of course there is. There must be some kind of order, else there will be total chaos. If you think otherwise, check out a few other magic boards and I think you'll agree. Most of our members appreciate this. Those that do not are free to leave at any time. They are not forced into coming here, yet they seem to complain the most.

Very few members have ever been banned. I am a fair person, ask anyone who knows me, I always try and do right. But I will not be pushed around in my own home or business, that's just the way it is. Pretty darn simple.
Nor will I allow others to manipulate me into doing something I know is wrong, so I ask those who think along those lines to reconsider. My stepfather had a saying; "Never bring a knife to a gunfight". I agree.

In closing, I want to thank all the wonderful people who truly make this site a great place to be. For them, as for myself, the Cafe has become a part of our daily lives. I cannot recall there being a time that the Cafe was not here, and for that I am glad.

For every complaint, I hear a dozen kudos from the members who appreciate what we do here. At conventions the big boys tell me to keep up the great work, and so I will. But I am only one person, and my staff of volunteers work countless hours each day to assure you of a great dining experience. To that end, I think they have been successful. Thanks for your time and your understanding.
:coffee:
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
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