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Topic: For Pete's sake, let me answer!
Message: Posted by: kamus (Jul 14, 2005 12:36AM)
I don't get it.

Twice now, a thread has been locked before I've had a chance to respond to a specific challenge from a previous poster (Mya). And that lockdown within a few short hours of my original post. Really, I do not have the luxury to hang around the internet all day making sure my reply arrives before the window of opportunity slams shut.

Once again, I find this deeply ironic in light of my original complaint concerning my perception of a heavy handed moderation policy seemingly in effect here.

And Mya, I don't want to PM you to continue this discussion- I brought this up publicly because it is a public issue- TMC's decision to lock threads and to steer the discussion to private channels could be misinterpreted trying to dodge public criticism- or correctly interpreted- I really don't know which at this point.

In response to your challenge to cite specific deleted topics,I do not wish to debate the individual merits of those topics. Suffice it to say, you obviously had your reasons which you would doubtless defend- I would disagree and we would get bogged down pronto.

In actuality, I don't think any of my topics have been deleted so it's not so much a personal issue. Yes, I have contributed to some threads that were mysteriously deleted but mostly I'm alarmed at other threads that I was just reading vanishing, seeing many reports of other users having their comments and topics deleted and edited, and sometimes for seemingly trivial or inane reasons and some reports that topics were deleted for stirring some controversy or another.

You know this happens, everyone here knows this happens. There is a general perception here, though many will doubtless disagree, that you guys censor pretty heavily on this forum.
Again, IMOultimately, the heavy hand of censorship is not a positive aspect of discussion boards such as this and as I mentioned before, I've been heavily involved in online forums since there was an internet so I have seen the spectrum and been able to compare both extremes.

To put it more simply, I think that you throw the baby out with the bathwater when you censor. Yes, some censorship is necessary, too much is repressive and valuable information and /or discourse is lost. Where do you draw the line?- I know it's a tough question but I think that the line is currently in the wrong place.

I find the MC both rewarding and frustrating simultaneously. I do thank you for the rewarding part and wish you luck in improving the frustrating part.

As I said before, I have and still do, operate discussion boards and I am acquainted with being unable to please everyone at once and the difficulty obtaining proper balance and so on so I do have some sympathy for your position. I would just like to see a good thing get better.

Thanks
Message: Posted by: Steve Brooks (Jul 14, 2005 03:59AM)
[b]Kamus[/b] said; "[i]I don't get it[/i]"

This much is obvious, but I will do my best to address your concerns anyway.

[b]Kamus[/b] said; "[i]Really, I do not have the luxury to hang around the internet all day making sure my reply arrives before the window of opportunity slams shut[/i]"

And neither do I or any of my volunteer staff. Literally [i]HUNDREDS[/i] of [i]NEW[/i] posts are made on a daily basis (as of this writing we are nearing the milestone of [b]one million[/b] posts!). Add to that the fact that on average twenty new people join the Café on a daily basis, and you have only seen the tip of the iceberg as it were. Like most of our membership, we all have regular jobs and the responsibilities that come with daily living. Who would have thunk it?

[b]Kamus[/b] said; "[i]And Mya, I don't want to PM you to continue this discussion- I brought this up publicly because it is a public issue- TMC's decision to lock threads and to steer the discussion to private channels could be misinterpreted trying to dodge public criticism- or correctly interpreted- I really don't know which at this point[/i]"

When Mya asked you to contact her privately, there were a couple of reasons. First, no sense wasting everyone else's time because one of our guests does not agree with the way we operate the place. Secondly, it has always been our policy to handle things behind the scenes. Nothing worse than a member breaking the rules, then have the staff lecture to them publicly in front of their peers. What's the point? We have handled problems like this for several years, and it works, sorry if you don't see it that way.

By the way, did I mention we don't take a vote everytime we make a decision here? Sorry, it is [i]NOT[/i] a public issue. Members here do not own stock and therefore do not actually have a voice in how we decide to run the place. Granted, we try our best to provide a friendly atmosphere free of idiots and losers, but that is a never ending task, as the internet allows those folks to join message boards along with all the good folks. We simply make sure the drunks are shown the door so our good customers can enjoy their stay here.

[b]Kamus[/b] said; "[i]In response to your challenge to cite specific deleted topics,I do not wish to debate the individual merits of those topics. Suffice it to say, you obviously had your reasons which you would doubtless defend- I would disagree and we would get bogged down pronto[/i]"

My parents and I had this same problem when I was growing up. They made the rules of the house, and many times I disagreed. The rules never changed, but then again I was free to leave at anytime. My house, my rules. You naturally are free to leave at anytime. I simply cannot understand the problem with anyone not understanding this philosophy. Our strict rules and policies are free for anyone to [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewforum.php?forum=39&7]read[/url] and in fact, all members must agree to abide by these policies when they join the Café. It should therefore be no surprise that we actually enforce said policies.
In addition, Mya was not challenging you at all. You brought the subject of posts being removed and she politely asked you which ones had you concerned. I can certaily understand why you might not want to debate the individual merits of the topics that were removed - if they were removed, it was with good reason.

[b]Kamus[/b] said; "[i]You know this happens, everyone here knows this happens. There is a general perception here, though many will doubtless disagree, that you guys censor pretty heavily on this forum[/i]"

You're correct, many would disagree and I am one of them. Additionally, I have [i]NEVER[/i] hidden the fact that censorship occurs on this board, it does. It is a necessary part of keeping things running smooth. Locks only keep an honest man honest and the police only insure that good folks don't stray from the beaten path as it were. True criminals and trouble makers will always do as they please no matter what - we simply keep the bad guys in check. Most of our membership will never have to worry about a visit from the mod fairy. Most members here follow our rules and policies and think very carefully before engaging in any kind of conversations - others do not, and we are often forced to educate them.
Basically, you do not have the right to do as you please and I have every right to run things as I please. If it wasn't clear to you before, it should be obvious to you now.

[b]Kamus[/b] said; "[i]To put it more simply, I think that you throw the baby out with the bathwater when you censor. Yes, some censorship is necessary, too much is repressive and valuable information and /or discourse is lost. Where do you draw the line?- I know it's a tough question but I think that the line is currently in the wrong place[/i]"

That of course is your opinion and you are certainly entitled to that - I simply disagree, that's all. Again, if it bothers you that much (and obviously it does), why torture yourself by coming here each day? There are a slew of online communities that one can participate in, even in magic circles. We are but one of many magic sites on the world wide web.

[b]Kamus[/b] said; "[i]I find the MC both rewarding and frustrating simultaneously. I do thank you for the rewarding part and wish you luck in improving the frustrating part[/i]"

Indeed, it is not a perfect world we live in, but we do our very best. I'm glad that [b]The Magic Café[/b] has been a help to you in your magical ventures and appreciate your understanding as we tackle various issues here on a daily basis. No easy task to be sure, but one that we have chosen to take straight on as it were.

The board has grown over the years, and we with it. The rules and policies have changed and become more complex as our membership and its needs have expanded. More forums and features are added from time to time in an ever growing quest to help the many entertainers around the world help each other.

I remember when I started this board, the naysayers of the world told me not to waste my time. The idea I had would never work. The internet already had plenty of online communities for magicians, etc. etc.

As the Café gained a healthy following, the same negative people then shouted that I only created the board to make money selling magic tricks, etc. Then, after spending thousands of dollars of my own money and a incalculable amount of man hours running the place, it finally occurred to me that I could no longer afford to pay for everyone else's good time - so we started accepting advertisers.
The naysayers then accused me of creating the Café to make money from adverts. You simply can't win for losing it would seem. I finally came to the conclusion that there will always be those that wish to rain on your parade, so never leave home without an umbrella. It is a motto I penned and live by each and every day.

Recently I read an article by someone on the net which proudly proclaimed that the success of [b]The Magic Café[/b] was achieved out of plain dumb luck. As I read that uninformed statement, I was reminded of something that [b]THOMAS JEFFERSON[/b] said; [i]I’m a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it[/i]" I could not agree more.

I love this website, I really do. The community we have created is full of wonderful people, many of them have become very close friends. It has brought many people together from around the globe and provided a wonderful resource for beginners and professionals alike. I do not charge for this resource, it is my gift to magic. A thank you for all the great things that the magic world has done for me. I guess you could say that [b]The Magic Café[/b] is my contribution to the art.

In conclusion [b]Kamus[/b], I will say that you and I must agree that we simply disagree, that's all that can really be said. I will never be able to please all the members and I lose no sleep at night because of that small matter.
Frankly, I have no interest whatsoever in convincing anyone of anything. I have far more productive and personally rewarding things to do with my time then debate [i]how[/i] or [i]why[/i] the Café operates the way that it does. I personally consider the matter closed and not up for any further discussion.
I want to thank you for your continued support and participation here and I look forward to reading your magical related posts on the board.
:smoke: