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Topic: Magicians' personal web sites
Message: Posted by: lemon ice (Sep 8, 2009 10:52PM)
I'm gonna do my best to be as tactful as possible with this. So please don't be too hard on me if you feel that I am stepping over a line. That is not my intention.

In all my years surfing the internet as well as having some experience designing web pages, I've noticed that an awful lot of magicians' web sites are ... pretty terrible. Not just ugly, but also poorly designed as far as other things are concerned such as navigation. I'm not going to name any names, but I will say that even many of the very biggest names in magic have rather awful web sites.

My concern is that it gives magic a bad image. The internet is a huge marketplace. It's important. And so it is important to spend a little quality time making sure your image is the best it can be on your own personal web site.

So is it just that they don't care? I'm sure some just might not be able to afford it, but again, even many of the millionaire celebrity magicians have bad web sites. I just don't understand it.
Message: Posted by: mumford (Sep 8, 2009 11:32PM)
We all know sites that suck. Could you direct us to a magician's site that in your opinion is well done?
Message: Posted by: lemon ice (Sep 9, 2009 04:25AM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-09 00:32, mumford wrote:
We all know sites that suck. Could you direct us to a magician's site that in your opinion is well done?
[/quote]

If I'm being totally honest, no I couldn't. And again, I'm not here to bash people. But I have yet to see a magician's web site that really stands out from all the rest. I feel like I'm stuck in the '90s on most of them.

When I say good design, I don't mean it has to have some big fancy flash animation or anything like that. In fact, I kinda hate flash web sites. Use flash sparingly, I say. What I mean is something that pays attention to good principals of design and is aesthetically pleasing as well as has good web design. The latter is just as important as the former. A great [i]looking[/i] web site still might not count as a [i]good[/i] web site. You'll see what I mean when you read my example.

I'll give you one example of a site that I feel has great style, but could use a little work. I'll pick on Ricky Jay because I like him a lot as a performer. [url=http://www.rickyjay.com]rickyjay.com[/url] has a fantastic style. I love the look. And I love Ricky. But I didn't even know that the navigation at the top [i]was[/i] navigation until I sat there and thought about it for a second. It might seem obvious when you actually read it, but I didn't at first. The first thing I see when I go to that site is the big RICKY JAY at the top, and then a banner I thought I could safely skip, and then the big NEWS header.

The problem is that the navigational links are not obvious links or buttons. They need to be. Now I understand that it fits with the style they were going for, but it really doesn't work design wise from a functional standpoint. It took me way too long to understand that the navigation was there. I even had to go back and look multiple times to see just what all was there to click on. The fact is, you're not gonna have a lot of people clicking on stuff if it's not really all that obvious that you can. At least have a rollover change. You need visual cues for these types of things. The only indications that I have that these are links are the pointer hand appearing when I roll over them, and the link popping up in the status bar at the bottom of my browser. Trust me on this, that is just barely enough. Not nearly enough if you ask me.

The second problem I see with the site is the ten million things stacked on top of one another on the front page so I have to scroll down a million miles to see all of it. Also bad. Again, I understand the idea, but I really don't think it works as a web site design. I think these things could be presented in a little differently organized manner so I don't have to go scrolling all over the place to find them.

I've noticed that a lot of designers who do mostly print work and then move to web design work fail to realize that the web is a completely different medium. There are things you have to do on the web that you don't have to worry about in print. I think that's one of the biggest problems in web design in general; designers that just simply don't know how to design for the web. Ricky's site may be one such case.
Message: Posted by: slyhand (Sep 9, 2009 09:11AM)
Lemon, do you have a web site? If so, I would like to see it.

I do not have a site yet because I want to make sure it looks good and is easy to navigate before putting it out to the world..

Are you a designer? If so, can you design one for me?
Message: Posted by: mumford (Sep 9, 2009 10:32AM)
Okay no magician has a goiod site. Lemon could you direct us to a well done site by an actor, comedian, singer, or other showbiz personality to show us a good example of wehat you think is great design and navigation. Please pick one that has a lot of content so we can see how it's dealt with different than the Jay site.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Sep 9, 2009 03:27PM)
I like this one:

http://www.hanklee.org/xcart/home.php

Never a problem.

Doug
Message: Posted by: Mark Boody Illusionist (Sep 9, 2009 03:38PM)
If you want to have a proffessional looking website, hire a professional.
If comes down to financial issue, save your money until you can afford one. Its not just about a good looking website, but its about what that website can do for you. Does it put you on the 1st page when people are "googling" for magicians?

Websites are tools, you want the right tool for the job.

Mark
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Sep 11, 2009 07:46AM)
Remember people have different taste guys. Just like with magic. Entertainment would not be the same if everyone did their shows the same way. You must be creative. Different strokes for different folks. I would not criticize another magician's website. If it pleases him, let it be.
Message: Posted by: G.Gilbert (Oct 8, 2009 01:14AM)
Hey I need somebody to design me a website. please PM me if you are a real pro at this, I want my site to be really good.
Message: Posted by: markmiller (Oct 8, 2009 11:29AM)
http://www.magicopolis.com
Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (Oct 8, 2009 02:27PM)
Have a look at my website, which I built three months or so ago:
http://www.pottythepirate.com
It's not perfect, but I feel it's getting there. If you look at the bottom of my "links" page, you'll find links to several of my "satellite" sites, which also help to boost my internet presence.
My main site gets about 100 hits a day, and one or another of my sites come up to the top page of the internet for several major searches.
It's easy to build your own site using a host like "Sitemaker". But you need to be dedicated, a touch-typist, and if your photos and videos aren't already on your computer, it will take a long time.
A local company is charging 175 to create a "Twitter" account, and to link it to your homepage. That takes a competent operator about 10 nminutes in real time. Learning to do it yourself is definitely worthwhile, and can be a lot of fun.
Message: Posted by: magicgettogether (Oct 10, 2009 12:28PM)
Beauty of a site is in the eye of the viewer and for what purpose he is viewing that page.

When Abbotts puts on an event they sometimes hire up to 30 magicians. That means we have to go to 30 different sites and get the information to promote the event. This information is usually quality pics of the performer and text data about the performer.

So from my perspective a good magicians site should have promotional pics and text/ascii data that I can format. Sometimes I have to dig a bit but that just means its a larger site and that's ok.

There are many that have these features but 3 come to mind real quick because they are Abbott regulars so to speak.

Steve Chezaday
David Seebach
Franz Harary

If these guys are coming into town its never a matter of finding the material, but rather selecting what looks best for the promotional material. If everyone has a picture of their face fanning a deck of cards it does not look good on a poster for a stage show, but the above mentioned performers (and many others just these 3 come to mind quickly) have a good variety of pics that I can use and at decent enough resolution.

I would imagine people looking to hire Magicians would be more interested in reviews, cost, testimonials, videos, and things of that nature.

I would imagine a newspaper wanting to interview Magicians might be more interested in their bio, how many trophies they have won, and things that might make an interesting storyline.


So in my opinion I really do think that in the case of magic sites the beauty (or lack of it) is really in the eye of who's viewing the page and for what purpose.
Message: Posted by: G.Gilbert (Oct 10, 2009 01:10PM)
I stayed up several nights learning how to design websites.. Here is my first site! Please critique, .. I actually like it, but I want to see what others think

http://www.georgegilbert.net
Message: Posted by: magicgettogether (Oct 10, 2009 02:42PM)
It works for me, however if I was making a poster or flyer promoting your visit to the Magic Capital I would be limited to 268 x 300 pixel picture, but since you have a contact page with phone I would probably just call and ask for a larger pic. Also the 443 area code lets me know where you which I believe is sufficient if looking for local performers.

I like that you are using target=_blank for external sites, Meta Tags look fine. Lot of people knock frames but I understand the purpose of yours. The black and white style give the site atmosphere and immediately remind me of the buskers and monte hustlers of yore. Maybe add a little more content as you and the site evolve, maybe a short movie so potential customers can hear your voice and style.

I think its a great foundation and beautiful site.
Message: Posted by: G.Gilbert (Oct 11, 2009 02:38PM)
Thanks, I made the picture bigger , and changed some things around... I could put a video on the site now but I want to wait until I have a real professional promo video done.. Until than, on the home page I linked to my YouTube account where you can see videos of my shows..

I am from Baltimore MD, but I do my shows all over the United States, and pretty soon Europe.. I try to make it clear in my "SHOWS" section that I am available to perform anywhere..