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Smoke & Mirrors
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Special user
506 Posts

Profile of Smoke & Mirrors
Actually, I just picked up Flash and checked into this:

1. Your site will be virtually invisible to search engines.
Not true, Flash now converts all text used in the "movie" and generates them into "keywords" and "meta tags" which is what most search engine "sniffers" look for. the end result is still and html file which has all your keywords included!


2. Some older machines don't have flash installed.
The mass % of browsers and PC users have Flash installed and ones that don't are immediately directed to a quick download ability. Used to be an issue but now there are only a small % of people without it.

Sorry, didn't mean to butt in, but I'm learning about this stuff now & thought I would enlighten us all!
magicbern
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Inner circle
Hong Kong, China
1217 Posts

Profile of magicbern
Thanks for the encouraging information. I agree that as of now, flash has its limitations, but it does allow for much more dynamic webpages! Also, as I've repeatedly mentioned, here in Hong Kong, we're almost all on superfast broadband, java and flash-enabled and it really shouldn't pose me with any problems as far as my clientale are involved.
But the website is still in its infancy and will evolve as time goes on and I learn more...
thanks again to all who have helped - I know all comments were made with the most sincere of intentions and I sincerely appreciate it!
magicgeorge
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Inner circle
Belfast
4299 Posts

Profile of magicgeorge
Quote:
Actually, I just picked up Flash and checked into this:
1. Your site will be virtually invisible to search engines.
Not true, Flash now converts all text used in the "movie" and generates them into "keywords" and "meta tags" which is what most search engine "sniffers" look for. the end result is still and html file which has all your keywords included!


This is true, but unfortunately I checked the source of MB's page and this has not been done. I'd nag your designer to include some keywords, it's not a hard job. Even still, it will not rank as highly as a site written in html. The sniffing robots tend to rate links and actual visual text higher than hidden text and keywords.

<quote>
2. Some older machines don't have flash installed.
The mass % of browsers and PC users have Flash installed and ones that don't are immediately directed to a quick download ability. Used to be an issue but now there are only a small % of people without it.
</quote>
Also true, "some" may be a fairly small % but I thought it was worth mentioning anyhow.

George
Chance Wolf
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Inner circle
2425 Posts

Profile of Chance Wolf
MagicBern,
I had no problem loading up the site with DSL ( About 8 seconds)

The website looks GREAT!!
Very clean.
Nice composition
Great colors and pics...especially the Wacky Worm Smile

There is some good advice above I will not repeat however the internet can be a difficult challenge. It is impossible to please everybody. The best advise I can give is to ask your new customers, who contacted you via your new website, if they had and troubles, comments or compliments. Then you can adjust it accordingly.
Good luck with the shows!!
Chance
Wolf's Magic
Creator of Wacky Wolf Productions & Fine Collectibles

A DECADE of building Magic and we're just getting started!

http://www.wolfsmagic.com
magicbern
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Inner circle
Hong Kong, China
1217 Posts

Profile of magicbern
Chance, what an honor it is for me to have your kind comments about my website! Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to browse and comment on it! It's a shame that I didn't have more Wolf magic products in the photos but these were taken about a year or so ago - with the exception of the Wacky Worm! I'm sure when I update that more of your products will take centre stage! As far as I know, I'm the only magician in HK so far with your excellent props!
Hope your health and business are both going along successfully!
Thanks again!!!
Andy Wonder
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Special user
Auckland, New Zealand
747 Posts

Profile of Andy Wonder
MagicBern, you should change the photo of your Axtell Drawing board. You are using a marker that is too thin & does not match the gimmicked portions. Notice how what you have drawn is so thin compared to the eyes & mouth? Are you using the EXPO II markers? I know they are almost impossible to find outside the USA, but the generic dry erase markers seem to always be too thin & it spoils the illusion.

Also the way you have drawn the mouth on in that image it is curved. The mouth needs to be straight. That photo almost exposes the mouth gimmick as well because the jaw is not dropping from the mouth but a spot lower than the mouth.

You have had some good feedback here. I found your page loaded quite fast on my system (broadband). When I designed my site I did so exclusively for people that had not seen me before or had no knowledge of me. What I have noticed is that people that hire me after having seen me before seldom look at my web site anyway. They don't bother because they think they know what they need to anyway. I only need the web site as a sales tool for fresh prospects who don't know who I am. I designed it for readers that had never seen me before. That is why it uses a lot of sales copy text & testimonials rather than gimmicky bits like the magic trick, animations or cartoon bunnies.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
muzicman
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LaCenter, Wa
989 Posts

Profile of muzicman
I have DSL service and the website loaded in 14 seconds and the FLASH began to play.
In comparison, chris mcbriens website took 34 seconds to completely load but I was able to see text and some pics in about 5 seconds. My test was done at 11:39PM Pacific time which is typically free of internet bottlenecks.

As far as FLASH goes, and I'm a FLASH developer myself, it is so common now and so many websites have FLASH banners that it would surprise me if anyone could not load a FLASH page. For the search engine problem, my website is 100% FLASH and every search engine out there knows where I am. My website is not for commercial use, it's more of a personal website. However, I have made commercial websites and I tend to use FLASH only for headers and banners and sometimes just the menu. The power of flash is that it is far more interactive than any HTML or JAVA.

My take on the original posters question is much like everyone elses. It is a very lively and colorful website, and it's easy to navigate. The mouseovers on the menu are pretty kewl. I typically listen to music while I surf and play and work on the PC....and I hit that SILENCE button quickly to stop the websites music. That was very smart to put a silence button. I have left many sites before they even load if music starts blaring over my music. Personally, I prefer to allow the user to turn it on if they desire, and to leave it OFF by default. Sound effects for mouseovers and clicks are OK with me, but some peoples choice of music will drive me away VERY QUICKLY! I enjoyed this website and you definitely got your moneys worth. Hopefully, it will bring you additional business.

You definitely need to take a second look at your Axtell drawing board technique as mentioned above. I nearly fell out my chair when I saw that PIC. This will be a much better effect if the mouth is drawn straight so the gimmick will not be revealed.
Steven True
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Bonney Lake,WA
765 Posts

Profile of Steven True
Magicbern
I just visited your site. It took a little bit to load, 30sec.-1min. I guess it is the pitfalls of using dial-up. Very nice web page. Very colorfull and very easy to find my way around. Makes me want to start my own site now. Have you had any luck getting bookings with it yet? I know it is way to soon to make a good judgment on it's effectivness but I would like to hear from you when you start getting more bookings.

Thanks

Steven
magicbern
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Inner circle
Hong Kong, China
1217 Posts

Profile of magicbern
Thanks again for the continual feedback! I expected only a few comments but the Café members have been very kind with their time and I appreciate all the feedback. As for the Magic Drawing Board, yes I admit the markers were a bit light and the mouth not properly centred. I wonder if laymen would be able to spot it, but nevertheless, when I next update the site, I'll change the phot.

I'm thinking of adding a short video clip but face 2 problesm -selection and technical. Do I select a montage or just one trick - and should the length be limited to say 20 seconds? Secondly, I have some footage on DV tape - so how can it be converted to an AVI , VCD or MPEG format? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Starrpower
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Inner circle
4070 Posts

Profile of Starrpower
It took a long time to load ... I am visiting a school today and checked it on a school's broadband system with an iMac. I didn't time it, but it seemed like 30 seconds or more, which (to me) is generally longer than I'd usually wait. The fact that several people here mentioned the speed would lead me to believe that the load time migh be a concern.

I also would prefer to see a thumbnail page for photos. I found myself wondering how many photos there were, and how long I'd have to be watching them.
triadsong
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Regular user
Long Island, NY
170 Posts

Profile of triadsong
MagicBern:

Congratulations and much success. I had no problems loading the site -- I have cable. The site is colorful and eye-catching. While I do not personally prefer the photo format you use (I think its good - just not my preference) I do like the clarity of the pictures and the captions are definitely done with selling your self in mind.

Again, continued success!
Vinny
magicbern
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Inner circle
Hong Kong, China
1217 Posts

Profile of magicbern
Thanks again to both starrpower and vinny for their comments regarding the loading time, content and photo format. It seems that loading time varies a lot depending on certain factors which are out of my control. Also, the photo formate is up to personal preference but I like perhaps to keep my clients guessing as to when the slideshow would end.

All the comments have been highly constructive and informative and again, my sincere appreciation to everyone who has taken the time to visit the site and post feedback!
Lofty
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Toronto, Canada
128 Posts

Profile of Lofty
Load time - about 3 seconds.(dsl)
Browser compability - works fine with firefox and IE6.

Lofty
magicbern
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Hong Kong, China
1217 Posts

Profile of magicbern
Lofty, thanks for testing my website with the firefox browser. I wonder how it fares with NEtscape? Thanks again for all of you who have taken the trouble to visit and post comments either here or thru PM> I appreciate every single comment made!
NeoMagic
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Inner circle
I have...
2017 Posts

Profile of NeoMagic
Great looking site... although a slow loader for me too (on a fast line). One recommendation I can make is to change your photos section into a thumbnail gallery... not everyone's going to have the patience watching a slide show
See and download my latest free card-suits-themed desktop wallpaper | HERE
rickmorse
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Flushing, MI
131 Posts

Profile of rickmorse
A great-looking site! I, too, dislike music. The site loaded very quickly for me (broadband connection). Congrats!
magicgeorge
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Belfast
4299 Posts

Profile of magicgeorge
Quote:
On 2006-02-09 16:55, magicbern wrote:
I'm thinking of adding a short video clip but face 2 problesm -selection and technical. Do I select a montage or just one trick - and should the length be limited to say 20 seconds? Secondly, I have some footage on DV tape - so how can it be converted to an AVI , VCD or MPEG format? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


You can actually convert video to flash might be worth considering since your site is all flash anyhow.

George
magicbern
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Inner circle
Hong Kong, China
1217 Posts

Profile of magicbern
Thanks to Neomagic, Rick and George for their valuable comments! I will look into their suggestions as they are all valid! I also hope the vairable connecting time doesn't put other members off - still cant figure out the wide variations in broadband time...
KC Cameron
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Raleigh, North Carolina
1877 Posts

Profile of KC Cameron
I know this is waaaaaaay late but here are a couple pointers. I have a little experience marketing and magic, so I hope this helps.

1) People often look on the internet covertly at work. Having music means they QUICKLY go somewhere else.

2) I found the site moved too slow for my hyper self. Try making an alternate html only for speed freaks like myself.

3) In your bio you mention 15 years of experience for children and adults. Take out the "& adults" - it won't hurt the bio, and in some cases it could help. If I was hiring and had to choose between two magicians, one who did adult and childrens' magic and one who just did childrens' magic, all things being equal I would go with the 100% childrens' magician.

Nice site!
magicbern
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Hong Kong, China
1217 Posts

Profile of magicbern
Thank you for your kind observations - I really appreciate all of them. There is a mute button for the music and also, the loading time has been analysed in depth for me already! As for the 'and adults' tag, it just opens the way for possible shows in alternative fields (like adults) that my clients can consider. Up to now, it hasn't detracted from my kidshow business. But thatnks again for taking the time to check out my site and offer advice!
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