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Roslyn
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Hi,

I've been thinking about and looking at many magic/escape and other performers websites over the last couple of weeks, as I'm sure we all have at some point.

Some were good and others not so good.

It made me think about my own site, which has been neglected over the months, and I was wondering what you guys thought a decent performer's site should have.

One I particularly like is The Jim Show. Its not an escape website, but it is fun and really quite simple.

I also really like David Straitjacket's site. Again it is dead easy to navigate around and just seems really clean.

Anyway, what do you guys and gals suggest as things that should/should not be on a performer's site?

Do you think performers should have product specific sites? By this I mean, for example, if they do kids stuff and adult stuff should they have two separate sites for each or just use different pages?

On Derren Brown's website he advertises his paintings as well as his magic.

I've also been thinking about other stuff to add to the site to keep people on your site for an extended length of time, rather than just looking at what you do and clearing off.

Do you think things like flash make the site more interesting? Or is this type of stuff something that just makes the site seem too messy and is not necessary?

I know its a lot of questions, but I'm looking forward to hearing your comments and suggestions. I think it will help us all.

Ros
The Magic Cafe account of The Conwy Jester, Erwyd le Fol formerly known as Roslyn Walker.
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KerryJK
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I've been neglecting my site too lately - my act is developing in ways that call for a full update anyhow (in particular moving more into a roughly equal mix of escape, magic and singing) so I need to get it done soon.

My personal thoughts in general;

Flash should be used only if you can use it well for something specific, so many performer sites use it badly and it can be a royal pain having to wait for a parade of corny stock effects and rotten clichés to roll past. Add in load times and compatability issues and you're just introducing reasons for people to not bother waiting.
Using your current page as an example, it looks good and gets to the point (which makes it a better flash effort than most), but it still took close to a minute to load on my 1gb connection and then used only a quarter of my monitor screen.

The thing I like best in a site is an effort to make it personal and to make visitors feel like fans rather than sheep-like customers (an advantage those of us who do our own websites have over those who buy stock promo sites). A blog or news page is a great way to add a personal touch and illustrate that you're still active (the flip side is that if you don't update it'll look like you're doing nowt). A list of upcoming gigs also makes people feel they've a chance of seeing you someday, though if you mainly play private functions this can lead to an artificially empty looking calender, so maybe gig plugs are best put in the news page/blog.

A lot of people on the Café seem to disagree, but I think it's good to have at least some way for fans to leave a comment. Blog providers have this built in integrally (so you can use them to combine with a news page while co-incidentally getting on a handy interest based search database), though even the humble guestbook has a place. Even if no-one signs the thing, having it there gives the message that you care what your audience thinks and want to involve them.

Flat navigation (having a way to access every page on the site from every other page via a menu bar) is a must, also people like pictures and media.

David's site does indeed rock, and he does all the above. Basically the impression left is that he is an experienced and happening pro who cares about giving his fans everything he can (which in fact is the case!).
MaxwellGrant
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Frankly, I think David has the skills and the talent to be the next break-out star in this business.....

...his web site rocks.
Roslyn
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Cheers Helen!

Always appreciate your views and comments.

The more the merrier!

Ros
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David the Cryptic
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I will be having a site soon, cant wait. I will post it as soon as I get it up. it will rock. and I like davids alot, its really cool, as is he. I really like his stuff.
Wolflock
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I must agree with David's site. It is really good and covers all that he does.

Ros - Nothing wrong with your sight my friend. Just a bit of spring cleaning and it will be great. The only problem that I had with your site was not with the site at all, it was with my slow connection when I wanted to watch your cable tie escape. Wanted to ask you, do you do fingers as well as wrists? or just wrists. If you do, I would like to see your methods, and in return will send you mine.

Regards
Wolflock
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Roslyn
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You know I've never even thought of fingers!!!

I've done thumbs, but never fingers.

I'll have to give it a go.

Ros
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x-treem
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Sorry to put this into Ros' excellent post (BTW he is an excellent practitioner of the cable tie escape) but I need your help before I launch the Empty Asylum Website.

7 people have viewed it in advance without trouble but I have serious issues with viewing and navigation from my work computer and was wondering if anyone here has the same problem.

Empty Asylum here is the link. Any warnings about harmful content is just the embeded music and nothing that will harm your computer. Also NO there is no order page yet as the DVD is still being pressed so that page is missing.

Wolflock on my dial up it takes about 35 secoonds for the main page to come up which is an eternity when it comes to downloading but patience is a virtue Smile

Thanks for your help,

Shawn
A direct from text adaptation : The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Starring Mickey Rooney in his final role.
Cliffg37
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Came up easy for me, and I love the music you have on there, cool graphics too! good luck!
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
Ms. Morgan
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Shawn,
I don't know what trouble you had but the site looks odd for me as well. There is no music and some of the text items seem to be in the wrong place or covered by other things. I also find the menu page comes up very small and in the corner of a bigger white page.
I'm not sure but this maybe a font issue. There are only about 8 fonts that will work with just about every web browser, it might be that the fonts you choose are not available for my PC or yours at work.
Just a guess.

Ms.M
World Magic Award's "Escape Artist of the Year"
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Arkadia
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Shawn: I have the same problem as Ms Morgan... And I must say that I did not like what I saw. I always leave sites that have music on them, since I always listen to music on my own computer. If you seiously wants to sell DVD:s, I suggest you try to get a more professional looking and sounding (i.e no sound) page. I know this is harsh, but that is not my intent.
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x-treem
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Thanks for the feedback so far all. Morgan the index page text issue was the problem on my work computer as well, which is confusing as I changed the text to graphics so that it should have been viewable on all computers as a graphic.

The rest of the pages, minus the main page, uses TNR so I did not convert those.

Thanks as well Arkadia, I may just toss the DVD's into my EARL store and scrap the Empty Asylum site.

Cheers to all,

Shawn
A direct from text adaptation : The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Starring Mickey Rooney in his final role.
Wolflock
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I don't think the site is too bad. Like Escapes, don't give up. Just keep trying and getting advice until it is No. 1.

Ros - Not that you will need it. But if you would like I can send you some picks of how I do it. Can also send you a few of my techniques to make a wrist escape easier if you do fingers and/or thumbs. Well makes it easier than having wrist to wrist.

Regards
Wolflock
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Roslyn
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Thanks for the compliment Shawn. Very kind of you.

I had a few problems with the music. It kept jumping. But I think that's due to the dial-up I'm having to use at the moment.

The dvd sounds good though.

And I think a product specific site is a great idea.

Wolf,

I'd love to see some of your stuff on the flex-cuff escape. It's one of my favourites to perform to be honest.

When you do fingers, do you have your palms together? And then have all fingers zipped up?

Cheers,

Ros
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The Donster
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Just tryed the Empty Asylum site it worked for me. I have DSL and not dial up. that might help out.
Wolflock
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I do them with hands crossed and with palms together. Do you have Winrar? I can send the files to you then. or get Perry to send them to you. He has a copy.
Wolflock
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Wolflock
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They are my favourite to do as well.
Wolflock
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Roslyn
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I don't have Winrar, don't even know what that is.

But if you need to zip the files, I have an extractor programme that seems to work ok on other stuff.

Ros
The Magic Cafe account of The Conwy Jester, Erwyd le Fol formerly known as Roslyn Walker.
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Wolflock
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Winrar is an Extraction Program. I will ask Perry to send the files to you and the program winrar, tell me if you have hassles extracting the files.

Regards
Wolflock
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Roslyn
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Will do.

Really looking forward to checking this stuff out Smile

Cheers,

Ros
The Magic Cafe account of The Conwy Jester, Erwyd le Fol formerly known as Roslyn Walker.
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