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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » Spook is dead (& not for reanimation) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Darkest Cheshire
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Profile of Jon_Thompson
On 2012-02-26 14:39, docsteve wrote:
Apart from Dr Spektor's competitions and Ray's recent book for Baba, this sub forum is dead.
Where are the ideas?
Where are the in depth discussions.,
Advertising, marketing, promotion do not count.
Spooky is dying, and no amount of séance will contact it
's proud past the way things are going....

Everything has its cycles. Traffic and ideas will pick up. They always do.
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Lille, France
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Profile of Lefebure
We are all victims of a phenomena called the "impression of time distorsion".
Everything goes too fast, everything must be renewed day after day, and anyone who doesn't post something on his Facebook after three days is seen as "dead on report". Every concept is made to last a few weeks. We only live for the "buzz". The posts on this forum and Internet in general have also a big lack : the communication is made of cold words on a screen. Without intonation, without body language. Only a poor smiley from times to times...That can explain that many threads or subjects are launched without answers. Because you can't understand if it's a question, a suggestion, a complain, a debate opening (I don't blame anyone, we are all equals on this point).
The borders of bizarre magic don't stop on this forum, fortunately. The limits of a forum is that everyone has his own concept of what it must be : a promotion and advertising tool, a place to share ideas, a ressource for tips...or these three at the same time.
I am not worried at all, this subforum will florish with the new spring. Even if, as I said, we modern human forgot what is patience and calm.
Bizarre magic lived before and will continue to live after this forum.
Christopher Gould
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I agree with what is being said here, and I do so from a dealers perspective.
People may have noticed that I have not been posting here much recently - and it is for the same reasons that DrSteve has outlined - it seemed to me that there was nothing of any genuine interest to read here - just dealers bumping their posts. It even got to the point where (I suspect) 'new members' were being invented to 'ask questions' aimed at promoting the work of this of that dealer. Now, it is not my intention to have a snipe at other dealers here, as I well understand it from their perspective..... but things have been getting rather silly of late.
I use the Café to promote Alchemy Moon's stuff too - however, I would hope that both Paul and I go down on record as having more posts that are discussing and contributing, not just hyping our wares. I think that it is all a matter of perspective. One of the main reasons I come to the Café is to see what other dealers are up to and get excited about all of the great stuff that different people are creating - this is true for most of you too. So we *want* to read what the latest news from the dealers is and we *want* to get all hyped up (to some extent) about the new stuff coming out. At the same time, no one wants to be swamped by endlessly bumped threads. Especially if these threads swamp any attempt at genuine discussion.
Lefebure makes an excellent point about the nature of change in the way we communicate over the internet. The landscape *is* changing, and those of us who remember intelligent discussions on 'the boards' are from the pre-twitter generation. I fear that within a generation we will have lost the ability to communicate in any meaningful form.
What is the motivation for people posting on a forum?
What is YOUR motivation?
Also, as Lefebure has pointed out, a forum is not the best place for developing arguments and ideas. You may well make an important point, or work for several hours constructing an interesting post - but what happens? It may start off well, with the 'usual suspects' making intelligent and informed responses. Or you may get no response at all, not even out of courtesy - leaving you to think; 'well why didn't I do something more productive with my time?'. Eventually some idiot (usually me) comes in and makes a one-line wisecrack - or for some reason people start to just make dumb comments and the whole argument degenerates.
Then to top that, the very structure of forums is that a discussion is anything but permanent. So the three hours work you put in, the intelligent points you made, the things that you *really* want the community to engage in become so many passengers on a slowly sinking ship. The discussion slowly slips under a series of tweety type no-content comments and slowly down the page and into oblivion - really, why bother!

Solutions? - there are some….

First, I think dealers should exercise some form of self-regulation. Should we tolerate members who only make posts that promote their own goods? Should we be suspicious if this is their *only* contribution?
Sure, we want to hear what new stuff dealers are working on. And from a dealers point of view, we put an enormous amount of blood, sweat, tears, money and time into what we do. In the end we have created something we are justifiably proud of. We *want* you guys to know about it. We value your opinions on the work, and yes - we want you to put something in the paypal to allow us to continue doing what we do. I will certainly be putting up a post for any new Alchemy Moon products that come out, under the banner of information; of telling the community of what we are up to. I want you all to see the photos of the latest Cuss Card box I have made, because it is freeking awsome! I am proud of it, and want you to see it. But there is a difference between information, and celebration of work and the sort of practices that are exercised here on an irritatingly regular basis.
There is a really, really obvious solutions to this, and one that I have spoken to other dealers about - that is a specific forum which acts as a market place. Each dealer has a thread that is their own to manage - equivalent to having their own stall in a market. Here the dealers can shamelessly promote their wares, delete offensive (or just plain dumb) posts - and never have to 'encourage' their customers to bump another thread, as the threads are all self-bumping. This would be great for the dealers and would allow all dealers to work together in a spirit of cooperation and celebration of the creative contributions we *all* make - rather than being engaged in the endless elbowing at the top of the forum that currently is the norm.
As far as the other members, this would be fantastic too - as it would allow us all to be genuinely excited about the wares on display on the different stalls, have choice over what we read AND have the forum handed back to discussion, cooperation and the evolution of ideas.

There are also the points that Lefebure that need addressing. People will post if they think that their posts will be respected, acknowledged and intelligently responded to. On several occasion I have tried to address these issues and provide a context for creative minds to meet and evolve ideas. Each project that I have launched has been something of an uphill struggle that has never really taken. The central problem with forums is that the information is semi-transitory. A thread eventually goes down the page and into the oblivion of the search engine. If informative and interesting discussions, articles and points were made into a digest, then people would be more happy to invest their time. This was the idea behind the AM Wiki, but I am beginning to see this recede into the mist (too much work, without the community getting in there and making something of it).
At the end of the day, we get the community we deserve. If we take part in the hype wars, we deserve to read endlessly bumped threads of hype. If we do not acknowledge and contribute to intelligent discussion, we do not deserve to read anything beyond the inanity of a tweet. We can actively construct the community we desire.

Finally, I want to make the point that this is not intended as an attack on any particular individuals or dealers. I think all of the dealers do fantastic work and we should be grateful that they are there making our world more interesting. If I throw any stones, I do so from a glasshouse. I just think DrSteve has made some valid points - dealers do need to adopt a more ethical stance as to how they inform their audience, or come up with alternative working solutions. Posters of content *do* need to be encouraged, celebrated and intelligently responded to.
At the end of the day - like it or not - this forum pretty much defines us as a community.
The Moon is now to be found in the constellation of Gemini:
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Profile of docsteve
Thanks for a thoughtful and mature post.
With much love
Magical Dimensions
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Christopher Gould

WOW, I wish that I could write like that. Food for thought!

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Profile of hackmonkey
Maybe people are still recovering from New years Eve?
I have started checking this sub-forum, after not browsing it for a while (or the Café).
I would say the bizzare section has more activity than many other sub forums?

I also find it more interesting to read, even dealer posts. Than many other sub-forums.
Look behind you...on your left...thats the real world.
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Profile of veegates
Christopher Gould,
I wish I had the capabilities of writing such a lucid and to the point post as yours. Not often do I agree with everything that someone has written in a post, but this is the exception. I follow this subforum daily, and when I think back several months ago how the forum was and I look at it now, I rarely click to read. I feel it is becoming a place to sell, promote and over promote what I am assuming are great pieces. It would seem that several of the posts should be placed in the Review section. I am not sure how the forum can be used to promote new ideas, because (I am sure not from regular users) lurkers come about and lift ideas with no regard. A person doesn't want to see his idea stolen, built, promoted and sold. It is difficult to initiate discussions because of that. How does one share an idea, whether it is a contribution or someone looking for help or inspiration post without some unscrupulous individual playing a snatch and grab?
Dr Spektor
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Why don't we ask Steve Brooks to make a "review" section for Spooky items - just like what happened in Penny - so much got stuck littering the field with what you describe - they made a special mentalism review forum.

Maybe it can be called "Unearthed from the Pit" (OK I'm biased in Quatermass mindset Smile)

This would leave this forum for more general discussions - and the Crypt for semi-secret sharing
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
Frank Douglas
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I have added a little something down in the Crypt as well. Something that I have mentioned to you and Tony in PM, that I was thinking of keeping to myself on Konzari.

David Thiel
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I think this is one of the more passionate forums. People here really care about what they're into.

This is one of the forums I make a point of visiting every day -- and have been many times here where a post made me go "hmmmmm."

As for the dealers posting here? I find there are some I am delighted to be kept up on: Outlaw, Alchemy Moon and a few others. The rest I largely ignore. BUT some of the most wonderful props I own and use came from

I am not sure this is a forum "in trouble" -- but I think it certainly can benefit from a kick in the butt as many others can.

Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Except bears. Bears will kill you.
Septimus Hexx
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Profile of Septimus Hexx
I'm so sad that some members think this sub forum is dead. I am a member of a small club and a few of the meetings are set aside for us to demonstrate our skills (or in my case the lack thereof) Bizarre is pretty low on the favourites list but I have squeezed a few claps out of them. The thing is that working full time and having other commitments leaves very little time but I felt so comfortable dipping into this fine exchange knowing that there were "others" out there who shared the love of spooky. I have picked up so much advice and there is just so much out there in the way of props and ideas to support the basic tricks and outlines. Works - the end of line bookshop here in England had the excellent Richard Jones Jack the Ripper Case book for a fiver - full of pitures and facsimilies -just the thing for Mr Voodini's Seance. is an awesome website for HP Lovecraft fans but has page after page of monsters in bottles, crafting techniques and more links than you can wave a stick at. has links to every possible wierdness ( all done in good taste)Don't give up on me now !
Christopher Gould
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Profile of Christopher Gould
On 2012-02-27 11:49, Dr Spektor wrote:
Why don't we ask Steve Brooks to make a "review" section for Spooky items - just like what happened in Penny - so much got stuck littering the field with what you describe - they made a special mentalism review forum.

Maybe it can be called "Unearthed from the Pit" (OK I'm biased in Quatermass mindset Smile)

This would leave this forum for more general discussions - and the Crypt for semi-secret sharing

That sounds like a pretty good solution to me!
The Moon is now to be found in the constellation of Gemini:
Lucien Astor
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Sunken R'lyeh
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I am suffering from the Facebook curse. It has made me too lazy to read and write anything of any substance online. That is why I come on to this forum and link dump things that might be of interest, and look for the non-existent "like" button on posts that catch my eye. I will try to respond, rather than "like" all of your great posts in the future!
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