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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The International Brotherhood of Magicians! » » Looking to join my local IBM (6 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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BitterBrewerAZ
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Tucson, AZ
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Sirs,

I was looking at the different membership options, one with The Linking Ring magazine and one without. Am I missing out if I choose to join without the magazine?

Thanks for the input,

Keith
Dave V
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I don't think there is a "without" option other than to be an "Associate Member" meaning you have to have at least one primary member receiving the magazine. The Associate membership was created for family members so only one magazine is delivered.

I'd like to see an "online only" option, but that hasn't happened yet either. It might have to do with publisher contracts and such. Cutting a moneymaker like us out of their money stream wouldn't good for them, thus the option isn't made available to us.
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
Kbuck54
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Keith,
Go for the Linking Ring Mag. It is worth it.
Keith Shazam
SHAZAM!
BitterBrewerAZ
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Thanks guys, looks like I'll be attending my first meeting here in AZ once I'm back home from a business trip in August. Looking forward to it!
Skip Way
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The I.B.M. Currently has three options: without magazine, with paper and digital magazine, only the digital magazine. I believe the magazine - in paper or digital form - is well worth the extra few bucks. Sammy is also looking at ways of reducing the extra postage for overseas members. GREAT changes are coming to the I.B.M.. Stay tuned!
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
toastmaster8
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Good job Skip way! Like that positive info and correct info as well.
robvh
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I think a great topic for an IBM Ring meeting would be for members to perform a trick from any Linking Ring back issue. This will encourage them to look through that pile of magazines they likely have and to renew interest in the magazine and the value therein.
Ronsmail
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Hello, I was an IBM member back in 1976,77,78. I still have my card. Can I re-instate my membership?
Skip Way
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I believe the I.B.M. Has a time limit on reinstating, but it never hurts to ask. Call or email the main office. Info is on magician.org.
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Ronsmail
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Thank you, I appreciate that direction.
Ron
Ba Ba Booey
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What if one does not like to get the magazine every month? What do you get for your $40? It looks like there is no access to the online Linking Ring with the $40 option. The S.A.M. has a paperless option for only $45, and you can get M-U-M online. Why is the digital option for I.B.M. so much more?
Shawn Farquhar
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Ba Ba Booey, you ask a great question. Now this is just my opinion but the extra few dollar difference in belonging to the IBM and recieving the online version of the Linking Ring as opposed to the MUM is obvious. The average MUM is about seventy pages in length and the average Linking Ring is about 200, that's nearly three times the volume of material. The MUM, under the Editorship of Michael Close, has improved but you must agree that the Linking Ring still has far more information in every single issue. It is filled with great advice, stories and tons of effects for close up and stage workers. I think that on any given month you can collect enough material to create a show! Recently there was a trick Parade devoted to just effects with hotel room key cards and that single issue was worth my entire years membership. If a member were to collect just two or three effects in the entire year from the Linking Ring it easily covers their investment, and that's what belonging to the IBM is, an investment in the future of magic... just my opinion. Cheers - shawn
Kbuck54
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What my man Shawn said.
Keith Shazam
SHAZAM!
Ba Ba Booey
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Yes, Shawn, I understand what you are saying, but if I don't want to get the Linking Ring (hard copy) because I don't read much of it, what do I get for my $40? The LR may have more pages than the MUM, but if I only read a couple of articles in the LR compared with all the articles in MUM, the "few extra" dollars ($20) more for the digital magazine doesn't seem worth the extra cost. I just pulled out a copy from just over a year ago. There were 76 pages of articles out of 164 total pages. The rest were either ads, obits, or ring reports. I probably read about 30 of the pages that looked interesting. I pretty much read MUM from cover to cover each month. I already get Genii and Magic magazines, which in my opinion are far superior to the club magazines (and they each cost less than the Linking Ring). The costs do mount up. I would just like to know what I get for $40? If there is no value for the $40, but there is value at $60, why offer membership for $40 at all? Are there members who do join with no access to the Linking Ring?

I'm not trying to have an argument. I am trying to find justification for my continuation in the IBM. When I've read other threads about why people should join, the first thing folks say is that there is a great magazine. After six years of getting the LR, it is no longer a draw for me.

I first became a member of the IBM because it was a requirement of the club I belonged to. It is no longer a requirement, or at least there are many members who aren't IBM members because no one can verify membership in the organization. If someone asks if they belong to the IBM, the person just says yes and pays his club dues. The club can't check on membership status, but I'm not sure why. Well, they say they can't.

If I want to remain a member of IBM, what is the value to me? If the only worth comes from the Linking Ring, then I guess I'll have to continue to think about it. Again, I'm not trying to argue that the IBM isn't a good club, but since I already belong to the SAM and find value there, what value can I get from the IBM (other than the magazine)?

I look forward to any kind of answer. Hopefully, there will be better answers after the Magic Summit in November. I understand that the purpose of that convention is to improve the way all clubs run.
Skip Way
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Things are changing with the I.B.M.. We're working hard to give TVPs and Ring Officers easier access to I.B.M. membership lists. Rings will soon be able to verify national membership status far easier than ever before. The drive is on to restore every Ring to 100% Membership status.

Benefits are improving, as well. Members will soon be able to access digital issues of every Linking Ring going back to the beginning. Multiply your 30 pages by hundreds of issues and the great wealth of magic information for forty bucks soars!

I believe you're also overlooking the network benefits of The Linking Ring. By flipping past the Ring Reports and news, you're overlooking some great innovative ideas and mentoring. My club has adopted several great ideas reported by other Rings. I have personally reached out to members who performed an effect for their Ring that would fit beautifully in my themed shows. I have even rediscovered past friends from previous magic clubs or totally unrelated walks of life by catching their names in these reports.

Not every article in every issue of any magazine will appeal to everyone. But, as Shawn said, with the wealth of information being shared by our field's top performers, a single idea in a single issue could be worth many times more than the cost of your membership. The choice is yours.
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Tim Cavendish
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Ba Ba Booey, you get nothing of substance for your $40. Nothing.

And none of that money is used by the parent organization to support your local club. None of it.

I've been very disappointed by this.
Ba Ba Booey
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Thanks for the additional info, Skip. By being able to access every issue of the LR digitally, will that be with the $60 membership, or will that include the $40 membership? Or does the $40 get me nothing, as Tim wrote?

I've written to the IBM through the Facebook page and through the official website, but I've heard nothing back from them. The same thing was true years ago when I had questions while I was the president of my local ring.

When I've written to the SAM, I usually get an answer within 48 hours. Big difference in how members (and potential new members) are treated.
Skip Way
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We agree with you, Ba...and we are trying hard to fix this beginning with our TVPs Network. As for getting "nothing" with your membership...

The I.B.M member benefits are listed on the website and growing. The digital back issues will be announced soon with full details. I invite members and Rings to send their needs and concerns directly to me as Ring Counselor and I will find an answer. We are working hard for improvement.

One thing I always find interesting - I hear magicians complain about what the I.B.M. Offers...but only one has ever told me what he would like to see and receive as a member. And his ideas have been submitted for consideration. What would you want for your $40?
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Ba Ba Booey
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Great question, Skip. Fairly prompt customer service would be nice. At least you are aware of that problem and I commend you for working on it.

How about doing away with the $40 membership and making it more on par with the SAM? I left the IBM a few months ago, and when I considered a renewal, it looks as though IBM wants to charge me a $15 reinstatement fee in addition to yearly fees. For what? Again, the SAM doesn't have that. A paperless membership should not have to cost $20 more than a membership that gets you basically nothing. I can see it costing some money, but $20? If I wanted the magazine, it would be $30 more per year, for a total of $70. Charging another $15 for pushing a button to reinstate someone seems excessive, too. I can't renew without being charged the $15. Maybe I won't be charged, but I've contacted three sources at the IBM to find out, and I've heard nothing.

I agree that one benefit that a few members may like is the insurance. However, aren't most of the members hobbyists? They don't really need insurance if they aren't performing, so that probably isn't a huge draw for most members.

I'll probably have more suggestions after the Magic Summit in November. I hope that the IBM will send some members there to brainstorm ideas on how to make the clubs better for everyone.

I agree with you that if people complain about what they don't like, they should offer suggestions on how to make things better. I'll contact the TVP and see if the ball will get rolling. I hadn't even heard about TVPs until last year. I only heard about him since I know him. My SAM state deputy sends out a monthly newsletter to members letting them know what's going on in the state and also in the parent organization. That would be some kind of tangible benefit for members, I would think. My old IBM Ring never heard from the parent organization, even when trying to contact them.

Cheers,

Ba Ba
Tim Cavendish
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Two suggestions for USEFUL BENEFITS from the national IBM:

- Each local club is a potential LECTURE VENUE. The parent organization could organize that information and provide it to lecturers, AND centrally list/publicize lectures being held at the local clubs. This would be a big win for (a) the local clubs, (b) the lecturers, and (c) potential attendees who could learn the lecture exists, attend the event, and potentially end up joining the clubs.

- Channel some of those national dues back to the local clubs in the form of lecture vouchers. For each paid national membership, the national org will pay $X to help bring in a high-quality lecturer. (Require a non-local lecturer to avoid local cronyism.) If not spent, this money is saved and accumulates each year. So a small club with few members could, over time, accumulate enough voucher credit to bring in a lecturer.


Enriching the local club programming with lectures would make the clubs healthier, which makes the national org healthier.

And using the national organization's resources for this would make the national IBM less of a money-sucking leech that appears to do nothing but issue rules and funnel away members' money at TRIPLE the cost of the local club dues while providing NO BENEFITS to the local clubs.
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