IMPORTANT MESSAGE: The Future of This Site

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IMPORTANT MESSAGE: The Future of This Site

Postby davidparr on Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:05 pm

AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THIS SITE

Greetings, magi! Thank you for taking a moment to read this message.

Allow me to begin by looking back.

It has been a strange and twisty road that we've traveled here at bizarremagic.net. When Dan Mindo created this site, about eight years ago, it was in part a response to the toxicity of other magic discussion sites: posts and threads vanishing suddenly for no apparent reason, arbitrary rules that were applied unequally, assertion of ownership over other people's ideas, constant bombardment by advertising, goofballs posing as authorities, and an overall creepy Orwellian vibe that made honest, open discussion nearly impossible. Dan chose to make this site the opposite of all that. I don't think he anticipated how many folks were just as fed up with the standard operating procedure as he was, but it turned out that there were more than a few. Within a short time, there were hundreds of users here, and thousands of posts. I recall being surprised by how quickly this site became a social hub for magicians who were seeking an alternative to the dismal experiences at other sites.

Another thing that was unanticipated was that Dan's work and family obligations would eventually compel him to hand over the administration and daily operation of this site to me. Admin of a discussion site was not a role I'd pictured myself in, but I agreed to help out because Dan is a dear friend and because this site had become part of my daily life. Through bizarremagic.net, I've been introduced to people and perspectives that I would not have encountered otherwise. The users here have become my friends, a fact that extends beyond virtual space. My time at Odd Gathering this year was a direct result of the friendships that grew out of this site. I value the time I've spent here, the exchange of ideas and advice, and I'm grateful to Dan for setting all of this in motion.

Now, on to the subject at hand:

THE FUTURE.

Dan has decided to give up ownership of bizarremagic.net. There's just no room in his life for it anymore. His focus is on supporting his family, and the upkeep of this site is an expense that's wholly unrelated to that task. So he asked me if I'd like to take ownership of the site. He asked me if I have plans for its future.

I've been giving this some thought. Lately, it seems as if activity here has dropped off. Some folks have shifted their focus to Facebook groups, others have drifted back to the sites that they came here to avoid. And it appears that some folks have left magic and moved on to other things. This has brought me to a realization. It doesn't matter if I have plans for this site. What matters is whether you, the users here, have an interest in this site's future.

At this point, I understand what this site means to me. I know its value to me. But I don't know its value to anyone else. So here are the big questions that only you can answer:

Should this site continue to exist? Is it important or valuable? Does it provide something that can't be obtained elsewhere? Or is it time to wrap things up and put this site in the deep freeze?

Please let me know your thoughts. The future is really up to you.
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Re: IMPORTANT MESSAGE: The Future of This Site

Postby Balaram on Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:13 pm

I would be very very sorry indeed to see the site go away.
I have more to say, give me a little time to compose.
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Re: IMPORTANT MESSAGE: The Future of This Site

Postby Naljorpa on Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:15 pm

I am one one of those guilty of turning to other pursuits, but this is just a temporary thing. I am discouraged because I no longer perform and am pursuing other interests, but I still love magic and I do check in here from time to time. Personally, I would like this forum to continue. I love what goes on here and I love the people here. There is nothing else that even remotely approaches the quality of the discussions here and the incredible sharing of ideas.
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Re: IMPORTANT MESSAGE: The Future of This Site

Postby Philemon on Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:29 am

"Should this site continue to exist? Is it important or valuable? Does it provide something that can't be obtained elsewhere? Or is it time to wrap things up and put this site in the deep freeze?"

Yes. Yes. No.

I visit this site daily. I always find something interesting to read, and if I have something worthwhile to contribute (even if it's just a smart-aleck joke or wisecrack), I don't hesitate to do so, knowing that it won't be censored. The core group of individuals here are people I consider my friends, knowing that there's little I can do to offend them (mostly because they realize that nothing should be taken too seriously). If I met any of you in the meatworld (as I have done so), I know we'll get along fabulously, and I've started many a friendship here. Perhaps posts are diminishing a bit. That is the nature of things, but I'm sure it will pick back up soon, as these things have natural ebbs and flows. This is the only "magic" site (or any site for that matter) where I feel comfortable enough to be the true me.
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Re: IMPORTANT MESSAGE: The Future of This Site

Postby Mad_Hatter on Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:40 am

Google chrome ranks this site as my second most visited. And I can honestly say that without this site I'd probably be just a finger flinger with bizarre pipe dreams. Even with out joining one has access to information to set them on the right bizarre track. Of all the forums I'm part of this is the only one I'm active in because it's the only one worth it. I'd say this forum has the best culture of any discussion group out there. One of the reasons is that there isn't an old boys club of members here that get special treatment when it comes to the applications of the rules.

I feel that all the reasons that you listed as being behind the creation of this site still apply. Plus like Philemon said ebb and flow, it happens on all sites.
"Every Miracle has it's cost" - Eugene Burger
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Re: IMPORTANT MESSAGE: The Future of This Site

Postby magus on Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:51 pm

Continue, absolutely.
I love this place, it has an ebb and flow, sometimes we get a lull where no one has much to say, but the occasional flashes of brilliance more than make up for it.
I would rather have the occasional silence than people with nothing to say, saying it anyway.
I have a feeling that this thread will be a list of the people that regularly contribute to this forum (It certainly is so far) it's easy to become disheartened when you post something and see that there have been 155 views and 3 replies, but that is the nature of the world.
(Business axiom: 20% of the people do 80% of the work)
When we lose the commentary of Cha Cha, Nal, and Egregor because they have other commitments, we lose a large percentage of input and replies. I don't think there is disinterest in this forum, I check everyday, many do.
Thanks to the ones who do keep this forum alive.
And thanks to Dan who has done so much for so little recognition.
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Re: IMPORTANT MESSAGE: The Future of This Site

Postby magus on Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:53 pm

Balaram wrote:I would be very very sorry indeed to see the site go away.
I have more to say, give me a little time to compose.


Start with this

"Dee dee dum de dum, la la mmm mmm, dee dum dee dum. :lol:

or

And when they opened the coffin, there was Beethoven, with an eraser and some sheet music, erasing like crazy.
And he looked up and screamed, "Close the lid, I'm decomposing."
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Re: IMPORTANT MESSAGE: The Future of This Site

Postby Harley Newman on Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:25 am

It's August. Right now a lot of people vacate.

This continues to be a place of stimulating discussion and the delightful snarkiness that defines much of our creativity. It does not have the rank commercialism of some sites, nor the wide-open enrollment that attracts pseudo-performers whose work makes me retch. It's also a place that doesn't seek to expand its role, in search of some elusive vision of commercial success.

This is a quiet and quaint little village, where we believe that the village idiot makes worthy contributions to our lives. In the course of our daily routines, we wander in and out of the village green, and take turns being the idiot. The pace of the village is not the rush of our otherwise frenetic lives.

I would be very sad if our village disappeared. It's a community where I belong, and of which I'm delighted to be a member.
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Re: IMPORTANT MESSAGE: The Future of This Site

Postby Harley Newman on Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:52 am

And how could I forget. There is the thing that always stays on the other side of the tree in the green, where we cannot see it.

We know it's there.
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Re: IMPORTANT MESSAGE: The Future of This Site

Postby Balaram on Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:34 am

magus wrote:
Balaram wrote:I would be very very sorry indeed to see the site go away.
I have more to say, give me a little time to compose.


Start with this

"Dee dee dum de dum, la la mmm mmm, dee dum dee dum. :lol:

or

And when they opened the coffin, there was Beethoven, with an eraser and some sheet music, erasing like crazy.
And he looked up and screamed, "Close the lid, I'm decomposing."


Pat, your generosity and sharing alone are good enough reason to be here.
But I guess I could say that, honestly,to each and every one of you.
So it is the community, and here, as already said, one can drop some pretensions and be just as one is. Or enjoy the characters we create,
and have fun with the pretension, all good.
(Nice English Balaram)
Can't seem to express it better than that. I am free-er to be sincere here than elsewhere, and even a quick read
of more recent posts will ably demonstrate that we all seem to agree.
Maybe not often enough, but beautiful, heart-touching thoughts are expressed here that I don't see happening elsewhere, tho
there are other good forums.
I simply trust this one more.
Thank you Dan, and David.
Online friendships are not fake.
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Re: IMPORTANT MESSAGE: The Future of This Site

Postby BillMontana on Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:30 am

Should this site continue to exist? Yes
Is it important or valuable? Yes
Does it provide something that can't be obtained elsewhere? Yes
Or is it time to wrap things up and put this site in the deep freeze? NO

I like this place!

Here is an Idea if money is needed to keep the server and other things alive I would be more than happy to make a donation to keep this site alive if needed.

I would hate to see this place go dark.
Half off at http://glisk.weebly.com/ PM for details. Members of this forum only.
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Re: IMPORTANT MESSAGE: The Future of This Site

Postby christiancagigal on Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:38 pm

I'm guilty of being one of those people to have ebbed away from the site, not so much because I went to other forums, although I do a lot of internetting and because of that I realized I need to keep myself sane and focus it to just a few, FB, some Twitter and now Instagram. I can't speak to why others have left or backed away, for myself it just came down to keeping myself in check and not going to a ton of sites a day. But, I still find this place invaluable. Without it I don't think I would have been able to create the work and shows that I have.

I know there's the FB groups those don't get used for sharing ideas and creating performances. Maybe it's just a lull...a wave we're in...maybe things will perk up in the coming year or two. I mean, the Cafe isn't much better these days and most just use the Spooky Room for selling products and self promotion (present company included) so again I say...maybe there's just a ...."thing"...happening right now. It's a wave and maybe this wave will pass.

At the very least, *if* this place has to close, I'd hate to see all of the information go. There's too much goddang info here and it's really good. This place is swelling with sharing, creativity, ideas, and durdy jokes, and it shouldn't get deleted away forever.

So, I say, keep it alive, in some form or another, keep it alive.
"Take whatchya got, and fly with it" -Jim Henson
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Re: IMPORTANT MESSAGE: The Future of This Site

Postby lin on Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:07 pm

I vote for keepers too. And I'll echo many of the sentiments expressed by others.

I don't post regularly, but I do check regularly and eventually read all new messages. This is a marvelous repository of info and ideas, and I'd hate to see it disappear. To my recollection, there are at least two bizarre magic sites that have vanished in the not to distant past (bizarremagic.co.uk and one or two of the alchemy moon incarnations), and in fact, that's one reason I don't post much to other sites-- no long term track record, so I don't trust them to survive as an archive. Now, I'm not saying that what I post is so fascinating that I can't bear for it to be erased but that what I read sometimes is. Often it sparks an idea, or something in the real world reminds me of something I read here, and I come back here and do a search... [oh-- and guilty, selfish secret: the links I post here are sometimes my own virtual "post-it notes". Hopefully, others will enjoy them too, but often they're there just for me :) ...if only it were so easy to remember where I put all my other stuff...]

As Christian noted, the Cafe is quite dull these days too, Penny included. Summer slump? I don't know. General move to other social platform models? I don't partake, so I can't even offer an opinion. This site is valuable. If there's another Bizarre Magic forum out there (Alchemy Moon notwithstanding as I have reservations about it's potential longevity as noted above) that's active and interesting, I don't know it. There isn't one that has as many creative people sharing ideas.

When I have something worth saying, I'd prefer to say it here and will do as long as that's an option.

Many thanks to Dan and David,

L.
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Re: IMPORTANT MESSAGE: The Future of This Site

Postby Dead Magus on Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:16 am

I too am guilty of not posting for a while, but I do check in almost daily to steal as many ideas as I can without contributing any of my brilliant ideas that would so overshadow everyone else's input.
But lets not get off the point.
David, I have your cats soul in a bottle. If you don't want anything bad to happen to kitty, lets just keep this forum running. And while we're at it, I could really use a chocolate chip cookie.
Just so you know I'm serious, I'm going to play spin the bottle with some friends as soon as I "round some up"
If your cat falls over, it's just dizzy.
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Re: IMPORTANT MESSAGE: The Future of This Site

Postby Mormo Zine on Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:06 pm

I think this is an incredible forum and I really enjoy coming here. I have been busy running two businesses and haven't had much time to study magic so I guess I haven't contributed as much I should. My interests go in cycles and I will back to magic in no time. Actually I been making money as an ebay affiliate so I was thinking yesterday maybe I should start doing articles on magic props on ebay. Anyways I check here often and would be totally sad to see this board close.
Ours the magic, ours the power! http://www.psychicmormo.com
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