Thursday, February 10, 2011

WMF The Magic Café

Don't get me wrong... Once in a while I love me some trash forum. But from a technical point of view the Magic Café really needs an update. I complained that the search function is broken, but that is not all.

The Forum is split up into more than a hundred separate forums. That is a lot. More than enough to get lost. As far as I know the Magic Café doesn't use standard scripts, but has a tech guy doing the work. That guy should get fired. Open source solution are out there able to handle the sheer amount of visitors and posts. They are free and much better.

Also... the moderators on the Café are pussies. The slightest discussion/controversy and the thread in question gets deleted. I thought forums were originally intended to battle out debates to reach conclusions. But not the Magic Café. This was actually one of the reasons this Blog came to be. If it wasn't for the "let's delete before it gets us in trouble"-attitude of the cafe this Blog and it's so dearly missed predecessor the Magic Circle Jerk wouldn't be.

If you take a look at the Genii Forum, you'll note that things run much smoother over there. Part of this is the mostly live and let live attitude of Kaufman & friends.

And there are plenty of other forums to showcase as "good" forums.

One of the bigger German magic forums is the "Zauberschrank Forum" which has an interesting feature that might be of help to the green monster. A "log" forum.

Whenever a change is made to a thread or a post it gets explained in the log. That helps to keep stuff clear. Note that it doesn't go much into detail, but leaves interested people not wondering what happened to a certain thread.

The Magic Café is the biggest magic forum in the world (I believe), there are thousands of magicians looking for help. Maybe they deserve more than this mess.

So Steve Brooks, please... clean up the forum. Make it cool again! As long as you don't consider your green monster WMF!

PS. Maybe I should add, that we magicians have no right to have a cool forum and Mr Brooks can do with the forum whatever the fuck he wants to, but still... The intent is good, the execution is not.

PPS: By the time I wrote this until now, that I am publishing this the Magic Café is down. Maybe they are fixing it. I doubt it!


Alcyon said...

The Cafe is such a treasure of freely given information, but, with very little effort, it could be so much better. Brooks seems to take his "ownership" of the Cafe to heart: without those investing time to read and reply, he wouldn't own very much at all though. The only forum I enjoy visiting was started and maintained by a fellow who calls himself not the owner, but the custodian. A big difference, and it shows.

Moderators should stick to quickly handling foul language, flame wars, and gently redirecting misplaced posts, That's it. Period. Well, we'll see what the future holds for the Cafe.

Justin said...

I hate when I write "damn," and it gets censored, but it gets censored into 3 asterisk's, instead of 4. It makes me look like I think damn is spelled "dam".

Oh yeah, and all the other stuff you said too.

Uli Weigel said...

Here's a method to speed up your MC experience. Try the following link:

This way all MC Forums are collapsed except the "Pick a card" forum, because that's where I start an MC session. Simply modify the above link for your needs.

I'm also using Firefox with addblock plus, so I don't see the ad banners between the forum titles. Since I only visit a couple of subforums regularly, my method of browsing the café is relatively hassle-free.

Unknown said...

there is a better search function:

And I agree with everything you said. I don't even bother to punch in anymore. There is one turd in particular they never seem to delete, he calls himself the great H....
Frequent visitors know who I mean - such an arrogant ah.
I really enjoy your website, keep up the good work. I would like to know more about forums, Magic Cafe is the only I signed up for, have not tried Genii yet. Thanks for caring about magic.

Faces Of Magic said...

I totally agree with what you said a few months ago.I got a post removed and I wasn't even getting hot with anyone. It seems their is a little favoritism. Certain members can give jabs and insults, but when you try to defend yourself your then the d*&^ head. Maybe it's time to join the Rolland movement.

Vick D'Mental said...

The Magic Cafe is a hotbed of exposure; many of the moderators and magicians who go there have made pledges or entered into agreements with the various guilds (SAM, IBM, I never saw many AMA members in there) to keep these sort of discussions behind closed doors -- don't ruin another guy's act, you know?

Steve goes out of his way to make sure that gimmick-free material gets spattered across the Cafe's forums so that people will have to fork over hard earned dough for gimmicks and gaffs. I mean, the man does own a magic shop, yeah?

Big Bobby said...

As once stated "magicians are the worst secret keepers" Many of the people on the Café have allot of free time and just like to put their two cents in without care if they are helping or not. Quite a few do not think their little slip of part of a method will impact exposure but I have learned enough from reading long threads to learn the secret.

I have flagged many an exposure but the Ass. Man. there, Dave Scribner, will respond that since he is not able to figure it out it must not be exposure.

Yes he does play favorites and he does abuse his power. He has said many times the Café is not a democracy . I one makes a post about a new topic or a new way to improve. He locks down the suggestions pretty fast as it is not open to vote. He is a confused senior at times that does not trust new ideas and confuses similar ideas to ones tried in the past. Many are leaving, or being banned. I was banned for asking for a coupon code long ago. But so silly that I can still read 99% of the café without even logging in. Not much goes on secret sessions since it is all loose lipped in the public areas.
Their format and style is dead. They just need to put some of the members in check . Some of these old timers get mad if you do not agree with them and they go to Dave who then edits your deletes your post without warning or reason.
If Scriber feels you have a tone, and a member he likes complains, he will side with his core group, right or wrong. He pretends he goes by the rules of the café, however also admits he wrote most of them and trusted by Brooks to run the Café. He pretends he is just doing his job but we know he knows what he is doing. I do not even know if Brooks knows half the crap Scriber pulls.
He has told me they do not need money, or new ways to make money, that Steve has put him in charge and there is no need to improve. Like it or leave.

I would but the Magic Café is the place I go when new tricks come out since EVERY TIME I learn how a trick works. I also use the Magic Café to buy cheap DVD since magicians on the Café will sell and resell DVDs so fast and below wholesale cost that it is hard to pass up. The café has set a tone for $10 PP DVDs which saddens my heart but makes my wallet happy. Keep up the good work Scribner and Brooks thanks for running sub standard outdated site.

Chris, Debra, Clare and Drew said...

One of my other hobbies is boardgames. If you want to see what a decent web site is go to The people that created that site are CONSTANTLY adding to it. It hasn't been around as long as the Magic Cafe but it completely puts it to shame. I get the feeling the Magic Cafe owner is just lazy. He's making money so that's enough. No need to expand or improve the site and if the search function doesn't work, who cares? How long was that broken??

Marco Lippolis said...

Chris, Debra, Clare and Drew German boardgames is my second hobby too! And I agree that is great. I've been visiting it since it had a 3000 games in the database! Now look what is has become!

kotkin74 said...

I need to change my password, and I dont have my old email adress to do it without a moderator! Im keep sending emails to moderators, no answer at all! Many many emails!
Even I tried to contact steve brooks himself. Same result.
I hope someday they will answer, but until then I can not post anything there...
I can't understand why they do this.