Once every week or so I get an email from someone suggesting I create a message board where people can discuss the things I write about here. There are a bunch of reasons why this will never happen. Here are a few…
1. I’m not so narcissistic that I think, “You know what the world needs? A place for everyone to come together and discuss me and my ideas!” Now, I obviously see something of value in these ideas or I wouldn’t publish them in the first place. But this attitude: “Here’s a blog about my journey and my thoughts and maybe some of it might resonate with you,” is something that feels normal to me. The attitude of, “Here’s some pearls of wisdom, for you all to discuss on the message boards,” doesn’t.
2. I have no desire to oversee a message board or even a Facebook page. That seems like such an unsatisfying way to spend my time. And it ages you. You’ve seen the pics of Steve Brooks before he started the Magic Cafe, right?
3. The audience for this site is too small to support a lively online community.
4. I’m not interested in hearing every dumb idea you have in regards to something I write. I am interested in the good ideas you have or the strong feelings one way or the other. Requiring you to email me to share your feedback is enough of an obstacle that it filters out the minor praise or disagreements and instead usually leads to people writing who have something they feel is particularly valuable.
5. This site would end up being more reactive. It would just be a bunch of posts like, “Hey, over on the message board some people were wondering if [blah, blah, blah].” And then I’d be reiterating stuff from the message board because I don’t know if you’re following the threads over there. So now I’m spending time trying to keep everyone on the same page. And for the people who are on the message board, now I’m just repeating stuff they already heard and there are just too many different pathways people are on. With this site, there are just two tracks. If you like the site, maybe you come here every day or once a week and catch up on everything. The second track, for people who find they really get some value from the site, is that they sign up to be a supporter and they get all that additional content. That’s enough. You don’t need to feel like there are other conversations going on that you’re not keeping up with and are potentially missing out on.
6. And honestly, I don’t feel like people need another excuse to talk about magic, rather than be out there performing it. If your goal is to give people fun/affecting moments via magic, then talking about it online isn’t helping you. In fact, talking about it is probably demotivating.
I value the internet as a reference and I think it has sped up the “science” behind magic so much, to the degree that we’re getting advancements in methodologies at an incredible rate. However I think it’s probably been a detriment when it comes to just enjoying the moment with another person through magic. (Or through anything, for that matter. ) The advancements in using magic as a social engagement are only going to come from people out performing it in the real world, not chit-chatting online like a bunch of old biddies.
So those are the reasons why there won’t be a Jerx message board.
Now, there is one element of a message board that I think would help with the goal of getting people out and performing more that is missing from this site, and that’s something I hope to address in a new series, the first installment of which will appear tomorrow.