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Mïark -

Jay Gilligan is proposing creating a new on-line centralised juggling focussed hub, he posted his ideas on facebook and agreed they could be shared here (he also compliments the Juggling Edge events listings):

due to some different chattering on various parts of the internet, i’ve finally been inspired enough to write this all down for public consumption. erik aberg has been my partner in crime on this, helping in all the ways possible (even though he warned me against writing this here). we also need to thank emil dahl and cal courtney for helping with some first steps towards making any of this happen!

ever since erik started his work surrounding the definition of juggling, that got me started on some thoughts surrounding the culture of juggling. even as i write this, i already know i have no place to share these ideas. and as such this stops me from writing and sharing many many things that i would like to. i could post this as a facebook status… but then only my friends on facebook (who the algorithm chooses) will see it. i can also cross post it to jugglingrock, juggling home, etc. etc. but as well anything posted there will be buried by tomorrow and if not then, it will certainly be long gone in a few weeks. facebook is also unsearchable in any practical sense of the term. so putting this up on facebook (which i already know i will do, and it feels slightly hopeless) is almost the same as throwing all these thoughts away in the long run. i might do better to have a few personal phone calls with friends. but the juggling community is larger than that!

from looking around i see all these great new things happening in juggling. the juggling world is growing in scope and spreading out into many new locations. lots of new things are happening- new ideas, new structures, new groups. instagram is a good platform to witness some of this growth. i wish to have a central place to discuss juggling with everyone from around the world. i want to have a place where i can share my ideas and hear the ideas of other. i’d like this place to be accessible to as many jugglers as possible, and i’d also like this place to be around for a long, long time. this place should be a resource for juggling information and knowledge for us interested in juggling now, and for future generations who would like to continue that journey. that place does not exist right now and i hope it could be possible to make it.

i thought back to the last time there was a “central hub” for the discussion of juggling in the world. i know it was not perfect for any number of reasons, but for me i think that was rec.juggling as accessed through the internet juggling database (IJDb). rec.juggling still exists, but since the IJDb closed in 2012, rec.juggling stopped having any sort of relevance to the juggling scene at large. there have been several attempts since 2012 to fill in that gap, but there is nothing that even comes close to what we need today. and like i said, rec.juggling as accessed through the portal on IJDb wasn’t all that great, or even close to being ubiquitous so there’s not much of a point in mentioning it anymore, except as a historical foot note in this story.

facebook has a couple of really strong things going for it. in fact, one of those things is the most important factor in any of this: it has the most people there right now! it is without a doubt a community. in fact in regards to juggling it is many hundreds of communities with various degrees of localization and agendas. another nice feature facebook currently provides is the ability to have built in language translation services. i have had several valuable discussions with jugglers from all around the world in japanese, russian, spanish, french, and english… all at the same time! that is pretty incredible to me. after those two points though, facebook is a terrible terrible place to try and archive knowledge. most of the conversations we have on facebook (good or bad) are lost all too quickly, only to surface again in a few months and be repeated all over again. there’s no real continuity, nothing is being built other than a growth in numbers and perhaps enthusiasm? those are not trivial nor bad things, but maybe its time to do something with a vision for all those jugglers who love juggling?

i keep coming back to this in my personal life but i feel like there’s all these people all over the world who are working on lots of the same things with juggling. but everyone is alone with their struggles. or that its very cyclical- one conversation may be sparked which leads somewhere but that conversation never gets shared or saved so that it can be referred to and so the next juggler who comes along has to start from zero. i know there has been some work to counteract this- for example some great guides on reddit by Mike Moore which can be pointed to whenever those topics surface from a new arrival. and for sure there has been other great work by many people here and there. but that’s just the point… its still piecemeal. you can pick apart any of these thoughts here and give counterexamples to the problems or issues. but that’s not the goal. it doesn’t work if all the solutions are just working fragments of other, larger systems which are not ideal. mike is making reddit a better place for juggling. but reddit (as it is now) is not the solution we are looking for. i don’t generally participate on reddit because i don’t feel the payback in the long term is enough in relation to the investment of my time. that goes the same for any of the other number of alternatives, including facebook.

i realized one of the things i want most is a sustainable online place to discuss juggling with other jugglers. there are several other features that an online juggling hub could provide, which i’ll get to later. but having a healthy discussion forum is #1 on my list. that’s why i did a small test with the object episodes forum a couple of years ago. i’m part of an online music community called lines ( which is built on a really nice forum software called discourse. discourse has lots of great features which make it instantly more useful to have a conversation there rather than facebook. of course the problem is that we are all digitally destroyed for time- no one wants more screen time in their lives. so we all go to facebook and no one really wants to have yet another place to visit, yet another place to have to go spend more time online.

my thought with the object episodes forum was that it would be one small part of a larger picture. obviously i put it out without the rest of the picture and while there were definitely some worthwhile discussions there, i realized pretty quickly that its days were numbered in the grand scheme of things. i don’t think the success of a discussion forum relies upon sheer numbers. i think it can sustain on a small but passionate amount of people who regularly contribute. i stopped participating because i knew that investing more time, money, and energy into that forum was a dead end since it was not the complete plan i wished it to eventually be. that’s why i took it offline and chose to try and focus the resources i have for things like this on the real idea. object episodes was a good test, but it was not going to spur the growth of the rest of the infrastructure needed to keep it going.

my idea with erik is to have an online centralized location for juggling which provides enough value that its worth people’s time to visit it outside of facebook (and whatever other online necessities people have). one small example of this could be daily content which isn’t found anywhere else- a picture of the day (culled from erik’s exhaustive historical juggling picture archive), and/or a historical juggling fact of the day. would a bunch of these things be compelling enough to make you think a couple of times a week “huh, i wonder what cool juggling photo is up on the site today, i think i’ll go check it out”? then the front page of the website could have the top 3 most recent subject lines posted on the forum, and maybe the top 3 most discussed subject lines from the forum. if you check out the photo of the day, or check the upcoming festival calendar, maybe one of those subjects from the forum catches your eye. maybe you go to the forum and start to participate in the discussion. does this sound like it might be realistic?

obviously everyone will have different ideas about the details of such a website. i’ll write down the ones we thought of here. to be clear, i’m not proposing that we have a discussion which turns into a contest about what features such a website could have. this is our carefully curated list of ideas which we refined over many too many hours of conversation about what we think might be the most useful to both us and the community at large:

- working title: Juggling Portal (or “the” Juggling Portal), could be JP for short

- the main page easily features all main activities without the need to click through links to reach the start of any of the main areas. i know if i go to a website and sometimes even have to click more than once to find the start of something i’m done and just leave. again, i’m online too much, i have too many other distractions online. i don’t have time to menu dive.

- the front page has: a photo of the day. this photo is sourced from a folder which erik fills once a year with enough photos to last the entire year. this is a sustainable practice. he’s not going online every day to post a photo. i mean he has terabytes of photos. he could fill the folder with 10 years worth of photos tonight. the folder should be accessible to the admin with a simple online interface to drag and drop photos after a login and with some simple dialogue boxes to enter in a caption or other meta information about the photos.

- the front page has: an event calendar link, but it also displays on the front page the title link to next upcoming event (or multiple events if they are on the same nearest day) and a countdown clock to that event. right now juggling edge has the most useful event calendar i know of, is this just a link to them?

- the front page has: a historical juggling fact of the day, again pulled from a database of facts that erik has entered previously. and to sustain that, the juggling portal should also have a publicly searchable database of juggling information. i believe Olivier Caignart mentioned he is working on something like this? as well the interface for making this happen could be an admin login page with a dialogue box which connects to the database both for the fact of the day feed but also for the larger searchable database

- the front page has: a link to the forum with the top 3 most recent subject lines, and the top 3 most discussed posts

- the front page has: a link to the records part of the website. but not just the link, also some curation for the top numbers records. like maybe solo balls, rings, and clubs records for example are listed right there. i mean even a silly thing like this i could use monthly!!! i’m at a show and someone afterwards comes up to me and asks if i can juggle chainsaws and then asks how many balls i can juggle. i could just point them to the JP right away and see that someone from the UK just flashed 17 balls. i’m not personally so into the records thing in terms of posting or logging personal records but 99% of the people i have talked to so far are into it, including erik, so it seems to be something that people are really passionate about and is important to them. then it might be really beneficial to the community if that was a feature of this website.

- the front page has: juggling vendors list link. does it also have a small advertisement there that could rotate through participating sponsoring vendors? maybe. i mean i don’t mind seeing advertisements from juggling manufacturers because i want to know what’s the new stuff i can buy!! and maybe the money helps with the site. i have no idea. how will the website be paid for, i don’t know. so far i was able to pay for all my random projects out of my pocket. probably not the most sustainable if we’re talking about longevity as a goal here.

- the front page has: an online juggling resource list link. this could click through to show juggling club listings (i loved the style of this from the IJDb where juggling clubs were listed with red, yellow, or green traffic lights. a red light meant something like no one from the club had logged in and updated the information in 5 years, a yellow light meant 2 years, and a green light meant that entry was updated that year. or something like that. but i have to tell you, i have many times used “red light” juggling club listings to eventually track down certain jugglers to lots of benefits in the past!), a collection of links to juggling blogs (and here, like everything else on the site- juggling clubs, juggling vendors, etc. this can all be user generated. you get a login when you register for JP. then you can make an entry on this if you have a juggling blog. we have to deal with how to monitor spam and all of that. but its 2020, that’s a thing website people know how to do?), a list of jugglers’ websites both personal and professional (again i used this all the time on IJDb), a list of juggling related resources (for example could have links to external lists like circus schools with FEDEC or whatever, unicycling hub, kendama party, i don’t know what’s out there but we could have a resource of links with descriptions so again its both a place of discovery and a place for reference. and its all searchable. so if i type in “yo-yo” to the JP, then one of the things which pops up is the yo-yo group party link under the online juggling resource link section)

- the front page has: yearly community reading list. i need to explain this- look, here’s the thing. one of the biggest things in the juggling community these days is luke burrage’s top 40 jugglers of the year. its practically an institution at this point. he has been so generous to run it for all these years and it seems to be something that lots of people in the community find to be both valuable and inspiring. though also the criteria of the top 40 voting is generally very open ended, and i can totally respect luke for that. as far as i understand his whole point is that you should just vote for whoever you think is most deserving for whatever reason in that year. but in reality lots of times it turns into a contest of who posted the best youtube video that year. or maybe even from the year before? so maybe it could be fun and drive traffic to the JP to just have a yearly top 3 video contest. that could be part of the community reading list. so on the JP you have the top 3 juggling videos of 2020, and you also have the top 3 juggling videos of all time. each year the top 3 juggling videos of all time is up for grabs, and same for juggling videos made in the current year. as with all of the community reading list content, perhaps the selection is done by nomination along with a jury of peers, and maybe partial popular voting or something. but in addition to the top videos of the year and of all time, there could be a selection of links, books, forum posts, other online content, podcasts, or just anything that would give some valuable content and insight into what juggling is right now. almost like a statement that represents the current state of juggling in the world if at all possible. basically i want something i can refer back to in my own work and also direct others to all the time, be it producers, normal people, or students when i’m teaching. i mean i always thought a great idea would be that in circus school, the graduating jugglers would get to refresh or add to a public website. because back when i used to work at DOCH, the administration did ask me to provide a reading list for every year. as far as i could tell that impetus came from administrative technicalities rather than an actual functioning need for such a list (since it was never put into actual real world use on a day to day level). but having a reading list for juggling resources is a very real and possible thing. so every year that the jugglers would graduate, they could choose which videos they thought were most important to them in their lives, and they could share the links to content which helped them the most. then this website could be a living and breathing documentation of what is happening in the DOCH circus school each year with the jugglers. everyone would ask me what’s going on over at DOCH these days… well, check out this website! you can totally see what the jugglers were thinking about from last year at least. i think that would have been a really cool and useful idea to do. so let’s have it here on the JP. it could be useful to so many jugglers around the world who are trying to interact with other genres in various capacities. i know the IJA sometimes tries to get funding for various things or invites certain celebrities to participate in events. and if they don’t know what juggling is, or what juggling is about today… well, easy- send them a link to the community reading list over on the JP, they can immediately see 6 completely insane juggling videos and there is the surrounding context should that be useful.

- the front page has: the trick database link. the trick database allows users to upload video with hashtags. each user would be linked to this by their own JP account like on instagram for example. you make a new trick, you upload the video and then can categorize it, hashtag it, and it becomes a searchable resource. this part of the portal would be especially important on mobile devices. in fact the trick database part of JP should probably just have its own app. the interface could be very much like instagram but with a bit more editing features in terms of collections of videos. i get it that i’m here writing about making instagram with different features. i know its not very realistic. but maybe some of these ideas would spark something in somebody, and since i’m getting all the ideas out here, i’m not going to stop now while talking about the trick database. on the TDb app from JP, you can shoot video straight on your phone, do basic trimming like on instagram, and upload it straight to the app. it would change the way i juggle in both my personal and professional life. for example, if i make a new 3 ball box trick, i could go to the TDb and search “3 balls, box” and instantly get all the 3 ball box videos (and perhaps with even more search criteria for a narrower selection, like maybe also add “cross-arm” and “box with lid”). i could see that the variation i just made up was actually done in 2019 by ameron. and i could also see 30 other variations from everyone all over the world. and that could inspire me to make a variation from one of the ones i saw and upload it to the TDb. which starts the whole process over again. if someone didn’t want their tricks public, i guess you could also have a private TDb account. like for example let’s say you’re making a new show with 2 friends and you want to have a database of video content which you can organize and search during the creation process. you could share that private content with your 2 friends only if you like. personally, if this existed, i’d keep all my content public all the time. having this resource of technique to search and reference would literally change my entire life. so i’d also want to contribute to the process as much as i personally can.

- eventually daily content could be generated by corespondents from around the world. photo of the day takeovers could be from different countries each week or month. there just needs to be the interface to upload the content in a reliable and manageable way.

- throughout the JP site there could be some “talking heads.” erik had this idea as a fun feature, again as a way to drive traffic to the site. the talking heads could be the picture of a juggler’s head with a dialogue box. that juggler could have an exclusive login to that box to write whatever they want which would then be seen publicly until they changed it. would you go to JP if emil dahl had a talking head there? or lewis kennedy? what if you knew that over on the JP anthony gatto actually had a talking head that he was actively updating… wouldn’t you visit the website then?

- the JP would also have other forms of social media to promote its content. but it would not share that exact content on other platforms! what i mean is, JP should have a twitter, facebook, and instagram account. but the instagram account isn’t going to just show the photo of the day from JP every day! then you have no reason to go to JP. but maybe its 1 post a week on the JP instagram account which sums up an interesting forum post from that week. or gives a shout out to an upcoming festival. or shares a link that was uploaded that week. just as a taste of what is offered over on the site. but again, not as just another copy of the same information. hopefully as a way to drive traffic to the site and keep it alive among all the other digital platforms begging for your attention.

- the website should be in english, spanish, french, german, italian, and japanese at least. sounds like crazy work. but worth mentioning that one of the reasons forums or other websites fail today is because not everyone uses the same language.

- a dream feature of the forum would be to have embedded translation service options like from facebook. i don’t know of any forum software which offers this as an option. but for sure it would really unite all the jugglers of the world if they could all talk to each other in some way without language being a barrier!

- another nice feature for the forum would be to have a siteswap highlighter and embedded animator.

- another nice feature for the forum would be to have a scheduling option for when to post a discussion comment. that way i if i find myself having 5 hours in one day, i can write a bunch of forum posts, and set them to be released at intervals over the next weeks. this can help rhythm of keeping discussion going over on the forum. first of all i won’t flood the forum all at once and overwhelm with too many posts, and make people skip content. obviously this feature isn’t just for my account but everyone’s as well. if i know of something coming up i can prepare content ahead of time and release it when its most relevant. this was actually erik’s #1 request.

the whole point of the juggling portal would be to unite everyone together, not fragment them more. for sure the portal would not need everything i listed above to work or survive. and as i have been talking about this privately for a few years now, i know there are people around the world doing parts of these things as i speak. still, the point is that i think the strength of these things is that they would be integrated all together. a central place where we can all meet, discuss, learn, share, archive, and discover juggling.

Kelhoon - - Parent

  • needs to be well secured
  • all components need constant security updates
  • would be nice if it accepted auth from google and/or facebook

Daniel Simu - - Parent

Why authenticating from google or facebook? I find that it hardly makes access easier to sites (maybe this changed, I haven't signed up on a website through fb or google in the last 2 years), and I am worried that I give them unnecessary power to track behaviour of users and sites, when a new platform could be contributing to a more diverse, less centralised web!

Mike Moore - - Parent

Especially for services I don't care about with lots of alternatives, I much prefer options that can connect to my existing accounts (I have a garbage Google account I use for exactly this).

While I /do/ care about talking about juggling, I can imagine that others would be on the edge (no pun intended) of interest for this kind of thing.

Cedric Lackpot - - Parent

Relevant xkcd - this being the Edge half of you will know which one without even opening it ;-)

Jay, I wish you well and I hope you smash it. I too sorely miss the glory days of recdot via IJDb, but that's very much in the realm of history now.

Richard Loxley - - Parent

Yup. Communication happens naturally where the people are.

rec.juggling succeeded because it was on Usenet, which was where the people were.

Then everyone moved onto the web when that was invented. The IJDb portal succeeded because it was a transition between Usenet and the web, and linked those two communities as they gradually transitioned.

Now the majority of people are on Facebook, so that's where the communication happens. You can't really fight it, although you can still have communication in smaller groups outside if you try hard enough.

What's next? Instagram? Discord? WhatsApp? I dunno, I'm not a teenager, so I don't have visibility of the upcoming communication trends.

But to try to get everyone to move back onto the web is pissing into the wind. "Build it and they will come" doesn't work. "Build it where they already are" is much more likely to succeed.

(Incidentally, I did an internet marketing course years ago, the output of which developed into a successful business. This was the surprising basis of the course: don't build something and then try to attract people to it - instead find the people, ask them what they want but don't have, and then build that product where they already are. It works.)

Mïark - - Parent

I wonder if part of the problem is our perverse relation to a forums popularity, sometimes we post on facebook because we want the maximum audience, then we hate the fact our post gets lost in all the other people's postings. We want to see all the posts that we want to see, but it is unlikely any algorithm will be able to 100% second-guess which posts we might have wanted to see today and which not. Facebook is rubbish in many ways, but perhaps also our expectations are unreasonable.

An analogy might be a juggling convention with 1000s of attendees, loads of shows and many many workshops sounds amazing. Then you realise you have to queue hours for shows, everything is so scheduled you are chasing the clock and workshops are full up and opportunities to rendezvous with friends are fewer.

Orinoco - - Parent

You beat me to it! That comic was my first choice, so I'll settle for my second.

Julien_H - - Parent

I'd love to see this idea come to fruition!

Even though i only witnessed the last few years of rec.juggling, i found it the best ressource for relevant content. There are many conversations that happened there that were really thourough, and well written, and still to this day, those conversation are relevant and need to be accessible in some way!

Every medium right now has some good and bad stuff, but overall, nearly everyone of them gives me a lukewarm feeling. Facebook and instagram are great to quickly share something, but if you're not logged at the right moment, it gets buried and you'll never know it existed.

Anyway, i'd love to see such website, mainly for discussions and archives, and also for events listing and club listings. Usually, if an event is not listed on the juggling edge, i don't even know it exists because it's lost in somewhere i don't even know of..

Good luck with the project!

Orinoco - - Parent

To address a few quick points:

The irony that Jay & most of the world probably won't see this because it is not on Facebook is not lost on me.

the main page easily features all main activities without the need to click through links to reach the start of any of the main areas
a link to the forum with the top 3 most recent subject lines
an event calendar link, but it also displays on the front page the title link to next upcoming event

Edit settings > Change home page layout

More sections can be made available on request.

In case anyone doesn't already know you can add events listings using Edge data extremely easily or not quite so easily (give me a shout if you need help).

a photo of the day
a historical juggling fact of the day

Post to the forum use #PhotoOfTheDay, #HistoricalJugglingFactOfTheDay, creating the ability to display the latest post with a hash tag on the front page wouldn't be too difficult.

a link to the records part of the website
juggling club listings (i loved the style of this from the IJDb where juggling clubs were listed with red, yellow, or green traffic lights
the website should be in english, spanish, french, german, italian, and japanese at least
a siteswap highlighter and embedded animator

All already in place except Japanese but I can add that very easily if anyone is interested in translating. Dutch & Russian are also available.

another nice feature for the forum would be to have a scheduling option

If you come back here tomorrow at sometime after 08:00 UTC you will see either:

  1. The first scheduled post on the Edge
  2. A few posts calling me a moron because it didn't work

a dream feature of the forum would be to have embedded translation service options like from facebook

To get this embedded in forum software would breach free usage limits of existing online translation services pretty quickly & get too expensive for the juggling community to afford very quickly. There are many browser extensions available that can do this if the user wants this feature. As for creating my own translation service I am both not smart enough to build it & not stupid enough to try.

It's disheartening just how much functionality of Jay's ideal portal is already available at the Edge.

If you believe that Facebook is a poor platform for discussion, don't use it for discussion.

Everyone believes that rec.juggling was the greatest thing in existence. Everything since has been rubbish.

I question whether anyone really remembers what rec.juggling was. No one is missing rec.juggling. What everyone is missing is the community that used rec.juggling.

rec.juggling was simply a small corner of usenet. The only thing usenet did was distribute text files (or binaries if you didn't mind being shouted at) from you to anyone that wanted to download them. That was it. & it was rubbish, service was patchy, not all messages got through, it was full of spam & MLM scams, archiving relied on the whims of a multitude of service providers, retrieval sometimes involved emailing your mates to see if they still had a cached copy of a post, & there was a constant influx of newbies who had no idea how the system functioned & were trying to work it out. Every newsgroup in existence could have legitimately been filed under the alt.test hierarchy. & for the love of God will someone please tell me if the rare wine red Mugen kendama IS STILL FOR SALE?!

But behind all that were people. People who had ideas. People who wanted to help. People who wanted to make you laugh. & without any fancy software to animate patterns, create causal diagrams, automated polls, competitions, categorised, searchable databases with automated data sanitisation people created STUFF just through swapping small text files.

Long before convenient free to use video streaming sites with infinite storage & bandwidth, & online editing tools existed. People worked together to navigate the minefield of competing file formats that only worked on half the computers, the numerous impossible to use video editing packages, negotiating the sharing of precious bandwidth & storage to host files for everyone to download. Yet we still had the glorious WJVF (anyone know what Arron Gregg is up to these days?) & the Juggletween project for example.

The top 40 jugglers of the year poll started life because Luke bothered to work through dozens of atrociously spelt & formatted answers to a survey by hand. Siteswap became popular due to the efforts of dozens of people creating hundreds of almost indecipherable ladder/state diagrams & number lines in ascii art, which were either works of genius or meaningless crap depending on your computer's default font.

Rec.juggling was fun to hang around not because of the software but because of all the people playing & experimenting & trying something new.

I thought if I could provide enough tools for people to play with I could keep that magic alive, but I was wrong.

david - - Parent

Amen, or verily if you prefer, except for the last sentence. Of course one can never supply enough tools for everyone but you and the community supporting you have supplied more tools than anyone else and more tools than most people use, if they are even aware of them. Thank you for your good works.

The Void - - Parent

I'd tell you about the Mugen, but I have no love of jod.
The Edge rocks - thank you.

Daniel Simu - - Parent

I agree, it's the people that make a community.

Why are the people no longer interested in this kind of community? Why are not all the people here? :(

Also, I thought this might be a good place to crosspost my comment on Jay's post:

"Thanks for summing up your thoughts Jay!
Let me do an attempt to sum up mine, freewheeling this so it might be a bit chaotic.

Just so everyone knows where I'm coming from: I've probably been part of nearly every (English spoken) web juggling forum. Rec, edge, OE, reddit, fb groups, remember the original Juggle Jabber, the social media website? Well I was there. I've read everything on the WJW and Gatto forums. Oh and of course, and some Dutch sites such as Prikpagina and Diastylo.
I agree none of them were quite ideal. However, long as there were people, all of them were good enough!

I'm also a loooong term member of a non juggling community for pixel artists ( This is a 100% custom platform taylored to the needs of pixel artists, a perfect front page, daily new user content, community activities, news, serious discussions, light chatter etc. However, the platform is dying. I know the community from inside out, and have fought to keep it alive. It's still coping, but most of the community has disappeared, only 1 of the many many features is still actively being used. All pixel artists have moved to Twitter instead. A platform completely unsuitable for pixel art, where nothing is easy to find unless it was posted in the last 24 hours.
Even with a perfect platform, people disappear to these large generic social media sites...

Will a perfect juggling site help? Perhaps. But if people really were interested to connect with each other in this kind of way, Object Episodes and the Edge would have already taken off, and could slowly grow to this ideal juggling site. I don't believe that it could only exist if all puzzle pieces come together in one place.

However, because of my insane interest in these kinds of communities, I'm still happy to keep on trying. I'd be happy to take part in any new project, would be excited to advice and support anyone taking on a community site, and would pour in hours to try and make it work. Because of that drive, I've also created a platform myself, I hoped that the video content would draw in people, who could then be lead to the forum and such. However, also there the amount of daily visitors remains so low that it's not worth investing much more energy in, and my attempts at creating a community around it have all failed so far.

But, who knows. I sure would enjoy such a platform. But then again I also enjoy a simple forum, just like I enjoyed the original OE.

I believe that the most important thing you need for a community to function are people. The content and the features will follow automatically, if you can get people together.."

Mike Moore -

Another fest cancellation: IJA

From an email sent by the fest team:
It is with the heaviest of hearts that the Festival Director team and the IJA Board of Directors must announce the cancellation of the 2020 IJA Festival in El Paso, Texas, due to the pandemic impacting the world.

This decision was not reached lightly, but it is in the best interest of the health and well being of our festival community as well as the communities in El Paso and beyond. We understand this is a large loss for everyone from our community interaction, those hoping to compete, and performers all over the world. We truly value our juggling community and their ability to remain an active community no matter the circumstances.

For those of you who have registered for any aspect of the 2020 IJA Festival, you will receive further information shortly.

While we cannot have the festival in person, we will be doing everything we can to bring the festival fun to you online. We'll have more information on that soon -- feel free to reach out with ideas!

Maria - - Parent

Sad, but not unexpected.

My favourite part of juggling festivals will be really difficult to move online, too. I fear there will be very few opportunities for club passing this year... At least for a few months.

Richard Loxley -

The Altern8 Virtual Juggling Club:

Tonight the Bristol jugglers (from the Monday night Altern8 juggling club) hosted our first virtual juggling club using Jitsi video conferencing.

It was really nice. Everyone grabbed a drink and/or snacks, and we sat and chatted, watched each others' cats doing silly cat things, marvelled at the occasional juggling attempt in the background, and generally chilled. We even got 'visitors' who have moved away from Bristol and were able to return due to the online nature. People dropped in and out, probably about 10-12 people most of the time.

We'll be doing it again next week.

For all other juggling clubs who have had to cancel - why not go down the same route? I can give advice on setting it up using Jitsi - it's really easy.

Or if you know us and would like to join us in our next meet-up, let me know and I'll send you a link - we could probably accommodate a few more people before it becomes unwieldy.

John R -

The Gandinis are releasing some full shows from their archives for the next few weeks. This is Smashed at the Peacock theatre in London, 1 hour 17 minutes of goodness. (I am pretty sure the stage and most of the seats of the Peacock are below waterline of the Thames, incidentally - you go in at street level and then down and down and down...)

Cedric Lackpot -

Announcement - juggling is cancelled until further notice, so here's something to make Little Paul go weak at the knees instead.

Rotary mobile phone - I'm pretty sure that I can die happy if I could just call the Site Swap Phone from one of these bad boys.

What do you mean "What's the Site Swap Phone?" Have you been hiding under a rock? You have? Oh, okay then. Simply dial +44 117 911 5202, follow the instructions, and enjoy.

Orinoco - - Parent

I'm finding the Cracking the Cryptic channel & Levar Burton Reads podcast as useful distractions right now.

The Void - - Parent

I'm a bit behind with my settng, but if you fancy a bash....

Tom Derrick - - Parent

I've been working on your crossword for the last couple of days. I'm enjoying your clues, they're on the upper end of my cryptic ability which has made each solve satisfying. I've just got a handful to do in the top right before I finish!

The Void - - Parent

Awesome, thanks for letting me know! :-)

Cedric Lackpot - - Parent

Bam. That was fun.

The Void - - Parent

Ah, ace!

John R - - Parent

Ta! That was indeed fun.

Little Paul - - Parent

Or don’t call it, as it seems to be broken again. I’ll give it a prod later if I remember

Little Paul - - Parent

I finally got around to it, the siteswaphone is now back online.

Have at it.

Dee -

Currently watching the 1st Cyber Juggling Convention hosted via zoom...

First act was Quentin Godet - some superb yoyo moves.

Mike Moore - - Parent

I very much enjoyed your dramatic reading of the time traveling David Cain article.

Avril -


"‼️‼️ BJC 2020 POSTPONED ‼️‼️

Yeah, we surrender.

Due to the total unpredictability of the months to come, our team, together with the 2021 Ramsgate team, have decided that the best course of action for us is to postpone this event until July-August 2021.

Pre-reg will be closed for now, and anyone who has already purchased a ticket for this year, or merchandise, will be contacted in due course.

We'll keep you updated of course, but in the meantime, stay safe ❤️🧡💛

Much love x"

Mïark - - Parent

This is very sad, thank you for making the announcement.

Thank you all the hard work you have put in, sorry we won't be able to see the results till 2021.

Is the new 2021 date definite? (ie can we start advertising it?)

[ Orinoco, is there any way all the people who marked themselves as attending this event on JE, be notified of the year change on the event? ]

Orinoco - - Parent

As far as I can tell everyone on the list has retweeted/shared/liked this message on various platforms, is an organiser, or has purchased a ticket so will be contacted as per Avril's message.

I have put a note in the listing description about the date change.

Orinoco - - Parent

...and can people stop being sad about looking after everyone's well being!

Well done Avril & the team. Good call!

John R - - Parent

Agreed entirely! In another sphere, I and co-organisers had to cancel a conference for early May. I’m obviously sorry it won’t happen but it was such a relief just to say nope, not putting people at risk, it’s cancelled.

Little Paul - - Parent

Yup! It’s a tough call, but cancelling is so much more straight forward than the planning required for going ahead. How do you isolate someone who becomes symptomatic during the event? How do you track and isolate who they’ve been in touch with or where they’ve been in the venue? How do you assess and manage that risk?

This is especially difficult for juggling events where people are staying in tents, are drunk, or otherwise unpredictable.

The organisational nightmare of an outbreak during an event is not something I would wish on any organiser!

LizzyPeat -

Newbury Juggling club (UK) is not meeting for the foreseeable future, our hall rang today to tell me they have cancelled all bookings in order to protect their elderly residents from the virus of evil. Sorry everyone!

With best wishes,
Lizzy Peat

Orinoco - - Parent

Sucks, but I think it is for the best.

A couple of friends & I have tickets to see The Cat Empire in Brighton tonight. We've all decided not to go :(

Social distancing FTW!

John R - - Parent

As of today, Hullabaloo (Leeds Juggling Club) and Bedford Juggling Club have both closed for the foreseeable future, too.

I plan to take up tiddlywinks. Bah.


Orinoco - - Parent

Mïark has also done a great job marking events as cancelled over the weekend. I cancelled a couple more last night after notifications from organisers. I suspect more will follow suit & more have already been cancelled but we've not heard.

I'm curious though, is there much sentiment among people that clubs & events should continue right now? There isn't among most people I know.

Alice - - Parent

Personally I think we have a social responsibility to try to heed government advice which is to avoid unnecessary social contact. I hate missing the club and having to cancel but this this has not even started yet, if the models are correct in a few weeks we will Well and truly in the s**t, this situation is unprecedented and largely unknown and, until we do know more I think we have to trust the experts.. Who suddenly seem to be back in fashion!

Mïark - - Parent

Spinning@ are also closed for the time being.

Would it be a useful thing to have an open ended "Closed until Corona Virus risk calms down" rather than trying to guess when the club will reopen for the club listings? Or is it a lot of work for not much gain? Or do club organisers need a date so they can come back and mark their club as now open or still closed.

There are quite a few events in April just waiting to see what their government regulations/advice or venues policy is.

Guess a lot of jugglers will be practising solo skills till things clear up

York Jugglers - - Parent

York Jugglers will also be closed until this virus is over, at least we can still practise at home, there may be a huge improvement in the standard of solo juggling by the time meetings start again.


The Void - - Parent

#Altern8 club in Bristol is now also suspended until further notice.


Cedric Lackpot - - Parent

Leicester Jugglers closed for twelve weeks minimum unless we find another venue :(

Adam Hellman -

So I have been starting to design my first real show that I would be comfortable charging people/companies for me to perform. I don't currently have enough good content to fill a full show. So I have decided I want to make a rola bola to make current tricks I can do more impressive. I did some research and found most boards are around 12ft(30.5cm)wide and around 3ft(90cm) long. The tubes I have found tend to be about 6in(15cm). Have you found those dimensions to be good? For the tube what have you found to be the best grips for it. I have been thinking I could use duct tape because I can pick and change the color easily. If you have any advice on building a rola bola or designing a show I would be happy to hear!

Thanks for the advice

Daniel Simu - - Parent

Those dimensions sound reasonable. 15cm is enough for a tube, larger will be a bit easier but that might not be as important as transportability. On my wooden tube I've never used any grip. Duct tape doesn't sound too bad!

Good luck

Little Paul - - Parent

Measure your inside leg, take off about 2” and then use that as the length of your board.

That then allows you to go for a jump mount, land with one foot on the board and one off the board. The board will pivot up and slap you on the inside of your thigh. It doesn’t hurt, but you can play it as though it slapped you in the knackers.

I’m not sure who I got that trick from, so I don’t think I can give credit where it’s due. It was probably Mini Mansell though.

Other than that, board should be slightly wider than your feet are long, and the tube should be about as long as the board is wide. The larger the diameter of the pipe the more visually impressive it is (and the easier it is to ride)

I’ve never bothered with any form of grip tape on the board or tube, if you want to “slow it down” for practice, put down a cheap rubber door mat under the roller.

Some people say you should always fit end stops on the underside of the board, but I’ve never bothered as my feet are at the end of the board, and the danger which end stops mitigate is the pipe traveling past your foot (which will result in a hard, fast, painful fall)

bad1dobby - - Parent

Skateboard grip tape works very well. It's basically coarse sandpaper with a sticky backing. Available from skate shops (obviously).

Cedric Lackpot - - Parent

You can also get heavy-duty self adhesive sandpaper on rolls from hardware suppliers which should be similarly grippy and durable.

Tobi Reif -

There are two Games of Juggle going on:

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