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IMDb eliminating its message boards


Richard Kimble
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....at the risk of seeming butt-kissy

                   (and those of you who know me,

YOU KNOW if there is fault to be found with anything, I find it)

 

but

 

BIG THANKS

to

The Moderation Staff here on the TCM Messageboards

 

You guys are great. (whoever...wherever you are....)

 

edit- ew, I feel sticky now. but still, it's the truth.

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Don't really want this to turn into a Trump discussion, but I think it's undeniable his presence on the political scene has emboldened thousands of anonymous Internet racists, homophobes and/or misogynists to attack online at each and every opportunity any idea that anyone who isn't a white male should ever be treated with dignity, positivity and/or respect.

Then you should have stuck to the things that this is a reaction to. Be it going on about "cultural appropriation": When TCM had its spotlight on the portrayals of Hispanics in the movies, there was a piece with Rita Moreno talking about a movie she made with Alan Arkin (Popi) and oh my goodness, why couldn't they get a Puerto Rican to play the part? By that logic, thespians like Moreno should only be able to play Puerto Ricans. Anything else is evil cultural appropriation.

 

I suppose I could also mention the jelly bean counting going on every year regarding Oscar nominations, or the fact that idiocy like the Bechdel test is treated with anything other than utter derision.

 

And if you want to talk about violence, how about going off on people because they're wearing the wrong type of headphones? But somehow when Trump supporters (of which I'm not one; I voted for Gary Johnson) do things far milder, everybody gets the vapors. And these are the people who claim to be tolerant. No they're not; I find them to be incredibly totalitarian.

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Then you should have stuck to the things that this is a reaction to. Be it going on about "cultural appropriation": When TCM had its spotlight on the portrayals of Hispanics in the movies, there was a piece with Rita Moreno talking about a movie she made with Alan Arkin (Popi) and oh my goodness, why couldn't they get a Puerto Rican to play the part? By that logic, thespians like Moreno should only be able to play Puerto Ricans. Anything else is evil cultural appropriation.

 

I suppose I could also mention the jelly bean counting going on every year regarding Oscar nominations, or the fact that idiocy like the Bechdel test is treated with anything other than utter derision.

 

And if you want to talk about violence, how about going off on people because they're wearing the wrong type of headphones? But somehow when Trump supporters (of which I'm not one; I voted for Gary Johnson) do things far milder, everybody gets the vapors. And these are the people who claim to be tolerant. No they're not; I find them to be incredibly totalitarian.

 

Well said.   I find it sad that Moreno appears to be so clueless (but I suspect she really isn't) as to why an actor like Arkin was given the leading part in Popi.

 

As for this years more diverse Oscar nominations;   Can one really say there isn't a connection between the complaining about lack of diversity last year (e.g. The L.A. Times ran daily articles leading up to the Oscars) and this year's nominations?   So this year how many members voted based on the their opinion about what were the best performances versus guilt associated with their prior year voting?

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When I used the term "right-wing" in my description of the trollish behavior on the IMDb boards, it was because the trolls often use terms like "liberal snowflake" and "SJW" and other commonly repeated terms used in right-wing media. And many of them self-identify as Trump supporters. It isn't just an unfair assumption made by critics. As I stated earlier, I think most of these people are just kids looking to get a rise out of people, and spouting Trump's name is enough to get some people upset. They have no genuine political beliefs, just an urge to offend anonymously. 

 

But a few are "true believers" that may be operating under the misguided assumption that Trump's White House victory somehow signaled the starting gun to be as sexist, racist, homophobic and otherwise as anti-social as can be. And I'm not using those terms flippantly. They're saying really nasty stuff about other races being subhuman animals, and that gays should be beaten on sight, or the aforementioned "rape poll". All of these things are eventually found and deleted by the moderators, but there is so much of it that it takes enough time to get to it all that most gets read by a large number of viewers before it's "disappeared". As MovieCollector noted, it's the basest of the base, and it's no wonder that a company would not want to be associated with it any longer.

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....at the risk of seeming butt-kissy

                   (and those of you who know me,

YOU KNOW if there is fault to be found with anything, I find it)

 

but

 

BIG THANKS

to

The Moderation Staff here on the TCM Messageboards

 

You guys are great. (whoever...wherever you are....)

 

edit- ew, I feel sticky now. but still, it's the truth.

 

Yeah, I suppose I have to agree with your kiss-*** statement here, Lorna.

 

(...although if only those moderators around here would allow us to actually USE the colloquial term for a person's hind end, I'd be even MORE in agreement with ya here, dude!!!) ;)

 

LOL

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How are the Oscar nominees actually decided? (Seriously, I don't know.)

 

It is a complex process so one can google for all the details but the basics are:

 

* The organization is divided up into 17 specific branches. There’s a branch for actors, a branch for directors, a branch for editing and so on and so forth.

 

* Nominees for each category are selected by votes from members of these specific branches  (expect for best picture where all members submit nominees)

 

* When submitting a list of preferred nominees, Academy members rank them according to preference

 

*  If a selection reaches enough first-place votes—sometimes called the “magic number”—it becomes a nominee

 

* Next is a 'bubble up' process (e.g. looking at second place votes),  to determine the remaining nominees (those that didn't get over the 'magic number'.

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I suppose I could also mention the jelly bean counting going on every year regarding Oscar nominations, or the fact that idiocy like the Bechdel test is treated with anything other than utter derision.

 

 

It is my feeling that most actors in modern movies should have to undergo a: Voight-Kampff test.

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Fedya, I dispute your contention that Trump supporters are doing things "far milder" than the protesters you reference in your link. I personally have heard and read ugliness out of the mouths and writings of Trumps supporters every bit as confrontational and vile as the Dartmouth protesters you cite. Otherwise, yes, point taken intolerance can run both directions.

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Are they breaking windows (and more) like in Berkeley?

 

My other point is that some forms of intolerance are treated much more benignly than others. Look at how many people on social media are downplaying what happened at Berkeley or even suggesting that the people who agree with Yiannopoulos are really the ones to blame. It's as awful as blaming a woman for being raped because she dressed provocatively. If the violence were going in the other direction, there's no way we'd be getting such equivocations.

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Fedya, I dispute your contention that Trump supporters are doing things "far milder" than the protesters you reference in your link. I personally have heard and read ugliness out of the mouths and writings of Trumps supporters every bit as confrontational and vile as the Dartmouth protesters you cite. Otherwise, yes, point taken intolerance can run both directions.

 

Yep, that's probably true, sewhite.

 

However, ever take note of the poor spelling, the terrible syntax and grammar, and let alone the limited vocubulary that ONE particular side of those on the political spectrum so often seem to exhibit while spoutin' off about THEIR beliefs and opinions, and more than the other?

 

Yeah, YOU know which side I'm talkin' about here, and which so often come across as just a bunch of under-educated hillbillies, now don't ya?!  ;)

 

(...well, I've kind'a noticed that anyway...but then again THAT'S probably because I might be one of those dang "elitists" they keep talkin' about!)

 

LOL

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I used to post regularly on the IMDb Message Boards a number of years ago, but over the past 5 years it's been very sporadic.  Only once in a blue moon nowadays do I go to the Internet Movie Database to post anything on the Message Boards.  I still look up movies and read occasional 'User Reviews', but don't bother with the MB's.  I won't miss them.  Meh.  

 

     On the other hand, I think it's stupid to not let IMDb members send each other a PM if they want to. 

 

     I've noted some references to Facebook on this thread; I used to be a member of F/B (albeit a member that didn't post much) and I deleted my account a while back.  Maybe a year?  It took so long for F/B to load up on my aging computer I thought to myself "Why bother with this?".  So I deleted my account. 

 

     

    

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Hmm. I still have issues with some of the things you're saying, but of course, I'm not going to suddenly present an argument so brilliant and logical that it changes your mind. Wish I was that amazing a rhetorician, but I'm not. The hateful comments on imdb, which is what this thread was originally supposed to be about, are almost entirely, based on what I've read, one-directional in terms of who the targets are. I'm going to try to stop talking about non-imdb issues on this thread.

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I don't know that I'll miss the message boards that much, but I had become used to consulting them, very often after watching a movie on TCM, just to see what people had to say about them. The reviews will still provide that function to some extent, I suppose. I'd prefer to just find that information here, but it's feast or famine: many movies on TCM come and go with no one ever saying anything about them, while once in a while, one movie will become the focus of a thread that stays on Page One for two months.

 

I'm certainly not terribly Internet-savvy. Are there other forums besides here where spirited discussion about film goes on? 

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Apropos of almost nothing, Berkeley is named after the Irish mathematician George Berkeley, whose name was actually pronounced "Barkeley." Berkeley was known for criticizing Newton's calculus, which led to mathematicians forming a better, logical foundation of the topic.

 

OK, go back to the fighting.

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Apropos of almost nothing, Berkeley is named after the Irish mathematician George Berkeley, whose name was actually pronounced "Barkeley." Berkeley was known for criticizing Newton's calculus, which led to mathematicians forming a better, logical foundation of the topic.

 

OK, go back to the fighting.

 

Oh, okay Rich.

 

Glad I know this now.

 

Ya see, the only Berkeley story I knew BEFORE this was that one reference to it that Bruce Dern once said to John Wayne on the set of THE COWBOYS.

 

(...I've told ya this one before, haven't I?!) 

 

;)

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If 'scsu's post was apropos to almost nothing, then I can honestly say this post of mine is apropos to completely nothing.  And I'm proud of it.  But, hey, it does pertain to the IMDb.  → I am the person who corrected the IMDb title listing for the ultra-cheap and sleazy 1975 porno "Winnebango" (it takes place mostly in a motor home -- get it?).  See, originally the IMDb title listing had it as

"Winnabango" which was incorrect.  When the movie starts the title card pops up with an 'e' in the title.

 

Doncha hate it when movie titles are listed incorrectly?  I know I do.  And Leonard Maltin does, too!  

 

So there's a ♣SHAMELESS PLUG♣ for reading one of the 25 reviews I wrote on the IMDb.  The review I wrote in 2004 is still the only 'User Comment' posted to this day.  The movie contains the theme from 'JAWS' along with other ripped off music from 1972's 'Across 110th Street' and 1968's 'Thomas Crown Affair'.  VCX discontinued releasing "Winnebango" in the early 1980s; most likely because of all the un-licensed music on the soundtrack.  I've got some old VCX order sheets and only the earliest order forms have "Winnebango" listed for purchase under the "B" category.  (It's #B102).  Other things:  The credits list 4 'actors'; there's actually 5 people in the movie.  Woo hoo!    

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If 'scsu's post was apropos to almost nothing, then I can honestly say this post of mine is apropos to completely nothing.  And I'm proud of it.  But, hey, it does pertain to the IMDb.  → I am the person who corrected the IMDb title listing for the ultra-cheap and sleazy 1975 porno "Winnebango" (it takes place mostly in a motor home -- get it?).  See, originally the IMDb title listing had it as

"Winnabango" which was incorrect.  When the movie starts the title card pops up with an 'e' in the title.

 

Was this "movie" filmed simultaneously with Wet Wilderness?

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Just read your old review over there, Mr.G. You sure didn't make it sound like a must-see, alright.

 

However, while searching by title for that movie on the net, I noticed another movie, a documentary from 2009 titled WINNEBAGO MAN, and so also checked out the IMDb reviews for that one.

 

Now, I have to admit I've never even heard of this film, but many IMDb contributors thought it one of the best docs they've ever seen, and while a few others called it a wasted opportunity of a good premise.

 

(...have you ever seen that one, Mr.G?)

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Now that you asked, scsu, here's the lowdown as near as I can figure for Wet Wilderness and Winnebango . . .

 

      WET WILDERNESS was filmed first.  It, too, is full of ripped-off (or 'unlicensed', to be kind) music.  WET WILDERNESS opens with the theme from "Psycho" played in its entirety.  The music score in both films was credited to 'Melvin Devil' (I'm sure that was his real name, aren't you?) along with the same credited four 'actors' that supposedly appeared in WINNEBANGO.  However, like "Winnebango", there are more than 4 humans featured in "Wet Wilderness" despite what the opening credits say.  There are 6 people seen in "Wet Wilderness".  There is only 1 person who appears in both movies:  The white guy who plays the 'Son' in WET WILDERNESS and later plays the hitchhiker in the military uniform in WINNEBANGO.  No one else is the same.  Dunno why anyone bothered to list any 'actor' credits for either film as cheeeep as they both were.       

 

     I used to own both movies on the VCX label; I bought them both from eBay circa 2003.  I bought "Winnebango" first; it was a tape-only auction.  The original VCX small glossy box had been lost at some point and I can still remember why I bought it:  I thought having a movie -- any movie -- with a title like "Winnebango" would be fun.  → Who would believe even a porno movie would be titled "Winnebango"?  That was my thinking at the time so I won the auction.  I never did find a proper VCX box for it anywhere.  I still have the tape.  I no longer have the VCX of 'WET WILDERNESS', which had a box in nice condition.  I traded it to eBay seller 'moviemark' at least 4 years ago for a non-adult VHS tape.  I reckon he's probably sold it on by now.  I traded 'moviemark' a bunch of my old VCX's and that was one of them.  At one time I had about 60 VCX's in the small glossy boxes.  I kept 10 of them and traded or sold the rest at various times over the past several years.  I wrote a review for "Love Secrets" and "Blackmail for Daddy".  I still have those two. 

 

     Proceeding forth, WET WILDERNESS was released on DVD with an entirely altered soundtrack.  I admit to forgetting the name of the label that re-issued "Wet Wilderness".  Maybe 'After Hours Cinema' or some such?  Anyway, nO mORE pSYCHO tHEME + all the voices were re-dubbed.  The movie was originally filmed silent.  So was WINNEBANGO.  These were like those Italian "spaghetti westerns" where the entire soundtrack was 'created' in a studio.  For these two movies the 'studio' was probably the producer's basement.  Note the producer of "Wet Wilderness" and "Winnebango" used a name in the credits ("Robert Thomas") that is a real name -- even if it's not his real name.  No one on earth is probably named 'Melvin Devil', but "Robert Thomas" is certainly common enough. 

      ----------------------

      OTHER STUFF:

The cheeeepest movie I've ever seen:  SUMMER OF '69 (1969)  A Distribpix release.  SOMETHING WEIRD VIDEO released it (or, more accurately, saved 1 damaged print from the trash bin and put it out!).  So cheaply made it boggles even my poxed brain.  Directed (if you could call it that) by some dude named 'Robert Mansfield'. 

 

     Wanna see a really, really, bad movie?  Watch the 1982 junkfest OTHELLO - THE BLACK COMMANDO starring Tony Curtis, Joanna Pettet and Max H. Boulois (who plays the 'Othello' character and also directed).  Absolutely horrid film; it's completely uninvolving and very amateurish besides Curtis and Pettet.  I watched it once.  Once was enough.  There is absolutely nothing about this movie that keeps the viewer's interest.  I had to force myself to finish watching.  

 

     Finally, I've never heard of WINNEBAGO MAN, Dargo.  Must be about motorhomes, eh?  :)

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Are they breaking windows (and more) like in Berkeley?

 

My other point is that some forms of intolerance are treated much more benignly than others. Look at how many people on social media are downplaying what happened at Berkeley or even suggesting that the people who agree with Yiannopoulos are really the ones to blame. It's as awful as blaming a woman for being raped because she dressed provocatively. If the violence were going in the other direction, there's no way we'd be getting such equivocations.

From my reading, the protesters weren't causing the vandalism. It was anarchists from off campus. Anarchists don't have a left-right political philosophy. They just want to cause mayhem and burn things down. They tend to show up when other protest are happening and the regular protesters get lumped in with the anarchists. I've heard the Oakland area seems to have a lot of those types.

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Hate to interrup the political discusion, but to get back to IMDb:

 

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000042/thread/265706940?p=25&d=265758475#265758475

 

Message from "Col Needham", founder of IMDb:

your suggestion of rebuilding the boards is the first thing we considered when we looked at the next steps. We hate to cut features. The extra context is that in 2017 we are coming to the end of a multi-year technology migration which you may have seen covered in recent end-of-year messages. It is this migration which is enabling things like data publication within minutes of arrival by the database content team and new interfaces for photo contribution / display. Almost the whole of IMDb has been rebuilt behind-the-scenes on a modern scalable platform which can handle the traffic of a Top 40 web site along with two app platforms (iOS & Android) and a mobile site, plus data exports to a whole host of other systems, including Amazon Fire TV. This is on a scale which many people here are not appreciating; they still think of IMDb as a small site BUT that is because, out of all our traffic, boards are a tiny (and shrinking) share.

 

As more of IMDb is on the modern platform, we get faster and faster at adding new features and improving existing ones on a huge multi-billion page view scale. Unfortunately, this means that the older technology becomes more and more of drag and disproportionately slows progress, hence our desire to finish everything in 2017. When we sat down for our annual planning cycle in the second half of 2016, we looked at the options for everything which still needed to be migrated. We had deep discussions on what would migrate and stay the same, what would migrate and be improved and also what would not be worth migrating.

 

For 26 years IMDb has been collecting film, TV, celebrity and other information and creating what we hope are powerful and useful services on top of this data for our many different customers. Our strengths are in gathering, processing and publishing permanent information around entertainment. Message boards are quite a different thing than the rest of IMDb (see my comments in the post referenced above). For years, our customers have done nothing but complain about how the boards are run, what features are missing and how angry they are about how other users have treated them. This is reflected in the relative traffic shrinkage of the boards. We have reached the point where most of our customers do not even know they exist; many that do know about them have been scared away after bad experiences. We have lost a non-trivial number of customers due to bad experiences on the boards. This is wrong on so many levels.

 

Even despite all of these problems, and per the post of mine which you highlighted, we still see value in the boards. However, during the planning process when we looked at the time and effort required to rebuild the boards, it just did not make sense. We can better serve customers by getting better at that things at which we are already good -- the core functions of IMDb and building things on top of the real data. Essentially, in business terms, it is core competency issue. Wrangling temporary discussions around topics like entertainment which naturally cause friction is not an IMDb core competency; you can even see this in the complaints in the last 24 hours from people who want us to keep the boards, yet then tacitly admit that the boards are not very good anyway. We see the helpful suggestions that if only we did this, that, or the other, then all the problems will disappear. The reality is harder at this scale; I am not going to address them all, but volunteer moderators, buying other software, charging subscription fees have all been examined with the full information available to us, and if there was a magic wand which could be waved, we would have found it.

 

I love our boards. I ignore trolls. I am going to be sorry when the boards close. However, I am going be more excited about the new possibilities which we can build and deploy once the boards are gone and are no longer slowing us down. As we like to say at Amazon, it is still Day One.

 

Col

 

 

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000042/thread/265718394?d=265736951#265736951

But the message boards for individual films and TV shows are some of the most invaluable resources for entertainment discussion on the entire Internet - removing them is going to hurt IMDb, and it's going to hurt film discourse. There's been more times than I can recall that I've seen a complex film or television show and immediately logged in to the IMDb forum for those titles and joined the conversation or read what other people had to say about them. That's all going to be gone, and that's a real punch in the gut to the film and TV fans this site has catered towards for the past 15 years.

 


These are fair points, but you do not have the whole picture: only the tiniest minority of customers read those boards and an even smaller set post there. The type of unique and insiteful content you describe mostly* belongs in the permanent parts of IMDb like in user reviews, trivia, goofs, plot synopses and the FAQ feature for titles and in the various biography sub-sections for names. These are sections which are used by hundreds of millions of users and are nearly all on modern platforms (we still have some work to do). This type of content can be fully be fully included and made searchable across all of IMDb's interfaces and services. Boards discussions are an unmoderated mix of fact, fiction and outright trolling which is ephemeral in nature, and is only really available on our desktop site (our mobile site has limited boards features some of which in turn are accessed by our apps).But the message boards for individual films and TV shows are some of the most invaluable resources fentertainment discussion on the entire Internet - removing them is going to hurt IMDb, and it's going to hurt film discourse. There's been more times than I can recall that I've seen a complex film or television show and immediately logged in to the IMDb forum for those titles and joined the conversation or read what other people had to say about them. That's all going to be gone, and that's a real punch in the gut to the film and TV fans this site has catered towards for the past 15 years

 

 

 

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