Can someone on the inside explain to me

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Can someone on the inside explain to me how important the message board feature is to the company? If the boards are just an added bonus and not integral part of the whole? I'm told IMDb receives monetary gain from them but I don't see how? This is a much contested topic and I'd like to know once and for all.

Thank you in advance.
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BAJackson

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Posted 2 years ago

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gromit82, Champion

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BA: I'm not on the "inside", but I think I have some insight into this.

I have seen past comments from IMDb staffers in which they said that they do not consider the message boards to be a core function of IMDb. That is part of the reason why the message boards don't have a search function. (A few years back, IMDb tried having a search function on the boards ... it didn't work well, and so people stopped using it much ... which led IMDb to remove it altogether.)

My guess is that IMDb makes money from having the message boards, due to advertising sales. That is, large numbers of users spend time on the site reading large numbers of pages on the message boards, which enables IMDb to sell more advertising on the site than they could sell if the message boards did not exist. If the message boards ceased to exist and were not replaced with something as popular, the readership of the site would decrease and so would IMDb's advertising sales.
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BAJackson

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I use boardreader for searching the message boards, although that only goes back one year. I've noticed lately that many boards have been reduced in size. IMDb is such a popular site though, I can't imagine them losing advertising revenue from simply removing the message boards. 
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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As gromit82 indicates, the message boards are not a core function of IMDb.  IMDb has over 250 million users per month and only the tiniest fraction of those visit the boards and even fewer post on the boards. The boards therefore make up an insignificant percentage of overall IMDb page views. It is difficult to specifically sell advertising against message board content for obvious reasons so the only ads which run there are low price run-of-site banners at the top/bottom of a subset of boards pages where we would typically only earn revenue if a customer clicks-through and signs up for whatever is being advertised.  On the other hand, managing the boards and operating the technology behind them is disproportionately costly since the board systems are so old.  While we do not comment in detail on specific aspects of IMDb's business, it is easy to draw the obvious conclusion behind the financial cost vs. benefit of the boards system.  

From a traffic, resources and expenses perspective IMDb would be much better off without boards. There are some community benefits though and boards without a significant troll population flourish with interesting discussions and genuine community which is why we keep them around. Due to technology limitations we have to enforce an expiry policy on most boards so much of the discussion is temporary and therefore valuable content is often lost to keep the system operational.  We are always looking at better ways to preserve this type of content and we have some thoughts on providing better mechanisms to transfer useful boards content into the permanent parts of the database. 

 
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BAJackson

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Hi Col,

Thanks for taking the time to explain that to me. I like the idea of preserving board content, especially the threads which go for weeks or even months and contain nothing but great commentary and a lot of the replies are well thought out and contain good ideas and points, even when users are disagreeing. I've seen the troll-infested boards but I've seen more boards which have become little communities in themselves. Here's my question:

How can you take on a task as large as sifting through all those millions of threads and pots to find the ones worth saving and how would that be determined? What sort of thoughts and ideas have you guys come up with regarding that so far? 
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Curtis Thomas

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Always looking to better serve. Haaaaaaaaaaaa. It seems like the only thing going on in your social media sites is people complaining about message boards disappearing. Smh
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Daniel Saner

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We are always looking at better ways to preserve this type of content and we have some thoughts on providing better mechanisms to transfer useful boards content into the permanent parts of the database.
So what's up with this, then? I guess the comment didn't age too well?

From the sound of your announcement, rather than "looking at better ways to preserve" those nearly 16 years of user-contributed, and oftentimes very valuable, content, you're just going to delete it instead.

Hopefully the Archive Team will be able to copy the archives in time before the shutdown, even though what they might not be able to save is the trust and goodwill of your most loyal and active users. Actually, Mr. Needham, why not be a sport and send the data dump of the boards to the Archive Team directly? Other sites have done it in the past. It would be at least a small consolation.
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George Cooper

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I think you should take a peak at the insignificant few users that have taken up your generous offer to post stuff on FaceBook.

There is a LOT of goodwill towards you fellas.

signing off forever after 11 years ...

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jason richards

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The message boards are integral to imdb's success.  Is imdb simply deciding to become another "product placement" site for the Hollywood studios?
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jojoband

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Amazon will make imdb a paid only site.
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