Changes to IMDb Characters

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Today we are modifying the display of Characters across IMDb.
 
After in-depth discussion and examination, we have decided to simplify the display of Characters on IMDb, focusing our on-going efforts towards title specific character details.  While in concept, we love the idea of character data spanning across all titles, in practice we do not feel our past experience lived up to expectations. The majority of our previous character pages were dead ends, without any related content, providing a confusing and disjointed experience.  The filmography credits were often unusable, and the bios many times were inconsistent given numerous disparate story lines. While the previous experience had drawbacks, we truly appreciate all the hard work of everyone who contributed to characters over the years.   That said, as of today, we are simplifying the experience, allowing us to retain the character concept while building a foundation for future growth.

With today’s release we have begun this transition.  Our new character experience will support title specific images, quotes, and keywords.  Moving forward we will no longer support character filmography, biographies, videos, character lists or polls.  To aid in this transition, we are temporarily retaining our prior character experience until Dec 6th.  This will provide our users time to archive any character lists, polls or biographies which they previously created or contributed towards. If you wish to migrate any character lists or polls, we recommend rebuilding the content with an image list.  Existing character lists can also be archived by selecting the “Export this list” option. During this transition, we have temporarily retained the character search option, but will suspend support after Dec 6th.  In the coming months, we plan to re-enable character search based on our new experience.
 
We understand this is a significant change which was made only after careful consideration.  We appreciate your understanding.

Here is an example of the new experience
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080684/characters/nm0000148



Nic
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Nic Bachhuber, Official Rep

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Posted 4 weeks ago

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ACT_1

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Changes to IMDb Characters
Today we are modifying the display of Characters across IMDb....


by Nic Bachhuber, Official Rep
Joined on October 17, 2014
https://getsatisfaction.com/people/nic_bachhuber_6867878
https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/people/nic_bachhuber_6867878
- - -

You should add Today's date : November 14 2017

Any changes to the fact (?) that
WE can not search and find a Character that does not have a Character page




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Dimos Dicoudis

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And I was actually interested in the filmography of my favorite characters, not just a picture of some actor I don't care about. 
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Claus-Peter Buck

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I miss the character pages as well. It was a good but not perfect concept which works perfectly to me. Without it, IMDB has lost a lot of it’s potential in investigate film and actor backgrounds to me. It will definitely reduce my usage and contribution of IMDB.
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Laurent Dupuis

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What a SHAME.
Worst idea since imdb's beginning. Your website simply lost 50% of its interest.
"thank you"...
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Kate Hayward

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I see absolutely no point in removing Character pages. Why remove information?

Just one example: 'Jesus Christ' as a character appeared in film and television over 600 times. If I'm interested in representations of Jesus in film (which, incidentally, I am for my doctoral research), I could navigate from that list to view over 600 productions. How else am I now supposed to find that information? Am I just supposed to somehow magically know all 600 films so that I can search for them individually? This makes NO sense.

Thank goodness for cached pages! 
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Jeorj Euler

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Kate Hayward, no, you're not supposed to somehow miraculously know all 600 films, just as you wouldn't magically know all the novels, short stories and comic books in which Jesus or the "Christ" appears. Ordinarily deep research would have to be done to compile a list, but indeed IMDb used to provide that. We're stuck with going back to doing things a slightly harder way, as far as uncached and unarchived, character pages go. The search tools that accept a character name as input queries are still available. We can use that, but we're on our own as far as screening out false positives. The situation is a step backwards undoubtedly, but nothing with which we should be too unfamiliar. A wealth of knowledge in our world is basically undocumented, so we have to work to assemble some information.
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gromit82, Champion

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Our new character experience will support title specific images, quotes, and keywords.
Nic: I see how images and quotes factor into this, but I don't understand what keywords have to do with title/character pages.
In the coming months, we plan to re-enable character search based on our new experience.
So, after December 6, if someone is wondering, "What was the movie where there was a character named Ugarte?", will they be able to find it?

If I understand correctly, there will be a page at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0034583/characters/nm0000048 showing pictures of Peter Lorre as Ugarte in Casablanca and a bunch of quotes from the character. Right? But will there be any way to search for that character and find that page, if one doesn't know the film title or the performer's name?
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James King

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I smell sour grapes!
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ShadyJ

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James King went from an editor to an admin of Wikipedia in only 3 hours once he thought the scenario benefited his stance.
Being affiliated with Wikipedia is not something that screams of credibility.
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James King

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You are presumably unaware that all admins are editors first and foremost! We're not a different breed. We don't work for Wikipedia. We're volunteers like anyone else. We are elected by other editors. We spend most of our time on WP editing just like anyone else. We sometimes get frustrated with what some other editors (including admins) do just like anyone else.

I smell the nasty smell of more sour grapes. Obviously there are a few people here who didn't like their soapboxes being kicked from under them at some point.
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J.J.

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Wiki admins seem to think they're some sort of know-it-all academics. Yes when you apply for college definitely let them know that you're a Wiki admin and see how much they care xD
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Dimos Dicoudis

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I am a Wikipedia editor, but frankly some administrators get involved in arguments when they don't even understand the topic of a debate. 
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Kyle Perez

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Hi Nic,

What do you mean by "Archiving a poll"? Our polls have ongoing vote totals attached to them, so will this function be able to transfer over from a character poll to an image poll?

Thanks and let me know when you can.
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Kyle,

Nic meant that you can export your character list to a CSV (comma separated variable) file. This file has the following information for each choice in the list:
  • position - order of the choice in the list
  • const - character ID (for instance: ch0008316)
  • created - date created
  • modified - date modified
  • description - text include in the description
  • Name - name of the character

The exported CSV file does not include the description of the list which is shown at the top of the page.

For example for your list:
Movie Redheads
http://www.imdb.com/list/ls064779387/

You can export this list by clicking Export this list at the bottom of the page.

You can also save the html version of the poll page on many browsers.

Finally, you can also use the Internet Archive to archive the list, poll and poll results.

I've archived this poll:
Movie Redheads
List: https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.imdb.com/list/ls064779387/
Poll: https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.imdb.com/poll/Y7CFKCGeizU/
Results: https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.imdb.com/poll/Y7CFKCGeizU/results
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Renee Wilson

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Yeah but I don't have time to go through everything & save them right now especially before Dec 6, I'm going to be extremely busy until the middle of December! I'm very upset about this! I wonder when it will be available & how different it will be then or will it ever be even close to what we've had all this time!
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Jeorj Euler

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IKR. The timing is very crummy too.
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Jeorj Euler

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Thanks for the advanced notice.
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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1. As part of this change, IMDb will no long be supporting character lists
and polls after Dec 6, 2017.  If you wish to retain your past Character
polls, they recommend recreating any Character Lists as an Image List
and then building the poll using the new image list. They apologize for
any inconvenience this has caused, and want to stress the decision to
deprecate their existing Character experience has been an extremely
difficult one.

2. To aid your effort in identifying your character polls, I’ve created
this list of 843 character polls as of 8-Nov-2017. The polls are sorted
in descending order of votes on the first tab and by author on the
second tab.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PJNRJC2Ld-0_yzPjCExQr0Q7R_-ApAGP/view?usp=sharing

or

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1LV_vFEXD9tg90B-Ko5pPJbtVUgjwizrPGZf1MS0Udtw/edit?usp=sharing

3. If I have your email address, I will also send this message to you via
email along with a copy of the Excel spreadsheet.

4. I recommend recreating your live character polls and pending polls as
soon as practical. IMDb is unlikely to extend their deadline and will
probably make the change at midnight GMT (London Standard Time).

5. IMDb will be adding additional wording on the site. For example, we’ll
include a large message on the character pages themselves, referencing
the Get Satisfaction message.

6. The images (which are associated to a specific title/name will still be
visible on the new character pages).  In general, if you add a
still_frame to a title and tag it to a name, it will automatically
appear on the new character page.  The same is true for a quote.  If a
quote is added to a name for a specific title, it will automatically
appear on the new character page.  A new character page will “exist” if
it has at least 1 quote/image

7. Recasting a poll from a character based poll to an image based poll
will effectively create a new poll with no voting history.

8. At this time, IMDb is unable to transfer poll counts to the new poll.

9. It’s not realistic to recreate all existing polls; I recommend
reviewing the top character polls and recreating those as new polls, but
not the full list.  Please note, anyone who has a poll taker badge will
still have the same “count” post taking down the character polls.

10. When someone accesses a character based list or poll on and after December 6,
2017, the user well see a 404 (page not found) error.

11. I am attempting to archive as many of the character polls as possible on the Internet Archive (https://archive.org/).
I am archiving the polls with the most votes first. Many of the lists,
polls and poll results may already be archived. However, I would not
count on these being archive. For instance, I’ve specifically archive
this poll to the Internet Archive:
Poll: Who Are You?
List: https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.imdb.com/list/ls056811342/ 
Poll: https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.imdb.com/poll/1wyam4mgszE/ 
Poll Results: https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.imdb.com/poll/1wyam4mgszE/results

12. I will create a separate thread where you can post the links to polls
that you’ve converted from character polls to image polls. It’s not
practical to push all of the recreated polls at once. The recreated
polls still need to be reviewed to ensure they will work properly. The
admin will push a certain number of recreated polls per day while still
pushing new polls.

Ideally, the original authors for polls will have
preference over other authors. Given the short suspense time, this may
not be practical.
(Edited)
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Kyle,

From a practical point of view, I will treat the the image version of an existing character based poll as a new poll.

We will not be re-pushing the character polls as images polls. We will be pushing new image based polls that are essentially the same as your existing character based polls.

The newly pushed image based polls will start at zero votes. IMDb does not have a means of transferring votes from one poll to another.

I have a record of the votes for all of the live polls over time. I will maintain the votes for all of your character polls even though they will disappear on December 6, 2017

My total count of your polls will not be affected. However, if there is an images version of a poll and a recreated images version of the poll, these will count as two separate polls.

Your vote totals should not be affected. An IMDb staff member manually places the Poll Maker Badge on your profile page. Your Poll Maker Badge is not dependent on IMDb's totals for your votes and will not disappear when the character based polls are deprecated.

Once a character based poll disappears, IMDb's vote history for those polls will disappear. This should be reflected on the profile page of people who voted in these polls recently.
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Jen, Champion

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Thanks Dan, as always. You are the "Polls Champion" we need and I think you deserve more recognition from the powers that be.

Just to clarify, any published character polls that are made into image polls will be published but will not retain any votes and will be starting from scratch in that regard?
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Yes, any published character polls that are made into image polls will be published but will not retain any votes and will be starting from scratch in that regard.

For instance, if you recreate your second most voted on poll:
That guy is everywhere!

... as a image based poll, the title will be the same, but the votes for the images based version will a different voting history.

On December 6, 2017, the original character list, poll and poll results will disappear.
http://www.imdb.com/list/ls070581171/
http://www.imdb.com/poll/9weVKvJh2FI/
http://www.imdb.com/poll/9weVKvJh2FI/results

Fortunately, I just archived these three web pages on the Internet Archive.
https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.imdb.com/list/ls070581171/
https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.imdb.com/poll/9weVKvJh2FI/
https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.imdb.com/poll/9weVKvJh2FI/results

There may be multiple archives of these pages.

Please note: Unless, I have specifically archived poll related pages, the Internet Archive may not have an archived version.
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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I re-read what I just posted above and it appears that I'm promising that we will push all recreated polls based on character polls. That was not my intent.

The admins still have to review recreated polls and will push as appropriate.
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Renee Wilson

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I don't understand how to do this, I clicked on your link but I can't click on anything on the page, it doesn't go anywhere. Does this mean I have to type the name in the search box to go to the polls & then proceed from there?
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Tom Shortell

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Very disappointing.
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Nic,

An image may be accessed via two different URLs (links), one from the title page and another from the character page.

For example:

http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0383426/mediaviewer/rm985594112

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2179136/mediaviewer/rm3346727168

Are links for the same image.

If the character page URL is used instead of title page URL to make the image list, will there be any problem after Dec 6?

= = =

In essence, when a character appears in multiple titles, there will be a character page for each title. A character page is defined explicitly by the title ID and name ID. Is this correct?

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)
Harrison Ford: Han Solo
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076759/characters/nm0000148

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Harrison Ford: Han Solo
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080684/characters/nm0000148

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)
Harrison Ford: Han Solo
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086190/characters/nm0000148

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
Harrison Ford: Han Solo
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2488496/characters/nm0000148

= = =

Will this kind of link will work after December 6, 2017?
[link=nm0000148]
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000148/
Harrison Ford
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Nic Bachhuber, Official Rep

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Hi Dan,
Per your question:
>>If the character page URL is used instead of title page URL to make the image list, will there be any problem after Dec 6?

Yes, the character URL will be going away after Dec 6th.  Do not reference any URL that has a chconst since those URLs will be removed. You should instead use the title or name image URL as the source of the image link.  Please note in your example, those are actually 2 different images (duplicates).  They have different rmconsts

http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0383426/mediaviewer/rm985594112
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2179136/mediaviewer/rm3346727168

They are both in the title gallery so the image exists but you'll need a URL with a title/name path to access it
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2179136/mediaviewer/rm985594112

Hope that makes sense.

Thanks,
Nic
(Edited)
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Nic,

Thank you for the quick response. You confirmed what I suspected that any link that includes a character ID will be deprecated and will return a 404 (page not found) error on and after December 6, 2017.
(Edited)
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Dibyayan Chakravorty, Champion

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OH MY GOD...!!!

Almost 90% of my 'Image' polls, I used images from character pages. Those all will be deleted...!!!

I have lost my hope...1 Million votes is not possible...and I can't update so many polls...
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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DC,

Only 10 of your polls are based on character lists. These are the only polls that will be deprecated. Your remaining polls will have missing images. Although onerous, these can be repaired over time as needed.

And, yes, when I first heard about this change six days ago, I understood the implication for the IMDb polls beyond the character based polls.
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Wolfie

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How do you access the new character pages, without manipulating URL's?
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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Per Peter's comment ... please go to your site settings at https://secure.imdb.com/register-imdb/siteprefs and ensure both "Always display full cast and crew credits" and "Show reference view (old title/name page layout)" are unchecked.   
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Wolfie

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How do I maintain the old layout with those unchecked?  The newer layout is useless at best.  Could the better layout be updated to refer to the newer character pages?  Would make much more sense to make that change, than for millions of users to change their preferences.
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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How do I maintain the old layout with those unchecked?
There is no way to maintain the old layout with the "Always display full cast and crew credits" and "Show reference view (old title/name page layout)" unchecked. Unchecking the these items forces the display of IMDb's preferred supported format.

IMDb is allowing users to use the old layout, but not making any changes to it.
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Wolfie

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I can understand a lack of enhancement updates to legacy pages, but important consistency updates (ie, not allowing links to become dead or malformed) should still be included.  I imagine such an update to the legacy layout should take less than five minutes to accomplish, and would prevent IMDb from breaking within itself.
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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Would make much more sense to make that change, than for millions of users to change their preferences.
It's nowhere near millions of users, and once you take into account the number of people who have chosen these options accidentally without realizing they are stepping 7+ years into the past, it's barely even in the "hundreds of users" range, sorry.  The pages are unsupported, and for a variety of reasons, we cannot make any changes to them despite the long list of bugs which have accumulated since 2010. 
First watchlist, now characters pages... Very dissapointing changes indeed. Please, stop ruining IMDB
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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Jen, Champion

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When remaking already published polls, I was thinking of trying to put the remade poll options in the order of the votes as they are right now and put the vote counts in the description areas for each option. For example, here is one I already remade vs. the current version:

Current poll as published: http://www.imdb.com/poll/C1W-zbjcRyQ
Remade: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls027056203

Is this acceptable/advisable? Or should the list just be remade in the order/manner that it is right now and thus completely lose any evidence of previous vote totals?
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Jen, Champion

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Good to know Peter. But that wasn't my question.
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peaspot

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I like your idea Jen, I'd like to do it too if it's acceptable. It's sad to lose records of the previous votes :(
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Jen, Champion

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Pea, since no one "in charge" has responded, I'm going to go ahead and do it. It's easy enough to switch the new list/poll back to the order the first version was in.

And Peter, I'm not going to redo all of my live character polls, just the ones with the most votes, plus a few that are dear to my heart (that were inspired by family or friends).
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Peter, Champion

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The question is about poll content, so it is something to discuss with poll admins.

Dan has described his efforts to preserve the record of previous votes, so why should new polls do the same?

(Rephrased!)
(Edited)
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Jen, Champion

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If we have to re-make them anyways...
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Q Leo Rahman

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So far, what I'm getting from this is a filter for anyone to see a character's quotes on a specific title. Fair enough. But when I click a character page link, I expect and NEED to be taken to the main character page! There should be a link in place to be taken to the main character page, getting rid of it does no one any good.
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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It's especially helpful with TV shows, as you can see quotes from all episodes they were in.
This is a known issue with the current implementation, sorry.  We have recorded the requirement to roll-up all of the episode quotes to the character page as a future enhancement.  It will be a while as we need to complete all of the future technology enhancements first, please see https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/upcoming-changes-to-several-imdb-features-du6man1opd5q0
(Edited)
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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I expect and NEED to be taken to the main character page
The new pages are the main character pages; although you can still navigate to the old /character/ pages if you know the URL (and, temporarily, search for them) they have effectively been retired, and in early December will simply result in a 404 "dead page" error, sorry. 
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Q Leo Rahman

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I'm sorry but at this point (and even adjusting my site settings, as mentioned above) I do not see any proper character pages appearing. I can only assume that these  character pages are still being updated/construction.
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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I can only assume that these  character pages are still being updated/construction.
No, sorry, what you see is what you get.  For example, from Nic's message at the start of the thread, for Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back, the character data is http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080684/characters/nm0000148
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Dimos Dicoudis

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If I want to find a quote, I don't use the Internet Movie Database. That is what Wikiquote is all about. 
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Khaled Kalache

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What if I voted on a character poll .. the count of that vote will be removed?
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Dibyayan Chakravorty, Champion

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KK,

After Dec 6, all the character polls and character lists will show Error 404 message. So you can't open or vote on those polls.

Previous poll vote counts will not be changed.

During this time, you can re-create your character polls by creating image lists for those character lists. Those new polls will be published later.
(Edited)
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Khaled Kalache

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What about if I vote on these polls now before dec 6th .. will my vote count or it will be removed .. (I'm talking about how many polls I voted)
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Khaled,

I'm assuming you are talking about your votes on the individual poll pages and on your profile pages. The current behavior is votes in character polls will be shown for the most recent votes. If you were to not vote for awhile eventually the votes on your profile page will be old enough not to be shown.

On December 6, 2017, if you have votes for character polls those will no longer be shown.

Internal vote count on IMDb in theory should not change. My external count of votes on IMDb polls will definitely not change. However, I only track votes for polls not by individual users. Vote tallies for individual users is only available within IMDb.

IMDb staff (Nic Bachhumber, Col Needham or someone else) will have to verify this statement.

If you are referring to the count at the bottom of your profile page:
Total polls answered:

IMDb staff will need to answer that question.
(Edited)
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Nic Bachhuber, Official Rep

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Hi Dan,
The poll count at the bottom of your profile page will not change.
Total polls answered: xx
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Buck Turgidson

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It's a remarkably stupid idea to delete productive content in order to justify uniformity of ephemeral "user experience". But let's pretend this was the right way to proceed, in general. I'm less concerned about moving/recreating character polls than about other associated content, specifically, bios, cross-links and searchability. While much of IMDb use is effectively fandom or trying to recall the cast in a particular movie, character pages that had content had served effectively as research vehicles. Removing bios, cross-links and searches by character name effectively kills IMDb as a research tool (much as Google Books lost research value once Google removed chronological listings).

To make matters worse, this will make series pages effectively useless. There's already a proble in trying to decipher cast & characters of any show with more than 3 episodes. Inability to search for non-lead characters makes pages for these shows completely superficial.

Hopefully, search features will be restored sooner rather than later. But the proper way of handling the transition would've been to archive the content being eliminated (except polls) and offer the link to that content at the bottom of new character pages. Why this was not done is puzzling. The whole premise is that there's an insufficient number of content-specific character pages, so archiving them would not be a burden. And both archiving and linking could've been automated without much cost. Instead, we got stupid, stupid, stupid...
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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Hopefully, search features will be restored sooner rather than later. But the proper way of handling the transition would've been to archive the content being eliminated (except polls) and offer the link to that content at the bottom of new character pages.
Unfortunately the character content exists only in a system which is being removed for reasons covered in https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/upcoming-changes-to-several-imdb-features-du6man1opd5q0 so it's not practical to archive it and attach it to the new pages, sorry.  It's also never a good idea for us to publish static content which cannot be updated as there will be errors frozen within it. 
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Sandra

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While the temporary disappearence of the old character pages is sad, that new feature/improvement is very welcome!
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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I have spent (and am still spending)
Please do not spend any time adding / updating the old character pages.
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Although IMDb will not explicitly archive the character pages, they may survive in part via the Internet Archive. For instance,
Jesse James (Character)
IMDb Page: http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0000001/
Summary of Snapshots:
https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0000001/
Latest Snapshot:
https://web.archive.org/web/20170511044853/http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0000001/
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Guilherme Simões Reis

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IMDB destroyed users' contribution in character pages, users' character lists and made impossible for users to search in which other titles the same characters appear. This decision is unbelievably stupid! It is nonsense.
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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I've created a list of the Internet Archive of the first 1000 character pages. A small sample of character pages shows that all of the pages examined have been archived.

I've posted the list on my Blog on Google.

Links to Internet Archive of Character Pages

This is a sample of the first 10 pages:

Character Code / Link to Archived Page / Character Name 

ch0000001 Archive Jesse James
ch0000002 Archive Han Solo
ch0000003 Archive Mace Windu
ch0000004 Archive Obi-Wan Kenobi
ch0000005 Archive Darth Vader
ch0000006 Archive Qui-Gon Jinn
ch0000007 Archive James Bond
ch0000008 Archive Princess Leia Organa
ch0000009 Archive Atton Rand
ch0000010 Archive Visas Marr
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Dimos Dicoudis

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If I remember correctly, I first discovered the Internet Movie Database two decades ago, because I was searching for a list of character appearances by Dracula. The character pages were one of my favorite features. 
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Hans Bomers

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Nooo..... :(

I loved this function, despite it's (minor) faults.
Removing it altogether means removing access to a source of information ('what titles had a Sherlock Holmes character in it, and who played them') for which it will be hard to get a good and easily accessible answer, without IMDb.
I mean, even if the data wasn't 100% correct or complete all of the time, it was still the most comprehensive and most easily accessible source for this kind of information that I know of. Besides: even if there are other websites where I can find an answer; I don't really want to have to do that, because I go to IMDb for my film/series information. For a number of reasons. :/

I also feel like you could have taken other steps than deciding to remove the function altogether. You could have made it more accessible to 'crowd-sourcing' the addition and correcting of incomplete/incorrect data on the character pages. I have found myself correcting the occasional entry now and then, and I found the process a little tedious. Nevertheless, like I said the function certainly has/had it's merit.

Also, after deleting the Message boards, I hope this trend of removing functionality from the IMDb website isn't going to continue much further. :(
(Edited)
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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The correct way to do this is with a proper data model tied to the underlying credit database, backed with a full search; available across all IMDb interfaces. Once this is built, you will be able to find all instances of a character name across titles without requiring another contributor to have done essentially duplicate work to manually add each character credit to a separate character page.  

The old character pages will not return and there will be a temporary loss in functionality as part of the program described at https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/upcoming-changes-to-several-imdb-features-du6man1opd5q0 until we can rebuild the character search function the proper way. 
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Hans Bomers

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How long is temporary? What I don't understand is why the old function has to go before a replacement is implemented. People are still using the current functionality.

When you are improving things, can you find a way to improve the "Lists" function? Lists could theoretically be a fun and valuable way of discovering new films. But 99% of the lists are "500 films that I have seen" and "100 hot actresses". Not of any added value to anyone.
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Guilherme Simões Reis

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IMDB destroyed users' contribution in character pages, users' character lists and made impossible for users to search in which other titles the same characters appear. This decision is unbelievably stupid! It is nonsense.
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Dimos Dicoudis

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"Besides: even if there are other websites where I can find an answer; "

Do you have a list of such websites? I will need alternatives to the Internet Movie Database. 
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Jeorj Euler

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I cannot complain quite as much about the elimination of character biographies as other features, because by virtue of the lack of volunteers in contributing to them, there was scarcely anything on them that was not better presented or maintained on Wikia, Wikipedia or whatever other wiki site using MediaWiki software or the like.

It was also annoying how many character pages were created whereby the creator did not bother to include a corresponding biography, image or quote, or whereby the character has been portrayed by only one actor and in only one title. I never understood why some contributors would do that. Things like that would sometimes present an anathema to the overall contribution effort.

Nevertheless, there was still a lot of potential to fix all of that and to improve the pages so as to make them better than what can be found around the web (mainly sites within the Wikia domain name).
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Hans Bomers

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I get what you mean, but this was not my experience. That 99% may be right, but of course a lot of characters appear in only one film. Whenever I clicked a recurring character's name, I usually got some valuable info, even if it wasn't 100% complete.
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Jeorj Euler

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Well, the main reason why my experience differs, I think, is because I visit almost every crevice of the site, and content that is either not popular, not well-advertised or lacks a cult following is severely neglected. The were thousands if not millions of character pages that did not really serve a purpose, as in:
  • Contain a screen shot
  • Contain a quote
  • Contain a biography (no matter how short)
  • Link to more than one performer (even if in the same work)
  • Link to more than one work (even if by the same performer)
  • Link to a poll
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Guilherme Simões Reis

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Even characters that appear in only one film were supposed to have a character page, as they could be put in characer lists. There is nonsense to quit character pages. Very bad decision!
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Jeorj Euler

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That's a good point. I should've included that criterion, as the abundances of pages I'm thinking of didn't even have associations to lists.
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Dimos Dicoudis

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While I love Wikipedia, most of its pages feature bare bones character biographies or no character biographies at all. It has rules against in-universe information. 
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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FYI

When an actor plays multiple roles in a title, IMDb now considers all of the characters effectively as one character. Tatiana Maslany in Orphan Black (TV Series) is probably the most extreme example of an actor playing multiple roles for a title, except for sketch comedy shows.

Her role for the entire series is shown as:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2234222/characters/nm1137209
Tatiana Maslany: Sarah Manning, Cosima Niehaus, Alison Hendrix, Helena, Rachel Duncan, Beth Childs, Krystal Goderitch, MK, Jennifer Fitzsimmons, Katja Obinger...

Her role for one episode, Orphan Black (TV Series) Natural Selection (2013) is shown as this on the title page:
Tatiana Maslany ... Sarah Manning / Beth Childs / Katja Obinger

and this for each of the characters:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2510426/characters/nm1137209
Tatiana Maslany: Sarah Manning, Beth Childs, Katja Obinger
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Sdk ElMaruecan

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When I create lists, I have to delete a few because IMDb can't support more than 999 lists, now if I want to turn all my characters-poll into images-poll, can I just delete the original list once I've made the "copy"?
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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ElM,

The short answer is yes, you can delete the original list. The admins are unlikely to repush any poll based on a character lists. Besides, all 843 character lists will disappear on December 6, 2017.
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Sdk ElMaruecan

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Thanks, sorry to pull a Columbo but just one more thing:

Some of these characters' poll were created at the time of the old format, when I make the 'image' version, do I 'post a suggestion' as well on the GS board?
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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If the character poll has a thread on Get Satisfaction post to that thread that you are creating an image based version of the poll in the thread with the new list link.

If the character poll does not have a Get Satisfaction post, create a new thread much like you would for any other new poll suggestion.

For all intents and purposes, the new image based versions of character polls will be considered as new poll suggestions.
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Sdk ElMaruecan

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Thanks a lot :)
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James King

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So, basically you've decided to go back to the old system where you could do a free text search for characters across the board? Instead of the poorly-maintained and often incorrect character pages? Good. But a perfect example of the old adage: if it ain't broke...

But, of course, you've balanced that good move by removing another bit of character search functionality by getting rid of episode casts. Bad. Another perfect example of that old adage!
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Jeorj Euler

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It's a balancing act, and it only ends well if you're sober.
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cyber_turnip

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Am I right in thinking that you're taking away character filmographies so that you can rebuild the system and eventually we'll get them back?

If so, I get that. The character pages are riddled with issues. I'd welcome a complete overhaul.

If you're just getting rid of that functionality, outright, then, honestly, I don't see the point in having character pages at all. As far as I can see, their only use is to see a list of a character's appearances through media and who's played them.
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Q Leo Rahman

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A character filmography helps in tracking a character's appearances across media, but you can also attach pictures to a character gallery and it can assist in tracing quotes to those characters.

I've contributed on characters who have been attached to around 5-30 titles, so I've noted how helpful/extensive the character page can be.

If I may ask, what issues did you find with the character pages? What do you want in your overhaul? So far the only issues I would note were duplication of characters.
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James King

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Well, a lot of entries I've found on character pages are for characters whose names may look alike but actually aren't the same character. Of course, the big problem was removing the old free text character search function, which hopefully will now be restored.
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Jeorj Euler

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I should hope I'm not the only one who was disappointed with the plethora of practically-empty character pages that maybe should not have been created in the first place.
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cyber_turnip

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Issues I can remember off the top of my head:

1. This is the biggest issue in my opinion. When attempting to edit a character filmography, it's impossible to add character entries with generic names like "Bob" or "James" or "Policeman". This seems to be because once there are too many entries, IMDb gives up on trying to load them all.

A good example of this would be the character of Kate in "Blackadder II". She took on the persona of Bob, but it was impossible to add both names to the same character page because they're both so generic. Additionally, the actor reprised the role, now a judge, in another recent BBC show from one of the writers where she was credited as "Judge", but her character is meant to be the same one. It was impossible to search for and add "Judge" because, again, it was too generic.

2. Like you say, the problem of duplicate pages.

3. The system couldn't handle more complex situations. To use Blackadder as an example again, Rowan Atkinson was credited as "All Blackadders" in Blackadder Back and Forth, where he played a variety of descendants of the special's protagonist. This credit covers a variety of characters (many of whom appeared in past TV series of their own) but it was very difficult to apply the credit accurately to several different character pages without creating unwanted duplicate pages. I encounered a lot of trouble with situations along these lines.

4. The inability to add character appearances from the "themselves" section. A feature-length retrospective documentary about the sitcom Spaced was produced and included a scripted, non-documentary scene near the end where Simon Pegg and Jessica Heinz reprised their roles in the show so that we could see that they ended up as item, years after the ending of the series. It's a moment that would make a lot of sense to include in the character pages for Tim and Daisy, but wasn't possible. Another example would be the band Electric Six's lead singer, Tyler Spencer, who performs under the stage-name / character Dick Valentine. Dick Valentine had a character page but it wasn't possible to add any instances of the character performing live music such as when the band would appear on TV or the band's live-performance DVD that they produced.
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Stephen Sywak

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Sorry, but are you guys at IMDB all descended from Republican Congressmen?

You're stripping out a working (though not perfect) system, and you DO NOT HAVE the replacement even remotely ready.

Common sense would strongly suggest you keep the old system in place. build up the new system (which you're saying you're going to be doing, anyhow) in the background, test it out, show it around, and once the new system is ready to release, make the transition.

The amount of work is the same--you either create a newer, better system or you don't.  You have to transition one way or another.  Is there a negative cost associated with delaying the transition?

And think about the money you'll lose!  Currently, you have users' eyes on your pages for HOURS EXTRA while they wander around a cobbled together bunch of pages which you have already told them you are not responsible for.  So, if they have problems, it's not your fault, and they get the thrill of wandering off into the deep, dark woods on their own.  And, all the while, THEY ARE READING ADS FROM YOUR SPONSORS!  If you kill off this section with nothing to replace it, YOU WILL LOSE ALL THAT REVENUE.

Personally, I do not see the downside to letting things stay as they are until you can legitimately replace the existing system with something better.
(Edited)
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Stephen Sywak

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Thank you for the added explanation.

I commented because, as much as I love IMBD, you guys have made some pretty bone-headed IT-related decisions in the past.

I'm thinking, in particular, about the longest thread ever known to man and geek on one of your now-defunct discussion boards.  The "It doesn't DO anything. That's the beauty of it" discussion.

http://kcor1953beauty.tripod.com/blog/

The thread was so popular and had become so huge, that your server blocked all further posts to it.  And once further posts to it were blocked, your server then determined that the thread was stagnant, and dead, and deleted it.

All that work.  All that effort.  All that art.  All that humor.  All that love.  Lost.  All lost.  Lost like the Antikythera mechanism, drowned for untold ages in the Aegean Sea.  So sad.
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Wolfie

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Col, to be honest, it seems more like an actor/actress profile page for their involvement in the episode/movie, than a character page.  Let's look at a 'character' from "The Flash" TV series for example...
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3107288/characters/nm0146915

I clicked to see "Dr. Harry Wells" but I'm seeing all the characters combined into one profile.  That's not a character page, that's an actors page.

Now, let's go to Man of Steel...
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0770828/fullcredits#cast

Click on any of the Clark Kent entries and the expected behavior is to see the Clark Kent character, with the different actors listed.  However, each is treated as a separate page.

So instead of "modernizing and simplifying" to move forward, how about making sure that it's at least working somewhat as expected first?  As it is, it's not a character page, so you are removing the feature completely, while introducing a different feature that you are claiming is a replacement.  That's like a restaurant replacing a steak with a small bag of potato chips.  Both are edible, but claiming the chips are a replacement meat is a lie.
(Edited)
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Jeorj Euler

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Stephen Sywak, I hope you anticipated a little attention to your first paragraph/line here, because even if done in teasing humor, it is awkward and invariably would draw some remarks (potentially off-topic). Mind you, the Republican Party has internally struggled about how to address United States (federal) programs that Congress had no business establishing in the first place. Alas, we have to take it on faith that program "slashers" do not have cruel intentions. Undoubtedly they have always leaned toward catering to large commercial organizations and thereby have shared similar lines of thinking with "businessmen".
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djv-6

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Congress had no business establishing in the first place
That is ridiculous. You or the Republican party are going to need to explain to and convince the people how the Congress of a "government of the people, by the people, for the people" with "All legislative Powers" promoting "general Welfare" had no right establishing programs that now enjoy the overwhelming support of the people and do not restrict their rights one iota. But, yes, this is off-topic.
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Jeorj Euler

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There are limitations, perhaps both ways. James Madison kind of explained it a long time ago, but obviously he just one man among a group of men who contributed to founding a civil institution. As well, they have all been deceased for centuries, so maybe they do not matter. I admit that I'd be hesitant to equate either of the United States' two major parties with constitutionalist thinking. (Elected representatives do what their donors tell them to, not necessarily what is right.) Anyway, we might be pleased to know that a legislature is far less likely to cease support for a very popular/helpful program thereby commissioned than likewise a privately-owned organization to do for its programs. Notably, lots of organizations really are not predicated upon limitations of the "board", the "director" or the "staff" of the organization. The setup for civics is a bit different, since sovereign or semi-sovereign governments have the power to craft policies that licenses their persons commissioned by them to use designated or arbitrary amounts of force take a person's life, liberty, freedom, property or opportunities to pursue happiness.
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Kat Cody Roberts

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THIS IS GOING BACKWARDS
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Theora LaBarge

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I hate this. Absolutely hate it. As you can see from all the comments there are many issues to be had with removing the character pages. Quotes & images getting chopped up, search functionality. If I wanted to check for example, what episodes of Once Upon A Time Cora is in, your site is now useless. Because I would have jump around multiple actors' filmographies to identify those episodes instead of having them in one filmography for the character. Sure, I suppose I get removing the bios due to multiple contradictory medias, but even that's silly. So what if looking up Bruce Banner gets me every cartoon, etc. the character's appeared in? That's a minor nuisance for some users and a benefit to most.
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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As I pointed out elsewhere, we can use an IMDb specific search until/if IMDb restores a character search.

As an example:
Cora Mills
site:imdb.com "Cora Mills"
https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Aimdb.com+%22Cora+Mills%22
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Jeorj Euler

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That is not a decent example, Dan Dassow. Sorry. Rose McGowan's name does not appear in the search results. I appreciate the attempt, though.
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Jeorj,

Rose McGowan shows up in later pages of the search. Obviously, this not very useful compared to the current IMDb character search. Sigh!
The Miller's Daughter (2013) - IMDbwww.imdb.com/title/tt2620930/mediaviewer/rm1220255744

The Miller's Daughter (2013). 17 of 17. Rose McGowan in Once Upon a Time (2011). Titles: Once Upon a Time, The Miller's Daughter. People: Rose McGowan. Characters: Rumpelstiltskin, Cora Mills. Photo by Jack Rowand - © 2013 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Jeorj Euler

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For that case, thank goodness for that caption including the whole character name of Cora Mills, as the webcrawler needed to have stumbled upon it in order to produce the result.
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Sadly, as the cache for the Google, Bing and other search engine web crawlers expire, these kind of results may not be available.
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Mika Lindqvist

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RIP IMDb...
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Teat Erino

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You continue to suck harder than previously thought possible. Do us a favour Col and resign. Take all the money you want with you since it's clearly all you care about. F the users right?
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Jeorj Euler

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ACT_1, well, they claimed that running the message board was not a core competency of the IMDb staff. This make sense. However, we have to wonder in what other ways are their skills limited. Maybe they cannot afford to hire many more employees of enhanced skill levels.
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ACT_1

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Maybe they cannot afford to hire many more employees of enhanced skill levels
by Jeorj Euler
24 minutes ago (Nov 21 2017 1:55 am)
- - -


cms
IMDb Administrator
Status User - Fri Oct 6 2006
IMDb member since Tue Dec 18 2001
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur1488088/
former IMDb staff programmer
Once upon a time,
I developed the message boards system.
This does not mean that I am responsible for moderating it.

 I don't read any PMs, they get deleted as soon as they arrive
 I know what [mjeyds]    means
 I made this!


(Edited)
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Jeorj Euler

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I keep forgetting about that person. I probably have the profile page bookmarked.
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ACT_1

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I keep forgetting about that person. I probably have the profile page bookmarked.
by Jeorj Euler
- - -

He is on my list of Users

So, after they ... fired him (?) No one to maintain the Boards ??

and one less employee to pay !!

- - -

film|boards
unaffiliated with imdb.com
 
https://filmboards.com/

https://filmboards.com/user/legacy/cms/

https://filmboards.com/user/legacy/Jeorj%20Euler/

https://filmboards.com/user/legacy/ACT_l/


https://filmboards.com/user/legacy/Col%20Needham/


(Edited)
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Alicia Graves

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I WANT THEW WRINKLE IN TIME QOTES
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Toby O'Brien

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I'm sorry to see this go.  As part of my writing about "the TV Universe", the list of actors who played a certain character was instrumental.  Just today I was grateful for the list of actors who played Charles Manson.