Lists: Add a search for IMDb user lists

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genta pantso

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Posted 6 years ago

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Giancarlo Cairella, Official Rep

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Our technical staff is considering several ideas to improve lists, and a search feature is among them. In the meantime you can easily search IMDb lists via Google

For example, if you type the following in Google's search bar:


site:imdb.com/list zombie


you'll get IMDb lists featuring/mentioning the word 'zombie'

For a list of all vampire-related lists that do not mention 'Nosferatu', you'd search for


site:imdb.com/list vampire -nosferatu


etc.
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Cassidy Wallace

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I hope when/if IMDB finally makes Lists searchable, it'll be similar to how wonderfully searchable Keywords are on the site. I love how all the search options allow to narrow down the results.  :)
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Bill Goode

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The difficulty with using Google in such searches is that you might well end up with many lists containing "zombie" in the list description in a list that has little to do with zombies. The word "zombie" might well be included in a list description, while the list itself has nothing to do with zombies. The word "zombie" might well have been included in the list description as an exclusionary term, yet it will still show up in a Google search.

What is needed from IMDb is a means to search SOLELY list titles or list names. Dependence on Google doesn't do the job.
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Emperor, Champion

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The gears grind slowly - I do think we'll see improvements to the lists on a number of fronts, it may just take a while.
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mjwm44

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personally, if imdb were to add a valuable search option, it would be to search a keyword in an individual message board. Currently if I want to search a keyword to see if my question on a film or actor has already been discussed, the only option is to search all message boards on imdb simultaneously. When the announcement of message board updates and improvements came a while ago, I really expected better searching (30 year old technology on bboards/forums) and not a lousy avatar option.
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Bill Goode

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The idea of this thread concerns lists, not the message boards. Certainly an option can be made to search message boards as well, but this thread is specifically about lists.
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Emperor, Champion

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This is a different thing - you'd be better off posting this as a new suggestion thread.

I have suggested replacing the message board system with a more fully-featured ready-rolled message board:

https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topi...
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Jim Broadbent

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I agree on need for a search facility for users' fav film lists. I'm frustrated because last week I viewed a user's list of something like 1,390? films in the thriller genre, yet I simply cannot find this list again, hard as I've tried. There are lists of thrillers films but this one is not included.
(Edited)
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Emperor, Champion

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Our technical staff is considering several ideas to improve lists, and a search feature is among them.


Would you be interested in further suggestions? I have a few I've been pondering and I'm sure others could come up with more.
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Bill Goode

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At the creation of any list, the user is first prompted whether he wants to make a list of Titles, People, Characters or Images. At that point lists are categorized into one of those four categories. That categorization should be maintained such that when looking for lists of films (ie titles), one doesn't come up with lists of characters or lists of people.https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topi...#

Each of those categories might be further sub-categorized (at the user's option), such as Films - Westerns, Films - Musicals, Films - Sci Fi, Films - Comedy, Films - General (default if no other sub-category selected). I can't think of any sub-categories for people & characters other than Male & Female, but there may be some.https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topi...#

Another user suggested making lists of lists, and that is just too cumbersome. Threads of lists would be created such as user comments on films. Lists of lists of lists of lists of lists would make things too complex. Instead users might be given the option to "Favorite" a list they like and keep that list listed in their account (at IMDb - NOT Facebook) somewhere, so they might come back to it in the future.https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topi...#
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Bill Goode

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In a broader scope I would have IMDb become less dependent on other sites such as Google and Facebook. I do agree with the links to Amazon and Fandango, as IMDb should not be in the business of selling DVDs or movie tickets.

I am not any sort of programer, but it does seem to me a simple matter to create a means (within IMDb) to search for list titles, or to create categories of lists, or both.

As I stated in another comment thread, I would like very much for list comments to be posted within IMDb, such as film comments are. Facebook is far too political and users (myself included) have a difficult time keeping their political comments separate from the quality of entertainment.

Take Barbara Streisand for example. She is a fine actress (one of the finest comediennes today) and her singing is truly fabulous. However, I and many others intensely disagree with her politics. In creating a list at IMDb I would really like to keep comments on the list separate from political commentary. Posting the list at Facebook doesn't allow that. Someone at Facebook, who knows nothing about singing or acting, might comment on Ms Streisand's singing or acting as really poor, simply because of their political views. Hopefully users at IMDb know something of singing and acting and would thereby keep their political commentary separate from entertainment commentary.

IMDb should be for entertainment commentary. Leave political commentary to the media and Facebook.
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DavidAH_Ca, Champion

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I would have IMDb become less dependent on other sites such as Google and Facebook.
I completely agree with you. However, apparently IMDb is moving in the opposite direction.

Comments on lists used to be internal to IMDb and were only switched to Facebook quite recently. Also, until quite recently the only way to log in was directly to IMDb. The use of GetSatisfaction for Contributor support is also quite recent (although I tend to think this particular move was a good one, given the extra functionality provided).

Given these recent changes, I can't see IMDb reducing its dependence on external sites.
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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David,

I also agree with Bill Goode's statement:
I would have IMDb become less dependent on other sites such as Google and Facebook.
There has been an industry trend to have other companies provide functionality that would be prohibitively expensive to develop internally. The corporate parlance for this is the word outsource. IMDb appears to be following this trend.

The benefits to IMDb and other corporations is that they can provide functionality to the end user at a reduced expense. The big downside, is that IMDb runs a significant risk of losing users to Google and Facebook. IMDb also potentially loses control of its future.

As a user, I hope that Col and his staff continue to weigh the risks and benefits of outsourcing, and balance that with internal development that will allow IMDb to thrive and expand in areas that it has unique capability.

- - -

I just realized this post is starting to sound too much like a corporate mission statement. Please forgive me for my transgression.
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tt

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I totally agree with you. Imdb should have a search engine for names.
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Ragnhildur Helga Hannesdóttir

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I came here to say this exactly. Thanks for the google tip.
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Lil-red

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I just wanted to say I agree with the original post, it is so frustrating to have this enormous data base with limited search options. Even if there was a search option in which I could search for multiple key words such as crime, drama, bbc,: in which I could find british crime dramas, or holiday, 1960's, comedy to find some holiday movies, i cant understand why this feature is unavailable
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Fredric Williams

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While a search engine would be helpful, a ranking system is probably much more valuable. The listing system suffers from clutter -- far too many lists with little or no value to the public (personal lists). A ranking system would help cull the lists and make going to a list more attractive. As it is, I rarely use the lists, assuming I will encounter endless drivel.
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Emperor, Champion

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I have suggested that we need better sorting of lists to help us find the more useful ones and avoid those that are too general or too personal to be of use to anyone other than the listmakers friends and family:

https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topi...
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Nabil

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We need this function as soon as possible...and it's been a year since this thread was created!! O_o

Any updates?!
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Bill Goode

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One wonders if IMDb is paying attention.  It should be a simple matter to create a search for lists.
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(closed account)

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"... you can easily search IMDb lists via Google ...."
True, but web search results won't provide 100% coverage of all existing lists.
In particular, some recently created lists may not be found in web search.

Example (not mine):  http://imdb.com/list/ls073787513/
That list was created 2 weeks ago and last updated 6 days ago.
At the time of this reply, that list was not found in this search:
https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Aimdb.com%2Flist%2Fls073787513%2F
It may appear there later if Google indexes the page.
But the point remains that web search coverage of lists will not be 100%.
(Edited)
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bob the moo

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I appreciated in his annual message that Need Ham included special thanks for the volunteers helping out in this community...I feel that the regulars here do good jobs of tracking issues to completion when it is in our power to help fix the problem.

Therefore it amazes me that this thread has almost 70 'likes' (more than I've ever seen on a single post) and yet the only staff contact is 2 years old and is basically "Google it".

I am frankly embarrassed...good customer service does not mean fixing everything - sometimes the answer is "no" or "in 4 years"....however good service does mean contact, at very least someone in the staff should have threads such as this bookmarked or on a reminder to at least drop by and give an update as part of appearing to be proactive or involved.



Great that it is "under consideration".....but communication buys a lot of goodwill and this thread is ridiculous.

bob
note: I am not staff nor in any way affiliated with IMDb
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(closed account)

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"... this thread is ridiculous."
There of course you're referring not to the thread itself
but the insufficiency of the official response up to now.
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(closed account)

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... the only staff contact is 2 years old
and is basically "Google it"
Indeed, "Google it"  sums up the old existing
official documentation on the topic as well, i.e.
the "How do I search..."  item in the Lists FAQ:

http://www.imdb.com/help/show_leaf?listfaq

> "How do I search for a list in IMDb lists?
We don't have a list search feature available on the IMDb site today. But you can use your regular search engine to do this. For example, if you are looking for lists that mention the word 'director' you can use the following Google query: director site:imdb.com/list."

Apparently, that note was added about 4 years ago.

(As I explained in my previous reply, "Googling it" is not really a
complete workaround.  A real IMDb-driven list search facility is wanted.)
(Edited)
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Giancarlo Cairella, Official Rep

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Sorry for the lack of updates, but at this time the original response/suggestion still stands.

I am not aware of any short-term plans for a dedicated search feature for lists, and since Google provides a viable (albeit not perfect) alternative for searching lists, there isn't currently a huge incentive to divest resources from other features/projects that have potentially a greater impact on the user experience.  

If/when circumstances and resources allow a different course of action, we would be happy to revisit this, but for the time being this remains a wish-list item.
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(closed account)

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Oops, to correct a clumsy typo in my previous reply:
"I can also found" should be "I can also find".
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Anders Poulsen,

There is probably no easy way to determine the number of IMDb list pages that Google and other search engines index, and how frequently they index those pages. As such, as you and Lucus point out, the information available on Google will be incomplete and out of date. In addition, Google does not have access to the number of times a list has been viewed nor can it provide the kind of filtering and sorting options that would be useful when referencing lists.

You wrote:
How many user list is created on IMDB? 100.000? 1.000.000?
In any case it's too much to browse through on the google website.
We can, however, get a sense of how may lists exist on IMDb.

According to the "Internet Archive", the last time IMDb made the full list of lists available was around December 8, 2012. At that time, there were 471,902 lists.
https://web.archive.org/web/20121208174539/http://www.imdb.com/lists/

After that time, IMDb only showed the newest 250 lists on http://www.imdb.com/lists .
IMDb choose to discontinue that page November 15, 2014 to discourage spammers from publicizing Asian gambling sites and illegal streaming video sites.

http://www.imdb.com/lists

Saved 504 times between September 18, 2010 and November 15, 2014.

https://web.archive.org/web/20120615000000*/http://www.imdb.com/lists

In addition, IMDb now provides what appears to be a numerical index instead of a hash code for lists. After a little experimenting, the list number probably is also a hash code.

It is probably a safe bet that there are well over 2 millions user created lists on IMDb.
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Anders Poulsen

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I like you calculation. 

2.000.000 would be insane to try to browse through. 

I think its saft to say that a list search would be useful here. 
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Anders Poulsen

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did any staff look in to Lucus surgestion to use Amazon A9 CloudSearch? 
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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did any staff look in to Lucus surgestion to use Amazon A9 CloudSearch?
Although, I cannot know for certain, I suspect that IMDb staff have not looked into Lucus' specific suggestion. However, since Amazon.com is the parent company of IMDb, there probably have been discussions for the technical staff of Amazon.com and IMDb to have had that discussion. Honestly, beyond looking at the website, I haven't thought about how this would work on IMDb.
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Anders Poulsen

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Search user lists. Get social!.

Why is IMDB not social?

There is a world of potential in using the creative forces of the Imdb users. 

As it is Imdb is a dictionary. Why not let it be a community, a place to get suggestions, a place where everybody ges the possibility to be a film critic. A place where you can truly find good movies. 

With the possibility to search user lists, to follow, comment and favorit, imdb would be this place. 

Get social! 
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siddique.daur

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Search through Users created Lists !!.

There should be a way to search for users created LISTS. Like Best Horror Movies, Best War Movies, Best Foreign Movies, My favorit Marshal Arts Movies etc etc created by users not by IMDB.
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Suparna Almeida

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Search for titles in Lists and display Lists for titles.

IMDB needs to have improved search abilities including the ability to search for titles within a list that will return the location of the title in the list and not display the movie details on a separate page. For Eg. a movie name in a list of 2012 movies.
This would give the user a faster way to review movies.

The ability to display all the lists in which a specific title exist would also help in the filtering of movies in the preparation user specific lists
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Chris

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Looking for lists, in all the wrong places.

Is there a way to find all the IMDb lists in one place without having to google randomly around? I'd like to be able to see the large ones (say 50 or more films) in any and all genres, but I don't know where on the site they're archived.
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Dibyayan Chakravorty, Champion

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I think a list search facility would be very much useful for the IMDb's Poll Makers like us. So, I am giving my vote for IMDb list search facility.

Thank you.
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Yann

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IMDb lists are a treasure trove. Yes YES YES!
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Dr-Faustus

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Hi Yann

Could you please clarify how one should interpret your remark, above?
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Yann

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We should index and display user lists in search results . In addition we should provide a way of ranking lists so that the best/most relevant/most popular are surfaced.
(Edited)
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Yann,

I've been a strong advocate for IMDb implementing a list search.

I agree with your suggested approach in principle. However, I see some potential problems with displaying the results. Certain words appear frequently in list titles: favorite, film, movie, actor and actress. Users searching with these and other frequently used key words will receive hundreds if not thousands of matches.

One way around this would be to order the results by the number of views (i.e. popularity) of the list. But that would potentially make it difficult to find newly created lists.

If/when IMDb implements a list search, I recommend that this be vetted with a beta test. Frequent list makers and frequent contributors to the IMDb Poll message board would be good candidates for such a beta test. I can provide a list of frequent contributors to the IMDb Poll message board.
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Dr-Faustus

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Hi Yann

Thank you for your clarification.
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Dr-Faustus

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Dear Dan Dassow

As an avid list-maker I appreciate your input pertaining to implementing a list-search feature. Thanks Dan. For what it's worth, I for one, stand 100% in support of your proposals. Your suggesting; "frequent contributors" is a great solution. In practice, the IMDb Top 250 is a prime example of how such an application can prove itself highly successful.

In regards to your comment concerning difficulty finding newly created lists; could a feature not be implemented similar to the 'sort-by' or 'Reviews & Ratings' filter? Where one could click on 'Chronological' and get the desired result?

Anyway, hopefully IMDb changes it's 'wish-list' stance to a 'must-do' stance.
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Dr-Faustus,

In regards to your comment concerning difficulty finding newly created lists; could a feature not be implemented similar to the 'sort-by' or 'Reviews & Ratings' filter? Where one could click on 'Chronological' and get the desired result?
I had something similar in mind, but was not able to articulate it as well as you have.

Even before the beta test, it would helpful to see a story board of the functionality for the list search prior to the beta test implementation.
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Dr-Faustus

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Hi Dan Dassow

If I may ask? What is your view on the the probability that such a story board will be drawn up, and do you think the implementation of the beta test is feasible?
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Dr-Faustus,

I believe a beta test is feasible.

I have not seen IMDb use story boards for their applications. I do not know whether the IMDb technical staff uses story boards as prototypes.

I am considering creating a story board on Google docs for a list search and making that story board editable.

Although Get Satisfaction allows user to report problems, ask questions and propose ideas, it is not a very good platform for collaboration for creating and refining an idea.

There is no guarantee that the IMDb staff would consider any user created story board.
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Dr-Faustus

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Hi Dan Dassow

Though nothing is concrete, it is nice to see things are moving in a positive direction. I'm holding thumbs a beta test becomes a reality? 

I must admit, you possibly creating a story board on Google docs sounds intriguing. I am sure that must entail a fair amount of work.

Understandably, as you have pointed out, protocol does not favor creative collaboration. And not needed. I am certain the experienced technical staff are more than capable of creating a fully-functioning list-search feature without the help of people such as myself.

Anyway Dan, I for one appreciate all your effort.
Thanks.

 
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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This is a very popular idea with 101 likes.
(Edited)
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Dr-Faustus

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Hi Dan Dassow

Thanks for  bringing up this topic in the "Updates to List Pages" thread.
Yes, I absolutely agree, a list search would be useful.
If other users agree? Please show your support.
(Edited)
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aundae

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Intersect of related lists.

Hello, so there's a good function on imdb, its related to movie User Lists, but there's no any kind of search or sort in it, and that's too bad.
I thought about the next: search all the lists that simultaneously contains every movie that user entered.
So it's much easier to find the list of user with the same taste, and no need to surf hundreds of lists.
Potentially it could be great tool for searching films but in my opinion it need's to be finished, I would have loved it.