Lists: Add a search for IMDb user lists

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genta pantso

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Posted 7 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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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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(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.