Archived and Closed
This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies and is no longer visible to community members. The community moderator provided the following reason for archiving: IMDb boards
Ultimately all the suggestions to improve the message boards would be better done in one meta-suggestion: Get a better message board system.
They could waste a lot of time fannying around with the current one, but really they should have a play with the ready rolled solutions out there - I'm a fan of SMF:
But there are also stripped back solutions like Vanilla:
I know it is complicated by the fact that IMDB need forums on film and actor pages but I'm confident this isn't an insurmountable problem - all you'd need is to find a forum that can automatically create a forum, then these film or name forums could be created within the one forum space, but in a hidden sub-forum with access only coming from. As these solutions are open source, it shouldn't be difficult to modify and/or find someone who can help and/or find a solution someone has already implemented.
Migration would be painful, as IMDB's forums are non-standard, so it might be a problem to move the information over but you could either move the old forum to its own space and stop the creation of new posts, so people could finish their discussion and then the old forums could quietly die, or you could write some bespoke SQL to transfer all the data across (it shouldn't be rocket science, depending on what is going on behind the scenes). Despite, not being in the same league as IMDB's data wranglers, I've done numerous forum migrations and installations from phpBB to a bespoke forum, from phpBB to vBulletin, from vBulletin to SMF (and more), so it can be a bit nerve-wracking and possibly might need some dry runs but the improvement would be well worth it.
Obviously, specific suggestions would depend on what the site is running on and what the backend staff's expertise is.