Replace the message board system

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  • Idea
  • Updated 3 years ago
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Earlier, I made a comment which I'll pretty much reproduce verbatim:


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.
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Emperor, Champion

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Posted 6 years ago

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Photo of Emperor

Emperor, Champion

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Also raised on the main forum:
Photo of GlennME


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What is it with IT people and the IMDb message boards? Just leave the message boards, and the people who use them, alone ... or better still, undo all the damage inflicted over the past 12 months in particular, and let the IT people find something more productive to do with their time.
Photo of Heisenberg


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The main IMDb message board is marginally useful but for the most part it reminds me of traveling back to 1999. You Tube's obliteration of their comment system by linking it to G+ is a prime example of bad implementation. So, I can see your point. 

There are, however, some very good implementations of boards that could improve readability of both the individual posts and the threads. 

  1. Look at Disqus (among others), it has nested and labeled replies. 
  2. Allow user to set number of posts and threads to return. Most people with broadband would return all. Back when 56k modems rocked, breaking the message board or threads into pages made sense, it no longer does. Allow this selection on the fly or default set in user preferences.
  3. Ratings, I can take them or leave them. I think there is a middle ground between saying to yourself "good post" and actually articulating that in a message. Those messages tend to become cruft and I've seen forums where users rack up a post count over 9000 (heh, heh -- and I'm even old).  I DO NOT like the titles given on this message board (like Champion). I haven't spent much time here, just discovered this.
  4. Particularly for boards, possibly for threads as well, provide the option to sort. Typically, chronological, most popular (thus requiring ratings), newest, oldest.
  5. What brought me to the topic was looking at the markup help page and say, "dear G-d, how pathetic is this...".  This screams for wiki. The wiki markup is used by all over, from making beer to World of Warcraft. Even this meager message input box with the tools below is a significant improvement. I was looking to format three columns to improve readability of a post that I given a fair amount of time over several days (using MS Word tables). I found that even if I sucked it up and used the [pre] tags with horrible looking boxes drawn with +'s and -'s and |'s the task would be arduous and I would never do it. This would be totally optional - you could always post plain ascii.  
  6. Really, roughly 150 icons/smileys. I don't know, maybe if I went to some little kid show. Even then, kids are more savvy than you give them credit for. Listen to this 9-year old:
Okay, so I think I've made my overly-tired point (I work nights). If nothing else, enjoy one smart kid.
Photo of Mike Sims

Mike Sims

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I am been a IMDB member for 13 years and I agree with GlennME the boards use to have a lot less issues and it seems every time IMDB makes an "improvement" to the board things get worse.
This Sunday (June 14, 2015) the boards have been down since 6 PM (CT) and are still down and last Sunday they were down at least 5 hours. This either the
We're sorry, something went wrong.
Please try again...wait...wait...yep, try reload/refresh now.
But if you are seeing this again, please report it here.
Please explain which page you were at and where on it that you clicked
Thank you!"  
 or the
"The requested URL was not found on our server" (404 error)
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James Edward Crowley

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@Emperor why are people shutting down these message boards I have heard trolls are too blame instead of the IMDb staff shutting down these boards why don't they do something about these trolls instead they should leave these message boards and the people who use them alone if IMDb did something about these trolls attacking the message boards the stuff wouldn't have made a discussion to shutdown these message boards in the first place.
Photo of Omar Roessler

Omar Roessler

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Glad to see the Administrators are cleaning house. Whatever replacement they decide to use, please make it a paid site for the general public to use and free for cast and crew Union / Guild Members.

The troll problem will go away, which will then free up the staff to deal with film credit issues and Board moderation.
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Ian J. MacLeod

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I think the concern is all the spam happening. There has to be a way to block spammers for abuse rather than hurt us all
Photo of Eboy


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"I have heard trolls are too blame.."

I have very little first-hand experience about IMDB forums, but I've also heard that there were a lot of problems with trolling and several borderline harassment cases. Lack of moderating is usually one of the reasons in these type of cases, but sometimes even that might not be enough. When a forum becomes too toxic and certain members too "out-of-control", it starts to hurt the reputation of the site. And in this case, the reputation of IMDb.
Photo of Nobody


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Shortly after he started this thread in 2013,
Emperor also proposed a moderation idea
that IMDb opted not to pursue.
Photo of MiaZ


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Which is why the troll reason does not seem totally believable to me. If it were why would they have implemented the new emoticons not so long ago? It has to be a financial choice. Only why not say that? I think people would accept that more easily. I just can't see a legitimate business closing down over trolls.

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