FanFare Clubs and event calendar May 22, 2015 11:36 AM   Subscribe

We're super excited to roll out an initial version of a new feature: FanFare Clubs! This is a system for formally collecting a variety of FanFare media threads and discussions together in an organized way on the site itself, and to schedule upcoming club events on-site as well. We'd love your help testing it out.

One of the neat things that's sprung up on FanFare since it launched last year is ad hoc movie clubs—folks getting together and, via a mix of FanFare Talk threads and wiki collaboration, putting together schedules of movies to watch on a regular basis and discuss in FanFare. It's a cool thing, but not something for which there was any built-in support originally.

FanFare Clubs is an attempt to create that support, and facilitate more user-organized media discussion in general. Now, if you want to discuss a specific bunch of movies (and other media -- they can be a mix of movies, TV episodes, podcasts, and future media like books or games) in one place based on some specific theme or organizing principle, you can do that by creating a Club that other folks can join to make it easy to follow posts and discussions relevant to that group. You can also put upcoming club events on a simple club calendar, and create free-form Club Talk threads that are like FanFare Talk's existing subsite-wide discussion/planning/etc threads but tied to an individual club instead. FanFare Club posts will show up in your My FanFare list along with stuff you subscribe to individually or by tag.

The core pieces of the new system are:

1. Individual Club pages, which feature the title and description of a club, its club-specific tag for marking threads as relevant to the club, a front-page-style list of media and Talk threads that have been tagged appropriately, and a sidebar boxes listing upcoming events for the club and current members of the club. Joining and leaving a club is easy; you can do either from that Club's page, and you can review the clubs you belong to in your My FanFare preferences.

2. FanFare events, which are simple date + description entries in a FanFare-specific calendar. Is your Baseball Club planning to discuss Bull Durham the Monday after next? Anyone in the club can add an event from the Club page with that day and a short description (e.g. "let's talk about Bull Durham!"), and it'll show up in the club's event calendar. This doesn't create any sort of actual thread, it's just an organizational reminder that someone ought to do so that day. And there's no specific time associated with events, just a date.

3. Club Talk threads, which are free-form threads that will appear only on the appropriate Club's page rather than in the general mix of FanFare Talk. If you need to organize which Christopher Walken films to watch next and when, or just need a thread to chat about the best song-and-dance scenes from his movies, start a Club Talk thread.

4. Club tags, which are how new and existing Movie/TV/etc threads are added to a Club's page. Each club will have a special, unique tag, assigned when the club is created, ending in "_club", e.g. baseball_club or walken_club; members of a club can add that tag to existing threads to have them show up on a Club's page, and can add that tag to new media threads at posting time as well. More than one club can tag a given thread, if it's something relevant to all of 'em.

5. A new Clubs tab on the front page of FanFare, which leads to a page listing all FanFare Clubs that exist, so you can browse for stuff that plays to your interests.

For some live examples, here's a Club page for a test club, which has the club tag "first_club", and a Club Talk post in that club. Feel free to experiment with the test club if you're curious how stuff works.

We're treating club membership as a leaderless, everybody-helps-out thing; if you're a member of a club, you can add and remove tags to threads, start new threads, and add events. This is a lot simpler than worrying about club administration groups or so on, and I hope and expect folks here will be able to make it work well.

There's additional details and functionality that we've thought about and plan to add in the long run, but the goal here is to roll out and test a basic, viable version of the Clubs and event calendar stuff and let folks try out an official version of what a bunch of you have already been doing unofficially. So take a look, try it out, let us know what's working and broken and what's missing or would be nice to see in the future.

Folks who're involved in existing ad hoc clubs should feel free to talk to us specifically about whether and how they want to try and import their existing club activities into a formal FanFare Club page (which should hopefully be as simple as creating a Club page and doing some back-tagging).

Plus! Bonus feature:

We've also added a more useful My FanFare sidebar box to the front page of FanFare. Previously we were showing the list of shows you're subscribed to but no actual content; now it'll actually show the most recent five items from your My FanFare feed. You can still access your list of subscribed shows from your My FanFare preferences.
posted by cortex to MetaFilter-Related at 11:36 AM (59 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

And as always, letting us know about bug reports and broken stuff is welcome and super helpful. This is a big chunk of new functionality so it's likely there'll be some bits we didn't catch before rolling it out.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:40 AM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yessssss. We are just starting a Mad Max/George Miller Movie Club. I'd like to use the new features for that. How do I make a club page? From the new post page?
posted by ocherdraco at 11:41 AM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I can only post an event to the "Test." club.

EDIT: It SAYS I am posting to the "Test." club, but successfully posted club Fast and Furious!

Huzzah!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:41 AM on May 22, 2015


How do I make a club page? From the new post page?

Nope, different link: go to the Clubs tab on the front page of FanFare, and find the "Start a Club" link in the sidebar.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:43 AM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I can only post an event to the "Test." club.

Do you mean that you can't for some other club (I guess "Fast and Furious")? May just need to refresh the page after joining, we do a little AJAXy thing there but it's not refreshing the event calendar stuff on the page, which we should think about fixing one way or the other.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:47 AM on May 22, 2015


thanks, the man of twists and turns, got that club posting name problem fixed.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:53 AM on May 22, 2015


This is fantastic - bravo!
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 12:06 PM on May 22, 2015


*gasp*
posted by Phire at 12:06 PM on May 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


Yay!
posted by phunniemee at 12:09 PM on May 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


If we create a MeFi Horror Film Club club can we get the existing posts retroactively imported?
posted by Artw at 12:09 PM on May 22, 2015


(I am sort of the person currently holding the stick for MFHC so I guess I should go ahead and do that, unless we want to be democratic or whatevs)
posted by Artw at 12:10 PM on May 22, 2015


can we get the existing posts retroactively imported?

Use the generated tag that ends in "_club" on the old posts and they get imported.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:12 PM on May 22, 2015


This is great, thank you. I will be in touch about one of the existing clubs and whether it makes sense to move to this, given that we are in the final stretch of movies related to it.
posted by nubs at 12:14 PM on May 22, 2015


Artw, if it's a whole slew of posts just let me know the new club tag and the old club tag via MeFi Mail. I'll add the new tag behind the scenes so you don't have to click 'Add Tag' a bunch of times.
posted by pb (staff) at 12:16 PM on May 22, 2015


That would be helpful - the sticking point in particular hear is it's a bunch of posts by different users.
posted by Artw at 12:19 PM on May 22, 2015


To help with that sticking point we changed the rules about who can add tags at FanFare. Club members can tag any post with a particular club tag. But still, adding those tags by hand to more than a dozen posts would be a drag.
posted by pb (staff) at 12:23 PM on May 22, 2015


I know jharris does his weekly stream of MST3K episodes (which he couldn't do this week because he's mostly Away From Internet, which is probably why he hasn't commented here himself), and that sounds like something to totally make into a FanFare Club.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:24 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sooo... Any interest for an anime club?
posted by MartinWisse at 12:49 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


they can be a mix of movies, TV episodes, podcasts, and future media like books

YES.
posted by Justinian at 12:50 PM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


I thought the first rule about this stuff was that you don't talk about it.
posted by MoonOrb at 1:01 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


hello, yes, question, can we engage in clan wars with other clubs and if not how soon will this feature be implemented
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:21 PM on May 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


hello, yes, question, can we engage in clan wars with other clubs and if not how soon will this feature be implemented

I thought this was what IRL is for?
posted by phunniemee at 1:25 PM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Twitter.
posted by Artw at 1:42 PM on May 22, 2015


Editing the title or date of an event throws an error.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:05 PM on May 22, 2015


Thanks, should be fixed now.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:10 PM on May 22, 2015


I don't know if this is related or not, but I joined First Club and now "My Fanfare" says I don't have any shows selected for My Fanfare even though I do, I so do! I left the club but My Fanfare is still borked.
posted by trunk muffins at 3:12 PM on May 22, 2015


Yep, definitely related and should be fixed now. Thanks for letting us know.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:17 PM on May 22, 2015


Hooray I'm in the club! Just noticed a little picky point. Maybe the "add an event" and "add a post" links should be formatted the same? I'm in Classic, so for me the "add an event" is smallish and in brackets below the events, but "add a post" is part of a regular-size sentence. My eyes don't register them as being the same kind of thing on the page, if that makes sense.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 3:17 PM on May 22, 2015


Yeah, I see what you're saying LobsterMitten. It's similar in the Modern Theme too. I think the difference there is that the add a post line is more informational. It would feel weird to me to stop that sentence, add a line break, and then put the '[new post]' in brackets below. [add an event] is on its own in the space where that information is going to appear. When you click the new post link that item isn't going to appear where you see that message.

That might be too subtle a distinction, but that's why there's a difference between those two.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:23 PM on May 22, 2015


OK, I've been bold and added Mefi Horror Club as a club... next step would be to import everything tagged mefiHorrorClub. It also occurs to me that when i set it up would have been a great time to inlcude a link to the guidelines in the description and I neglected to do so - is it editable?

I should probably make an announcement post as well - should that be a general FanfareTalk post or sohould i do it from within the club? If I do it from within the club will it even be visible to others?
posted by Artw at 3:27 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sure, mods can edit club descriptions. I'll add that link.

Is horrorclub one of the tags too? It looks like there are a few more posts tagged with that.

If you post within a club only current club members will see it. So if you've been talking with club members via FanFare Talk you might want to go that route.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:30 PM on May 22, 2015


Ah, I get it about the "Put an event on the schedule" vs "Add a post to the main column" thing.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 3:34 PM on May 22, 2015


Is it possible to include a link to the general clubs page from the individual clubs pages?
posted by ocherdraco at 3:38 PM on May 22, 2015


Also: club talk posts (like this one) don't seem to necessarily have the club tag. It seems like it would be a good thing to autotag club talk posts, for future tag browsing.
posted by ocherdraco at 3:43 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Pretty sure horrirclub should all be in mefiHorrorClub too, yup.

So, I'm sort of assuming the movie anouncements would still go out in regular FanfareTalk, even though they'd get the tag, is everybody cool with that?
posted by Artw at 3:49 PM on May 22, 2015


Also also (sorry, I didn't realize I was going to have so many thoughts about this): I just went to the fanfare homepage on my phone and I don't see the navbar with the clubs link anywhere. How can we get to the main clubs page on mobile?

And a pony: In the events sidebar on the main clubs page, can we group events that occur on the same date? Right now, each event takes up both a date line and a description line, and we could fit more events if we grouped them.
posted by ocherdraco at 3:50 PM on May 22, 2015


This may finally motivate me to start doing my own podcast, just so I can title it "Baby Seals" and FanFare Clubs can have a "Club: Baby Seals".
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:54 PM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


So, I'm sort of assuming the movie anouncements would still go out in regular FanfareTalk, even though they'd get the tag, is everybody cool with that?

The main notion is that sort of every-day club business could just be handled on the horror club's page with Club Talk posts, and FanFare Talk announcements would be more for occasional meta type stuff, though definitely we're just sort of feeling out how that'll best work for now so do whatever makes sense in the transition.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:57 PM on May 22, 2015


Is it possible to include a link to the general clubs page from the individual clubs pages?

Sure, I'll add one above the club feed link at the bottom of the sidebar.

Also: club talk posts (like this one) don't seem to necessarily have the club tag.

They don't need to in order to show up on the club page, but yeah, that's something we can consider auto-tagging. We don't auto-tag anything anywhere else and we've always erred on the site of letting the post author decide. But we're in new territory using tags in this way and we might need to change our approach there too.

How can we get to the main clubs page on mobile?

It's in the drop-down menu at the top of the page along with the other tab links.

can we group events that occur on the same date?

Yep, they're supposed to group together. I'll fix that up.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:58 PM on May 22, 2015


For me in Classic, the names of the clubs (on the Clubs tab page) aren't link-colored. Should they be?
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 4:05 PM on May 22, 2015


Should they be?

Technically they already are link-colored for that theme. They work exactly as titles of posts on the front page of FanFare.
posted by pb (staff) at 4:07 PM on May 22, 2015


Ah good, yes yes.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 4:08 PM on May 22, 2015


Awesome! Art just told me about the horror clubhouse, so I spent a few minutes backtagging. I think I caught 'em all (mostly), but evidently there were a LOT more movies in Horror Club than I even knew; if your pick is missing, please backtag it and watch magically appear! I also included a few things I don't think were official Horror Club picks, but obviously qualify (It Follows, The Blair Witch Project, Mortdecai).
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:16 PM on May 22, 2015


The First Rule of Mortdecai Club is No Americans
The Sexond Rule of Mortdecai Club Is Sexy Mustaches ;{
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:23 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm awaiting the inevitable recaps/live blogs/etc as that one passes from a buy price to a rental price to free.
posted by Artw at 7:32 PM on May 22, 2015


So I've set up the Robin Williams' Movie Club using the new system; it is great.

One thought - could posts related to the Clubs we are in also show up in the My Fanfare sidebar box?
posted by nubs at 9:54 AM on May 23, 2015


I figure so; really, I thought they were, even, but redoing that sidebar box was a parallel "oh hey and also" thing that came up in the mix so it might not be doing so.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:56 AM on May 23, 2015


It doesn't appear to be for me, but I also may have missed something. It's quite possible; I'm usually missing a lot of somethings.
posted by nubs at 10:03 AM on May 23, 2015


I think I found the problem and fixed it up, nubs. You should be seeing the Robin Williams posts in the My FanFare sidebar now.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:37 AM on May 23, 2015


Indeed I am! Thanks so much pb!
posted by nubs at 10:50 AM on May 23, 2015


(and other media -- they can be a mix of movies, TV episodes, podcasts, and future media like books or games)

Another piece of future media to add (though perhaps it's been covered already?) would be shows that exist solely online. Not sure how much demand there is for that yet, or how easy it'd be to do, but something to think on.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:58 AM on May 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, one of the things we've talked about on the planning side is how to handle stuff that doesn't fall naturally into IMDB's metadata stuff. That's been a really useful tool for getting TV and movie stuff rolling on FanFare but it does have its limitations; there's poor support for online-only media, for some more obscure/indie stuff, for some foreign stuff, for anime, etc. The long run goal I think will be to offer a more DIY approach for the misfit stuff, so if you have what is essentially a TV show that's on the web and not in IMDB, you could do manually the enter-some-details work that API calls otherwise do automatically, etc.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:05 PM on May 23, 2015


This is the beginning of the Singularity, isn't it?
posted by odinsdream at 2:02 PM on May 23, 2015


This is the beginning of the Singularity, isn't it?

Yo draygun, I heard you like MetaFilter so I made a MetaFilter Club that updates whenever a new post shows up on MetaFilter so now you can MetaFilter while you FanFare while you MetaFilter.
posted by Going To Maine at 2:29 PM on May 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sure, mods can edit club descriptions. I'll add that link

So, I created a club for the Up Series yesterday, and today I realized that I had a typo in it. ("checks in one" -> "checks in on") Could y'all please fix the typo?

Also, for the long term, count me as someone who wouldn't mind having the ability to edit and rewrite club descriptions without having to appeal to the moderators. Of course, that would require some kind of meta-moderation for club creators, members, or what-have-you that might be sub-optimal for MetaFilter's design. Still, if some sort of fix could be worked up it'd be nice.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:50 PM on May 24, 2015


Yeah, self-serve editing for that isn't an "over my dead body" sort of thing or anything; more just a reflection of it being some extra technical work to set up and a little unclear right off the bat here how much of an issue it'll be in practice.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:57 PM on May 24, 2015


And typo fixed.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:58 PM on May 24, 2015


Mortdecai Club

Now there is a club that demands a book section on Fanfare.
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:43 AM on May 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Could ISBN be the key with books? I know wikipedia has some kind of lookup for them.
posted by Artw at 10:55 AM on May 25, 2015


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