June 3, 2006 3:55 PM   Subscribe

Can I suggest ''? [more inside]
posted by feelinglistless to Feature Requests at 3:55 PM (45 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

posted by fire&wings at 3:56 PM on June 3, 2006

Now I know that there are similar review sites across the length and breadth of the internet, on a community basis I would love to see what would happen here if there was a page or facet which ran like AskMe or Projects that allowed people to simply post about some film or album or book or exhibition they've enjoyed without the need for a link to something necessarily noteworthy online. About us sharing with each other those things we love in a place less transient than one of those AskMe questions that boil down to 'What's your favourite film?'

The post itself could consist of the name of whatever it is with a link if available (although an official source online would be best -- the official website if it's a film, for example) and a short paragraph detailing its immediate greatness. Then a more inside would allow for elucidation.

The trick would be that the ensuing discussion would be for people who've also seen/heard/read same and want to talk about their reaction to it (I'm inspired here by jkottke's epic Matrix thread although obviously it would depend on the cultural artifact as to what would happen here). I think you would have to include a no-spoiler rule on the fpp with a Whedonesque style tag [spoiler] tag if necessary.

The potentiality is that although there will obviously be some who'll simply post whatever film's been released that weekend -- which is ok and could lead to lively debate, it would also allow for people who are passionate about a singer or band or restaurant no one else has heard of, or a film which they've loved for years but is equally lost in obscurity to get a wider audience with whom they already converse.
posted by feelinglistless at 3:56 PM on June 3, 2006

Yeah, not a bad idea. Kinda tough to organize though. Depending on the scope, we could quickly be replicating if we take things out to the nth level (not just movies, music, and books). I'm not sure what limits to put on such a thing.

Any ideas of the extent you had in mind?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:02 PM on June 3, 2006

Movies, music and books would be a good place to start. I always thought of something like this to be more of a recommendations thing rather than reviews, but either would be good, it's the same thing. I have read countless books and seen a lot of films that I have seen mentioned in passing on mefi, so somewhere to actively talk about and recommend stuff like this would be amazing.
posted by fire&wings at 4:07 PM on June 3, 2006

One could imagine the "I recomend this youtube video" fitting in there.
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:12 PM on June 3, 2006

How will this be different from allconsuming?
posted by Tuwa at 4:20 PM on June 3, 2006

Thanks Matt.

Well I suppose a weekly or fortnightly posting limit would be a start. It hadn't occured to me that people would want to talk about technology but I suppose that's more to do with my field of reference.

I suppose like AskMe if would depend on the culture you engender -- the idea would be post about those things you love and find indispensible, whereas having a brief look at epinions, there seems to be a more rounded approach that covers everything good or bad. I saw the new X-Men film the other night. Hated it, wouldn't post about. But I did see a great Anglo-french film called 'Russian Dolls' that I loved so I would write about that. You could start with just five or six topics then roll out more if there's a clammer for it.

The beauty here would be the randomness and the discussion aspect, the volume of which epinions doesn't seem to replicate -- this isn't about a hundred people all dropping well rounded reviews on the same topic -- to a degree it would be about someone giving their passionate opinion and others giving reasons why they agree or disagree or suggesting other things the poster might like.
posted by feelinglistless at 4:20 PM on June 3, 2006

How will this be different from allconsuming?

Because it would be about this community talking to itself with all of its quirks. I don't post at allconsuming so you wouldn't find out what I like if you went there.
posted by feelinglistless at 4:23 PM on June 3, 2006

fire&wings -- it wouldn't necessarily be about well rounded professional reviews. It would be about why the person posting loves something - how it made them feel.
posted by feelinglistless at 4:25 PM on June 3, 2006

Well, you can suggest whatever you want. Good luck getting it implemented.

I think it's a good idea, though.
posted by delmoi at 4:54 PM on June 3, 2006

Regarading scope: I just looked at epinions and I don't like it.

If it was narrowed down to five catagories, like film, literature, music, art and tech. I imagine the front page would simply have buttons for those catagories. It might be alot of work for Matt, but I don't know about such things.

Reviews from Mefites would be really cool and it would definately be a part of my daily browsing.
posted by snsranch at 4:59 PM on June 3, 2006

OT: may I suggest as well?
posted by mischief at 5:02 PM on June 3, 2006

I think if this idea goes ahead one thing that would certainly be helpful would be a drop down menu with a list of 'movies', 'books', 'music' etc, which would then filter the front page to display only reviews relating to that niche.
posted by Effigy2000 at 5:33 PM on June 3, 2006

Combining this with microformats would be pretty cool... all that structured data would allow users to easily share the information and make it convenient to search for or recombine in some fashion.
posted by cell divide at 5:33 PM on June 3, 2006

Would these reviews include spoilers?
posted by mischief at 5:45 PM on June 3, 2006

A highlight-to-read spoiler feature (AICN's "invisotext") would cover the spoiler issue for most people, right? Matt could also include some structural feature that allows you to filter out all spoilery reviews.

I think this is a great idea. I'd read it every day.
posted by BackwardsCity at 5:51 PM on June 3, 2006

posted by Hat Maui at 6:07 PM on June 3, 2006

Today I was at a restaurant and had this fantastic new soft drink called Pepsi Blue.
posted by popechunk at 6:30 PM on June 3, 2006

Reviews don't have spoilers. Discussions do.
posted by smackfu at 7:01 PM on June 3, 2006

this is a pretty good idea
posted by pyramid termite at 8:50 PM on June 3, 2006

A highlight-to-read spoiler feature (AICN's "invisotext") would cover the spoiler issue for most people, right? Matt could also include some structural feature that allows you to filter out all spoilery reviews.

Or maybe a spoiler tag like at jayisgames.
posted by brundlefly at 9:06 PM on June 3, 2006

If you search the archives here in MetaTalk, I talked about MeFi Recommends and even produced a few mockups. I wrote 90% of the code to pull info about recommendations from Amazon, so it required that everything being recommended come from there, but in the end people a) didn't want to be limited by items at Amazon and b) didn't like that it would be displayed randomly on comment threads like an ad.

I thought that a) was great because the amazon api let me pull images, metadata, and yes, buy it now links for anything in their catalog, and I thought b) was a good idea because it could lead to lots of fun surprises when you were reading something on the site.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:13 PM on June 3, 2006

I think a book review/discussion page would be awesome (ReadMe, anyone?) There are frequent requests on the green for "I liked this book. What else would I like?" so it seems like there's an interest in this type of thing already.

What would make it particularly great is that MeFi is a community with many distinctive voices, and I'm sure we all have our favorite MeFites. I'd love to hear what my faves are reading, and what they recommend (and pan). Sure I could read opinions at other sites, but I don't know those people, whereas here it would be sort of like getting recommendations from a friend. The same thing goes for music (HearMe?) and movies (SeeMe?), but personally I'm more interested in books.

However, expanding the scope to include just about anything seems redundant since epinions and offer plenty of reviews already. If I'm shopping around for a TV or a toaster, reviews by legions of strangers are fine - appliance performance is fairly cut and dried. On the other hand, books music and movies are very subjective and it helps to "know" the reviewer.

please, please can we have a ReadMe?
posted by Quietgal at 10:05 PM on June 3, 2006

i'm intrigued by this idea, but i'm not sure i follow this sentence:

I think you would have to include a no-spoiler rule on the fpp

did you mean "no spoiler on the front page," or "no spoiler in the post at all?" because i'm not sure i'd be down for a recommendations site where you couldn't really review the contents of the product at all.

other than that, i'm liking this.
posted by shmegegge at 10:11 PM on June 3, 2006

Matt, I think metadata, images, and buy-it links are all fine, but I don't think you should have as a primary key on this. There are plenty of good things not in amazon's catalog, whether as (legal) downloads, movies just arriving in theater, movies that are out of print (or suppressed, like Titicut Follies), books and records that are out of print, independent films with no distributor, and probably half a dozen other things that I can't think of that are still within the scope feelinglistless proposed above. So it's a neat idea but I think it should be an extra, not a constraint.
posted by Tuwa at 10:21 PM on June 3, 2006

Matt -- I didn't know that. But yes, the idea would be to have something where the only bells and whistles would be items that people are recommending. That said -- is there a way to pull amazon material for a sidebar which is based on the content of what's in the post? Or if people include keywords when posting?

So for example they say the post is about the music of Lisa Ekdalh and so when the post is made the side bar will feature a list of her albums pulled from Amazon. It would be a more qualitative version of the google text ads that are there now...
posted by feelinglistless at 12:53 AM on June 4, 2006

I think this is a great idea. I even like pulling images and metadata off Amazon although I don't think should be restricted to only stuff available on Amazon.

Could we not just have the option of adding Amazon stuff or not? That way we could still review stuff not available on Amazon but have images and metadata from Amazon when they are available.
posted by sveskemus at 2:58 AM on June 4, 2006

An obvious addition to is Internalise everything!!
posted by gsb at 3:20 AM on June 4, 2006

Gosh yes, what sveskemus said.
posted by feelinglistless at 5:30 AM on June 4, 2006

I love this idea; I'd read it every day. The thing that makes more compelling than review sites such as epinions is that metafilter is already a community overwhelmingly (though not entirely) comprised of varied, intelligent voices--many of whom post frequently enough that we feel we 'know' them to some extent. I'll echo Quietgal and say that I'd love to hear about the things my favorite Mefites are reading/watching/listening to. Do it, Matt. DO IT.
posted by scarylarry at 8:19 AM on June 4, 2006

Spoiler Free Review of a Toaster: I bought this machine the other day at a large electronics retailer, and while I can't explain to you what it actually does (I don't want to spoil the surprise), I thought I'd let you know my thoughts. During the operation of this equipment I found that the item that came out of it (I'm not saying that something comes out of all of them) was too dark a shade of a certain color at its default setting. In attempting to change this characteristic I found that both characteristic1 and characteristic2 were adjustable. Now my (item) is more pleasing.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:55 AM on June 4, 2006

Reviews don't have spoilers.

Sure they do. Read just about any movie review in The New Yorker.
posted by bingo at 10:56 AM on June 4, 2006

What? Something comes out of it? How DARE YOU RUIN it for ME!

Mods: Please add " SPOILER " warnings to the previous post.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:56 AM on June 4, 2006

See paragraph three of my original post regarding spoilers.

I still think this is a pretty neat idea.
posted by feelinglistless at 3:16 PM on June 4, 2006

I've always thought one of the most powerful aspects of the Internet is the fact you can go out and find opinions about all sorts of products and use the information to make the right buy.

Having a review section on Metafilter adds the added benefit, as has already been stated, of knowing the reviewers will know what they're talking about.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:24 PM on June 4, 2006

I'm not sure about this amazon thing matthowie is talking about, but I like feelinglistless's idea.

matthowie: did you mean that the recs would come from the amazon? i.e. the actual reviews written by shoppers and rated on the site? or that the other metadata would be amazon's, and the reviews would be from mefi? (this makes more sense, so I guess that must be it.)

plus, is this potentially lucrative for you/the site? everybody likes money... that's why it's green. is there a way to combine listless's idea with matthowie's code?
posted by anotherpanacea at 6:52 PM on June 4, 2006

no, I meant that you could write a review about anything in the millions of items at amazon, which includes a vast array of music, movies, books, etc.

I could try doing them freeform, letting people insert a "where to buy" URL if they like it that could link anywhere.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:01 PM on June 5, 2006

And the reason for amazon wasn't to merely buy stuff there -- it's that they have a nice image and tons of metadata on everything.

So someone says "I like the new rancontours album and here's why" and amazon could give me the album art, the label, how many tracks are on it, the current best price for it, etc. It's handy and takes a lot of work out of doing reviews by relying on their API to get all that extra useful info.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:09 PM on June 5, 2006

Well, if the code is mostly written, why not implement it? You could expand the concept in a lot of ways, as feelinglistless describes, or limit the rollout so that it had its own site rather than popping up as a surprise. Whatever you do, you know it'll become popular, (you do recognize that, right?) so why not do it?

If there was a move to route the site's purchases through or for geek-justice reasons, that won't stop us from using amazon's album art, will it? As I've said, though, if the amazon associates program can be profitable for you, I don't think there are many here who would object. But Powell's Books has a similar program, and I like to support the little guy.
posted by anotherpanacea at 12:36 PM on June 5, 2006

PS- Powells pays 7.5% on anything a person buys after following the link. I believe amazon only pays on the item linked, although it can go as high as 8.5% if you're doing a -lot- (9400+) of referral business.
posted by anotherpanacea at 12:59 PM on June 5, 2006

Mathowie -- great idea.

I suppose a concern would be how to implement the global angle -- for example if I'm linking to something and it's British and only available over here or if it's an art exhibition or restaurant or live band that hasn't been signed yet. A flexible link box which primarily defaults to Amazon but offers that seed of difference.

Agreed on the metadata though. It's nice to have a photo of the thing you're talking about -- I suppose the other interesting question would be the colour of the page. Black writing on white would look good with the pictures. Or creme.
posted by feelinglistless at 2:40 PM on June 5, 2006

Wouldn't it be more useful to use the AskMe model instead of the MeFi model? Have an area where people ask for recommendations and reviews, rather than people just publishing a review for whatever occurs to them? The publishing-something-you-found idea works well for web content because there's always new content being produced, and people want a filtered view of what's out there. Unless you're just talking about reviews for new products as they appear on Amazon, which seems too limited to be a great addition to the metaverse, this model doesn't work very well for the entire catalogue of the real world.

It would lighten the load on AskMe if the "What's a good beer/mix-tape/camera/book" questions were moved to their own space. Not to mention an end to a lot of the chatfilter debate. Take it to RecMe. Being able to also ask "Should I go see this new movie/band/play that was just released?" is a great new way to tap into the resource that is the MeFi community. It might actually make more sense to just subdivide AskMe, rather than add a new site. When you fill out the question, you choose whether you want answers, recommendations, or advice. Take care of both the hot topic usages. You could format the answer input differently, so folks could put a star rating or Amazon links or whatever else when they are recommending something. And you could let people filter out stuff they don't care about without categorizing by subject. Categorize by utility instead.
posted by team lowkey at 12:07 AM on June 6, 2006

team lowkey, I see where you're coming from. But I also think Reviews could be much more than just an appendix to AskMe.

I would use Reviews to write about the new Deerhoof EP for free download or some new Scandinavian indie band I happen to be listening to. Those reviews would probably never be requested but maybe someone would stumble upon them and be persuaded from my review to go download/buy/whatever.
posted by sveskemus at 12:42 AM on June 6, 2006

What about explicitly limiting the reviews to positive reviews? I.e., the reviewer begins from the perspective of being an advocate for whatever is being reviewed. Other people could trash it in the comments, of course.

If this turns into a forum for a bunch of budding Dale Pecks, I predict nothing but sorrow.
posted by ikkyu2 at 5:48 AM on June 6, 2006

ikkyu2 -- that's the model I was advocating -- it's about looking for diamonds in the rough. No point posting about something you hated .
posted by feelinglistless at 4:48 PM on June 6, 2006

« Older Navigational links that go back/forward one day   |   Have Favorites made the "Fantastic" flag obsolete? Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments