Fanfare Posting Etiquette July 31, 2014 7:20 AM   Subscribe

Recently I have seen several old movies just appear on Fanfare without any notice. I would like to participate in these discussions, but have a hard time watching them with no prior notification. I know the threads stay open for a long time, but the great majority of the comments come in the first couple days of a thread being posted. Wouldn't it be nice if we had some kind of guideline asking people to post a Fanfare talk notice a few days before posting older movies/tv shows? I am not pointing fingers at anyone, and I know this is all new functionality, but it would be nice if we had some idea that these older things would be posted prior to them landing on the main Fanfare page. Plus, I imagine it would push up the amount of discussion, which would be nice. Yes/No/Maybe? Just to be clear, with new shows/movies this isn't an issue because we can assume that people will already be watching, but with something like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, a few days to notice so I can plan a rewatch would make a big difference to me (and others?).
posted by Literaryhero to Etiquette/Policy at 7:20 AM (78 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Maybe a scheduled watch date on the initial post creation?

so you could have Next week on Metafilter FanFare and have the post automatically unlock on the right date.
It would also make scheduled rewatches like Trek Tuesday or Who Wednesday feel a bit more planned?
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 7:35 AM on July 31, 2014 [5 favorites]


I've noticed, as tv and movie junkie, that I often forget about Fanfare in the midst of day to day Mefing. Maybe an opposition sidebar on the home page would to keep people in the loop?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:35 AM on July 31, 2014


I wasn't thinking about an actual site change, but more of a change in the way people use Fanfare. However, advanced scheduling might be awesome although I have no idea how it would actually work.

Also, latkes, I'm not calling you out, it just so happens that is a movie I love but with being involved in the 3 movie clubs plus the Star Trek rewatch I haven't been able to find the time to see it again.
posted by Literaryhero at 7:54 AM on July 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


I kind of agree with this and am finding myself a little puzzled with Fanfare. Is it a place for group watching? Is it a place for blog entry recaps? Just posting a work without adding a sort of FPP to it OR making it a group watch in advance seems like a gamble that someone else will add some interesting content or be interested in talking about it.

The Untouchables thread was pretty good overall but since it is on Netflix I kind of wished I knew that was going to be there; it's a good rewatch movie.

I don't know, that part of the site confuses me. It's enjoyable to read though.
posted by selfnoise at 8:17 AM on July 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've noticed, as tv and movie junkie, that I often forget about Fanfare in the midst of day to day Mefing. Maybe an opposition sidebar on the home page would to keep people in the loop?

I like this idea. I've found that there's less participation in some FanFare threads than I would have expected, whether for rewatches or new releases, especially compared to how I think the discussion would have gone in the pre-FanFare days if one of the shows or films being discussed had actually been posted on the front page (the new Planet of the Apes movie, for example). A sidebar of new releases/upcoming rewatches/current movie club installations might help get more traffic flowing from other parts of the site.
posted by scody at 8:29 AM on July 31, 2014


Brandon Blatcher: "Maybe an opposition sidebar on the home page would to keep people in the loop?"

Was opposition a correcto for optional? If so, I second this motion.
posted by zamboni at 8:32 AM on July 31, 2014


I am going to cast a vote for opposition sidebar. I want the sidebar to be filled with complaints every time something is posted. OH NO NOT HANNIBAL AGAIN. OH SURE WE HAVE A SUMMER CAMP FILM CLUB A HORROR FILM CLUB AND A CULT FILM CLUB AND NOBODY HAS DONE WICKER MAN YET.
posted by maxsparber at 9:03 AM on July 31, 2014 [13 favorites]


Yes, I do consider Wicker Man to be a summer camp movie. There's a bonfire scene.
posted by maxsparber at 9:03 AM on July 31, 2014 [10 favorites]


Something repurposing the IRL system, maybe, with proposed watches and scheduled ones? Planning to watch a movie isn't so different from planning to meet up...
posted by Westringia F. at 9:08 AM on July 31, 2014


I like the idea of scheduling. In addition to movies showing up without notice, there aren't any firm dates for when the thread for an announced movie/tv will show up.

Also, scody mentioned the lack of participation in the threads and this saddens and frustrates me a bit, especially considering how enthusiastic people were when the idea was floated. Did people forget or are there too many show threads running concurrently?
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 9:09 AM on July 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


I admit, I am guilty of this. Initially I just didn't want to make too many MetaTalk posts, but now that FanFare has a Talk page I have no excuse. This is a good reminder that I have to do better.

Summer Camp is watching Too Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar this week and Meatballs the week after. We like all kinds of camp! Suggest it in the thread!
posted by troika at 9:09 AM on July 31, 2014


Westringia F.: Something repurposing the IRL system, maybe, with proposed watches and scheduled ones?

This is a great idea, says me who doesn't have any idea of how terrible and horrible an idea it may or may not be from a pb-shaped perspective.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:15 AM on July 31, 2014


Well, folks have been using FanFare Talk to propose watches and schedule watches. So I'm not sure we need anything more than what we have now for that kind of idea. We launched FanFare Talk less than two weeks ago and I think we're all still figuring the best way to use it. I think it'd be good to try a few more Proposed movies there, see if there's interest, and maybe talk with people in the thread about a good time for the official post.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:30 AM on July 31, 2014


Yes, I do consider Wicker Man to be a summer camp movie.

Will this in any way interfere with our unspoken agreement to mention the Wicker Man as frequently as possible no matter what the actual topic of discussion?
posted by elizardbits at 9:44 AM on July 31, 2014 [7 favorites]


Will this in any way interfere with our unspoken agreement to mention the Wicker Man as frequently as possible no matter what the actual topic of discussion?

Do you get a text alert any time Wicker Man is mentioned? Does a bell go off in your apartment? How does this happen?
posted by MoonOrb at 10:01 AM on July 31, 2014 [5 favorites]


[muffled x-files theme music playing in the distance]
posted by elizardbits at 10:05 AM on July 31, 2014 [8 favorites]


or are there too many show threads running concurrently?

That's been part of it for me, especially with random/uncoordinated scheduling and the trend of two-part seasons. I don't have a ton of Must-See TV, maybe three shows at a time, and I potentially have time and interest for another show or two, but some shows are once a week, some are a few times a week, some are whenever. I know it works for the individual shows so I'm not suggesting that in itself is a problem.

The timing of the posts is another stumbling block for me in two ways: With current shows I usually want to talk about it right away, so with the delay I lose momentum. I also have the opposite problem because I don't have a DVR and the shows don't always become available right away. Even if I watch it right away, often the discussion has already tapered off after a few days and I don't post because it feels like I'm just talking to myself and it feels like noise.

It's a work in progress but I do keep trying.

Also, no one is watching The Bridge?
posted by Room 641-A at 10:11 AM on July 31, 2014


Will this in any way interfere with our unspoken agreement to mention the Wicker Man as frequently as possible no matter what the actual topic of discussion?

Wait I thought that was the agreement about poffins.
posted by winna at 10:15 AM on July 31, 2014


Wait I thought that was the agreement about poffins.

Except dry poffins which I DISLIKE.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 10:19 AM on July 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


We need to formalize these understandings in some sort of accord.

It should have lots of sub-headings and clauses and be full of things like 'Clause 5.1(c) shall be made pursuant to Clause 12.4(f) if and only if the humidity of the poffin is determined to be within the specifications laid forth in Clause 104.6(i) as measured by an approved hygrometer (see table 104.3).'

It will be a delightful thing with which to while away the long winter evenings.
posted by winna at 10:32 AM on July 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


Will this in any way interfere with our unspoken agreement to mention the Wicker Man as frequently as possible no matter what the actual topic of discussion?

I can answer that question with two words.
posted by maxsparber at 10:33 AM on July 31, 2014


The two words are Wicker Man, by the way.
posted by maxsparber at 10:33 AM on July 31, 2014 [6 favorites]


pb: So I'm not sure we need anything more than what we have now for that kind of idea.

I just think it would be so much easier to understand with a simple date-ordered list like in IRL. Makes sense to give it a few weeks to see how everything shakes out though.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:49 AM on July 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'll concur with the original poster, it'd be cool for non-new released movies to have some kind of flag waving heads up.

What might be nice, if it wouldn't drive pb and company crazy, would be for movies that aren't new releases (hello check box!) there could be an automatic queue of 72 hours to a week or so, and at the start of the three day or longer period, the movie title is placed on a list - perhaps somewhere inside Fanfare Talk or on an automatically generated page under a link, "Upcoming Movies!" People could check that page from time to time and get an idea if they want to hop on the wagon, rather than be surprised when it runs right over them out of nowhere. So a click on the link would reveal:

Upcoming Films for Discussion!
  • The Untouchables - July 25th
  • The Wickerman - July 28th
  • The Return of Wickerman - July 29th
  • Star Wars - August 1
  • The Wickerman Cometh - August 3
posted by Atreides at 11:06 AM on July 31, 2014 [18 favorites]


That's a cool idea, seconded.

Wickermen; Vengeance of the Beekeepers, a Syfy Exclusive
posted by selfnoise at 11:19 AM on July 31, 2014


Atreides: “I'll concur with the original poster, it'd be cool for non-new released movies to have some kind of flag waving heads up. ¶ What might be nice, if it wouldn't drive pb and company crazy, would be for movies that aren't new releases (hello check box!) there could be an automatic queue of 72 hours to a week or so, and at the start of the three day or longer period, the movie title is placed on a list - perhaps somewhere inside Fanfare Talk or on an automatically generated page under a link, 'Upcoming Movies!' People could check that page from time to time and get an idea if they want to hop on the wagon, rather than be surprised when it runs right over them out of nowhere.”

pb mentioned this, but it's worth noting that we really already have a voluntary version of this. Many movies that are posted on Fanfare are mentioned beforehand by people who want to organize a watch on the Fanfare Talk page that you mentioned. If you visit the Fanfare Talk page regularly, you will see what movies people are planning to watch, and will be informed of when they're thinking about discussing them.

I just figured it was worth mentioning, since the talk page is still a bit new, and I think a lot of people don't know about it.

We could force people to push movies through the talk page first, or force them to queue as you're suggesting. I'm not sure that would be a great idea, though; the voluntary posting system seems to be working pretty well, and it would be a bit disruptive to suddenly require people to wait three days before their post goes live.
posted by koeselitz at 11:22 AM on July 31, 2014


The Wicker Man is about apples, not bees. You're thinking of a completely unrelated film that coincidentally has the same name and almost the same plot, but in every other way is nothing like the Wicker Man.
posted by maxsparber at 11:22 AM on July 31, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm not opposed to people posting in the style of the various film groups, but just looking at the Fanfare Talk page now and the current Fanfare Page - these movies were never posted (at least in the title of the Fanfare Talk Post):
  • Particle Fever
  • The Untouchables
  • Dirty Dancing
  • Road House
A couple of those might be a group film selection, but they were never highlighted in the post names, so unless you were already paying attention to those groups, you had no idea they were going to be discussed. I will say I like how MeFi Horror did their movie selections. I think they do offer a really good template on movie selection - The post it almost a week in advance, provide a list and/or information on where to find the movie to watch online, and give people a heads up. If we can develop an etiquette like that, then I definitely agree a queuing list page would be unnecessary.

I'm resorting to check boxes again, but bear with me. How 'bout a check box or simply a short sentence, "Yo, if this isn't a new movie..." notice that asks everyone who wants to post a movie to first post an announcement of it in FanFare Talk in a style similar to the MeFi Horror? My original solution is based on the premise that people want to do as little work as possible, but I'll gladly drink from the half full cup of Wickerman.
posted by Atreides at 11:37 AM on July 31, 2014 [3 favorites]


You know this checkbox on the MeTa post form?

"My request requires community input and cannot be addressed by contacting MetaFilter staff."

How about one like this for the FF post form:

"My post represents a film/show that is either a new release or a group viewing previously coordinated on FanFare Talk."

(Oh and thanks for the kind words about horror club!)
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:07 PM on July 31, 2014


I'm waiting for The Room to turn up on Netflix so we can talk about it. While tossing a football, of course.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 12:34 PM on July 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yes, I do consider Wicker Man to be a summer camp movie. There's a bonfire scene.

SPOILERS
posted by shakespeherian at 12:37 PM on July 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


A list with dates would be incredibly helpful or a list of what's posting this week. I am able to keep up with the Horror Club fine but even then I space out on when the post will be going up.

I will watch The Wicker Man as often as is required. :)
posted by oneear at 1:49 PM on July 31, 2014


An ideal system would let you "announce" a coming post on FanFare Talk and while doing so, prep the actual FF post and pick a date for it, which would then appear on a calendar. The FF post would then be generated automatically when the day came.

That's pie-in-the-sky though, and would take a lot of work when there are other parts of FF that are keeping mathowie and pb more than busy enough. So consider that just me spitballing.

I'm strictly speaking of how lovely a hypothetical pony would be, not asking for said pony.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:56 PM on July 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


Am I missing an existing way to filter Fanfare post listings to only movies/only TV, or is that not metadata that is being attached to posts? If not, I reckon (repeating my suggestion back in the original thread(s) about it) that that would be a Good Thing to have.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:54 PM on July 31, 2014


While tossing a football, of course.

Oh hi, potsmokinghippieoverlord.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:34 PM on July 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


Particle Fever
The Untouchables
Dirty Dancing
Road House


I'm not getting defensive for anything because I agree, mostly, with the gist of this post. I do think Fanfare is pretty disorganized and noisy and part of that is because there has been a bit of a rush to DISCUSS ALL THE MOVIES AND TV SHOWS OMG. When it comes to TV rewatches, for instance, I'd suggest putting some organizational limits in place so that there are only maybe one or two rewatches going on at any given time. Instead, we've got a metric ton of rewatches going on simultaneously. It's hard to coalesce interest around a given viewing project when there are so many going on simultaneously.

That said, I picked Particle Fever for a Fanfare post for a number of reasons.
  • It is a current release. It went into general release on March 5, according to Metacritic. It's still playing festivals and one-night stands at theaters in the U.S. and around the world according to the official website. I wouldn't have picked it if it were an older film. (It did premiere at festivals in 2013, however.)
  • It is on Netflix. Amazingly, the film became available for Netflix streaming just a couple of weeks ago.
  • It is critically acclaimed. It has an 87 on Metacritic and has been showing up on a lot of "Best of the First Half of 2014" lists.
  • It is in a Metafilter sweet spot. I've very much enjoyed previous discussions of the Large Hadron Collider in the Blue and Green.
So I pretty carefully considered whether Particle Fever was an appropriate post for Fanfare before I put it there. If nothing else, I thought a lot of people a) might not know the film existed and b) might not know it was already widely available for online viewing. I actually considered posting to the Blue, but since there seems to be a preference for pointing to stuff that is actually available for free viewing on the web over there I thought it was probably a better fit in Fanfare. It's quite possible that I'm wrong and that it's not a great Fanfare post (only three comments so far!) but it feels like this is the kind of thing that maybe needs some stricter guidelines in order to push users more toward making posts that will provoke and focus discussion, rather than diffusing it.

I guess I could have made a Metafilter talk post saying, "Hey, does anyone want to talk about this cool new science movie? I could make a post!" But that seems a little redundant. I figured the way it worked was people would see the post and, if it sounded interesting, they'd be like, "Cool, it's on Netflix? I'll watch it tonight or over the weekend and come back to see all the reaction." I'm interested to hear what the community at large thinks about that.
posted by Mothlight at 7:33 PM on July 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


Am I missing an existing way to filter Fanfare post listings to only movies/only TV...

The FanFare Archive lists all shows and movies separately. Scroll down to see all of the movies that have been posted.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:18 PM on July 31, 2014


Cool, thanks, pb.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:34 PM on July 31, 2014


We should prolly watch Lost. Is that a thing yet? Cause if not I'm gonna start it.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:55 PM on July 31, 2014



Oh hi, potsmokinghippieoverlord.


Leave your stupid comments in your pocket!
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 9:02 PM on July 31, 2014


We should prolly watch Lost

We're already watching the best thing JJ Abrams ever worked on.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:20 PM on July 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


Leave your stupid comments in your pocket!

You're my favorite customer.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:36 PM on July 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


This might not be the place but could the "Please Note: Episodes with a color background have special spoiler conditions" on the archive page link to a description of said conditions?
posted by Uncle at 10:49 PM on July 31, 2014


Sidebar: Is the current colour scheme of FanFare the permanent scheme? If so is Stylish still the best way under firefox to change page colours? Someone got whatever it is you need for stylish to make FanFare less eye searing?
posted by Mitheral at 10:55 PM on July 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


That was actually what I was trying to figure out with this post, Mothlight. We don't really have any method to the madness in Fanfare right now, so I was (am?) trying to get some discussion going about how we use the subsite.

Upon further consideration, if we start putting books on Fanfare I think there will have to be a change to the way the site works. Most people don't have the time to read a book in just a day or two, so advance notice of a thread will be mandatory in my opinion. I still dont know if it is necessary to be coded in, though. I am pretty sure that as people get more familiar with Fanfar and Fanfare talk prior announcements will become part of the posting culture.
posted by Literaryhero at 11:41 PM on July 31, 2014


You're my favorite customer.

YOU ARE TEARING ME APART, CORTEX!
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 12:11 AM on August 1, 2014


Is the current colour scheme of FanFare the permanent scheme? If so is Stylish still the best way under firefox to change page colours? Someone got whatever it is you need for stylish to make FanFare less eye searing?

Given the odd and unusual complete radio silence on the matter (at least that I've seen so far), I think it's fair to assume it's permanent.

A couple of people have done styles, but I have no idea where or how many or whatever. I spent about five minutes way back when on a quick and dirty seat-of-the-pants-colorscheme stylish thing (which I am now reminding myself to revisit [REMEMBER, SELF] since it seems necessary, and maybe do some proper colorscheming and variations and such), but it covers most of the bases and is awesome if you're really into greenish goldiness.

Here 'tis. There are bits unstyled, because like I said, I did this in a few minutes on Day 1, basically, and it's been the way FF has looked to me since because good enough and I don't visit the subsite very much. No warranty promised or implied, but it's less bright, at least.

@namespace url(http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml);

@-moz-document domain("fanfare.metafilter.com") {

body { background: #515600 !important; color: #FFFFFF;}
#navglobal a, #navseldom a, #navoften a, a:link, .smallcopy > a { color: #CDC847;}
#bottomline, #topline, .sidebar,#footer,.tags {
background: none repeat scroll 0 0 #3D4103;}
#footer {border-top: 1px solid #C9CC94;}
#yellowbar {
background: none repeat scroll 0 0 #818000;
border-bottom: 1px solid #C9CC94;
border-top: 1px solid #C9CC94;
color: #FFFFFF;}
.mefimessages,.smallcopy {
color: #ffffff;}
.new {
color: #FFFFFF !important;
}
.mefimessages > a {color: #999533;}
.posttitle {
color: #FFFFFF;
}
.whitesmallcopy {
color: #FFFFFF;
}
}

posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:47 AM on August 1, 2014


I do sort of enjoy saying "I told you so" and I was quite adamant from the start of discussion about this whole thing that an unorganized, free-for-all of posts about old shows (not to mention movies) would end up being a flood of rarely-commented-on posts that are just not very fun for anyone and also make the site unwieldy. That's happened.

Rewatches should be organized, one way or another. They should be proposed and, if there's enough interest, proceed according to a schedule. They should be limited so that there's enough time and interest for the ones that exist. Then we'll get use out of FanFare in this regard.

I recognize that FanFare posts don't close and so these threads are available over the long term. But is there anything preventing repetition? Even if there is, I'm not seeing that much interest in people going back to old threads and continuing discussion when they finally get around to seeing something. It happens with current shows, though not that often, but almost never with rewatches.

What's disappointing to me about this is that it's true what everyone has always said about MeFI and a media-subsite: the discussion here is top-notch and so FanFare really is an opportunity for MeFi to shine. It often does with current shows and it has with a very few, high-interest re-watches. But there's lots of older shows that deserve good, active discussion and very few of them have seen it because it's an unorganized, unwieldy flood. If we could take time for those shows sequentially; that is, as an ongoing series of organized rewatches, then all that interest and time wouldn't be spread so thin that even the most deserving shows get much less participation than you'd expect.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:00 AM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also, am I the only person that now has a strong suspicion that potsmokinghippieoverlord and cortex

dun dun dunnnn

ARE THE SAME PERSON?

And also that cortex may unfortunately be deep in the middle of flipping his noodle a bit?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:01 AM on August 1, 2014


I do sort of enjoy saying "I told you so" and I was quite adamant from the start of discussion about this whole thing that an unorganized, free-for-all of posts about old shows (not to mention movies) would end up being a flood of rarely-commented-on posts that are just not very fun for anyone and also make the site unwieldy. That's happened.

Yeah, I was pretty sure (and explicitly blathered on about the idea) that the MeFi architectural model (in terms of the index page) wasn't a great fit for this kind of thing, and went as far as suggesting an entirely separate, differently-structured site under the MF umbrella to do it, so I was down with that particular skeptical program.

It's actually working better than I expected it to, but not as well as I think it could have. Ah well: if it's driving more traffic, which (and this is not a backhanded criticism in any way, just plainspeaking) I suspect might have been in part behind the fast-deployment decision given the ad revenue slump, then that's a good thing.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:07 AM on August 1, 2014


I like fanfare, and do wish it was more populated. I think some advance notice on shows, and maybe a way to flag your interest in shows so you notice when new threads come up: some shows which had a lot of discussion, like the Wire, suddenly only have two comments on them, and I assume thats simply because the interested people missed them. So maybe you get a memail every time a new episode of show you subscribe to appears? Similarly, for announced films you get the same flag?
posted by Cannon Fodder at 1:18 AM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


if it's driving more traffic, which (and this is not a backhanded criticism in any way, just plainspeaking) I suspect might have been in part behind the fast-deployment decision given the ad revenue slump

If in the long run it does help with ad revenue, that would be super great, of course, but I can say that 1) it's something that has been under discussion for a long time, and wasn't rushed out when the big drop with Google ads happened. I'd say the TWoP closing and ensuing discussions here were more the impetus to go ahead and give it a try, and 2) though I don't remember the (very tiny) amount, Matt has mentioned how little it has brought in, which wasn't a big surprise.

Maybe it will help us long term, but the discussion of the state of finances and the Fanfare trial probably appear more directly connected than they are, since if it were a specific reaction to the ad slump, it would have been deployed much earlier.

Re the "odd and unusual complete radio silence," I don't think there's any effort to be avoidant or cagey. I know pb has been working like crazy, and has a lot on his plate right now. This may just be something that hasn't been fully decided, and/or isn't on the front burner at the moment, and with the flood of suggestions and requests, probably just got overlooked in terms of a direct response. (Or I've missed the response – also easy to do.)
posted by taz (staff) at 1:43 AM on August 1, 2014


Also, am I the only person that now has a strong suspicion that potsmokinghippieoverlord and cortex

dun dun dunnnn

ARE THE SAME PERSON?


no_O
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 1:50 AM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


I mean, no, nuh uh, not the same peoples.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 1:51 AM on August 1, 2014


Hmm, to further my suggestion, maybe as you post in a thread on a show (or movie that is part of a series) there could be a button somewhere which says "subscribe to this series?" which has the same function, to make sure users are aware that the function exists.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 1:52 AM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


I mean, no, nuh uh, not the same peoples.

I know, I'm just messing with you because YOU ARE TOTALLY HIGH RIGHT NOW.

if it were a specific reaction to the ad slump, it would have been deployed much earlier.

Not that I want to make it a thing at all, but: I can't remember the order of things -- was it before or after the financial troubles were made public that Fanfare went live? Because there were a coupla years, weren't there, that ad revenues were withering before the community was told about it and the heartwarming donation drive began. And I would totally understand, if that's the way it happened (Fanfare launch in the wake of ad-revenue slump disclosure (and, again, I can't remember the chronology)), if Matt was all like 'goddamn it let's get this new feature set out there because all this donating makes me a bit uncomfortable and we gotta give the people some NEW STUFF.'

Again again: I dunno if that's the way it went, and it's totally cool if it was, and it doesn't matter a good goddamn either way.

The questions before us are how to make Fanfare, now that it's a real thing, work better.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:04 AM on August 1, 2014


No, the discussion to go ahead and start working on it as a test site began when this Metatalk was posted, so the end of March.
posted by taz (staff) at 3:13 AM on August 1, 2014


I sense that as too often happens my friends my dear dear friends TOO OFTEN I have gone off the rails and spoken up about an insignificant idea that just kinda floated across my mental horizon and that I am not enthused to attempt to defend -- because I don't give a fuck either way, when it comes down to it -- so I'm just going to bow out here, because this it's a pointless dumb derail from the matter at hand, which is about making the FF subsite More Bettar.

So please do carry on as if I hadn't talked a bit of shit, which I am occasionally prone to do.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:05 AM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


I like the idea of some kind of subscriber option which would result in an automatic MeFi Mail notification of new episode posts.

Per the original posted intent, I'm still up for either a suggested course of action with regard to non-new movie posts (a heads up post) or even an automatic queuing of a non-new movies with a heads up somewhere. Such as in the drop down box where you currently choose between movie or tv show, add not a new release movie option, and then that automatically opens an additional field where the poster types up an announcement post with suggested places to catch the movie online/on tv/other media to watch.
posted by Atreides at 6:38 AM on August 1, 2014


Honestly, for me anyway, Fanfare has quickly devolved into an overwhelming pile-on of of show after show. It's become pretty unnavigable for me, especially with all the "First viewings" of ages-old shows. It's sort-of become a fan club for Netflix/Hulu+/premium cable subscribers with (seemingly) lots of spare time. I was excited about Fanfare in the beginning, but now I find myself avoiding the area for the most part.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:50 AM on August 1, 2014 [5 favorites]


I'm having a lot less of a problem with FanFare than it seems like a lot of people are. I'm not trying to participate in the discussions of absolutely every show I watch, in the same way that I can't keep up with watching every show that interests me. There are only so many hours in the day, and I'm obliged to spend some of them sleeping and working.

It's new enough that I don't think we have a sense at all of whether people will return to older threads again and again over time, but I will note that I am seeing people offering late comments on a fair number of the West Wing rewatch threads. Late in this case is a week or two later, since the whole thing hasn't existed that long, but people are visiting these discussions even after they presumably fall off the front page of FanFare, and once they comment, of course, the posts show back up on all the previous commenters' "Recent Activity", so I don't know that it's necessary to be there as part of the first flurry of conversation to participate in the threads.

I'm not sure how much notice people need to discuss some of these movies. I mean, if you're posting more obscure movies, maybe, but I stumbled across a Dirty Dancing thread the other day, and I certainly don't need to watch that movie for the 987th time to discuss it.

Finally, I also wanted to mention that I'm finding that RSS is a good way to deal with FanFare. I'm subscribed to the feeds for the two rewatches (Doctor Who and The West Wing) that I participate in, as well as for a bunch of the shows that I regularly watch, so I don't miss those new posts when they go up. Then finding movies or new shows is more a matter of happenstance or whether I go searching for them.

I think that from a functionality perspective, formalizing the ongoing movie clubs (Horror, Summer Camp, Cult, whatever else) so that they ended up with an RSS feed for each individual club would be helpful, and it might also be helpful if there was a general RSS feed that was just for movies. Just subscribing to the whole FanFare RSS feed ends up being fairly high volume and much of it is of stuff you're likely to already know you don't care about, because it's a show you don't watch.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:10 AM on August 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Would there be any merit to possibly tabbing FanFare out a bit more? Right now the default tab shows all FF content posts and there are tabs for FanFare Talk and recent comments.

Maybe there could be something like this:
-Current Releases (default tab)
-TV Rewatches
-Movie Rewatches

Or those last two could just be one tab.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:50 AM on August 1, 2014 [5 favorites]


I, too, am having trouble making use of FanFare. I feel like there is just too much. There are a number of shows being re-watched right now that I care about, but there are just so many different posts, I do not have the time to watch all of them and participate. Just three of them (Mad Men, West Wing, Doctor Who) have posts so often, I can't keep up. I go to the FanFare page, and I am just overwhelmed.

I also get disappointed sometimes about the amount of discussion individual episodes receive. It seems like there are a lot of people who want to do watches of shows, but then comment threads don't end up with a whole lot of activity. I'm a contributor to this problem -- often times, I don't comment at all in threads, because I haven't had a chance to watch that episode recently and thus don't have fresh enough a memory to participate.

I really dig FanFare. I've wanted it for a very long time, and I think it's going to become a vibrant and significant portion of the Mefi-verse. These seem like growing pains.
posted by meese at 9:19 AM on August 1, 2014 [6 favorites]


I like DirtyOldTown's suggestion of having tabs for current shows and rewatches. I think this would really help with the sense of there being too many shows on FanFare right now.

It's become pretty unnavigable for me, especially with all the "First viewings" of ages-old shows.

There are currently 5 anime series being covered on FanFare, but only two of them are current ones (Aldnoah.Zero and Sailor Moon Crystal), with one of them arguably being a re-watch if people start discussing the old Sailor Moon anime series. This is giving me the impression that there is hardly any FanFare interest on anime that is currently airing, and people would rather re-watch old series. There being no way to tell whether an anime series is current, unless one is already an anime fan, is not helping, in the sense that all the shows are an undifferentiated mass. Perhaps more people would be encouraged to add current shows if there was some way to distinguish them.
posted by needled at 10:32 AM on August 1, 2014


I, too, am having trouble making use of FanFare. I feel like there is just too much

Yeah, it's pretty annoying but I've decided not to care and just drop a comment in the stuff that I'm really interested in so I can follow it in Recent Activity instead of endlessly scrolling in the long list of "here are the shows we are talking about" and "here are the shows we are talking about talking about". If I miss something it's not really the end of the world.
posted by elizardbits at 9:45 PM on August 1, 2014


Alternate pony for the upcoming season: An annual fanfare post for the tv showing of The Wizard of Oz.
posted by sammyo at 11:25 PM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


I know the threads are queued up but do the mods ever say 'no' to any shows? If a show has been cancelled, it may have been terrific but might not generate enough sustained traffic for a re-watch of all the eps, especially when there's so much new/current TV to discuss.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 7:38 AM on August 2, 2014


I agree with DirtyOldTown's suggestion for using tabs to organize the content (one each for TV and film rewatches, and either one or two for current films and TV). I also wonder if it might be good to make FanFare Talk the default front page, so that the first thing everyone sees are upcoming film club selections, proposed rewatches, etc.

Speaking of rewatches, I wonder if they should always first be proposed/discussed and given a planned start date, both so that there's some way to gauge interest and also so that anyone who would like to participate has some lead time (say, a minimum of a week?). I know this is happening for some, but it might be useful to make it the default process for all rewatches.
posted by scody at 11:50 AM on August 2, 2014 [4 favorites]


Just added Fanfare Talk to my Feedly - this will help me stay current because I had missed out on a couple of cult film posts.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 4:36 PM on August 2, 2014


I actually considered that too, scody. It would be good for me because I dont keep up with current tv, but for people who know there is a new Mad Men on Tuesdays or whatever it would be an inconvenience. Im not sure what the majority of Fanfare users are doing, so it is hard to say if this would be beneficial for the majority or not.
posted by Literaryhero at 5:49 PM on August 2, 2014


My mind naturally wanders to the AV Club, where they do rewatches but at a sustainable pace. The reason is they have to pay someone to write the rewatch articles and only have so much money and staff, so not much of it happens at the same time. FanFare doesn't have staff or long articles to write, so it will need to find its way to keep the posts based on older shows sustainable. It might be as simple as a rythmn and expectations spontaneously emerging; I'm confident in it, actually.

As for me, I haven't commented lately but know FanFare "works" because I'm looking forward to the season 4 Veep threads.
posted by michaelh at 5:40 AM on August 4, 2014


Pony Request...
Could people start identifying which network/cable channel/premium service/etc. the show they're starting a thread for is aired on? Maybe do it in the title?
posted by Thorzdad at 7:44 AM on August 6, 2014


That's only likely to be accurate for first airings, and only for people watching in the US, so I wouldn't particularly like to see it in the titles, though it seems like fine info for the description / more inside.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:08 AM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's a bummer because I can totally see how "where can I watch this?" is a natural question someone would ask when encountering a FanFare post.

As jacquilynne says, in practice it's very difficult to answer that in a way that not ephemeral.

For what it's worth, I end up using Wikipedia much more than I do IMDB for television. I look up airdates and synopsis and such and because of Wikipedia's nature, the information is constantly updated and comprehensive. And, as far as I can tell, it's more likely to continue to be so in the indefinite future than almost anywhere else, including IMDB. I would think a Wikipedia link might be helpful, but at the same time I balk a little at this if envisioned as integral or universal to FanFare. But maybe a good voluntary addition to posts?
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:26 AM on August 6, 2014


I think as an informal practice which is strongly encouraged, it would be nice. I do think if you're doing a watch of anything, it would be super helpful to point out sources that it might be found, at least, best to your knowledge.
posted by Atreides at 11:36 AM on August 6, 2014


I know that the horror club movies at least link to canistream.it which shows streaming options. It isn't always perfectly accurate, but it helps people figure out if and how they can watch things.
posted by Literaryhero at 5:51 PM on August 6, 2014


Very late to this, and I don't know how feasible it would be from a technical standpoint, but it seems to me that Fanfare is really crying out for a "My Fanfare" tab, where you can save all the series and movies you're interested in following. It won't help as much with new movies that haven't been announced previously, but would help a lot when you're trying to track comments on series and movies you're following.
posted by carrienation at 10:35 PM on August 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yes, agreed. A My FanFare featured is in the plan.
posted by pb (staff) at 7:16 AM on August 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


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