Quick FanFare Updates March 23, 2015 3:30 PM   Subscribe

We made a couple changes to FanFare today. We added a show, movie, and podcast search to the front page sidebar. For movies we added links to buy or watch a particular movie at Amazon (if it's available). And we updated how movies are posted.

The search on the front page sidebar is the same search that exists on the archive page. As you start typing the title of a TV show, movie, or podcast, it brings up a list of matches for discussions at FanFare. We hope this helps people find a particular bit of media by title rather than using the site search which looks for keywords in the text.

The Amazon links on movies should help people buy or stream that particular movie. (MetaFilter gets a little kickback when people use these links.) We also provide a link to the Can I Stream It? page if that's available, so if Amazon isn't your thing you can try that to get more viewing options.

And now when you go to post a movie at FanFare you'll be prompted to verify the movie name before you get started on writing your post. So if there's any problem matching a particular movie with IMDb, you'll know that right away. The new system also pulls in the brief IMDb description automatically and you can choose to use that or discard it—but the option is there. Plus if you happen to have the IMDb URL for a movie you want to post about, you can paste that into the title area and FanFare will fill out the title and description for you.

As always, let us know here if you run into problems.
posted by pb (staff) to Feature Requests at 3:30 PM (22 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

Great search feature. Now for the pony request: Is there any way to include the S-M-P search to show pages as well? (such as a podcast or a TV show). Once you're on a show page, the big search box at the top is the default site search, I thought it would be nice to have the specific search available as well.

A better example would be on a movie page like the Hunger Games - if I searched the S-M-P for "games" I see the current Three movies, but once on the first movie page, I would need to click back to home and search again. Might it be convenient to S-M-P search again from the details page?
posted by jazon at 3:52 PM on March 23, 2015

May I suggest a tweak? If a person types in a title that is not present among the discussions, could that be indicated in some way? I just spent a few minutes trying to determine if I was doing it wrong, because I typed something into the box and nothing at all appeared. After needlessly jabbing the enter key a few times, trying it in another browser to make sure it wasn't the fault of an extension, and feeling rather bewildered, I finally tried a different title (which did happen to have an associated discussion) and realized that the first one I tried just must not have been present. A message that said "No results found" would have clarified the issue in an instant.
posted by ocherdraco at 6:18 PM on March 23, 2015

Just a quick acknowledgment -- thank you guys for the suggestions, and pb will be able to address them when he's around.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 6:21 PM on March 23, 2015

Might it be convenient to S-M-P search again from the details page?

We'll see how this goes and think about expanding the search to other places.

If a person types in a title that is not present among the discussions, could that be indicated in some way?

Sorry about the frustration and extra work. We'll give this some thought too. Because the search shows results as you type, it's not as easy to know when someone is finished. Once you know the search works that way you get instant feedback that there are no results. This might be a first-time use issue, and we'll chew on how we can make it clearer.
posted by pb (staff) at 6:25 PM on March 23, 2015

Nice, ponies I didn't even know I wanted.

As a general kind of Fanfare brainstorm nonrequest, since threads there don't close would it ever be possible to bump an old movie back to the front page? It would be cool to put a thread back in the limelight if a movie suddenly becomes relevant again, but I have no idea how it would even be implemented. Allow for a repost after a certain amount of time has passed to resurrect old threads? Just spitballing here.
posted by Literaryhero at 3:58 AM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

We hope this helps people find a particular bit of media by title rather than using the site search which looks for keywords in the text.

posted by jillithd at 6:24 AM on March 24, 2015

Since we're on the topic of updating/improving FanFare, I'll just point over to FanFare Talk where we've been discussing new taglines. Both TV Worth Talking About and the pre-post-button Note: Be nice. It's just TV. are needlessly specific to TV.

I liked The Whelk's suggestion, Pop Culture Considered, and support anything for the Note: that isn't so condescending.
posted by carsonb at 11:03 AM on March 24, 2015 [3 favorites]

Good stuff. Can I suggest that hitting enter after you type in a name takes you to the first matching link, and that if there aren't any matching links for the show it drops you at some sort of error page?
posted by Going To Maine at 1:36 PM on March 24, 2015

I still don't get Fanfare.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:20 PM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Is there a particular change that would make it more gettable?
posted by Going To Maine at 2:31 PM on March 24, 2015

What's to get? It's discussion threads about movies and TV episodes.
posted by octothorpe at 2:52 PM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Does Amazon give Metafilter money if I stream a show but have Amazon Prime?
posted by corb at 3:35 PM on March 24, 2015

FanFare is useful for finding out which of your fellow MeFites watch less teevee than you do, and are therefore cultural illiterates, and which ones watch more teevee than you do, and are therefore couch potatoes.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 4:57 PM on March 24, 2015 [10 favorites]

Does Amazon give Metafilter money if I stream a show but have Amazon Prime?

My guess would be no, but that's an interesting question. Not something to worry about on your end, obviously; watch what you watch how you watch it is the name of the game.

We don't particular expect this to turn into a lot of new Amazon revenue, but if it turns into a little bit in a "people basically just doing what they already do" capacity that's a nice bonus.

Also, those are only on movies right now partly because it was technically a lot simpler to accomplish that than it is with TV, where we have to contend with stuff like episodes/seasons; if there's not big snags that somehow surface we'll look to adding it for those too eventually, but it may be a more manual process so we figured we should just roll this out for now.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:04 PM on March 24, 2015

Thanks for all the ponies, pb!
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 12:44 AM on March 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

I would love to be able to select or de-select a broad category of FanFare posts. Such as podcasts. There are so many posts, it would make the page more manageable if one was able to see only movies or only tv shows or only podcasts. Or a combination thereof. I know you can set up the My FanFare page to follow only particular shows/movies/whatevers, but I don't want to limit it that much.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 7:55 PM on March 25, 2015

computech_apolloniajames, on the right side of the front page look for the Categories box. From there you can choose TV, Movies, or Podcasts to see just those categories on their own.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:12 PM on March 25, 2015

Ah yes, marvelous, but is there a way to select two of the three?
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 8:21 PM on March 25, 2015

Nope. We'll give that some thought.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:22 PM on March 25, 2015

These seem like nice improvements for search!

Quick question and feel free to refer me to previous times this has been covered:

Is there any thought of the ability to discuss old shows as a whole, or at least by season – instead of episode by episode?

Right now I’m watching Foyle’s War. It’s been off the air for some time, and episodes are frankly fairly formulaic. It is just not very interesting to think about discussing each episode in detail since I’m watching years after the fact and they are kind of all the same. But I would love to have a general discussion on the show – it’s tropes, it’s character arcs, it’s themes, etc.

Once a show has been retired, I wish there was an “anything goes” thread to just discuss the show overall… and for some series’ that kind of thread seems a lot more appealing than any episode by episode discussion could be.

I happen to be a person who pretty much only watches long-cancelled shows, but when I get into one I am usually obsessed and so this problem has come up for me about a number of series’. The new Firefly discussion would be a perfect test-case for this I think, as many of us have long ago watched (and rewatched) the whole thing.
posted by latkes at 1:33 PM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

OMG latkes, yes. I mean, Murder She Wrote is great, don't get me wrong, but...

I also think consolidating the discussions would be good for the overall liveliness of FanFare. Sometimes it seems like one of those poorly-trafficked phpbb forums that used to proliferate.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 9:19 AM on March 28, 2015

We're thinking about ways to highlight active discussions. If you dig into some of the more popular shows, you can see there's quite a bit of conversation happening. Shows like Better Call Saul, The Walking Dead, Agent Carter, Downton Abbey, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt have good participation on every episode posted. As we look at our statistics for the site, we see people are spending time there. So we definitely need ways to make that more apparent as you browse the front page.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:24 AM on March 28, 2015

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