Member: Rank 1

The end, when it came, was swift.

Suddenly we were cast adrift, looking for a new home.

We found it here.

But we still found time to look at what we had left behind...... :emoji_head_bandage:


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Doctor Omega

Member: Rank 10
I honestly think that IMDB have just destroyed themselves (eventually) and they either do not see that , or that a decision has been made by them to shut IMDB down by stealth for whatever bizarre (to us) reason.

Whatever the case, I was certainly NOT expecting that crazy message from them about the closure the other day. :)

Ah well, they're gone now.

Alex Vojacek

Staff member
I was so SHOCKED by that message.. that I felt compelled to do something... here is the product !

I've never moved so much stuff, worked so hard on a saturday/sunday for something because I've never felt so hopeless about a dumb corporate desicion. IMDb forums has been half my life, I used them for everything about movies. I never cared to make a forum myself because I had the biggest movie forum database in history... it was really good, somewhat unmanaged and full of trolls but nevertheless... unique.

They just don't care about people anymore... a coment in reddit about a suposedly ex-employee of IMDb put things into perspective.. they just don't care. It's about making more money.

Doctor Omega

Member: Rank 10
Here is the latest "explanation" from a Col Needham of IMDB/Amazon....

"I can add more here for you ... your suggestion of rebuilding the boards is the first thing we considered when we looked at the next steps. We hate to cut features. The extra context is that in 2017 we are coming to the end of a multi-year technology migration which you may have seen covered in recent end-of-year messages. It is this migration which is enabling things like data publication within minutes of arrival by the database content team and new interfaces for photo contribution / display. Almost the whole of IMDb has been rebuilt behind-the-scenes on a modern scalable platform which can handle the traffic of a Top 40 web site along with two app platforms (iOS & Android) and a mobile site, plus data exports to a whole host of other systems, including Amazon Fire TV. This is on a scale which many people here are not appreciating; they still think of IMDb as a small site BUT that is because, out of all our traffic, boards are a tiny (and shrinking) share.

As more of IMDb is on the modern platform, we get faster and faster at adding new features and improving existing ones on a huge multi-billion page view scale. Unfortunately, this means that the older technology becomes more and more of drag and disproportionately slows progress, hence our desire to finish everything in 2017. When we sat down for our annual planning cycle in the second half of 2016, we looked at the options for everything which still needed to be migrated. We had deep discussions on what would migrate and stay the same, what would migrate and be improved and also what would not be worth migrating.

For 26 years IMDb has been collecting film, TV, celebrity and other information and creating what we hope are powerful and useful services on top of this data for our many different customers. Our strengths are in gathering, processing and publishing permanent information around entertainment. Message boards are quite a different thing than the rest of IMDb (see my comments in the post referenced above). For years, our customers have done nothing but complain about how the boards are run, what features are missing and how angry they are about how other users have treated them. This is reflected in the relative traffic shrinkage of the boards. We have reached the point where most of our customers do not even know they exist; many that do know about them have been scared away after bad experiences. We have lost a non-trivial number of customers due to bad experiences on the boards. This is wrong on so many levels.

Even despite all of these problems, and per the post of mine which you highlighted, we still see value in the boards. However, during the planning process when we looked at the time and effort required to rebuild the boards, it just did not make sense. We can better serve customers by getting better at that things at which we are already good -- the core functions of IMDb and building things on top of the real data. Essentially, in business terms, it is core competency issue. Wrangling temporary discussions around topics like entertainment which naturally cause friction is not an IMDb core competency; you can even see this in the complaints in the last 24 hours from people who want us to keep the boards, yet then tacitly admit that the boards are not very good anyway. We see the helpful suggestions that if only we did this, that, or the other, then all the problems will disappear. The reality is harder at this scale; I am not going to address them all, but volunteer moderators, buying other software, charging subscription fees have all been examined with the full information available to us, and if there was a magic wand which could be waved, we would have found it.

I love our boards. I ignore trolls. I am going to be sorry when the boards close. However, I am going be more excited about the new possibilities which we can build and deploy once the boards are gone and are no longer slowing us down. As we like to say at Amazon, it is still Day One.

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