2019/2020 Improvement Mission

Maybe.
But I just jumped around some random pages and already found these:

https://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Più_forte_sorelle

https://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Suo_nome_era_Pot,_Il

https://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Spacconata,_La

https://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Testa_o_croce

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fixed those. we’ll get them all eventually.

On a different note, today I realized once more how bad the SWDb is in terms of high quality pictures (posters, stills, lobby cards, etc.)… we need to mount an effort to do better on that front I think. I catch myself searching google for good pictures of spaghetti westerns, and I own the damn SWDb… that is a situation I want to change :slight_smile:

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To my own shame, I didn’t get around much to working more on the question of how movie pages could look like in the near future of the SWDb.
Unfortunately it is also a question that doesn’t seem to interest many more people other than myself (to some degree understandably), but I think the SWDb’s future in a way hinges on its appeal to the reader , the way its content is presented in search engines and how it looks like on mobile phones, so it is not merely a random pastime to think about such matters :slight_smile:

I went back to the drawing board and thought a bit more along what a reader might expect to be where, and why we have hand-made menus under tiny posters, that look horrible, while the wiki does automatically make tables of contents out of main sections of a page anyway, so I came up with this very first iteration:

https://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Experimental-Garringo

Which is far from finished:

  • the location, look and feel of the table of contents can be modified. I imagine a less obstrusive, non-numbered and possibly better looking way for it to be shown
  • we will need a bigger poster
  • there isn’t enough text on the page. I am saying this because really, if all you see is facts, then unless it was the fact you were looking for, you’re not gonna stick around (if you are the reader) to explore the movie more. So we do need good synopsis, trivia and some background info already on the main page, maybe as part of an introductory paragraph.
  • I think the less wee need to “outsource” content to sub pages (like /DVD) the better the experience for a reader will be overall
  • of course all our movie pages need more info about soundtracks, VHS releases, different versionf of a film, and most importantly pictures (lobby cards, posters, stills, behind the scenes photos).
  • We could do with a lot more external links, especially to high quality reviews, backgrounders, and such.
  • Film pages should also list books that mention it in more detail, or its director

What else_

Would it be possible to do rating (like the classic 5 stars) system for members? So that the rating could be seen on the page. That would be interesting idea.

Theoretically yes. There are plugins for the system we use that would offer it. However, then everyone who would wanna vote would have to get an account on there (currently only a handful of people do, as editing the SWDb has traditionally been quite a niche hobby for just some), and the inevitable question is: how many votes does it take for a rating to be at least remotely representative? To give you an idea: the IMDb tries it with a weighted system that accounts for popularity and all that, but that is a website with gazillions of visitors every day and it is owned by one of the most valuable companies on the planet today :slight_smile:

I see two alternatives we could think about: maybe we could automatically display the IMDb score if the IMDb allows. But not sure if we want to advertise that site so much, after all we’re not getting paid for promoting the IMDb. Another option would be to have polls in form of ratings at the start of each topic on this forum (we should have at least one for each film) that provides somewhat of a “score”. But then again there might be other options that I am not thinking of yet… suggestions are dearly welcome.
For the above reason I am of course a bit sceptical of ratings in general, but they would be an interesting way to promote interaction with the website…

I aleays thought the old pages looked fine but then I never access the site via phone which I know many do now so I guess the page lay out does need to change as a result.

I echo Bill’s idea for a star rating system, whether it winds up being from a small user group or not. Definitely not showing IMDB rating though. They mean nothing. Our own, ideally 1-10 system, would be good I think. If such a thing were possible.

But ours would mean even less considering the number of people we’d have that would be voting :slight_smile: Maybe we could also go about it another way: we agree on a set of categories from “predicate” to “trash” and then bulk assign all the spaghetti westerns to these categories :slight_smile:

Maybe so, but at least our voters would be fans of the genre (presumably) and would be voting in relation to other Spaghettis rather than every other film they like. I’d rather know what one person thinks who has seen a bunch of spags than 100 for whom it’s the first one they’ve seen.

Of course there is also the argument that our Top 20 and Alt Top 20 already serves this purpose.

I really like how they did the ratings on this finnish site. There’s first the rating from the one who wrote the review of the film and then the ratings of the other editors (with the average value) and also the reader’s rating. But you have to be registered member of the site to vote for reader’s rating so that will reduce the trolling votes. Maybe something like this could be done if we could form a “official swdb jury” of around dozen members for voting.
But then again, maybe there’s already enough rating with top20 etc.

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I like the idea of user ratings. We could also do this in the form of forum polls I guess, maybe it would be easier to implement, since it would then be tied to your forum account. We initially had forum polls, they were quite nifty and we could potentially bring them back, I wouldn’t be against the idea.

While I understand the necessity to modernize the layout of SWDb pages, could we maintain the old order of pages’ content i.e. DVD releases at the top, Pictures/Trailers/Reviews sections in the middle and the forum link at the bottom of each content list? I’ve gotten used to the old layout and it actually makes a lot of sense and makes it easier for me to browse the database. The general visual design of the Garringo page is nice, but the way all sections have been scattered around is somewhat confusing. I can see myself getting used to the new layout I guess, I still prefer the old one though.

BTW, could we start some kind of general SWDb maintenance thread in which all forum members can point to certain issues in the database such as some pages being insufficiently developed, faulty forum links and that kind of deal so that others capable of modifying the database can fix these things?

I’ve recently gotten around to refurbishing Pictures sections, fixing old forum links and that sort of thing. Such friendly tips would help me immensely and others would find it helpful too I imagine.

Can’t we just refer to Stanton’s Top 20 database and put, say, the top 100 movies’ chart positions right there on their SWDB page, a bit like how we already state that “This movie is in the SWDB top 20” but more specific to each movies’ chart position and widened to the top 100 pics (obviously they’d all have to be looked through and updated where necessary every time Stanton updates his database)? Seeing that a movie is ranked by the most knowledgeable forum on the subject 8th, or 19th, or 26th or whatever out of all spags ever made kind of tells its own story, doesn’t it?

they were never gone. You can start a poll anywhere in the forum :slight_smile:

Yes! Absolutely, I like the idea.

Check if one of the topics in the bureau might already serve the purpose, but feel free to just start one like… how should we name this “General SWDb updates, corrections and maintenance”? Should be something cooler :stuck_out_tongue:

https://forum.spaghetti-western.net/c/site-feedback/3

Yes and no. Our Top 100 is full of great spags, however, once you leave our Top 100 and move down the list, things start to get pretty spotty and dicey. Besides, the list doesn’t mention a lot of good spags that deserve some attention too despite not being Top 20 material. It surely makes sense for the more well-known entries, but user ratings would make a lot more sense specifically in case of lesser-known outings and this is also where IMDb ratings tend to fail miserably and start to get really random IMHO: it’s because of the low number of votes skewing the ratings in all kinds of unpredictable ways. In such instances, I choose to browse our forum in order to gauge what sort of movie I’m in for.

IMDb has popularity rankings or something like it, it would make some more sense, but that has its downsides too I guess.

I’m aware of that. It’s just that I believe that at the beginning of the 2010s, there were more polls with a 5-star rating system tied specifically to film’s dedicated threads. Those are gone and they were quite nice.

Yeah, it definitely needs a more conspicuous name so that it can stand out from other topics, I’ll think of something in a minute. We can also use it as a sort of sketchbook for our overall thoughts, general user feedback, spitballing ideas and that sort of stuff. It would be helpful if the thread was either permanently pinned on SWDb’s main page or at the top of our forum’s main page.

For instance, we could perhaps dedicate one small window on the SWDb main page (perhaps somewhere at the bottom of it), asking visitors to notify the staff of possible issues with the database. We could link the forum thread after a short preface in the likes of “Any trouble browsing the database? Any broken links? Any thoughts as to how you’d improve the browsing experience? Join our forums and share your thoughts and findings”. One could also leave some links to films’ pages there, asking for more development and quick fixes and whatnot, yada yada yada. It would be both for forum users as well as people working on the database.

I would even go a step further and put such a note on every page on the SWDb, a bit like the newsletter banner at the bottom of all the pages on the GCDb

Makes even more sense. Working on a thread right now.

It’d would make the site even more interactive and it would encourage more people to participate in the development, which would in turn make things easier for everybody I imagine. Sometimes, it’s not even a question of time, it’s more about being aware of what issues are at the moment and these can be sometimes hard to pick out. Maybe we could even have some kind of contact form that allows unregistered users of the database to inform the staff of possible issues with the site.

Yes my plan for the upcoming database upgrade (under the hood) is to also put the contact form back, even though it is a pain in the ass to make those spam proof.

Yeah, that’s a major PITA. If there was a way to sift out spam, maybe all SWDb members could then get notified of any issues through the contact form and then it would make refining and correcting the database very swift and easy I imagine.

Gracias amigo