2019/2020 Improvement Mission

well you can put a link in your profile, like @Phil_H has done, so if you click on his alias you’ll see this link

I want to revisit my two favorite things I want to improve: the way pages look in the SWDb and the way we put great information at peoples’ fingertips…

I previously tried different takes on displaying movie pages:
https://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Grande_silenzio,_Il
and
https://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Buono,_il_brutto,_il_cattivo,_Il

I stumbled across this (never mind the content):
https://dragonballwiki.de/wiki/Dragon_Ball_Z_–_Movie_12:_Fusion
and let me tell you what I liked about it

  • tons of facts in a sidebar
  • lots of sections on the main page with content that isn’t delegated to sub pages
  • gallery images on the main page of the film
  • a huge navigational section at the bottom (similar to Wikipedia)
  • premiere timelines
  • references
  • lots of text with knowledge

I still need to figure out technically to accomplish:

  • accomodating lots of info and images in a way that will also display nicely across (mobile) devices
  • not having pages look like the Almeria desert of words…

What I would love to see:

  • film pages should start with text (kind of like I tried with the GBU page)
  • bigger, high quality, poster
  • more context info, from premiere dates to box office returns, prequels/sequels, awards, etc.
  • we need more and better images (posters, lobby cards, stills…) - probably even on the film’s main page
  • good synopsis and character descriptions
  • facts/figures/trivia/context text has references/footnotes

Raise your hands if you use Slack

I have before. Also Discord.

I have a slack set up for the websites that I run, but since none of them have a sizeable fixed staff or anything, we might as well open it up and have a good time… since half the world is on semi lockdown, we can increase our options of exchange a bit… I just dont wanna take any attention away from the forum… so I am not yet sure… thoughts?

I’ll be honest and say I have no idea what Slack is

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I suspect you’d rather divert some of the conversations that would be held there to the forums (literally, you might occasionally say, “Hey, that’s great – you should post about that in the forum!”). But as a chat platform, I think it’d be fine.

Have recently discovered that a lot of the links on film’s pages in the DB to the relevant forum topics no longer work. instead of linking to the correct topic they just take you to the forum landing page.

Lots do still work but I suspect these are to the better known films which have been updated more recently. e.g. all the Top 20 and Alt Top 20 are fine. But I’ve checked and updated a hanful recently because the links weren’t working. Presume this was caused by an upgrade of some sort?

Anyway, if anyone who has editor status comes across any more as you browse throgh film’s pages please correct the link as you go.

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there should be an automatic forwarding to the correct topics, but it regularly gets lost during updates. Over time we should indeed manually fix those, thanks for pointing it out. Do you not have editor status? How the hell did that happen, hehe

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Respect to you guys who try to keep the ship afloat… :smiley:

we can always use a few more hands on deck :slight_smile:

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I do have editor status.
It’s just a job that is going to be impossible to do in one go so I was shouting out to others to bring it to their attention.

I was just checking the films of Sergio Garrone for example and found 3 with bad links but all the others were fine.

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alt top 20 is fine, too. Let me check if there is a working search key I can use to find all the incorrect ones

Let me know if you can.
Happy to set to work on them.
May as well use this furlough time wisely :wink:

wasnt able to find many more but do let me know if you do, I wonder if you might have accidentally stumbled across some outliers

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…