Wow. I think that, when it’s all put together like that, it looks a bit… well, intimidating. It does to me, anyways. Perhaps it would benefit the site to place clear “How-To” guides front and center (Iknow there are some somewhere), because I’d love to assist with all of these tasks and yet the more I read down the list the more I think: No, I’ll fck that one up… No, I’ll fck that one up… Nope, dunno what that means… Don’t even know where to start with that one…
(I appreciate that much of the difficulty stems from my being a daft old sod but this is a forum packed with daft old sods - meant in the nicest possible sense, of course - and I’m willing to bet that more than a few of us would be far more willing to tinker with the inner workings of the site if we were more confident in how to do so. Or, maybe it’s really just me and I am literally the stupidest person here, which is in fairness a distinct possibility)
Anyways, my two penn’eth as to where the SWDB wants to be in the year 2525 if man is still alive, largely C+P’d from posts I made elsewhere in the forum but which apply here (and yes, I appreciate the irony in my whingeing and moaning like an old git about everything being difficult, only to suggest things which are considerably more difficult than a few wiki alterations) :
What’s next for the SWDB? Wow, I wish I was more technically adept than I am because I think there’s scope for plenty of other projects. I’m thinking, The SWDB Podcast! Or even the SWDB YouTube Vodcast! Movie reviews (the hard work’s already done; we could more-or-less just vocalise the reviews already submitted in writing to the SWDB, at least at first while we’re building content), video or podcast commentaries - see, if I was doing a commentary alongside a spag it would just be me gobbing off irritatingly for ninety minutes over an otherwise decent movie but imagine a podcast/vidcast commentary by Scherp or Phil H, it’d be like a fucking Frayling commentary, but an SWDB-exclusive one! Submit a few of those to Blue Underground or Arrow and, before you know it, we’re on the bloody blu-rays! Or how about interviews? You guys have secured some juicy interviews in writing before, why not on a podcast or a video channel? And, while we’re building content, we could interview each other; an interview with Sebastian from the Spaghetti Western Database is an interview with an incredibly prominent member of the Euro Western-loving community - nay, the European cinema-loving community in general.
Heh, just a thought I suppose. But I have a dream: A dream of our Seb, sat there like Sheldon off of The Big Bang Theory doing his “Fun With Flags” YouTube show. “Fun With Spags”, maybe?
On a more sombre and immediate note, I think something needs to happen to broaden the appeal of the site. Look at the memberlist, organised by most visits. Less than fifty people have visited on more than ten occasions since the migration. Our semi-regular readership is roughly the size of two primary school classrooms. Our truly regular readership, probably half that. It’s difficult because, as much as the SWDB is undoubtedly the greatest resource for European-made westerns on the internet, it’s such a niche interest. It’s heartening to see young men like Farmer_J taking an enthusiastic interest in amongst the ageing audience but there doesn’t seem to be enough in terms of new devotees. How many more conversations can Scherp, Phil, ENNIOO, Stanton et al have about aspect ratios of this film or that between themselves before every possible conversation between the remaining fans of the genre has been undertaken and resolved?
Still, there are options, thanks largely IMO to the fact that the western is enjoying a recognised mini-revival at present. I think it was suggested once (maybe whilst discussing Mexican westerns) that the database should be opened up to more than just spags, and IIRC that idea was shot down by Seb because, well, once we open it up like that, where’s the line? Mexi-westerns? Australi-westerns? Contemporary westerns? Is Serenity (Whedon, 2005) a western? Is Star Wars (Lucas, 1977)? If we’re opening it up to this degree, why not just leave it to the IMDb?
Now, I agree wholeheartedly with Seb’s reticence in opening up the database like that; it just gets silly. BUT. I don’t think there’s much wrong with maybe opening up the SWDB’s interest in a broader church for the benefit of the site. Like, reviews of these recent westerns for instance. They needn’t contain links to the database, but why shouldn’t these fantastic reviews of new westerns by the likes of Scherp, Seb, Phil and co which reside happily in the forums or via link to A.N.Other website be right here on the SWDB front page? Get the IMDb linking to us for OUR reviews of Bone Tomahawk, The Revenant, Jane Got a Gun, The Hateful Eight etc etc. People will come for the contemporary reviews and, saturated in the cool and trendy western vibe, they might just stick around to learn about some REAL f*cking movies. “So, you like violent westerns with a cool-as-fuck European aesthetic, eh? Well, we got some sights for ya! Stick around, amigo!” You know? Something like that, anyway.