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IMDb Shutters Message Boards

Films, TV shows, and books of the 'modern' era

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IMDb Shutters Message Boards

Postby Professional Tourist » February 4th, 2017, 6:28 pm

Yesterday the IMDb gave two weeks notice for the shut down of all their message boards:
IMDb is the world's most popular and authoritative source for movie, TV and celebrity content. As part of our ongoing effort to continually evaluate and enhance the customer experience on IMDb, we have decided to disable IMDb's message boards on February 20, 2017. This includes the Private Message system. After in-depth discussion and examination, we have concluded that IMDb's message boards are no longer providing a positive, useful experience for the vast majority of our more than 250 million monthly users worldwide. The decision to retire a long-standing feature was made only after careful consideration and was based on data and traffic.

Full announcement here:
http://www.imdb.com/board/announcement

Reactions from around the media:
http://variety.com/2017/digital/news/imdb-message-boards-shut-down-1201977581/
http://www.theverge.com/2017/2/3/14501390/imdb-closing-user-forums-comments
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/imdb-message-boards-shut-down-why-films-a7562701.html
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/imdb-shut-down-discussion-boards-971905

Personally, this will be a big loss. Despite the recurring issues with negativism and trolls, the thousands of message boards at the IMDb have been a tremendous resource for many years. There's a board for every film, tv series, tv movie and mini series, and everyone who has ever been credited in any/all of the above. When I'm considering watching a movie I have not seen before, old or new, or when I'm starting to binge-watch a tv series, I'll always check out its board at the IMDb to see what the viewers have to say about it. They are a great place to share opinions, bits of information, trivia, and to ask questions. There are some alternatives such as TCM's message boards for classic cinema and sitcomsonline.com to discuss comedy series; but where would you find a forum to discuss a drama series, recently-released films, or some obscure character actor who has always had his/her own board at the IMDb?

Sigh. There are some petitions circulating, but most likely they will make no difference. For example:

https://www.change.org/p/imdb-stop-imdb-from-disabling-the-message-boards

I just don't believe their position that social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter have made their boards obsolete. They still get a lot of traffic. Well, two weeks to go, and that's that. :( :(

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Re: IMDb Shutters Message Boards

Postby Lomm » February 5th, 2017, 2:36 am

I never posted there but spent a lot of time on those boards, especially on the ones for classic films. Got a lot of trivia, links, and information from them. It would be nice if they at least archived the existing ones for posterity.

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Re: IMDb Shutters Message Boards

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » February 6th, 2017, 10:26 pm

I agree. They should at least be archived.
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Re: IMDb Shutters Message Boards

Postby Professional Tourist » February 19th, 2017, 11:00 am

Well folks, today is the final day for IMDb's message boards.

Members have been looking for alternatives, places where at least some people could meet up again and continue the discussions.

One fellow named Jim Smith, who is an engineer, has set up a new site to emulate the IMDb message boards, and has been archiving as much data onto the new site as time permits -- MovieChat.org:

http://www.moviechat.org/

http://www.moviechat.org/movies/general/posts/58a28ce74dcf9300116f391d

He won't have time to get everything archived, but he has made a prodigious effort. Many of the regulars from the IMDb boards are signing up there.

Another popular site, which is not archiving the discussions from IMDb, is The Movie Database, founded by Travis Bell:

https://www.themoviedb.org/

https://www.themoviedb.org/account/travisbell

It's more of a general info site about movies and TV series, which includes discussion areas.

Well, that's the latest. The IMDb boards have been rather slow to load this weekend, some pages failing to display until reloaded a few times, no doubt because of the increased traffic.

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Re: IMDb Shutters Message Boards

Postby Professional Tourist » February 19th, 2017, 12:01 pm

Also of note: someone has developed a free extension for Google's Chrome browser which will archive all of one's posts across all of the IMDb message boards. I ran it this morning, and it seemed to work, though I can't be sure it captured all of them. In case you've posted info or links to which you'd like access in the future.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/imdb-message-board-backup/dlmmknfhboinpfmdiennbilgeibodabk

Your posts are saved into an HTML file, which you can then open within any web browser (need not be Chrome). I suppose there are about twelve hours left to use this.

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Re: IMDb Shutters Message Boards

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » February 19th, 2017, 5:39 pm

Thank you for keeping us up to date on this, PT! It's much appreciated!
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Re: IMDb Shutters Message Boards

Postby Professional Tourist » February 19th, 2017, 7:30 pm

Seems they shut down a few hours early. The message boards were to close as of Feb. 20, so they should have been up until midnight tonight, at least eastern time if not pacific time, which is what I was figuring on. They're all gone now.

Bye-bye Miss American Pie.

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Re: IMDb Shutters Message Boards

Postby Professional Tourist » February 19th, 2017, 8:14 pm

You know, people actually inquired as to which time zone would be used to mark the midnight take-down of the message boards, and the CEO refused to share that information. Turns out they used Greenwich Mean Time, even though IMDb is located on the west coast of the USA.

https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/my-question-got-merged-but-i-still-dont-see-time-zone-mentioned-in-closure-announcement-please-enlighten

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Re: IMDb Shutters Message Boards

Postby Lomm » February 21st, 2017, 8:42 am

Thanks for the info, PT!

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Re: IMDb Shutters Message Boards

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » February 24th, 2017, 1:00 pm

It's just so odd. Somebody must be writing a book with all those comments, quotes, and ideas.
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Re: IMDb Shutters Message Boards

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » February 24th, 2017, 1:00 pm

It's just so odd. Somebody must be writing a book with all those comments, quotes, and ideas.
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Re: IMDb Shutters Message Boards

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » February 24th, 2017, 1:01 pm

It's just so odd. Somebody must be writing a book with all those comments, quotes, and ideas.
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Re: IMDb Shutters Message Boards

Postby Professional Tourist » February 25th, 2017, 11:32 am

Sue Sue Applegate wrote:It's just so odd. Somebody must be writing a book with all those comments, quotes, and ideas.

Sue Sue, are you referring to moviechat.org? The IMDb message board content that was imported was limited to about 10,000 boards -- out of approximately four million -- and at that, the individual discussions were limited to nine (most recent) posts maximum, whereas some discussions could have dozens or even hundreds of posts. I don't think it was done with the idea of using those archived discussions as source material for writing a book, but more toward carrying on the existing discussions or to use them as general reference for the posts that may supply good information, interesting opinions, or links to other useful sites.

What I do find odd is this:

https://archive.org/details/archiveteam_imdb

On the one hand, it's good to have the information preserved, but it's not really in an accessible format. I mean, who is going to perform a series of 48 Gigabyte downloads to then search for a movie or TV discussion? :o :roll:

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Re: IMDb Shutters Message Boards

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » February 25th, 2017, 2:45 pm

True, PT. Not me. My comment was just an off-the-cuff response and not seriously meant. I just think that it's a way to make more information inaccessible, unfortunately.
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