When will these upgrades happen?

August 14th, 2009

IMDb (originally posted Oct/Nov 2004)

Q: When will anticipated upgrade <X> be done?

A: The general answer, and the only one I’m going to give unless the answer is “it’s in testing and should be there any day now,” for any “when will” question is, “when it’s ready.” Sorry, but I can’t be more specific. (Well, there is another possibility: “never” or perhaps “not in the forseeable future.”)…. I think, for competitive reasons, I’m not allowed to talk too much about relative priorities for new features.

End-Of-Year 2008

January 1st, 2009

IMDb

Introduction and Thanks
———————–
Welcome to the 14th edition of our end-of-year message to IMDb’s top contributors.

This message is being sent to the 200 most prolific contributors to IMDb for 2008. It will also be available on the “Contributors Help” message board on the site in order that the wider community can appreciate your efforts and share in this note of thanks from the staff.

As usual we would first like to extend a massive “thank you” on behalf of the IMDb staff and users for all your contributions in 2008. We have a couple of changes to the message this year:

#1 This letter has been co-written with Rachel MacTaggart who manages the team responsible for processing data contributions.

#2 We have once again extended the top contributors list, this time to the top 200, reflecting submission growth rates.

It’s been another great year as the numbers below reveal and we continue to work hard to improve the submission process and to get your updates online as quickly as possible.

Whether this is the first or fourteenth time you have featured on this list, thanks again for helping to maintain IMDb’s position as the biggest movie, TV and celebrity database in the world.

The Numbers
———–
The table at the end of this message shows the number of approved, non-duplicate data items (including deletions / corrections) which you have submitted to the database since the start of the year and your position within the top 200. Again we are using the new counting method announced last year so direct comparisons with the 2007 totals are now possible, but not with earlier years.

There are now more than 1.3 million titles in IMDb with over 177K added in 2008 alone. Names are just short of 3 million, growing by over 300K in 2008, so over 10% of all names and titles were added in the last 12 months. Total credits (filmography and company) now exceed 25.9 million with record annual growth of over 5.2 million credits (approx 20% of all live credits were added in 2008). Character pages more than doubled to over 122K in 2008.

A total of 247,641 different people submitted information in 2008 making a grand total unique contributor count for the past 14 years where we have detailed comparable records of over one million contributors. Thanks.

Progress and Plans
——————
… From a contributor perspective by Rachel MacTaggart …

2008 has been a busy year – both for you, our contributors – and us, The Data Management Team.

Backlogs: We have worked hard this year to minimise the number of times that lists go into backlog. The only cases of lists going into backlog in 2008 are due to a few list manager vacations (the majority of vacations received full cover) or our annual team meeting . which took place at the beginning of December. This is a huge achievement for the team.

Tool Improvements: A large number of lists have been moved across to using our most up-to-date system for managing your submissions. There have been many benefits, both to the list managers and to contributors due to this work. This work has also enabled us to vet data more efficiently and improve data quality.

Mini Series Episode Support: In June we launched episode support for Mini Series. A project that was a long time in the making.

Contributor Bugs: We have started a process to better manage the resolution of contributor raised bugs. This process is still in the early stages, but we plan to build upon process throughout 2009 and beyond.

Mail Server: We replaced one of the oldest pieces of our internal data submission pipeline, the mail server, with a much more scalable, flexible system which will enable us to build a better user interface in the future.

Communication with Contributors: We have also focused more this year on communication with our contributors. I myself have been more active on the Contributors Help Board (where Jon Reeves continues to do a fantastic job). We are also contacting individuals and engaging in conversation via the Helpdesk. In 2009 we will look to build upon this work to further support you.

Policy Questions: We are also attempting to address some long standing policy questions. A number of discussions are currently ongoing and we look forward to having you involved in them.

The Database: The database itself has grown significantly this year – specific information can be found on the page:

http://www.imdb.com/database_statistics

The Future: We continue to look towards the future for IMDb and working together to continue to be the earth’s #1 reference source for movie/TV/celebrity information. We couldn’t do it without you so thank you for all your hard work!

We look forward to working with you all in 2009 and beyond.

Rachel MacTaggart
Data Team Manager

… From a site user perspective by Col Needham …

The site software is updated continuously throughout the year, so much so that we almost never run two versions of the same site on consecutive days. New features and minor changes are deployed regularly so there’s only room to cover selected highlights here.

In January we completed the acquisition of Withoutabox.com located at http://www.withoutabox.com/ and it’s been great to welcome the team to IMDb and work on enhancements to both sites together. Whilst most things are related to industry and film festival usage, this new partnership has enabled us to add many independent short films to our video service (see later) at:

http://www.imdb.com/features/video/browse/indie/

In February we launched our new photo interface which allows better browsing of the hundreds of thousands of photos on the site. For example:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0970416/mediaindex
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000124/mediaindex
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000206/mediaindex
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm47879424/tt0970416

the new interface also permits faster turnaround on photo uploads and easier correction of labelling / linking errors.

In May we launched our updated news system, NewsDesk, which allows us to include news articles from providers all across the web, updated 24/7. We have a growing number of partners from general entertainment sites such as People.com, E!, TV guide and Total Film to specialised sites such as Fangoria, Syfy Portal, Twilighters Anonymous and Channing Tatum Unwrapped. For a full list of partners see:

http://www.imdb.com/news/

Articles are automatically linked to the pages of any titles or people which they mention, for example:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000142/news

Also in May we launched our official Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/IMDb/15925638948

which we hope to update more regularly in 2009 (although isn’t that what most people say about their Facebook page :-) . We also have a sample Facebook application at:

http://apps.facebook.com/imdb-birthday/

In August we made further updates to the site design as described at:

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000040/thread/114237938

and these will continue in 2009 as we make the design more consistent.

The most significant new feature was the launch of full-length video on IMDb in September as announced at:

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000040/thread/117834552

We already have over 6,000 full-length TV episodes, feature films and shorts accessible on the corresponding /title/ pages or via the video browser at:

http://www.imdb.com/features/video/

Counting trailers, clips and interviews we have over 25,000 videos with more being added daily. The aim of the video feature is to provide a “play” button on every title page on the site! IMDb started as a database of information about movies and has now reached the point where movies themselves are available on the site.

Also in September we updated our popular NowPlaying feature at:

http://www.imdb.com/nowplaying/

In October we celebrated our 18th birthday as described at:

http://www.imdb.com/18thbirthday

for those interested in extra background on IMDb, see this magazine article published around the same time:

http://www.totalfilm.com/features/the-story-of-the-imdb

or this New Zealand TV interview:

http://bit.ly/zmnx

In November we had a major launch in the form of the first 100% translated international site at:

http://www.imdb.de/

details and discussion at:

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000040/thread/122109781

We will add more features from imdb.com to imdb.de and also hope to launch further international sites in 2009.

Also in November we rolled out the first component of our new search technology via an update to the MoKA keyword browser at:

http://www.imdb.com/Sections/Keywords/

more details at:

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000040/thread/123113416

We’re still in the process of applying this technology to the IMDb power search so we were not able to update that search in 2008 as intended, sorry.

To reflect the growing popularity in high definition video, we launched the IMDb blu room in November at:

http://www.imdb.com/features/thebluroom/

In December we announced the acquisition of Box Office Mojo, located at:

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/

Look for many developments on both sites as we work closely with the Box Office Mojo team in 2009.

Finally as 2008 draws to a close, IMDb is now available on twitter:

http://www.twitter.com/imdb

for details see:

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000040/thread/124573576

It’s been a busy year and we hope you have enjoyed the enhancements to IMDb in 2008 — we’re very excited about the plans for 2009.

Traffic and Usage
—————–
Traffic to IMDb continues to grow well and your contributions therefore reach an even wider, and increasingly more global audience. A typical day sees over 80 million page views and peak traffic days such as awards and special occassions often see over 100 million page views. This Sunday (28th) we served nearly 98 million page views. Our monthly unique visitor count is over 57 million people.

You can read more about the top people searches in 2008 at:

http://www.imdb.com/features/rto/2009/starmeter

and top movie searches at:

http://www.imdb.com/features/poweroffilm/

or catch-up with end-of-year awards at:

http://www.imdb.com/features/rto/2009/

IMDb was even mentioned by Oscars host Jon Stewart during the Academy Awards ceremony in February when he introduced Nicole Kidman to present an award.

It’s been a fun, challenging and interesting year for the team. We remain dedicated to providing the best source for movie/TV/celebrity information in the world. Again we would like to encourage everyone to get involved in building a bigger and better IMDb. We thank you for playing your role in filling the gaps because every type of data and every title is important in some way.

I’ll be sharing this message on the IMDb boards so if you have submitted any data in 2008 and are not in the top 200 list below, I hope you’ll still appreciate that this message of thanks applies to you as well.

Thanks and Feedback
——————-
In recognition of your contributions we’d like to offer everyone in the top 200 free access to IMDb pro for all of 2009. I’ll send a separate message with details and a special access code within the next couple of days.

I would like to share this message on the “Contributors Help” message board as usual. I will post it on 1st January so please let me know quickly if you have any issues with your real name/IMDb user name being displayed on the site or if you’d prefer your name hidden but are okay with your IMDb user name being displayed. I’ve made a note from previous years of a few people’s preferences here and have applied them below already. When Jon Reeves returns for the New Year the list will also be added to the Contributors Zone at:

http://www.imdb.com/czone/

Thanks again for all your support during the year. As always, ideas and constructive feedback are welcome — please join us in the “Contributors Help” message board:

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000042/threads/

or contact us via the feedback form:

http://www.imdb.com/helpdesk/contact_form

A special note of thanks to those of you who do visit “Contributors Help” and assist in either shaping IMDb policy, reporting bugs in a constructive fashion or help new contributors solve submission problems.

Thanks again for your support in 2008 — best wishes from IMDb for 2009!

Col Needham,
IMDb founder and managing director
on behalf of the whole Internet Movie Database Team

Bug tracking

January 1st, 2009

IMDb

Contributor Bugs: We have started a process to better manage the resolution of contributor raised bugs. This process is still in the early stages, but we plan to build upon process throughout 2009 and beyond.

Localization: Announcing www.IMDb.de — IMDb in German

November 6th, 2008

IMDb

As many of you know, we started IMDb 18 years ago with the goal of covering every movie & TV show from every country and every time period. Although in the beginning, most of the titles and names included were from English speaking countries. Over the years, we added information from other countries and have attracted a truly international audience. However, the IMDb site and most importantly, the IMDb data has always only really been available in the English language. Well, today we are excited to announce the launch of our first non-English language site, http://www.imdb.de/.

This project has been in the works for a long time and we are proud to finally be able to share it with you. The site specifically caters to the German audience and includes much of the information that is popular with our users – all in German. You will notice that not all of our English data is available today on the German site, but rest assured that we will be adding content as soon as we can. One of the great features of the new site is that it offers a link to IMDb.com on every name, title and character page so that you can easily access the English version for more information. Another great feature is the ability to search for a title in different languages – without having to do an additional search!

As usual, we would love to hear your feedback so please feel free to reply to this post or use our contact form at http://www.imdb.de/helpdesk/contact_form.

Distributors: “holding pen” distributors

October 31st, 2008

IMDb

Q: I long ago, after much railing, have accepted the fictional STATES RIGHTS INDEPENDENT EXCHANGES [US] on the premise it makes a useful site-holding pen until somebody, such as you or I, comes along and provides the actual distributor of said film

Q: The one problem with using it as a “holding pen”, though, is that it gives legitimacy to something that is quite subject to misuse. In fact, the genesis of this “company” was some jerk who actually deleted numerous legit national distributors, which used states rights exchanges, like Ambassador, Spectrum, Atlantic and others and SUBSTITUTING this made-up company name.

A: Many things have changed since the original debate and we are now looking at wider changes to the ways in which we record distribution information so the timing is good here. We’ll be discussing this over the next few weeks.

Cast: Expansion of character name

October 31st, 2008

IMDb

Q: Couldn’t the correct character be somehow noted in the cast list itself, just as when the actor’s name is misspelled or is a different name than the actor usually used? Perhaps along these lines:

Fred Crane…Stuart Tarleton (credits in error – actually plays Brent Tarleton)

Or, maybe there’s a more elegant solution.

A: we have something in testing at the moment which will allow the cast lists to be stored as displayed in the credits yet allow further elaboration and detail on the character name to be stored and easily available on the site. We think this will provide a good middle ground between the “credits, the whole credits and nothing but the whole credits” position and the “two pages of free text explanatory notes attached to every piece of data” position.

Keywords: ordering/priority [Bug #5442]

October 31st, 2008

IMDb

Q: I badly want the keywords alphabetized.

A: This is a good suggestion, thanks. It’s now logged as bug #5442 in our system. We can’t promise an implementation date yet, but we can see it has good support as an idea on this board so we will get to it. Keywords is an area where we hope to devote some extra attention in the coming months.

Awards: adding new events

September 25th, 2008

IMDb

you cannot add new events to the IMDb awards listing at the moment. This functionality is suspended.

We hope to reopen that soon though.

Cast/Crew: “complete” notation

July 15th, 2008

IMDb

Jon has been working with the team to change the wording to reflect the true nature of Complete (i.e. the Onscreen Credits are Complete). We’ll make an announcement when this is done.

Keywords: ordering/priority

July 10th, 2008

IMDb

Q: Will keywords be alphabetized soon? My eyesight literally goes blurry (No Kidding!) from scanning up and down the listing looking for a specific keyword!

A: It’s not currently scheduled, so no idea when, sorry.