Today I was visiting Area51 and surfing various proposals. I visited the site statistics of different full sites of the SE network and could not understand why Movies.SE shouldn't be allowed to be a full site? Then I observed a similar question has already been asked here. So I compared the stats of Skeptics.SE and Web Applications with that of Movies.SE. I observed in all aspects Movies.SE is not less than them (even better in some case). E.g. visits here are quite high compared to others, proving the site is more popular and that it has a higher chance of success. The only aspect I found which needs some more work is the number of users of this site. The answer by Robert Cartaino shows we need more users for this site to make it a full site. After comparing the stats now, I feel the same. So what measures can we take to make the site more popular and keep adding new users and eventually converting them into avid users? Ideas!?
The best way, imho, is to make sure that new users to the site feel welcomed. If you see a new question by a new user that's off-topic, don't just drive-by downvote. Tell them why it was downvoted, what they did wrong, and give them the resources (faq, meta) that they need in order to ask on-topic questions. For example, see my comment on opera music in American Horror Story.
By creating chat rooms related to film industries or types of movies like comedy, horror, etc. on http://chat.stackexchange.com for movies.
- We can have discussions related to specific movies and TV shows.
- We can have reviews of movies from real people.
- We can hold public discussions in chat rooms. Because people like to discuss more about good and bad movies.
- If any questions are not getting attention, then by pasting links in chat rooms we can draw attention to those questions.
- There are 2.7 million people visiting Stack Exchange network sites. Many people are active in chats on the network sites. Many of them do not know about this site. So we can attract that crowd by giving information about chat rooms here or specific questions already present on this site.
I have pondered this question a lot. I run a library for a living, and what most librarians will tell you in this age of information ubiquity is that survival as a library is not about selling, it’s about marketing. In selling, you have a product and you go looking for an audience that will buy it. In marketing, you have an intended audience (in our case, everyone who enjoys movies and TV) and you create what they need in line with your general goals (in our case, being a movie and TV information resource). The rule in modern librarianship is that you don't say no if you can possibly say yes.
SE has established itself as a library of questions and answers, and only directly answerable, on-topic questions are allowed. This is the product we are trying to sell. It’s very specific. We do not bend to the needs of the user, who might want to ask a question about music in a film (sorry, you have to go to music SE for that), might want to hear people’s opinions, might be interested in the trivial, might have a question that has no definitive answer or that has more than one possible answer. We judge questions according to some ideal of what information improves the viewer’s experience of the movie, instead of accepting that the user knows what information will improve his viewing experience. We don’t ask the potential user what they might like from our site. We say, “This is what we do. These are the rules. If you like our rules, join in.” This is a hard sell. 80% of what we do here is find answers for people in Wikipedia or imdb, which isn’t challenging and is only sometimes interesting. This is the product we are selling. We may be able to advertise through FB or chat rooms or whatever, and people may check in, but the question asked here is how we get them to stay.
So how do we make new consistent followers? I think if we really want to make a vibrant site where people come to discuss what movies mean, to compare movie themes, to understand the history of a genre or a particular director’s work, to really improve their movie viewing experience by understanding all the decisions a filmmaker might have made, we need to find a way to expand the SE rules to fit our particular discipline.
For example, we could:
- Allow questions that may seem trivial, because the person who asked them took the time to ask them, so they are important to at least that person. Besides, the more trivial the question, the harder the information is to find. To offer this as a service is to truly set ourselves apart from other movie information providers.
- Allow questions about music in film and TV. We keep sending people away who could become active in this site when identifying the music in a piece of film is as important as identifying location, dialect, time period, or any other detail in the setting.
- Instead of closing or downvoting a question that is outside the rules, edit it so it is inside the rules and then add a comment like, “Welcome to Movies and TV SE. Your question has been edited for clarity and scope. If it no longer seems to ask what you intended, please add a comment below. We want to make sure you get the information you need while also getting information that will be helpful to many others.”
- Allow questions that may generate lists or opinions as long as the topic is not too broad. There may be no definitive answer, the questioner may or may not be able to pick a best answer, but the grouping of answers becomes a resource for others who have the same question who will then apply their own judgment to the assortment of answers. This is what libraries do when they are at their best. The one-to-one correlation of question to answer limits your library to function only as a dictionary. This approach appeals to people who want a simple answer, but it does not appeal to people who want a thoughtful analysis of film.
I think we should post different types of questions more (of course valid questions). I think movie enthusiasts generally search for plot explanations of movies from search engines the most. So we should post different types of questions on a movie requiring explanations of different things.
I also feel if any explanation is already present in IMDB FAQ or Wikipedia, we should not merely copy and paste them, rather we should try to give answers based on our own thought, because those sites are also governed by common users. So merely compilation of their links or explanations won't work. Rather the answerers should also try to explain the occurrences in their own way so that the fundamental reasoning can be found here.
Blogs on movie reviews would also work great. But for that I think we need more users.
Film technique questions can be a really awesome idea to catch more attention. I mean we should post them more. Specific scenes of specific movies if possible.
My suggestions would be:
Promoting it through social networks. I think we only have a Twitter page. Facebook promotion would be a good idea.
Some contest would be a good idea if SE supports us, because without prizes it would be like the same old TOW.
Keeping an eye on new proposals which touch our boundaries.
I was thinking of adding a new feature of Facebook likes to each site. This feature is not implemented yet. I have requested for the feature.
The sites which are in public beta can attract more traffic by advertising by likes. Most of the my friends are not knowing existence of Movies and TV which is currently in public beta. So if I like this site then my friends will know there is site like Q & A about movies and TV shows. And they will become member of site. And this site will graduate soon and growth of site.
See this feature request https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/165560/can-we-have-facebook-like-option-for-each-site