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Wikis and IMDB

Is it possible that if someone started a Wiki about movies it would displace IMDB as the biggest online resource about cinema? Basically, could a Wiki ruin IMDB's business model?

RP
Monday, July 05, 2004

Wikis are generally too hard to use for the general
populace so i don't see them becomming popular
at very large scales. Also, the data are unstructured
so there's not much advanced presentation you
can do.

son of parnas
Monday, July 05, 2004

Agreed. Just look at the average level of intelligence displayed in the discussions on imdb. :)

sgf
Monday, July 05, 2004

Well, the wikipedia seems to be very thorough. When I meant Wiki I was thinking about a Wikipedia but with movies only.

RP
Monday, July 05, 2004

I for one love IMDB, and doubt a generic application could displace it. Unfortunately they never added more features, AFAIK. I'd loke to
- keep track of movies in development/news releases starring actors/directors I choose
- get RSS feeds with news about movies I want to follow
- tell the movies I like and IMDB suggests other movies I may like

Mauricio Macedo
Monday, July 05, 2004

The Wikipedia does that. You can bookmark an article and follow it everytime it's changed.

RP
Monday, July 05, 2004

Ever seen two friends get in a fight about who the star of a dimly-remembered movie was? (The kind of fights that are now resolved by IMDB). What happens when they can both post to the board?

I've found mistakes in the wikipedia. I double-check my facts and fix them, but the fact that they're there is indicative of the problem with trying to use a wiki as a "true" resource like an encyclopedia or IMDB.

In addition, IMDB is vetted, and its run by people who are experts in the field. So it's authoritative and free for most of its users.

So why would I go to a wiki instead?

Philo

Philo
Monday, July 05, 2004

Nope. IMDB has a carefully designed and detailed database schema against which all sorts of interesting and useful queries can be performed, which lends semantic meaning to the data they store, like a massive knowledge framework.

They can do things like displaying the same data in many places in many ways by generating pages from their database.

A wiki is pretty structureless in comparison. Just a bunch of pages with links between them. If (for example) you get the release date of a movie wrong and have to go back and change it, you'd have to change it on every page in the Wiki that mentions the release date. The system would have no way of inferring anything about the things you write, and there'd be no way to query it, apart from on a page/hyperlink level.

Matt
Monday, July 05, 2004

If something like that caught on, wouldn't the number of posters be enough to solve any number of disputes over content? If Michael and John start arguing over whatever, we would soon have someone straighten the whole thing out.

But then again, with a forum where anyone can edit the content, I can see the potential for world chaos.

RP
Monday, July 05, 2004

why don't you start one and find out? 

christopher (baus.net)
Monday, July 05, 2004

People are spamming Wikis to raise google ratings.

Dewd
Monday, July 05, 2004

If this were the case, the "Film" section on Wikipedia would have already become what you are describing. (Since there are no technical difficulties.)

Alex
Monday, July 05, 2004

Who the (*&Y@#$%^^ is going to load every movie, actor, actress, director, grip, gopher, and camera man into a WIKI?

www.MarkTAW.com
Monday, July 05, 2004

Ok, I quit.

RP
Monday, July 05, 2004

Your question seems to have a big problem. It's that you're focussing on competition ("displacing imdb") rather than doing something for people.

I'd love a wiki for advanced film people. Who know about logistics, aesthetics, industry rumors, etc. I think movies are overrated (TV is starting to do a much better job with solid stories), but I'd love to learn about how films work.

Tayssir John Gabbour
Monday, July 05, 2004

+1 for mistakes on WikiPedia.

Prakash S
Monday, July 05, 2004

How film works? You mean the gelatenous goo with photoreceptive particles suspended in it that changes color when exposed to the light?

www.MarkTAW.com
Monday, July 05, 2004

No, I think he means "what's a grip?"

Philo

Philo
Monday, July 05, 2004

I don't know, but I seem to have lost it.

www.MarkTAW.com
Monday, July 05, 2004

This thread started serious, turned silly in one second and then it was all downhill from there,

RP
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

True, but going downhill is generally so much easier and faster than the alternatives :)

Ron Porter
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

RP:

I think that we stopped taking it seriously because the two main problems were already stated:

1. Wiki data is pretty much unstructured when compared to a relational database. You need the structure to do interesting queries and keep everything straight.

2. You really do need "editors" for this type of data. The idea that having lots of people will result in concensus has been disproven on every single forum I've ever been involved in (show me a thread on this forum where someone said "why, you're right, I made a mistake").

Bill Tomlinson
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

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