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Is ICM on its deathbed?

Is ICM a ghost town?

Yes
6
12%
Maybe
16
33%
No
27
55%
 
Total votes: 49

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fori
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Is ICM on its deathbed?

#1

Post by fori » June 26th, 2019, 4:02 am

is ICM a ghost town at this point? I wish it wasn’t true, I love the site, but I think we have to face facts.

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#2

Post by joachimt » June 26th, 2019, 4:53 am

There are still lots of active inhabitants.
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#3

Post by maxwelldeux » June 26th, 2019, 5:15 am

I mean, Avengers: Endgame has 4400+ checks. That's a lot for a new movie.

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#4

Post by Nathan Treadway » June 26th, 2019, 6:00 am

May I ask, what brought this up?

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#5

Post by Onderhond » June 26th, 2019, 7:44 am

It's somewhat of a ghost town, then again it's always been like that, no? It's a very functional site with hardly any community elements to it. People go there to check films they've seen and that's about it.

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#6

Post by fori » June 26th, 2019, 8:47 am

Nathan Treadway wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 6:00 am
May I ask, what brought this up?
I realised that TalkingElvish, a user who was fairly engaged with the main site, had left 5 months ago. That was the spark. But it’s an observation I’ve had for ages. I have a small friends list on ICM, and 4/17 are inactive (mind you, many of those I added had a fair presence on the site and all have been heavy users at one time or another). Also everywhere you go in the list/community sections of the site, you find dead accounts, lists that haven’t been updated in years etc. There are even dead accounts in the top page of the profile charts! Also I think this forum has sunk to a new level of stagnation in recent months.

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#7

Post by Wonderful Rainbow » June 26th, 2019, 10:36 am

It's normal, I see this on other sites as well. My friends post/share/interact way less on FB. The same with last.fm. Even most user reviews for films on imdb seem to be from the 2000s, but it doesn't mean everyone has stopped using these sites. Whenever I stop watching films for a moment I plummet in the ranks, so there must be someone checking away. Maybe you can blame tv, youtube and other social media, that distract people from working on the Unesco list.

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#8

Post by brokenface » June 26th, 2019, 12:36 pm

I think with the main site it can't help that it doesn't work well on smartphones, there's a 'new' beta version to fix that which has been there in test form for years now (since around 2014/2015?) and very few updates in general other than the automated imdb list messages. And it also runs v.slow (at least for me). It's got a stagnant feel, for sure.

Can't imagine it's getting many new users, so it's going to be just a gradual decline as older users drift away. Considering that there's only one guy working on it now, i won't be altogether surprised if it ceases to be in a few years.

Forum feels a bit quieter of late too but i don't know whether the posting stats would back that up.

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#9

Post by Onderhond » June 26th, 2019, 12:55 pm

The redesign is definitely a problem. I get it's a lot of work for one person, but the failure to launch anything for 4 or 5 years now doesn't reflect very well on the site. The lack of a decent mobile version and the sluggish performance of the desktop site definitely don't help either.

Even so, with its unique functionality/content I think ICM has a good future ahead of itself. It's not like there's a competitor where people can migrate to.

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#10

Post by joachimt » June 26th, 2019, 2:34 pm

fori wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 8:47 am
Nathan Treadway wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 6:00 am
May I ask, what brought this up?
I realised that TalkingElvish, a user who was fairly engaged with the main site, had left 5 months ago. That was the spark. But it’s an observation I’ve had for ages. I have a small friends list on ICM, and 4/17 are inactive (mind you, many of those I added had a fair presence on the site and all have been heavy users at one time or another). Also everywhere you go in the list/community sections of the site, you find dead accounts, lists that haven’t been updated in years etc. There are even dead accounts in the top page of the profile charts! Also I think this forum has sunk to a new level of stagnation in recent months.
4/17 are inactive? So 13/17 are still active. Pretty good score.
Sure, people go away and others come. Even big users go away now and then. Because nothing gets deleted, they remain in the rankings and lists get outdated. You can't expect everyone to stick around and maintain their lists. It's bound to happen to a site that has been running for 10 years. I would prefer if the moderators get some option to update personal lists or move them to another account or something like that.

Sure, the slow development of the beta is a problem. I'm worried about that too.
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#11

Post by Knaldskalle » June 26th, 2019, 2:50 pm

brokenface wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 12:36 pm
Forum feels a bit quieter of late too but i don't know whether the posting stats would back that up.
That happens every summer. Every summer it gets brought up too. ;)
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#12

Post by joachimt » June 26th, 2019, 3:44 pm

Knaldskalle wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 2:50 pm
brokenface wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 12:36 pm
Forum feels a bit quieter of late too but i don't know whether the posting stats would back that up.
That happens every summer. Every summer it gets brought up too. ;)
Still would be fun to see some stats, because we all love stats. :circle:
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#13

Post by AdamH » June 26th, 2019, 7:56 pm

I'm not sure iCM will be around forever. When it's a site run by one person only and not for profit, eventually life circumstances will change things one day.

I haven't been using it myself much for a long time but mainly because my laptop broke last year and I haven't replaced it meaning my main source of films is gone. Started going to my local mainstream cinema each week now but, wow, are there a lot of remakes, sequels and Marvel films out now...

I don't know how active the forum is compared to before. No laptop and not watching many films makes it harder to post.

I hope this forum doesn't one day become one where most people have drifted away. Probably happens with most small forums but I remain hopeful and fairly optimistic that some of us will stick around long-term.

In terms of iCM, the whole ongoing beta saga certainly doesn't help users. I think us old users will keep going with it but I think they'd be struggling much more to impress new and younger people and keep them on board. Times are changing and I feel like younger people (teens etc) are not so into that type of site but I suppose there will always be people who want to keep track of what they watch and love lists.

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#14

Post by AdamH » June 26th, 2019, 7:57 pm

joachimt wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 3:44 pm
Knaldskalle wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 2:50 pm
brokenface wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 12:36 pm
Forum feels a bit quieter of late too but i don't know whether the posting stats would back that up.
That happens every summer. Every summer it gets brought up too. ;)
Still would be fun to see some stats, because we all love stats. :circle:
Was easy to check stats on Zeta but can't so the same on here. Peaceful would have to do it. Would be interesting to see monthly/yearly usage on here before/after the move.

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#15

Post by St. Gloede » June 26th, 2019, 8:12 pm

As others have stated it is not a community site, and it was always a "Ghost Town". The closest you get is seeing what your friends check, or the extremely rare comment. Users always went inactive, or were gone for months, it happens. To make a very poor remark, it is I Check Movies, not We Check Movies, or We Check Movies and Talk About it. (They did try groups, but that was a failure). Would not be surprised if there has been a decline in activity or user sign up - but it may also have gone in the other direction for all we know.

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#16

Post by joachimt » June 26th, 2019, 8:15 pm

AdamH wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 7:56 pm
I'm not sure iCM will be around forever. When it's a site run by one person only and not for profit, eventually life circumstances will change things one day.
I just hope that when the time comes, Marijn gives the opportunity for someone else (or more than one) to take over.
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#17

Post by zuma » June 26th, 2019, 8:21 pm

I think the ICM search will put me in my deathbed before the site dies.

Between the hundreds of results that have zero relation to what you are looking for and the suggestions list changing a milisecond before you touch one I am starting to think the developer is fucking with us.

I can feel my heart rate rising just writing this post.

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#18

Post by max-scl » June 26th, 2019, 8:48 pm

people are watching series now, movies are not a thing anymore so all these sites are going to struggle

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#19

Post by AdamH » June 26th, 2019, 8:54 pm

joachimt wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 8:15 pm
AdamH wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 7:56 pm
I'm not sure iCM will be around forever. When it's a site run by one person only and not for profit, eventually life circumstances will change things one day.
I just hope that when the time comes, Marijn gives the opportunity for someone else (or more than one) to take over.
Maybe one day years from now Marijn will move on to something else, we will see. Hopefully the site will keep going for many years with someone or a group running it.

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#20

Post by Minkin » June 26th, 2019, 11:05 pm

The site has always had low user engagement, which means the user has to do all of the work to stay invested. The comment system is an afterthought, there's no newsletter, there's not really much anything to do .... except for check a movie. Which is great for us who love the idea / competition / discovery. But for most everyone else, its "do I really need to keep track of this shit?" Beta doesn't do anything to address these issues either. So people will signup, check a buncha stuff, then never come back (has happened to three people who I showed the website to). Without better user engagement, its not going to get any further.

I can imagine the ICM Forum taking over for Marijn when they eventually decide to call it quits. It can then just be our personal competition site (more so than it already is).

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#21

Post by flavo5000 » June 26th, 2019, 11:40 pm

I think if Marijn would put the source code in Git and open source it to the community, we could collectively get a lot more stuff done. Then he'd only have to worry about making sure it compiles and functions as expected (or even have beta testers do this in which case he'd only have to deploy to pre-prod environment then deploy to prod when he gets the greenlight).

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#22

Post by xianjiro » June 27th, 2019, 1:19 am

joachimt wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 2:34 pm
fori wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 8:47 am
Nathan Treadway wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 6:00 am
May I ask, what brought this up?
I realised that TalkingElvish, a user who was fairly engaged with the main site, had left 5 months ago. That was the spark. But it’s an observation I’ve had for ages. I have a small friends list on ICM, and 4/17 are inactive (mind you, many of those I added had a fair presence on the site and all have been heavy users at one time or another). Also everywhere you go in the list/community sections of the site, you find dead accounts, lists that haven’t been updated in years etc. There are even dead accounts in the top page of the profile charts! Also I think this forum has sunk to a new level of stagnation in recent months.
4/17 are inactive? So 13/17 are still active. Pretty good score.
Sure, people go away and others come. Even big users go away now and then. Because nothing gets deleted, they remain in the rankings and lists get outdated. You can't expect everyone to stick around and maintain their lists. It's bound to happen to a site that has been running for 10 years. I would prefer if the moderators get some option to update personal lists or move them to another account or something like that.

Sure, the slow development of the beta is a problem. I'm worried about that too.
I can see both sides on the debate about inactive users in the rankings, but can't say either moves me enough to even support any change there.

However, the outdated lists issue is always problematic and I fully support 1) the mods being able to take or transfer control somehow and 2) not sure this has ever been mentioned, but I'd support some sort of flag for inactive status (more for lists than users) so it's clearer that a list hasn't been updated and likely won't.

I'm curious, are any stats collected for list views? If so, I would certainly suggest prioritizing dealing with lists that get lots and lots of hits. That shows interest in the user base and it would be worthwhile for volunteers to help respond to that.

As for community interaction, just don't see that being something the site should focus on mostly since there's other more important things that need attention (like site infrastructure and dealing with the 'on my phone' issue). But keep in mind that iCM is about checking movies and while it sounds like a good idea, I'm guessing not everyone finds the time spent rewarding. How many users are tracking movie watching in multiple ways? I use Excel, IMDb, and iCM; and it takes a certain amount of commitment and dedication to keep up with all that. I'm guessing that just doesn't work for many people with busy lives and they drift away from sites that don't seem useful.

The one thing I wish we had to increase interaction would be a notification when someone commented on an iCM comment. Problem is, if someone comments on a comment I made 5 years ago, I'm likely not going to remember the film on such a level that we could really discuss it. So in my mind, the interaction happens on hot titles at the box office that lots of people are going to see right now, not that film at the bottom of 500<400 that has 14 checks and can only be seen if you stand on your head outside a certain theatre in the bowels of a office tower in Equatorial Guinea. So yeah, if someone cares that much about the latest comments being added on whatever latest superhero flick, I guess they will have to take initiative to return to that page and see what's been added - and add another comment if they want to rebut another comment. IDK, maybe being able to follow movies or have comments made to movies you've commented on added to our friends feed might help, but frankly, I don't generally look at my friends' activity since I'm focused and either tracking down films or checking those I've seen.

Last, it has seemed that the forum is quieter as of late - no idea why and no idea if owners/mods see stats on what topics are hot. But if the level of interaction here is any indication, I can't say I'm surprised that users don't interact more on iCM. Even with something like FotW, how many people watch and comment, let alone discuss that film?

We are all living vastly different lives, most substantially removed from other users. We choose what to watch (outside of FotW, World Cup, or current challenges) on our own in a vacuum of sorts. It not a surprise that interaction isn't high (and the number of introverted kinophiles must have something to do with that as well).

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#23

Post by flaiky » June 27th, 2019, 1:21 am

I don't think it's on its deathbed but I certainly get the impression that user activity, and especially user growth, is on the decline and has been for a couple of years. Obviously I have no proof of that but I'm fairly sure that new releases used to gain checks more rapidly, and the current number of 218,352 users doesn't feel significantly higher than when I last looked ages ago (maybe 2 years ago).

I really think the site needs to modernise. The current design, which is probably about a decade old (?), just doesn't cut it anymore - especially for attracting new users. The beta looks fantastic and could really draw people in, but it just needs to go live! It really doesn't matter if it's perfect, just continue developing it. There also needs to be a stronger emphasis on the competitive edge and official lists, which are the only elements setting ICM apart from Letterboxd, IMDB, etc. Right now, the homepage greets new visitors by saying:
With iCheckMovies you can…

…keep track of all the movies and TV series you have seen.
…get personal movie recommendations.

…create your own movie lists.
…create and join groups for movie lovers. Make new friends!
…and much more!
This gives pretty much zero incentive to people who already use the big film sites. I've never studied marketing but surely the #1 rule is identifying what sets you apart from your competitors and selling that quality to death. ICM has something unique to offer, so damn well sell it. The beta also seems to be taking the wrong approach, as the lists are less prominent and the comments take centre stage. Comments are important for creating a sense of engagement but they are not the reason for joining ICM (especially while there's no reply/notification function).

(Before anyone says it: I know not everyone cares about lists or rankings, but those people won't be sold on the site anyway. Just target and embrace the people who do find this concept appealing, I say.)
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#24

Post by xianjiro » June 27th, 2019, 1:48 am

joachimt wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 8:15 pm
AdamH wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 7:56 pm
I'm not sure iCM will be around forever. When it's a site run by one person only and not for profit, eventually life circumstances will change things one day.
I just hope that when the time comes, Marijn gives the opportunity for someone else (or more than one) to take over.
undoubtedly, mod interest and activity will play a part in such a possibility. Additionally, the transition from Zeta to the current forum bodes well. However, it's hard to say if anyone would be up to the technical challenges of dealing with the servers (locality based) and coding. That no one's being groomed to support let alone take over responsibility is an important issue that needs to be addressed by the mods & guy at some point.

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#25

Post by xianjiro » June 27th, 2019, 1:52 am

zuma wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 8:21 pm
I think the ICM search will put me in my deathbed before the site dies.

Between the hundreds of results that have zero relation to what you are looking for and the suggestions list changing a milisecond before you touch one I am starting to think the developer is fucking with us.

I can feel my heart rate rising just writing this post.
yup, drives me nuts as well - doesn't seem to matter what I'm searching for, the result is usually something like The Dark Night (you know, the original starring Setsuko Hara and Toshirô Mifune :P )

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#26

Post by WalterNeff » June 27th, 2019, 2:20 am

For me iCM began its death spiral when Joachim told everyone he had Amor, but refused to share it.

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#27

Post by xianjiro » June 27th, 2019, 3:07 am

WalterNeff wrote:
June 27th, 2019, 2:20 am
For me iCM began its death spiral when Joachim told everyone he had Amor, but refused to share it.
Really?! I would have guessed when pre-code got passed by for official status the first time :P

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#28

Post by WalterNeff » June 27th, 2019, 4:07 am

xianjiro wrote:
June 27th, 2019, 3:07 am
WalterNeff wrote:
June 27th, 2019, 2:20 am
For me iCM began its death spiral when Joachim told everyone he had Amor, but refused to share it.
Really?! I would have guessed when pre-code got passed by for official status the first time :P
Nah - I just chalked that up to OCD and anal-retentiveness.

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#29

Post by fori » June 27th, 2019, 4:25 am

It seems like a lot of people are in denial. Yeah, the site never had a strong community element, but user lists were one of the key parts of the site, & things have slowed to an absolute crawl. The dead accounts have piled a mile high, and many of the most interesting users are long gone. The beta is still far from ready, and at this point in time would likely change nothing. It’s easy to see why nobody wants to join, the stagnation is transparent even to new users. Some of the most prominent accounts are inactive or barely engaged. Even amongst those in this thread, many or perhaps most would use Letterboxd or IMDb just as much or more than ICM. I think the idea behind letting users make multiple lists was likely to bring interaction (and subsequently more users) back to the site. Obviously it didn’t work. I probably use the site more than anyone else in the world, browsing periodically while watching movies for hours a day. I wish this wasn’t true, I have come to greatly value the absence of a rating system here, as well as the introductory power of the official lists. If anyone has statistics related to traffic volume, I’d love to see them.

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#30

Post by Nathan Treadway » June 27th, 2019, 5:09 am

https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/icheckmovies.com

Don't know what this says, but...

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#31

Post by fori » June 27th, 2019, 5:32 am

The third biggest search that lands people on the site seems to be “icheckmovies delete account”. I rest my case.

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#32

Post by Ebbywebby » June 27th, 2019, 7:44 am

Phew, what a depressing thread.

We need to figure out a way to keep all those people searching for "those young girls 1984" interested.

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#33

Post by Wonderful Rainbow » June 27th, 2019, 8:03 am

Has anyone asked Criterion and the Lodz Film Museum to pay for all the advertising they're receiving?

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#34

Post by Nathan Treadway » June 27th, 2019, 8:04 am

Ebbywebby wrote:
June 27th, 2019, 7:44 am
Phew, what a depressing thread.

We need to figure out a way to keep all those people searching for "those young girls 1984" interested.
Not too many people have seen Those young girls so, I wouldn't put a whole lot of stock into some of those search stats.

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#35

Post by Ebbywebby » June 27th, 2019, 8:20 am

maxwelldeux wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 5:15 am
I mean, Avengers: Endgame has 4400+ checks. That's a lot for a new movie.
But....

"The Avengers" (2012): 65,579 checks
"The Avengers: Infinity War" (2018): 10,239
"The Avengers: Endgame" (2019): 4,453

That steep dropoff doesn't seem "Oh, it's just because Endgame and Infinity War are much newer" proportional.

Trying another angle.

Most checked 2010 film: Inception...126,276 checks
Most checked 2011 film: Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows...76,520 checks
Most checked 2012 film: The Dark Knight Rises...67,638 checks
Most checked 2013 film: The Wolf of Wall Street (which kinda surprises me)...41,763 checks
Most checked 2014 film: Interstellar...34,930 checks
Most checked 2015 film: Mad Max Fury Road...27,337 checks
Most checked 2016 film: Deadpool...21,287 checks
Most checked 2017 film: Logan...12,682 checks
Most checked 2018 film: Avengers - Infinity War...10,239 checks

So the most checked film of the past five years, Mad Max: Fury Road, is only the 581st most checked film, overall.

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#36

Post by Ebbywebby » June 27th, 2019, 8:21 am

Nathan Treadway wrote:
June 27th, 2019, 8:04 am
Ebbywebby wrote:
June 27th, 2019, 7:44 am
Phew, what a depressing thread.

We need to figure out a way to keep all those people searching for "those young girls 1984" interested.
Not too many people have seen Those young girls so, I wouldn't put a whole lot of stock into some of those search stats.
I think they were searching for a way to WATCH it rather than a way to check it. ;)

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#37

Post by xianjiro » June 27th, 2019, 9:26 am

fori wrote:
June 27th, 2019, 4:25 am
It seems like a lot of people are in denial. Yeah, the site never had a strong community element, but user lists were one of the key parts of the site, & things have slowed to an absolute crawl. The dead accounts have piled a mile high, and many of the most interesting users are long gone. The beta is still far from ready, and at this point in time would likely change nothing. It’s easy to see why nobody wants to join, the stagnation is transparent even to new users. Some of the most prominent accounts are inactive or barely engaged. Even amongst those in this thread, many or perhaps most would use Letterboxd or IMDb just as much or more than ICM. I think the idea behind letting users make multiple lists was likely to bring interaction (and subsequently more users) back to the site. Obviously it didn’t work. I probably use the site more than anyone else in the world, browsing periodically while watching movies for hours a day. I wish this wasn’t true, I have come to greatly value the absence of a rating system here, as well as the introductory power of the official lists. If anyone has statistics related to traffic volume, I’d love to see them.
yes, let's see some stats before pronouncing the site moribund or dead :lol:

How many users visit in a given day/week/month?
How many new users join in a month?
How many lists are created in a month?
How many titles are added to the database in a day/month?
How many comments are left...?
etc

Dead accounts are all over the Internet. How many of Facebook's 2 billion members are actually using the site regularly (and of course regularly is open to interpretation - in Facebook's case, at least daily if not hourly). Most sites purge accounts after some period of inactivity - ie: no log in attempts or completions. So yes, if a site doesn't purge then the 'bodies' will pile up. But why is this such an issue? It's not like we can't get to a movie page because there are too many dead bodies in the way. Similarly, if one really wants an update to the worst cat herding videos of all time, all one has to do is add it. It's not like the site says "we already have a worst cat herding video list, so piss off mate".

What is it you really want, Fori? I mean, this is one guy's site and he can turn the lights off tomorrow if that's his choice. Yes, a lot of us have ideas/suggestions and would like things to be this way or that, but it's not our site to make such decisions. Even the mods have to work to make minor things happen.

So yeah, if the site isn't offering what a user really wants from a movie site, they'll drift away. That's the thing about passing out free memberships. Imagine if you had to join McDonald's to see if you like their hamburger - there'd be millions and millions of dead accounts littering the planet.

iCM - it is what it is, love it or leave it! ;)

Listen, Daddy. Teacher says, 'every time a car alarm bleeps, into heaven a demon sneaks.'
sol can find me here

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xianjiro
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#38

Post by xianjiro » June 27th, 2019, 9:32 am

Nathan Treadway wrote:
June 27th, 2019, 5:09 am
https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/icheckmovies.com

Don't know what this says, but...
Interesting, but I'd prefer to see the Google Analytics for iCM - but combing through that would be a full-time job in itself

Listen, Daddy. Teacher says, 'every time a car alarm bleeps, into heaven a demon sneaks.'
sol can find me here

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bal3x
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#39

Post by bal3x » June 27th, 2019, 12:34 pm

flavo5000 wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 11:40 pm
I think if Marijn would put the source code in Git and open source it to the community, we could collectively get a lot more stuff done. Then he'd only have to worry about making sure it compiles and functions as expected (or even have beta testers do this in which case he'd only have to deploy to pre-prod environment then deploy to prod when he gets the greenlight).
tbh, I'm surprized this has not been done... 5 years in "beta" is not normal by any measure no matter what the circumstances are. Perhaps there are plans to sell to the highest bidder... oh well, that would indeed be the end of it then.

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sol
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#40

Post by sol » June 27th, 2019, 12:56 pm

No, it's not on its deathbed.

The main page (when viewed in incognito to look at all users rather than just friends) reveals 15 pieces of activity in the past 23 minutes - including 5 new users joining.

Yes, the site might not be as active as it once was, but isn't that the same with all new bright, shiny things? Everybody tries it out, but then a core cohort sticks with it, and as long as the core cohort is constantly using the site (as we do), it is still serving a purpose.
Former IMDb message boards user /// iCM | IMDb | My Top 500+ Favourite Films /// Long live the new flesh!
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