Flixster Could Be Better

Ugh. Flixster is so annoying… all the advertisements and silly activities, it is reminiscent for pre-dot-com-bust era websites – in a bad way. And it kinda looks like MySpace. Normally, I’d like to think I wouldn’t rant here about a website I dislike like this, but in this case it’s not so simple. You see, Flixster could be so much better, and I need it to be. Case in point:

I want to keep track of my film watching habits. I want to log the movies I see, for personal reference and for sharing… this could include public or private notes about the films.

I want to keep a list of movies that I want to see. This can be public, and I could see which friends want to see the same movie and then we could watch together.

I want to keep a list of the movies I own… so that my friends can see what they can borrow from me. The site should also let me track who I’m lending my discs to.

I want to know what my friends think about movies… so aggregating their notes onto the movie’s page.

Sadly, Flixster probably won’t be able to become awesome like this unless someone were to buy it… whoever’s in charge seems to be pretty clueless about what they’re doing. So, someone, please steal the ideas listed above and give them some competition.

Oh and here’s my Flixster profile, lol.

My Problem with URLs at FFFFOUND

I have have a problem with the URL schema at image bookmarking website ffffound.com. Today on Google Talk, my friend Sujay Vennam set his away message to this “http://img.ffffound.com/static-data/assets/6/5110fee08a1a350ce6493b8eef47a83e7618c77f.png ” which is an image which I found interesting and looked possibly like a t-shirt design. I wanted to find out more information about it, but how? I figured I could try searching for the URL address, maybe Google indexes URLs of HTML embedded images. Apparently not this one, at least. I also tried googling “5110fee08a1a350ce6493b8eef47a83e7618c77f” to no avail. Next, I thought I might be able to identify the URL schema by looking at some other images from ffffound.com… and sure enough: http://ffffound.com/image/a89fcfbb93181c0f327466222fd053fc30f29bb4 … looks similar right? just replace the id’s and voilĂ … now we have the photo’s page on FFFFOUND. But I still don’t have my t-shirt.

Well, on that page, you’ll see that the source is linked to… “Quoted from: Friends_Are_Foreverv27Detail.png (PNG-Grafik, 768×576 Pixel)
s3.amazonaws.com/wootsaleimages/Friends_Are_Foreverv27Detail.png”. Okay. So the t-shirt is probably called “Friends Are Forever”, and the “wootsaleimages” account at Amazon S3? Oh this must be the woot t-shirt thing that I heard about. Sure enough: http://shirt.woot.com/Blog/ViewEntry.aspx?Id=5853 … just like most links to woot… it was something that is sold out, meaning in this case, a t-shirt that I can’t have.

Damn it FFFFOUND, look at all the time you made me just waste. Can you please change your URLs somehow? Maybe just do http://ffffound.com/image/{id} and http://files.ffffound.com/image/{id} or maybe http://ffffound.com/image/{id}/originalfilename

Also, try to be more respectful of where you quote your images from… like using the title of the source page, which in this case is: “Shirt.Woot : Friends Are Forever” … so your users will know where these images are coming from.

Mmm, and I have more feedback for you too. You can call me or email me if you’re interested, cause I don’t want to write it all out if you’re not listening.

Thanks.

http://ffffound.com/home/rex

Citizen Journalism, Redefined

What comes to mind when you think of “citizen journalism”? Probably mediocre reporting, mildly entertaining but maybe a bit sensational or biased, and subject matter that isn’t necessarily important. These characterizations are likely well-founded too. But pick up a newspaper and consider those articles with the same kind of scrutiny… I’m sure you’ll still find sensationalism, bias, and subject matter that isn’t necessarily important. And that’s okay. We just have to overcome our fear of citizen journalism… because it’s coming, and here’s why…

Everyone is a journalist. No? Fine. Not yet. But we need to be. Here’s the thing though, hopefully the key distinction for you… When I ask you to be a citizen journalist, I’m not asking you to make a time commitment. I’m not asking you to interview people. I’m not asking you to go look for leads on stories, to go take photos, or be an expert on anything. Now certainly, those things would be cool, but totally not something I can expect of you. What I’m asking is this: to be an alert citizen. To notice things that aren’t right. And when there’s something that needs attention to just speak up. But instead of mentioning it to your friends or coworkings in passing, you need to be able to tell the world. You need to be able to write an article for your newspaper. And it needs to be easy.

It’s not about creating more content. It’s about giving you a megaphone when you need one.