I'm happy to announce that the FilmsFolded site has been restored! It is more or less as it was, being a searchable database of the Tedg IMDb comments. You can visit it at tedgoranson.filmsfolded.com. I've been very careful to set this up for the future and am pleased with it. It will take a while to load and thereafter be okay. Developers are still working on it, so you will see some dummy records and unfinished bits.
A Phased Strategy
Some possible futures for this:
Phase 1: Comments
This is what we have now, but better than what we had before. We enter the comments directly in the database rather than scrubbing IMDb. They are constantly being edited and rewritten. A few hundred were deleted from IMDb; some fundamentalist got angry about something I said and took revenge. Some of those will be restored.
The search is simply better.
Phase 2: Essays
Very soon, a couple weeks likely, we'll have the added capability of integrating in the FilmsFolded essays. Any essay can be viewed on that site as well as here. When viewed on filmsfolded.com, all other examples of that essay will be indicated.
When viewing a film's comment that is an example of an effect (like Ted's Law), all essays that apply will be indicated and a paragraph will be appended for each, explaining why.
The bad news is that the essays have yet to be written, and for me to link an essay to an example film in the database will take a long time. I'll have to revisit every movie. But the database is optimized for this task.
Phase 3: Your Areas
The FilmsFolded site is designed to include the TedG comments as only one area, tedgoranson.filmsfolded.com, to integrate with filmsfolded.tedgoranson.com. But we plan to set up areas for others if you wish: yournamehere.filmsfolded.com.
Phase 4: Structured Material
The reason for Phase 3 is that our ambitious annotation site will use filmsfolded.com as a soft launchpad, and we'll need structured annotations of cinematic qualities. We'll only do Phase 3 if you feel we can do Phase 4.
An Advisory Panel
In our first attempt, we had good backing and a great team for a brief period. During that time, we hosted a private forum to guide the project. The guidance was fantastic: expert and insightful.
This time around we plan to be less ambitious in the back end at first and more ambitious in the user interface and annotation level. We are inventing new UI conventions, and assuming a social collaboration that doesn't exist yet. We need a lot of guidance.
I'm not sure how to do this. Setting up a forum again doesn't quite seem right, because I want to have comments directly related to the experience.
Using the Disqus comments on a dedicated section of the site feels a little better, but still not right. We haven't stressed them much yet.