Spring Cleaning Advice Needed for Website (Also, Notice the New Site Design I Put Up Last Week!)

Hello my loyal and faithful readers!  Have you noticed that I did a bit of spring cleaning of the website last week?  Slightly different site design, which gives us back our header menu.  More importantly, I re-arranged the categories of things.  It’s all in tidy weekly order now, starting with Monday Questions straight through Silly Sunday.  But, I need to do a lot more!  And I need your advice on that.

I am sure you have noticed that there is no good central of anything right now.  The search function is great, if you just want to look for something particular.  But if you want to browse, there are no really good options.

I have some ideas for how I could solve this problem, but I’m not actually the person browsing the site, so I wanted to throw them out to you guys to toss around.  Just as a starting point, here is what I have been thinking of:

  • Alphabetical lists of posts
    • By “Star Name” for Birthday and 101 posts
    • By “Title” and broken into language groups for Reviews
  • Chronological Lists of all posts of other categories
    • Fanvids
    • Holidays
    • News
    • Box Office (or are these just “news” posts?)
  • Section for Book posts? (only a few of these, but if I am doing one or month or so, maybe I set it up now?)
    • Alphabetical by Title of Book

 

Or, alternative structure:

  • Industry information and gossip, in chronological order within categories
    • Box office
    • News you can use
    • Birthday post
    • 101 posts
  • Let’s watch Videos! (in chronological order within categories)
    • Birthday post
    • Fanvids
    • Holiday posts
  • Let’s Analyse Text! (in chronologial order within categories)
    • Reviews
      • Malayalam
      • Tamil
      • Telugu
      • Hindi
      • Other

Or, 3rd option, grouped by quality:

  • Reviews:
    • My favorite to least favorite movies
      • Hindi
      • Malayalam
      • Tamil
      • Telugu
  • Other posts:
    • Most to least popular birthday posts
    • Most to least popular news posts
    • Most to least popular Hindi 101 posts
    • Most to least popular Video posts

 

I am not in love with any of these options, maybe there is something I haven’t even thought of that would be even better, maybe some combination of them would be best.  But no matter what, I am going to have to do a ton of very tedious work to set this up, so I really don’t want to make a bad choice and then have to do it all over again!

 

Please help me avoid that and make sure I have a really good plan in place before I get started!

 

UPDATE: What about something chronological by film era?  Like, all the classic Hindi reviews (all 2 of them) are grouped together, all the 80s-90s Malayalam are together, all the New Wave Malayalam are together, all the 90s Hindi are together?  Would that be helpful at all?

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11 thoughts on “Spring Cleaning Advice Needed for Website (Also, Notice the New Site Design I Put Up Last Week!)

  1. I think it would be interesting to see you group the types of movies together but would you just group Hindi films by chronological decade, how about by genre, too?

    I like the idea of just starting with star names and movie reviews for the first browseable lists. I haven’t had any trouble finding specific things using the search button. For instance, I looked up your posts on Deewaar last night and found the one you wrote before Raees came out easily. By the way, I did not pay close enough attention to Deewaar to appreciate the great dialogue. I was completely bored by any moment that Amitabh wasn’t on the screen, though I could tell he had better than average material to work with. I definitely like Agneepath better and maybe even Dostana and Don (though they really aren’t “angry young man” roles). I’m slowly making my way through the Big B’s big films.

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    • Oh shoot, I was counting on you to say “the secret magical librarian code for organization is ——. Just do that and all your problems will be solved.” What I really need to do is figure out a way to easily cross-reference and sort posts, I’d love to be able to have alphabetical, chronological, and genre. But I don’t want to have to keep alphabetizing them every time put up something new, you know? That’s why I stopped using the To-Do list post, just too hard to keep updating it manually.

      Fascinating feedback on Deewar! It was Amitabh’s big “This guy is, like, WHOA!” role. It wasn’t supposed to be a star feature for him, it was written as a multi-starer with him and Shashi. If you watch Anand (can’t remember if you have or not), you can see that it is really a two hero film, Amitabh and Rajesh Khanna share the screen and you are equally invested in each. And Deewar was written the same way, and Shashi is no slouch as an actor, but Amitabh just took over the whole film without even trying.

      Did you catch the 786 thing, by the way? “786” and “420” are the two numbers you will see recur over and over again in Hindi films. In the title of the whole film, or else just in a barely glimpsed thing like the address of a building or the prisoner number. 786 has meaning beyond film, of course, but if you see it in a Hindi movie, it is definitely a Deewar reference.

      On Fri, Apr 14, 2017 at 2:05 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I’m sorry I have no magical librarian solution, but I do like the break out sections at the top of the page, so you are definitely making progress with the new design!

        Haven’t seen Anand yet…the story didn’t interest me much but I’ll definitely get to it. I really want to get a copy of Zanjeer soon. I barely remember Sholay it’s been so long since I saw it, but I really am in the mood to see more Amitabh/Jaya. At this point I like him the best with Zeenant Aman.

        I did catch the 786 thing and now I’ll have another filmi reference to look for in other movies. Thanks for the heads up!

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        • Zanjeer is my favorite early Amitabh, tied with Trishul. Trishul I think the character dynamics are more interesting, but Zanjeer has the cutest romance.

          On Fri, Apr 14, 2017 at 4:55 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. I browsed through your redesigned blog, and came here to complain about a bunch of things, but you’ve covered them all in your option 1 above. So good for you. Needless to say, I prefer that to your other options.

    But I want to make some general observations.

    1. I think you’re overthinking this a bit. Rather than cross-reference things to death, I think it’s better to have some broad categories that people can search through easily. In this respect I preferred your earlier categorizations, as Reviews, Birthday Posts, News, etc. I just now tried to find reviews of some films, and it was virtually impossible, because, if I searched for “Salman Khan films”, I got all the results with any of the key words in them, not all three. This could be because I wasn’t sure which kind of Boolean algebra your search function used. But the result was that I got about 90% dreck. Whereas before, I could just go to your “Reviews” category, and search for “Salman Khan” under that, and find all the reviews you did of his films.

    2. Having said that, I do see that you would want to group all your “day” posts together, since you’ve now set them up to be different each day. But, if you were to keep them as you now have them, and also add some other categories, like Reviews, News, etc., you would have too much visual clutter in your header menu, which would pretty much defeat the purpose. So, how about seeing if you can subsume the present header categories under some of the older categories. So, for instance, under “Reviews”, you can have the films sub-sorted by language, and the Monday and Tuesday reviews can be included under those.

    3. Similarly, I think your Monday questions, TGIF, and Sunday Silly posts can all be grouped under one broad category, something like “Fun & Games” or something more representative. I say this because all these posts, despite the different topics, are essentially things you are doing for fun, and not your “serious” blog business of reviewing films. For me personally, the reviews are the most important part of the blog (or any other film blog), so I would search them first. You could even include the Wednesday watching posts under this broad category. A lot of different topics come up in both the Wednesday Watching and Monday questions posts, so it would be really impossible for you to try to index them in any way (without giving up your day job). So you could have them as subcategories under the “Fun & Games” (or whatever title you come up with) main category.

    4. In line with the above, the reason you’re having this design problem is because you’ve greatly expanded your activities on the blog, and are focusing much more on making it interactive with your readers than you did before. Perhaps this is a natural evolution (at the beginning, before you built up regular readers, all you could really do was write your stuff and post). So it is time for you to think hard about what you really want your blog to be. Is it to be a place where you put forward your ideas and people respond to them, or a place where people exchange ideas in general, or even a kind of free-for-all on a given topic? And of course, your ideas on what the blog should be can and will evolve and change over time. But I think until you figure that out first, you won’t really come up with a good redesign.

    (Oops! At this point, I went to recheck your new headers, and discovered that under “Everything Else”, you indeed list all the categories I was looking for and missed. But then no other header has this kind of subheader list, which really points out how unbalanced the category division is. It’s better to have fewer headers, with each having several sub-headers, than just one header with huge amount of subheaders, and none for the other headers.)

    5. I’m trying to think of a good category name to include your Hindi Film 101, News, Box Office, etc. type of posts. I was thinking “Informational”, but I’m sure you’d want something with more zing to it. But again, I see these as a natural grouping.

    6. You can mull all that over to see if it makes any sense. But I think trying to group films by genre, period, liking, etc., is too much at this stage. Once you get your basic categories (and subcategories) in place, then you can fiddle around within them as you please. At that point it would be mainly a matter of attaching multiple labels to the posts, rather than actually moving them around to different categories.

    Good luck with this monumental reorganization!

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    • Thank you for all your thoughts! I just experimented with searching “Salman Khan” and saw the same thing you did, reviews and news pop up all together. If I search “Salman” and “Review”, it is a little better, but not great, because it is keyword searching so it pulls up reviews for non-Salman movies where I mention him, and Salman news items where I use the verb “Review”.

      So, obviously the first requirement is going to be an alphabetical list of film reviews sorted by language, that’s the simplest and most flexible option. But do you think I should consider sorting them by star as well? Or at least putting the name of the stars in parentheses next to the titles, so you could use the ctrl+f search function to find them?

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  3. I also like the second option more.

    My biggest issue is that we can’t search for things in the comments. For example, when I want to see a conversation in a Wednesday Watching post from a while back, I’m stuck having to manually search through a bunch of posts. Also do you know whether you can limit the search function. For example, if I search “salman” the posts that have the Salman tag pop up first instead of all the posts that have the word salman in them. I think this would make searching for stuff like reviews much easier.

    I also like Moimeme’s idea of having broad categories of Reviews, Informational, and the more fun and interactive posts

    Like

    • I wish there was a way to search in the comments, but unfortunately that just doesn’t seem doable. The solution might be for me to go in and add tags to posts depending on what was discussed, but that might not be very feasible either.

      I can easily make the menu a little simpler, with sub-categories and things.

      It sounds like an alphabetical list of reviews would absolutely be useful, and that’s going to take me for ever, so I will start building that now. And maybe think about adding notes to them, like who the stars are, later.

      On Sun, Apr 16, 2017 at 11:52 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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