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Author Topic: Starting a movie review website perhaps  (Read 5739 times)
T-Rex Television
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« on: February 13, 2007, 05:39:23 PM »

Well, I am inspired by this site, to create my own  movie review website. Well, i'm having to start off with a sort of free website, but I got a free domain name so it is pretty cool. I just wanted to ask if anyone maybe has some tips or anything, as b-movie lovers and fans of this site, what I should know while making it and what would you want to see/what would make you go there? etc etc. Thank You, The only thing about it is, that for some reason my computer at home is sorta messed up and wont let me edit the site, but i am somewhere else for this week, but all your suggestions will help. Thank you!
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Shadow
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« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2007, 07:05:55 PM »

First and foremost, my main piece of advice is this: be preprared for a lot of work. In theory, pounding out a few reviews sounds easy, but in reality it is quite time consuming depending on how detailed your review is or how many other features you want to include. Don't get me wrong, it's a fun process, but it ain't easy all the time.

Second: Be sure to do it for yourself. Do it for the fun and sheer enjoyment of it. Make sure your site and reviews are what you want them to be and not what you think others want. There will always be someone who doesn't like your stuff, just as there will always be someone who loves it. Stick with what you like and you'll build up a loyal audience in time.

I would also suggest coming up with a format for your reviews before getting too far. It sucks having to go back and add and/or change things when you're ten reviews into the process. Take a look at a few movie review sites and make a list of things you like and don't like. Write down the features that you want your site and reviews to have, then make sure such things are feasible. For example, if you want to have video clips, be sure you have a way to capture them. You may want to play around with any media (video, sounds, pictures) for a few days so you can fine tune things.

I'm sure Andrew will have a ton of other suggestions and good advice.

Have fun!
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Shadow
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CheezeFlixz
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« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2007, 07:29:08 PM »

My $0.02 would be don't review movies that's been reviewed 100 times already. I am reader more so nowadays, than a writer, I do not tend to read reviews of movies I've already read elsewhere, unless I enjoy the writers style of review and read it for entertainment only.
Take a movie like the 'The Toxic Avenger' which has according to IMDB at least 53 reviews from various sites, which means there are likely a few 100 in reality. Find those seldom seen rarities that have nearly escaped review. There aren't many that haven't been reviewed somewhere, there are some but not many.
On the rare occasions I write a review I list all the disc content and reviews of those as well as the main feature(s). The bulk of the stuff I've reviewed in the past as been from Something Weird Video, anymore I don't have the time and it does take a lot of time.
Just my 2 cents for what it's worth.
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Menard
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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2007, 08:13:23 PM »

Well, I am inspired by this site, to create my own  movie review website. Well, i'm having to start off with a sort of free website, but I got a free domain name so it is pretty cool.

Well...uh...what is 'sort of free'? Also, what do you mean by free domain? Did you get a TLD with a hosting package or do you have something like UNI.CC or .CO.NR?


I just wanted to ask if anyone maybe has some tips or anything, as b-movie lovers and fans of this site, what I should know while making it and what would you want to see/what would make you go there?

For me, personally, anything to do with lesbians; but I digress.

Feedback is always a good thing. It helps you to provide features, content, or improvement to your site which will appeal to your visitors. Although I understand your question, feedback before you get the site going, well, is just a little backward.

When you first build a site there has to be some kind of personal interest for you in it. You are not necessarily going to build the most kickass site on your first attempt (in case you are under age, please read that as kickbutt). The first thing to do is to put you into the site (I don't mean that literally). There are lots of movie review sites, but what differentiates them (most of them) from each other is the coverage (general, bad movies, horror movies, hot blooded video vixens*, etc.) and, most importantly, the individuality of the reviewer.

*Just had to get that in there didn't I. TongueOut

If you look around at this site and several of the sites of members of this forum, though there is crossover in some of the movies reviewed, and even in genre, you will notice that each of the sites stands apart on its own. Even if the sites all reviewed exactly the same movies, they would stand apart as what makes each of them is the unique personality of the reviewer/webmaster.

My first piece of advice would essentially be to be yourself with your site. If the site reflects you and your unique personality, then it is going to stand apart as well. If you base your site and reviews too much on what others suggest, then you are going to start replicating others as many suggestions of what others like is based on what one has seen before or does themselves.

That being said, however, it is important to take in feedback. What visitors to your site will provide is a way for you to guage what works and what does not work.

Some of the key points in webmastership are:

User Friendliness: Don't make people guess where what is (unless, of course, that is part of the fun of your site; I guess). Part of user friendliness will follow in the next point.

Don't Presume: I will say this straight out, "I friggin hate Flash, music, and video without my permission!!!" (scuse me). Don't make assumptions for your visitors on what they should have to put up with when visiting your site (shocking statistic for suburbanites: more than 50% of the world population uses dial-up and 33% of the US population lives in areas without broadband access). Of course, you can always make your site for broadband users only if building a site, say, in only Flash appeals to you; there is nothing wrong with that*.

*A note to Flash loving webmasters: An SWF file, when called from the browser, will continue to load even if the page is closed by the visitor. In other words, if a dial-up user happens onto a flash heavy page, they are stuck there until the file completely loads, whether they close the page or not, or they have to disconnect from the internet and re-connect.

Make It Easy on Yourself: Essentially, regardless of what you can or can't do as a webmaster, trying to do too much and becoming disheartened in your project does not serve anybody's purpose. If you are great with graphics and HTML, CSS, etc., then you can probably create your own template for your site. If you are a beginner and don't know how to create your own template (or if you are lazy like me and prefer to let others do it for you TongueOut) you can find all kinds of free templates and lots of other webmaster freebies all over the net. In other words, concentrate on your content and what you want your site to be about and work with the rest as best and as comfortably as you can; you can always update a site which exists, but you can't do anything with a site that irritated you so much that you never got it going.

Stay Away From Webmaster Forums: If you look in the dictionary for the word prick, you will see that it is accompanied with a picture of a webmaster. Some of your larger webmaster forums are filled with the same egomaniacal, basement dwelling, D&D playing, sexless wonders now turned webmaster. Although there are many experienced and helpful webmasters on some of these forums (webmaster-talk is not one of them), they are also overrun with other who derive pleasure from trying to hurt others. Of course, if you are like me (Okay; who screamed "Dear God, No!"?), you can just bait some of these lizards to take shots at you, then set them off on a fight with each other.


Just for the purpose of making this even longer, I am posting a reply I made on a webmaster forum to a question asking for a suggestion for a site design:

Quote from: Menard the Magnificent (eat my shorts)
Most of my sites have been portals, turnkeys, etc. Not much personalization there. My latest site, however, has been a personal site, and, thusly, the content is greater (I mean in quantity; and probably quality).

The first site I designed was a portal where I categorized and placed my favorite links. Nothing special there, but it definitely came in handy after my hard drive crashed (though I could have lived without the crash much more easily) as I had my favorite links all in one place.

I aimlessly designed sites here and there, kind of like hit and run, but they really weren't personal sites; just sort of personal with pieces of my different interests scattered about the internet.

I have varying interests, as do you and everybody else, but I didn't have a site which really reflected that. I took my different interests, and content I had created for other sites, and brought them together into one site using a presentation which fit the diversity. It's not about me though, as who really cares about that, but it is a site where I can share my different interests and provide some fun to visitors to that site.

The site, Zhorkow's CargoShip, which is really a prototype for a larger site, uses a spaceship theme for the presentation; being that it is a cargoship, there is no telling what you might find inside and that fits the diversity well.

What you need to look at is what you want to present in a site.

Is it about you and your interests?

Is it about a specific interest?

Is it about someone, or something else?

Is it about your favorite things on the internet?

It could be about any or all of those things, but it has to be about something, even if it is just a collection of links.

Once you have an idea of what you want your site to be about, then you need to work on how you want to present it to others. If there is a lot of diversity, then you may want to consider a presentation which fits the diversity so it looks less cluttered (of course, cluttered can be a style too, and I have seen sites which were well done and popular using such a style). If it is more specific in nature, then you may first want to consider the amount of material you have for your site, and, if it is not that much material, how to present it so that it does not look barren.

Example: In the aforementioned CargoShip site, there is a page for Cybiko. The original site from which that page was taken is here (be patient, that server is in China). The original site was done as a test of a free web design software. You will notice that there are several pages. The majority of that site fit one page on the CargoShip, but the presentation of the original site makes it appear to be more.

I can't tell you what to build, but you can. If you want an original site, build it. If it is about you, then it will be original; we are not all carbon copies of each other.




The only thing about it is, that for some reason my computer at home is sorta messed up and wont let me edit the site, but i am somewhere else for this week...

Eh? Could you be a little more specific? Perhaps some of us might be able to figure out what is going on to where you can edit your site from your home computer. There really should not be a problem.
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CheezeFlixz
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« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2007, 12:09:17 AM »

(Okay; who screamed "Dear God, No!"?)

You heard that?
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Ash
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« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2007, 04:53:22 AM »

Some great advice so far.   Thumbup

Just be yourself and be original.
Once you've established a site...market the hell out of it!
Give people a reason to come to your site and make their visit worthwile and something different.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2007, 04:56:54 AM by Ashthecat » Logged
Menard
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« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2007, 06:46:41 AM »

(Okay; who screamed "Dear God, No!"?)

You heard that?

 TeddyR
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T-Rex Television
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« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2007, 01:22:43 PM »

Wow, alright.First off, thanks everyone for the feedback. and also, Menard, the "free" website is just one of those cheesy ones like geocities, tripod, hometown.aol. type ones. I wouldn't exactly know how to do other ones, besides actually buying one. I coudl buy one, but i dont really know a real lot about putting together a website (like a real one), like with coding and html and all that stuff. im sure I could learn, but I dont know where. Also, with the domain right now, yes, it has to end with   .tk  which is better than having like, .aol.tripod.website.free.wesuck.loser.com   or something. And the thing that is wrong with my computer, is that is has giving me a bit of trouble lately , since i reinstalled/bought the McAfee total prtection package for it, but when i try to go onto the free website thing i do, instead of going to the page where you chose to edit your site after logging in, it says something like  "sorry, the aim service cant be reached" in plain text at the top of the page without anything else around it. But here (im with my father for the week) it works perfecetly fine. But seeing i am at my place most of the time, i would like it to work there since i would have time and most my movies and stuff are there anyways.


So yeah, im not sure what is wrong with it, ive asked on the mcafee computer geek forums, but no one really knows. its p**sing me off though, cause i want to work on my website! rawr.


And I know that it sucks to have the kiddie-style sites right now, but i really would like to learn enough html coding and whatever to make a real website, so once i do do that, ill make it into a better site.

(also, uhh, what would be a not-webmaster forum. i dont really know much about forum stuff, since i never done anything with them.) thanks
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CheezeFlixz
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« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2007, 01:33:49 PM »

I use Macromedia Dreamweaver myself, it's a WYSIWYG editor if you do not know coding and it's easy to add coding (i.e/ scripts, css, forms, java, etc.) it's a good place to start if you do not know html. As you learn it you'll learn other stuff to like xtml perhaps get into php, asp et.al.
Most of those free site have to many ads, pop-up, and all that crap having your own domain is not that pricey in most cases less than $100 a year, depending on the service, bells and whistles.
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Menard
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« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2007, 01:43:59 PM »

With regard to your access problem with your home computer, it sounds like it could well be the McAffee causing it. You will need to go into the configuration of either your firewall or antivirus and check to see if it blocks aim access. I don't know if it does, as I don't use McAffee, but it could as some firewalls and antivirus programs will, rightfully, recognize IM's as a potential security risk. Yes, even though you are not using the IM to access your account, it may well be mistaking the control panel as an IM.

The webmaster forums are just that: forums for webmasters to discuss...uh...webmastering. Unfortunately, they are also littered with pricks who will try to eat newbies alive. If you want to get onto a webmaster forum, it is best to stalk the forum for a while at first to see what type of people are using it. If you see that they are pricks, you can avaoid it. If you see that members are genuinely trying to be helpful, then you can join and ask questions about webmastering.

There is nothing wrong with having a free site. All of my sites are hosted on free servers. Some of the free servers provide templates and such for you to use. Some of them also beat you up with ads.

You can get a free website at http://www.own-free-website.com/ with lots of extra features you can add to it, plus they, for the present, only place a text ad at the top of the page.
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Menard
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« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2007, 01:52:20 PM »

You can also check out these free WYSIWYG website builders:

http://www.easyinternetsolutions.co.uk/downloads/websitebuilder/index.php
http://www.totalwebkit.com/
http://namu6.com/
http://www.dfm2html.com/
http://www.virtualmechanics.com/products/dwarf/ (get it while you can)
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T-Rex Television
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« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2007, 02:43:32 PM »

Thanks, its a huge help. But one last thing, what about like, copyrighting? What if you use a picture off of another site or off a movie on your site? (obviously i wouldnt claim any of them as my own). But anyone have any idea what I would do to say that i have pics & etc on here that i didnt make etc.? thanks again
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"Be still my dog of war, I understand your pain. We have all lost someone we love..."

Menard
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« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2007, 02:49:57 PM »

If it's from a movie or television show and you are using it for the purpose of a review, you can use it under the fair use law.

Andrew has information on it here: http://www.badmovies.org/information/fairuse.html
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Menard
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« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2007, 09:33:07 PM »

My head apparently is not screwed on right (shut up every one of you TongueOut).

I have a program on my site you can download that will allow you to create your own site without any HTML knowledge.

http://trafficclose.xlphp.net/instantsitecreator.zip

This is a 14MB download. It also comes with its own sales page and resell rights if you want to sell it or give it away.

Just unzip it and double click on the file isc.exe to install it.
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Andrew
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« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2007, 10:32:30 PM »

I'll have to throw something together, but will write up a longer reply if I get some time this weekend.  I will say that there are some very good suggestions above.  I definitely agree with "write what you want to write."

You know what I have not seen many of lately?  Original layouts not based on blog or content management systems.  The stuff for content management, like Wordpress and Nuke, are not so bad - but an awful lot of the newer sites that email me are blogs.  Some work, but navigating a blog review site is not easy if you are looking for something.

When you design the site, I would suggest creating a common header and footer.  The reason for that is to make modifying the navigation and layout easy.  Depending on the site, how to implement a common header and footer can be different.

Spellchecking and proofreading is a must.  I do this and also, quite kindly from them, Derf and Mofo Rising help me out by doing "third-party" proofreading.  It can be difficult to spot mistakes in your own writing, because your brain will gloss over it.
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