Popcorn Dialogues Reboot

Lani and I talked a couple of weeks ago about what we’ve learned doing PopD (a lot) and decided that it was time to upgrade from the “let’s put on a show in the barn” blog to a professional (although still simple) website/blog. We were helped along in this decision by Mollie, who strongly suggested a revamp of the site, and by Alastair, who volunteered to help. Lots of stuff has been going on behind the scenes here, and some of it in front of the scenes (you may have noticed the chat and the change in categories), but it’s all in the interests of making the site more user-friendly, keeping the focus on our main interest: story. This is not a movie blog, this is an ongoing discovery discussion about story. So here are some of the changes you’re going to be seeing.

1. In January, we’re switching to Sunday nights to give more people a chance to participate. We know this makes things bad for Europe since it’ll be midnight or later over there with Monday the next morning (I haven’t figured out yet what it does to Japan and Australia), but this does help a lot of people, so it’s a start. Our other option was Saturday, but some people have a strange reluctance to spend Saturday night with us. Probably because they have lives.

2. Beginning this week, there’ll be one post for the movie, and that will go up on the day after the podcast. We’re getting rid of the intro post with the trailer and the other trivia (it’s all on the IMDB) because there’s not much to talk about until we’ve seen the movie. The post will have both the chat link and the podcast link in it. Much simpler.

3. We’ve switched from Twitter to our own Chat Room which opens at 6:30 the night of the movie. We tried it this week with While You Were Sleeping, and it was great. There’ll be a link to the transcript in the movie post. (Thank you, Alastair.)

4. We’ve changed the categories from historical periods to genres and we’ll be tagging the posts to make searching easier.

5. Some of the pages at the top are going to disappear, but the info will be available in other places on the blog.

6. We’re going to keep doing PopD after the historical survey is done, but future series will be much shorter, one or two months. We’ll put up a post shortly with some of the series ideas we have and you can chime in then.

There’s probably more that I’ve forgotten, but the bottom line is, it’s going to be a more user-friendly site with better focus and organization, moving past the American historical survey of romantic comedy into a wider exploration of story. We’re very excited about it. Change is good. But we’d like to hear your suggestions, too.

So, what would make the site easier to use, more effective, better for you?

9 responses to “Popcorn Dialogues Reboot”

  1. Wow – go away for a couple of weeks and the furniture all gets moved. Some exciting changes. I am so grateful you are moving to Sunday nights – Friday was tough for me since I’m in the Mountain time zone. Also looking forward to trying the new chat set up. Twitter was not my friend so I’m hopeful this will work for me. Half my tweets never got through for some reason.

    For me the initial draw here was just my love of romantic comedies and revisiting them with people who love them too. I’m not a writer, but I’ve learned a lot about story structure from these movies and your podcasts. I have enjoyed it very much and I find myself applying it to other things I read and watch.

    Because I’m also a movie geek I keep getting distracted by things like setting and framing of the shots and music. I know your focus is on the story here, but I do wish sometimes for a look at how a writer creates with words those things that a film maker does visually. Not sure if I’m making sense there … I’m thinking as I type.

    Anyway, happy with the changes. I’m going to try to make it to French Kiss this week.

  2. Just looking ahead a little. The movie for 12/10 – Clueless is showing up as Very Long Wait for me in my Netflix queue. Is anyone else seeing that too? It looks like my library has it and Amazon has it on VOD as back up.

  3. I see the same thing on Netflix Janice. My library doesn’t have a copy and I’m number 2 on the holds queue, so I might do the Amazon download. I’ve never seen this one, but it gets lots of raves so I’ll probably spring for it.

  4. With regard to Clueless – if you have Cinemax it’s playing right now if you want to record it and watch it later. It’s not on the on demand schedule though so you have to catch it on the fly. Just another option.

    As for the reboot – woohoo! not that things weren’t fun before but the tweaking helps. I especially love that y’all are going to keep going. I feel like I’m finally beginning to ‘get it’. The classic movies were a good grounding but storytelling has changed so much that the pacing got in the way sometimes. Now, as we’re getting closer in time it’s easier to see the flaws in my own writing. Going forward, I’m hoping that I’ll start understanding how to fix them, too 🙂

  5. I’m a Twitter addict so I’m going to forever lament leaving it. The benefit was even if I was away and unable to sit and watch a movie with those who were, I was able to see the tweets and follow along, maybe even chime in. I’m not certain about accessing the chat room on my phone.

  6. It was great for people who are familiar with Twitter, but it left a lot of people out (well, me) and there was no transcript. This way we get to keep everything, plus there really is a nice community feeling in a chat room. I think in the long run, it’s actually going to make the chat better, but mostly we wanted the transcripts because watching the movie together is such an important part of the project.

  7. Still trying to find an overall roadmap post with links to all the movies discussed. I follow you in catch-up mode, and bumbling through the calendar or archives is not as helpful to me as a post with all the movies in this series listed, with links to each episode (and a link to it’s podcast, for newbies). I tell people about this site all the time and I think new people need an easier entry point. And I do, too.

  8. Molly – until the index is up, you can use the Series Programming page on the top nav. It has links to show notes for all the movies done so far, and they’re sorted by historical period.