And here’s part 2 of where I look at why TVCom is where it is today.

Please note that the following are all personal opinions, and only reflect the views of the author. I don’t speak for anyone else, and freely admit that I don’t have access to all of the information.

Whither TVCom?

When CNET purchased the TVTome database, they probably had the best intentions at heart. And the site staff was initially responsive to users. Not entirely, but I wouldn’t expect or want them to be 100% open. Also, there was a lot of rush-rush work to get the site up, and I suspect that was part of its eventual downfall.

But then CBS bought out CNET and handed it to CBSInteractive (CBSI), and for whatever reason they kept TVCom a separate property. They ended up competing with the long-established TVGuide property that they also owned. Arguably, they should have merged the TVCom database into TVGuide, which they owned at the time and still do. Adding data, forums and/or communities would have been a big improvement to TVGuide.

But they didn’t. Whether they could or not is one of those mysteries for the ages. Me, I think the initial rush to get the site up was done so poorly, and the people who did the coding left, that the current programmers can’t unravel the coding or port the data out. The site keeps breaking down, and part of it is that I suspect the programmers can’t fix the site without taking it down entirely for a few hours/days/weeks. That seems to be a trigger that CBS doesn’t want to pull.

TVcom needs design and coding from the ground up. But that would cost money, and CBSI doesn’t see TVcom as a money-making venture. “It takes money to make money” seems to be a philosophy that CBSI doesn’t share.

Whatchu Talking About?


The TVCom management in my view is either very heavily bureaucratized, or paranoid. Perhaps the two are synonymous. There’s always been a layer of secrecy for the contributors, who I like to call “unpaid employees”. I’ve worked with and in volunteer organizations over the years, and I’ve never seen volunteers treated as shabbily as CBSI treats TVCom users. There is little or no transparency, or meaningful communication, or acknowledgement that the users are human beings.



Since taking over, CBSI has made little or no effort to promote the site as user-friendly. Look at the front page: how many places does it say that TVCom wants user contributions?

I’m not sure what CBSI thinks that it’s protecting. The veil of secrecy might have been warranted 10+ years ago, but time and the Internet has moved on. Given the apparent political views of its writers, it's ironic that TVCom comes across as more Trump-like than progressive. You have crappy treatment of (unpaid) employees, paranoia, secrecy, arbitrary decisions, and money loss. Which does that sound more like? "Hope and Change", or "You're Fired!"

The treatment extends to communication in general. Users are treated like an annoyance, not employees. Would you work for a company that treated its employees that way? That’s when volunteers are treated at all. Currently TVcom staff doesn’t communicate with users or respond to emails.

As I’ve said before, contributors aren’t treated like customers. They’re not treated like employees. They’re treated as… nothing. The company’s attitude is best summed up by JK’s public statement shortly before she left. Which amounted to “I said ‘thank you’. What else can I do?”

Contributors have also been phased out of the contribution process, and the contribution process has been minimized. A couple of years ago, Trivia, Notes, Quotes, and Allusions were moved to a secondary page. Before that, the number of cast displayed on the main page was minimized. Most of the stuff that’s hidden doesn’t show up on SEO. What’s the point of contributing if your contributions aren’t easily visible?

Addendum: supposedly "page loading time" was cited for why the info was removed the main episode page. So... instead we got ads and videos. Yeah, those speeded up page loading times. Not.

The space made available yielded more advertising space. But what’s the point of advertising if no one comes to see it? Badges were removed, CP displays were removed or minimized, contributions were mostly moved to a second page, control of episode addition and editing wasn’t shared with editors. None of this encourages contributors, and in fact actively discourages them. There may have been short-term reasons for all of this… but the end result is that users have gone elsewhere. For what shall it profit a site, if it gains advertisers but loses the target audience?

Maybe I’m wrong… but then, why is the site in the shape it is?

Editors, We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Editors

Editors have slowly been phased out of the process. No more forums, so not as much editor interaction. No episode adding, deleting, and modifying: not as much that’s significant for editors to do.

Did TVCom have good reason to add an auto-adding episode system? Yes, although part of why they needed it was reduced contributions due to previous bad decisions. And maybe Development couldn’t rig a way to give editors some input given the patchwork nature of the coding. But it was “bad optics”, to quote a phrase. If Development couldn’t do it, that’s a red flag that something should be done to fix the problem. If the current programmers can’t do the job, hire programmers who can. If no programmers can fix it, start from the ground up. Yes, the site might have to go down for a week. But right now TVCom is going down for the third time. What was there to lose?

Look at publication. Every few weeks it breaks down. And it's been a lot of "few weeks". And yet the people who work at the site can't fix it.

Are some editors problematic? Sure. But communicate with them, or kick them out. Communication is mentioned above. And some of it is…


I’m Of Two Minds About This

TVcom has often seemed… schizophrenic. They come across as being nice to at least some users and to paid staff. They eased MIA deadlines, officially or unofficially. They went easier on gamers. They became more generous about approving subs. This all made things easier for staff and (some) contributors.

But in the long term, did it work? Look at the site now: does it seem like it’s working? When good contributors were treated the same (or worse) as mediocre contributors, most of the former took off. This led to more mediocre contributors, and more good contributors leaving, and so on, and so on.

You Gotta Spend Money to Make Money

I mentioned it earlier, but it’s a circular process. You got to spend money--on advertising, on staff, on writers, on the time to acknowledge your good contributors--to make money. TVCom didn’t, and people left, hits and advertising dropped, more people left, hits and advertising dropped some more, and on and on. CBSI didn’t try to fix or improve the site: they let it get worse, and the users realized it.

For whatever reason, CBSI doesn’t think that TVCom makes money. That may very well be true, but the question is why it doesn’t make money? Which brings us to…

No Responsibility, No Ownership of Problems


Who is to blame for all this? Who knows? Staff leaves for “personal reasons”. There’s no apology, no admitting that mistakes were made. If I was running the business, I’d want to know who screwed up and why. CBSI doesn’t have to say, “Such-n-such screwed up, and we’re giving them the old heave-ho.” But a simple “Yes, this was a mistake and we’ll do better in the future. Here’s how we’re going to change” would suffice.

Since CBSI doesn’t do that, they’re either so paranoid that they won’t. Or they don’t think mistakes were made. Either one of those are scary ideas.


Again, maybe there's some shakeups behind the scenes. I don't expect to be told what's going on there, and I don't want to be told. But if so... why doesn't anything change?

Back when staff used to talk at all, remember when they'd say, "Well a lot of users are asking for [something lamebrained]"? And not a user would speak up in defense of it? If it was such a great idea, why not take credit for it? TVCom occasionally talked about how great their community was, and how much they respected it. But they forgot or never listened to the core message of that movie classic, Megaforce:


Customer Service

But if us users aren’t unpaid employees, does that mean we’re customers? If so, customer service is lousy at TVCom. When something doesn’t get fixed, it’s “We’re working on it” and “We have no estimated time of repair” and "We'll add it to the list". Would you put up with your auto mechanic or your AC repairman saying that?


If site programmers aren’t working to a schedule and can’t work out an ETA… hire better programmers. Or concede that the site as-is can’t be fixed, shut it down, and rebuild it. Or if CBSI doesn’t want to spend the money, shut it down and call it a day.

Even if users aren’t “customers”, and admittedly the dynamics of a free website make that iffy, why not treat users like customers? Like the saying goes, You get more flies with honey that vinegar. Flattery is cheap.

And how rude is it when CBSI can't even bother with free flattery?

Volunteers Everywhere!

TVCom is supposedly a volunteer-based site. And yet CBSI doesn’t want to use the volunteer pool beyond the minimum possible. Why not have volunteers process non-editor subs? Resolve MIA issues? Deal with spam? Write community articles and treat them like staff writers rather than ambitious fanboys and fangirls?

But nope, no way, no how. Part of it is the stuff cited above: CBSI’s contempt for users. The patchwork coding. And the corporate paranoia. And the weird-ass third-party-only episode adding.

That’s why as I’ve said in the past, I don’t understand CBSI’s financial model. They have a volunteer site… but would rather pay staff than use unpaid volunteers. They could just get out of the way and let volunteers run most of the site. But they won’t. Because of concern for the sanctity of the site? Given the state of TVCom, does CBSI seem concerned about the site?


Also as noted, it seems schizophrenic. Sometimes it seems like CBSI wants to do what’s best for TVCom and they’re concerned. But then they undercut their own efforts repeatedly and they’re not concerned.

We’re Not Supposed to Make Money

Anyone seen the last episode of WKRP In Cincinnati? TVCom reminds me of WKRP, when Mama Carlson changes the station format when they start making money. And the staff realize that they were never supposed to make money: that the whole thing is basically a tax writeoff that wasn’t supposed to earn a profit.


That’s what TVCom seems like. CBSI has crushed every possibility that TVCom has had to make money. They pay staff to do the work that volunteers could do, and then let staff go. They keep the site going with bad coding rather than take it down to improve it. They minimize the volunteers’ efforts. They limit episode-adding and changed entirely to a third party. They keep making decisions that make the site less viable.

There may have been good reasons for all of this at the time. But the end result was a site predictably doomed to failure. Some of us predicted it, and we were right. And now... it’s failing.

Could CBSI fix these issues? Probably. But it won’t be free. They’d have to spend money for Development to code the site to let volunteers do more of the work. They’d need to pay at least one staff member to do what’s left for staff to do. Once those things are in place, teaching staff to treat volunteers like human beings is policy, not money. It wouldn’t address all of the issues I noted, but it would likely stop the hemorrhaging.

Will they do it? Probably not. CBSI seems to have written TVCom off as a loss. So on the site spirals until eventually CBSI pulls the plug.

But that’s just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think?
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May 21, 2018
Here's another fine example TVcom's incompetence.. 107 episodes for season six of Green Acres, a show which ended 47 years ago with 80+ of them dated 2016.

Fkn nitwits.
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May 04, 2018
Wait, is this a wake?

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May 04, 2018
IMO, not when the person/site in question is still dying. Aren't wakes for afterward?
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May 05, 2018
Yes! It´s a pre.wake!

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May 03, 2018
I've got outstanding submissions dating from 18 March. Outstanding requests for the addition of new episode dating from 7 March. And outstanding requests for the deletion of source-inspired duplicate episode guides dating from 6 December 2017.
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May 02, 2018
Also, thinking about it, the editorial assignment system has never made much sense. So instead of staff assigning editorships from Day One, they moderate subs until someone gets 70 CPs and then the contribute automatically becomes editor. But... instead of clicking one button to approve someone, they have to approve 20-30-40 subs and click a button that many times (at least) to "choose" an editor.

Plus as I've noted before, what if the person who contributes the most doesn't want to be editor? Just because someone is a fan of the show doesn't mean they want to be editor. Or would make a good editor.

That's in part why I noted a while back that I don't mind TVCom removing the "competitive" bit where if someone overtakes you by 70 CPs, you lose editorship. Jobs in real life typically aren't like that: how many staff members at TVcom lose their jobs because another staff member processes more subs than them? But removing the overtaking bit only works effectively if decent editors are appointed in the first place. The system that has been with us since Day One never made much sense.
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May 02, 2018
Granted, the bottleneck would be staff if they didn't approve editorships.

But how would that be different than what is happening now? The bottleneck still exists: it just takes 5-10-20+ times as long to get an editor assigned.
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May 03, 2018
As far as I can see they've removed the bottleneck by removing all staff :-).
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May 03, 2018
And it takes even longer when they don't add new shows to the site or episodes to new shows that are currently just shells ;)
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May 01, 2018
The Alexa Traffic Ranks are always a good indicator how well or not well a site does. At the moment the figures for both sister sites are

whereas in 2016 they were




TVCom is doing horrible and sunk from around the 2200th place when staff went over to TVGuide in May 2016 to around the 8300 place now. But TVGuide did not do well either. I suppose CBSI also has a job to do there and there's no time for TVCom left.

In the end, TVCOm was doing better before the moves then TVGuide is doing now.
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May 01, 2018
But how is the rest of the "industry" doing? IMDb, for instance? or Wikipedia?

From what I've seen, I don't think any TV database is doing well. If a rising tide raises all boats, than a lowering one drops all boats.

I don't doubt that TVCom is comparatively worse than it was next to other sites. But to some degree, I think the trend is that all sites are dropping.
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May 03, 2018
I do agree with you. Businesswise the site should have taken a turn somwhere and should aim at other communities as well. That is what they started, but executed poorly (CBS-E ( = former TVGuide) management is to blame). TVGuide is not going in the right direction either so they missed the whole turningpoint as far as I can see.
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May 01, 2018
It's always good to read something of the history and especially from the editors side.

As you know, I've written a few posts in 2016 about it myself, but more from the community writers point of view. If anybody is still interested, the can be found here:
and one interesting loss of functionality:

As noticed before, almost only editors are commenting.
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May 01, 2018
In fairness, me and TesserT among others are contributors a well as editor. I use and write for the communities.

Part of the problem is that the site isn't particularly appealing to community writers and users. The communities might have been state-of-the-art when they were created (although they weren't). But time marches on.
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May 03, 2018
You are correct Sir, I know, sorry. I commented as I did because these posts seemed to be written by an editor or at least from an editor's view.
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Apr 30, 2018
And then today, they moderated half of the subs that I made earlier today, within five minutes of each other, but not the other half in the same time period. I don't even think they moderated the earliest/latest ones.So they did the crew and cast, but not the summary or quotes. Uh, what?

So It's not like they did, say, the three earliest out of the six I made. Just three out of six at random. But even if they did take the first or last three out of six, why stop halfway through six?
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May 01, 2018
I also wonder if that's what us editors are supposed to do now with submissions. Do some, do some others a day or two or five later.

I understand that staff don't have to follow the same guidelines as volunteers But we don't know what the guidelines are these days.
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May 01, 2018
I often wonder if that's how CBSI works. "Well, Accounting paid me half of my check. Maybe they'll pay me the other half tomorrow. Or the day after. Or the day after."

But when it's all "a game", I suppose that's what you get. As opposed to any kind of relationship to reality.
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Apr 30, 2018
Another good example is 2-3 years ago, when I finished writing recaps of every episode of old-MacGyver. No unreasonably, I though that this would significantly boost TVCom on Google for anyone doing a search of "MacGyver". Because.. the name "MacGyver" gets a lot of mentions in any given recap. Multiply that times 7 seasons, and you'd get 700+ mentions on TVCom in the recaps.

But it didn't. I asked JK about this, and she said that Development had never figured out a way to tie in the SEO to the recap pages. The hell? It must be a nice job (or they've got a heck of a union) when their boss tells them to do something, they shrug and say it can't be done, and... they keep their jobs.

When TVCom moved allusions off of the episode page, guess what that meant? Less Google hits. So maybe taking Allusions off of the episode page helped the page-loading speeds. Although the addition of advertising to make up for the reduced hits seemed to take it right back to the same loading speed. But with less Google hits, you've got... less people to see your site and the advertising.

So essentially, Development being unable to do what would be considered part of their jobs cost TVCom a lot of Google his and the subsequent advertising. And yet their either kept their jobs, or the people that replaced them were just as incompetent So either TVCom didn't have a choice, or they were "nice" to Development in return for getting screwed.

Instead, TVcom worries about whether contributors are using parentheses or not. Their priorities don't follow what I and most people consider "common sense".

Either that, or the site has such poor coding that nobody can fix it. So no one can improve it, and it just keeps breaking down. But no one will pay to replace it. Go TVCom Competence!
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Apr 29, 2018
Another thing to keep in mind is what a staff member told me long ago about the volunteer data management system and the system of contributions and editors. "It's a game."

Nothing I've ever seen here convinces me otherwise.

Does anyone think that TVGuide treats its data management system like a game? IMDB? Wikipedia?

There's no problem in making a site and a contribution system "fun". But if the people running the site just think that it's a game... well, you get TVCom as it is today.
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May 02, 2018
And that's one of the reasons that TVCom has such a schizophrenic viewpoint of the site. Is it a game, or isn't it?

A game has rules, and unbiased referees who enforce the rules. TVCom has rarely had that.

Jessica used to be fond of saying that every situation is different. Every shot in a game of basketball is different, but there are still rules to the game of basketball and they are enforced consistently and (mostly) in an unbiased manner.
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Apr 28, 2018
What a sad state of affairs we have here at TVCom. Reminds me of the movie Major League only I don't think the players (us) will prevail here at TVCom. This site is a tax write off. Why else do they occasionally moderated a handful of submissions from the same day but ignore those from 2 months ago. They catch up with adding new episodes for current shows but ignore requests for those episodes and new shows they miss. They need to appear to be keeping the site going but only just.

Nice 2 part write up Gislef. But it's just sad. Things have only gotten worse since Rolamb's post in 2016. Hope keeping up my guides isn't a big joke on me in the end.
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Apr 29, 2018
I understand that. But even if that's the case, it takes, in any meaningful way, no time to process older subs first. That's not a matter of feigning effort: it's a matter of sheer mindlessness. The most inexperienced intern knows that from real-life experience.

Unless the staff moderation tool is substantially different from the unpaid employee moderation tool, there is no benefit to moderating newer subs first. And several obvious flaws. It might be okay if the moderator was going to process all subs. If you're going to do everything in 4 hours, it doesn't matter if first or last is done first. But that's not the case.
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Apr 29, 2018
Exactly. They processed my person subs from Thursday and Friday the same day but nothing from before. They also rejected 2 person subs with the explanation "Use of parenthesis is not permitted." One sub was adding DUPLICATE as in "Rich Harrison (I) - DUPLICATE" - the parentheses were already there after the last name ????
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Apr 30, 2018
Plus... if they can't tell you what to do in a rejection PM, why not send you a direct PM and explain what to do? Heck, do it before they reject it. Maybe you're correct. ;)

But it's that obsession with secrecy again. If they sent you a direct PM, they'd know who you were working with. Can't have that.
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Apr 29, 2018
And if they don't want us to use parentheses, how do we indicate uncrediteds? Do we? Who knows?

The problem isn't that staff doesn't involve the community in decisions like this. As deplorable as it is. It's they don't tells us what their decision is.

Most businesses, it's "We won't implement a new policy until we have a way to communicate it." With TVCom, it's "We'll implement a new policy and not worry about communicating it." Go Team Customer Service!
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Apr 29, 2018
I's a good example of the corporate maneuver which boils down to "dick move disguised as a nice gesture".

Theoretically it means they're actual checking subs instead of mass-approving them. Which is good. "In theory". And embracing a better standard. which is good. "In theory". That's all good. "In theory".

But there's no public posting of the new policy, there's no accepting the subs that were made before the policy was made. If the policy was actually made. There's nothing of staff removing the parentheses on their own (presumably). Are there still multiple Rich Harrisons or whoever? There's no request for the volunteer contributors to remove the parenthesis, or how to indicate duplicates and multiples of the same name.

There's no public statement (or private one given) of how to indicate duplicates. It gives no guidance, it clarifies nothing, and since it's not written down anywhere on the site that I know of, it could change with the next unpaid intern, or the next staff change, or any of a dozen other things. In a day, a week, a month, a year.

Staff can't only stick the landing, they can't even manage the takeoff. :(

It's contempt (badly) disguised as concern. It's insulting enough that staff thinks someone would fall for it, it's even more insulting that they used it on you. It probably isn't intended as an insult: just a total failure of understanding reality and human nature. It's like Eskimos who have lived in an igloo since birth are in charge of the site. Heck, at least they'd know that "too cold" = bad, and snow is white. You don't get that impression from staff.

And that's the most insulting thing of all.
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Apr 29, 2018
And that's another example of that a) the person moderating doesn't know what they're doing, and b) what do they want us to do to mark, duplicates?

Presumably, they're not only supposed to explain why the sub is being rejected, but explain how to submit it to get it accepted. If they want to change the duplication system and use a different way to indicate duplicate, that's annoying but understandable All we can conclude from the rejection is that.. they don't want us to indicate duplicates.

Again, it's not a matter of valuing the site, i's of lacking basic communication skills.It takes no more time to submit "No longer taking Duplicates" as it does "Use of parentheses is not permitted". Not to mention that in publicly posted policy,, where does it say that parentheses is not permitted?
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Apr 28, 2018
I think it comes down to one very simple thing: do TVGuide articles appear on TVCom (and remain linked to TVGuide)?

Or do TVCom articles appear on TVGuide and remain linked to TVCom?

Answer that, and you'll know what site CBSi gives preference to.
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May 01, 2018
I can answer that for you. After the move of the writers to TVGuide I had a conversation with one about something and the asnwer was that it was not possible anymore as they were writing the articles in the TVGuide system. So, they are TVguide articles that are ported to the TCCom site.
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May 01, 2018
And from that, we know which site CBSI gives preference to. :)
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Apr 26, 2018
It's not just that they are mistreating editors, they are also mistreating visitors.

How many times have we complained about something as simple as not putting a freaking spoiler on the main page!

At first we got no answers, then we started to get absurd answers like they are "working on it".

What's to work? You don't put X killed Y on show Z in the title OR sub title. It's really not that hard.

While this site always had some spoilers issue, the merger with TVGuide made it 100 times worst.

That's just one more thing in the coffin of this ghost town. A lot people were turned off to come to a site that gives you a community to talk about one show when it spoils everything else you see.





But that's also what I don't get about this whole thing. If the site isn't profitable and doesn't serve any real purpose for them, why don't they just shut it down? Just put a 302 redirection to TVGuide and save yourself the trouble of operating 2 different sites.


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Apr 26, 2018
My guess is that this was an interface problem, or at least whoever designed it didn't really understand the systems.
There was an extra line on the TVCom side, sort of a sub-heading. This doesn't exist on the TVGuide site.
So, my guess (based on nothing) is that there's an internal description in the TVGuide article management system, for writers to identify the article. And someone decided to populate the 2nd line on the TVCom side with this. That's why we got spoilers, in this second line.
Eventually, this second line was removed from TVCom screens.
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Apr 26, 2018
I suspect that TVCom is profitable, as an advertising platform. Thanks to SEO and such, it still brings in plenty of hits via Google. And then the Google advertising shows the visits as hits, which lets them show a profit. It's a tidy little arrangement.. as long as CBSI doesn't spend too much money on the site.

Given CBSI's demonstrated mercenary nature, I have no doubt that the site is turning a profit and that's why they keep it going. I think it's unwise to underestimate how much profit it's making, and how it does so. The site generates 'autoprofit" for CBSI, and at the end of the day it's the black.
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Apr 26, 2018
And as noted, it may be that TVCom isn't intended these days to make money. It's either tax write-off, an ongoing justification by someone for the money they spent to buy TVTome, or some of both. Or something else.

The fact that they phased out volunteers ("Because we'll have plenty of staff to handle the work!" Ha.) and have never brought them back suggests a lack of interest in making money. The staff who made such statements in the past was either lying, ordered to lie, or had no understanding of corporate mentality. Not to mention the lack of common sense: if you've got unpaid volunteers, why fire them and pay more people to do the work? Unless profit isn't an issue.
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Apr 25, 2018
I've always considered myself a customer rather than an unpaid employee. I'm here because, when I see an actor I recognise on a TV show, I want to know where I know him or her from. And I'm prepared to put an effort into helping build a comprehensive database that I can use.

As a customer, I have always found dealing with TV.com to be like dealing with monopoly public sector organisations. The organisation doesn't always do what it's supposed to do well. The staff wish they were working anywhere else, customer-facing employees are not in a position to provide tailored services or to resolve complaints, and some of them come to realise that the customer is the problem. Not that I am singling out jessicakroeber.
There have been several generations of development teams. I recall an admission around the time we went Web 2.0 that none of the original programming team was around any more, and that, astonishingly, there was no version control documentation. So we have had lots of bolt-on solutions. The sorting tool was invented twice. Each version of the person search tool has been invented from scratch. Whilst I have railed against many of the changes, and mourned the loss of functionality, with each upgrade, some changes have been brilliant. Some of these (the import tool, cast sorting) have managed to survive.
For me, the site tipped from utility to impediment when they first trialled the auto-generation of episodes to match the libraries of VoD services. Thousands of duplicates were created overnight, and while users were given the opportunity to identify them and request their deletion (gee, thanks!) someone at TV.com decided that duplicates generated as 'TV movies' would be allowed to stand. Every decision thereafter seemed to favour the corporate approach over the efforts of individual editors, with users being turned into supplicants and now, with no-one listening, madmen raving at the sky.
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Apr 25, 2018
The "upgrades"...remember the upgrades? They would make announcements about them, shut down the site for several hours and re-open it. When opened, the contributors found several things didn't work, other things didn't display and so on. We were promised fixes...corrections..and other bs. What we did ultimately was work arounds...lots and lots of work around the mess made.

I'm a bit baffled why CBS didn't use this site as a way to promote its online presence. CBS rolled out their All Access site, a mix of current and retro shows. They could have pointed potential customers to the show guides built for many of these shows...the data they wanted at some point.
If they ever do hire any more staff, I hope he or she cares about this site and the remaining members...not another resume building, don't give a flying fig individual like JK.
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Apr 25, 2018
I don't remember the upgrades, sorry. Must have missed them somehow. But Developments either doesn't seem to understand the concept of beta testing on a separate server. Or the coding is such that they can't. Or they're not paid to do it.

At this point, I think the whole site is a workaround. Which is probably why Development can't fix the issues. And the Development we have now isn't the Development that created the site 10+ years ago. Probably they moved onto greener fields, and left some manual with their coding behind.

I suspect that JK was almost as frustrated as we are. If you're stuck in a job where the major issues aren't anything you have any control over or input, and you have to spend most of your work day fixing the problems that another department can't fix, you become... indifferent at best. Thinking she could do anything at our end might be giving her more credit than she deserves.

If there is another staff member, I suspect they'll be in much the same position. The problem lies much higher than a relatively lowly "community director".
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Apr 26, 2018
having had to function as "user support" for an internal company system that was not user friendly and that the system owners did't really care about, I have sympathy for JK. She was probably stuck between a rock and a hard place. She probably had no authority or ability to change the underlyign problems. So she was only able to help with piecemeal fixes to the symptoms, not the underlying problems. I don't know her situation, and maybe I'm over-reading based on my own experience. But I at least feel like she was actually willing to be the public face to us & tried to help where she could, so I give her credit for that. I don't feel like I can hold her responsible for all the crap decisions that were made.
For example, when they moved the Quotes/Trivia/Reviews etc. off the main page, I pointed out that would likely drop traffic because while I always scrolled down to read those, I don't necessarily click on all those links unless I'm curious about something or it's a show I like. I think she said it had to do with page loading times or something else, so I feel like at least she tried to explain and that maybe there was a legitimate reason to make the change (not just to annoy us). But it's this lack of transparency that is so frustrating.
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Apr 27, 2018
Another example was how she handled gaming. Or rather, how she didn't handle gaming.

I'd notice someone was gaming and point it out to her. She'd ask for "proof". I'd ask her what proof she would accept, and point out that the edit logs and such were (presumably) only visible to staff. Her response was basically that she wasn't going to look into gaming unless she had "proof", but she was the only one who could provide "proof".

I'd ask her what she considered gaming. She said it was different every time. But I didn't ask her what everyone else though was gaming. I asked her what _she_ considered gaming. "It's different every time." What?

Many conversations with JK had a certain Lewis Carroll flair to them. ;)
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Apr 26, 2018
I think JK had little "authority" to do anything outside of what she was told she could and could not do. Her responses more often than not were that she'd have to check and see or she'd find out, etc. When I'd quiz her on why changes were made or why this or why that it was always a generic answer that didn't answer anything. And in the last year it was always "the source's" fault. We have to do it because that's what the source says.

She gave me the same "page loading" answer for the reason of moving other features to another page too. I personally think she was stuck in her job and finally left (or was fired). And she hasn't been replaced and may not ever be since it seems like CBSI just doesn't give a flip about TV*com.
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Apr 26, 2018
Oh, I'm sure she didn't have any authority, at least when it came to the site itself. I don't think any of her predecessors did, either.

The main problem is the "source". Even if it and the transfer coding was 100% accurate, its presence would be iffy. But even now, there's shows with no new episodes of new shows (Krypton). or missing episodes that have aired (Legion). As well as blatantly bogus duplicate episodes on newer shows (Black Lightning) and older ones alike.

What the line from Thinner about how no one's to blame, and all blame rolls off people's shoulders? There's probably a person in authority somewhere.. but if they don't know or care or do anything to resolve the problems, it's not much "authority".
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Apr 26, 2018
I certainly sympathize with JK's position, as I've noted here and elsewhere. But... I think many of her problems she brought on herself. Even if she didn't consider them problems.

For instance, her odd and contradictory approach to a single issue. Such as... guidelines. She was fond of saying that no two situations are alike and that there was no way of creating guidelines. Which, carries to its fullest, meant that no two situations no matter how identical could be treated equally.

But then, if you asked what went in what community, she cited... guidelines. Not that they were posed or cited anywhere.

I've noted elsewhere her robotic response to many questions. I'm not sure if she felt she had sufficiently answered them (she hadn't) and that it was okay to cut off the customer asking. Or if she just got tired of answering. Perhaps if she had answered sufficiently the first time, she wouldn't keep getting the same questions.
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Apr 25, 2018
Again, excellently put. I worked at a radio station that was a write-off station and when we started to make money, the station manager was fired and we were plunged back into the red.

The code on this site is so old that frankly I'm surprised that is still works with modern browsers. HTML 5.2 is the current version with 5.3 on the way. With TVcom's history of just trying to patch things rather than build anew from the ground up (which I too have suggested as well as use a test server for fixes) I expect that one day it will become incompatible with older browsers and they'll just pull the plug. Unless...they are using it as a write-off. If that were the case, it would explain their total ignoring of the user base including contributors and doing as little as possible to keep the site online.
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