For some time staff has asked us what other/new functionalities we would like to have on the site. This post is my personal view on this question. Probably all of my thoughts have already been addressed internally by product management and staff. But still, there might be one new idea in the post or in the discussion/comments, or it even might just tell staff how eager we are to take a next step.

Most viewers probably only visit the site because of the episode/show pages, they are always on top of the Google searches. That is a huge potential. I have also been staggered by the number of Twitter followers (70.5K), so a lot of people get information on the staff posts. But we never see those numbers reflected in the comments. As on most of the internet, people will come back and attribute more often if they feel they are member of a community.

Let’s be honest, I will visit the site whatever because I like a lot of people over here and the comments and posts they make. I like staff because they always respond and add to the site. But I would love to make other people see what we see.

The three pillars of the site for me are, in no particular order:
  1. the next phase of the Community Feed, being a personal (community) page;
  2. the Show Community or Topic Community;
  3. the TV.com homepage
I could see different types of community membership for the site. A suggestion might be:
  • Trusted Member/Advocate: Read show information, posts, comments, reviews and ratings; post comments, reviews, ratings and posts, message, chat, flag abuse; thumb up, flag for consideration of promoting by staff, editor on designated communities, earn points and recognition;
  • Member: Read show information, posts, comments, reviews and ratings; post comments, reviews, ratings and posts, message, chat, flag abuse; thumb up, earn points and recognition;
  • Non-member: Read show information, posts, comments, reviews and ratings.
How a member could become a Trusted member/Advocate is up for discussion. For earning points, the present level system or a badge system will do fine, although the present system should be reset as it is based on earning points in a way that is not possible anymore and active community members can hardly earn points. If there could be another system however I would be in favour of that.

The Community Feed, a personal (community) page
When I log into TV.com I would like an overview page that feels like a personal community page that gives me all the information I want and gives information to others who want information about me. It is the next phase of the Community Feed, a combination of the profile page, the present Community Feed and more, adapted to my preferences on the site. It shows/gives:
  • my communities;
  • the community members I follow;
    • have they made new posts plus links (may be presented as a/their channel);
    • have they made new comments plus links to those post or comments (like in notifications);
  • a message window to send a message to all followers;
  • personal statistics (like page views on posts);
  • my tv-listing (transferred from the homepage), or better, a watchlist (see tvguide.com);
  • a possibility to show a/my own twitter feed;
  • alerts on thumbs up on episode reviews (see below, no thumbs down allowed);
  • notification on all posts that have more than a certain number of page views or comments (to be set in the settings page) in other than my own communities as they might be interesting to read;
  • pull down menus with my ratings so others can find what I like;
  • the option in settings to start on the homepage or the Community Feed (personal page);
  • the last time I was online (so others can see if I’m still active).
Except for the difficult to read light grey colour, I like the links on the left side of the profile page.

I would like to be able to maintain different levels of contact with other participants in the communities like personal friend, community friend or non-contact. I would want to be able to determine how much of the information on my personal community page I want to reveal to other levels of members. There must be a minimum set like alias and avatar, but the rest can be set per type of contact.

I would love to have a small program that sits on my pc and alerts me when I get new mails, comments, posts and thumbs up, followers and unfollowers. I would like to be able to determine what I get notified on. It even might be a e-mail notification or something like RSS, only directed at a user-defined email address. Even an API would do so someone can make a small program;

The community page (Show Community and Topic Community)
When I go to the community page I would like it to be the one and only information page on that show or topic, the community around it and every other kind of information on it. The Show Community is a combination of the show page and present Show Community. Some wishes mentioned might only apply to the Show Community and not to the Topic Community.
  • it shows or gives links/pull down menus to all information on the show or topic;
  • it shows or gives links/pull down menus to all community posts (episode posts, staff review articles, episode page discussions etc.)
  • it gives a link to the legacy forum;
  • members who have achieved a certain credibility point threshold in the system (like Trusted Members/Advocates) should be allowed to vote for a not yet promoted post. If enough members have voted in favour, the post should be promoted to the homepage;
  • members who have achieved a certain credibility in the system (like Trusted Members/Advocates) should be allowed to post their posts in more than one community;
  • have writers/reviewers check if trailers/videos they want to put up already have been posted by other members and if so, do not post or send the member a pm about it;
  • an edit button for two minutes after posting a comment; the fact that it is only possible for a short time addresses the issues put forward by staff;
  • an option per communities to block specific posts (like the "Discuss X, Episode X") from appearing in the feed;
  • reviews on episodes can only be thumbed up. Other opinions should be vented by making a new review. A thumbs up will result in a notification;
  • I would like to see ‘share’ buttons on more places than on the post announcements on main community page alone, I should not need to go back there;
  • more pull down menus with ratings as they can be a powerful tools to quickly find the most useful content and highlight what is energizing a community at that moment;
  • I would rather have "New" as the default option instead of "Trending";
  • it would be nice if, when starting to follow a community, all the old comments and posts would be taken into account for calculating the rank (it seems it is now done from the moment you start to follow).
To make it simple, I would like to see all reviews, polls, episode guides etc. in the current Show and Topic Community format. In doing so, the forums should be closed (except for viewing old forum posts) completely. Up to now they are still used for reviews and discussions and those members have no drive to step over to the communities.

TV.com homepage
I rather like the set-up of the homepage as it is, but of course I still have something to wish for.
  • please post anything only once on the homepage as it now prevents me from reading downwards as I believe to have seen everything already;
  • why use a header like ‘Latest episode reviews continued’ just below ‘latest episode reviews’ as this only takes up space that can be used for other items;
  • next to featured community post I would like to see a section of the most popular community posts, like the most popular news section and based on a combination of pageviews and staff judgement;
  • show visible social contact buttons (like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter);
  • show the TV.com Twitter or Facebook feed as long as they have information that differs from the info on the homepage already;
  • show tweets with the hashtag #tvdotcom on the homepage;
  • items like ‘what’s on Twitter’ can be condensed to a much smaller list with one line for number of tweets, name and ‘got to the community’;
  • I would like to see either ‘popular shows’ or ‘trending shows’ removed as I do not understand the difference and it takes up a lot of space;
  • I would like to see two rows of TV.com writers and next to the line ’TV.com writers’ I would lie to see something like ‘Click on photo to see all of his/her posts’. It took me some time before I had figured that out;
  • follow my tv-shows can be removed as there is a ‘follow my communities’ on the personal community page;
  • on the top line I have never understood why Community is singular and the rest is plural. For me it always looked like the tv-series Community. If still separated in words, I would like Shows and Communities both refer to all of the communities and not to my communities feed only (as the only way to get to all communities at this moment is via the leaderboard).

Every page
These are the (extra) options I would like to see available on every page like the pm/notification/communities buttons now.
  • ability to search for user-generated content within the general and (to me visible) personal community pages/areas based on keywords and key phrases;
  • messaging with the full functionality of a messaging system like Google mail or outlook (also: multiple recipients and no character limits);
  • chat between two or more members of the community. The originator should be allowed to let other people in. It would also be great if I would be able to archive the conversation;
  • notifications of new messages, referrals, new followers, unfollowers, thumbs up, comments;
  • a help system (could be set up and maintained by user editors);
  • make a direct link to all the communities, the link through the ‘’community leaderboard’ does not seem logical (see last remark on the homepage);
  • on the communities list, it would be great if the Topics Communities would in some way become more visible (they are easily unnoticed), maybe put in two lists next to each other and not a part of another list (as it is now).

General wishes
Next to the wishes on the three main pillars of the site, I would love to see the following:
  • either have pm’s addressed to writers/reviewers answered or do not give them pm addresses. I can see several reason for not answering, but it could be assessed as rude. Maybe staff can filter them (answer most, send rest to writers/reviewers) or only give the pm possibility to Trusted Members which might get members to attribute more;
  • have all writers/reviewers (the staff ones):
    • respond more to comments on their posts as readers/commenters will come back to see what the professionals think;
    • refer more often to the communities;
    • acknowledge the fans and the fan posts by sometimes referring to them in writing and in links as they are all part of the same community;
  • I would like to be able to scroll through all my notifications (not only the last 20) ;
  • reward sharing posts on Facebook Twitter feed with points;
  • do not only use Twitter and Facebook to alert on new staff posts, but also use it to alert on other stuff like quality featured posts and even invite members to write posts;.
  • promote the site as a place we all can contribute to the success: it may be a unique selling point;
  • all links go to the community pages and not to show pages anymore;
  • have an ongoing topic or help item on writing posts. Not only the procedural issues, but also what kind of posts you like you be written. We know our members like polls and discussion on “the twelve xxxx I liked best”, or “What part of yyyy did you think about last night”, but what kind of posts would TV.com also consider to be quality posts?;
  • I would love a picture cutting tool where I can copy (drag&drop;) my picture into and I will be able to adjust it to and save it in the pixelation needed for the posts (small and big);
  • I would like to scrolling through lists instead of loading new pages (f.i. after 25 members of a community);
  • all videos shown can be seen outside of the US (although I know it is not always possible). If it’s not possible, mention in the post you tried and you will try again later. This will make it more acceptable;
  • get promoted on other sites like tvguide.com like they get on our site;
  • make it possible to save my tv listing in iCal format, so to be integrated with external calendaring software (i.e. Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar, etc.);
  • a mobile app with the same functionalities as the website (what happened to the old one?);
  • the reflection of site on smartphones and tablets should be about the same as the website (f.i.it now does not show the featured items/posts);
  • make ‘removed messages’ visually completely removed as long as they have no comments;
  • the light gray small words like ‘see all featured posts’ should be more visible to readers;
  • I would like to be able to write a message to all the commenters on a post I did before so I can alert them to a follow up post. This might be something for the original writer of a post only or for trusted members;
  • have staff approach members actively to ask for specific posts they would like to be written;
  • invite members regularly for quality surveys, it will give valuable information. These surveys could be about the site in general, specific topics, the reviews or the reviewers;
  • remove the spamming accounts also from the top members boards and in the line below a post;
  • to be honest, I’m also a bit vain, so as the writer of a post, I would like to see where (by whom) my post was shared on the social media;
  • I presume ‘leaderboards’ and ‘top members’ are to acknowledge member contributions, possibly encourage them to contribute even more to get higher on the list or inform other members what the active members are. If that’s the case it might be good not to include staff members on that list as they will always occupy most of the upper numbers.

If you’ve made it so far, you are a true hero and really invested in the site. I have two questions for you.

The first of course being what functionalities you would like to see.

But, if the site would pick up all our suggestions, it probably would mean years and years of work. So we should help them and foremost answer the following question: What do you prefer to see prioritized first, above all the others?
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