A Quick One While You've Been Away...

Ach! Look to your left! What do you see?

That's right -- nothin'... Now, in the words of Joe Jackson, "Eyes right!" What do you see there?


Oh, just my latest fishie widget, landed when I opened up my account on Spout.com, which is a very specific online community for movie lovers. I had been hearing about the site for a while now, really ever since I started listening to the Filmspotting podcast from Chicago Public Radio. Never thought to check it out before, until I listened to the latest 'cast today and heard Spout mentioned once more. As I happened to be on my lunch and was bored from casting about aimlessly on the tubes of the Internets, I said, "What the heck!"


As I have documented quite fully thus far -- and which will be documented just a tad further in a couple days -- I am still not exactly enthused about my experience on Flixster, the application which I added to my fledgling Facebook page. Checking out Spout.com, I found a variety of cool services that Flixster cannot approach, but Spout.com's downfall for me is its rather slow-loading interface. It took me about 12 minutes to rate and add about 8 movies to my list of favorite films, when Flixster allowed me to add roughly 50 or so. Ultimately, there may be more one can do with their movie lists on Spout.com, but I will withhold judgment on this until I have put in more than a mere 0.48 days on the site (at least, that is what my "Stats" page tells me I have done thus far).

The chief pisser for me is that when you look up a title, a DVD cover comes up which does not necessarily correspond to the one in my collection. As an example, I dialed up the 1933 version of King Kong and got a DVD cover on my page that I am fairly certain I have never seen before in my life. This hacked me off because I was attempting to use the swell new widget I discovered on Spout, and the very one that you see on the top right of this very blog. If you run your cursor over the image, the titles will move fast or slow depending on how you move it, and you can also see the title name and my incorrectly starred rating for the film. I say "incorrectly" because these ratings in no way correspond with the 9-star ratings system that I have installed on all of my posts on my various blogs. Spout.com also does not allow you 1/2 votes -- just five boring stars, so that is another plus in Flixster's favor. At least with Flixster, I can ignore the full fifth star and still have my 9-star system.

And if you do scan the image at the right, you will see that loathed cover of the big ape movie, which when you look up all 118 titles that come up when you put the title through Amazon's DVD section, doesn't even show up on any of the five pages. So, now this makes me rather suspect of Spout.com's online store (which is a big push on the site), and something which I probably won't choose over Amazon's general swiftness and ease of use. After all, I don't want it to take half an hour to purchase three titles, as slow as the pages load on Spout.

So, if I am bitching so much about Spout already after only a half day as a member (it is a free service), then why have I put their widget on my blog? Well, because it's different and new for me... and so sue me already if I can't try something to punch things up a bit. Of course, I realize it actually serves as a free ad for their site, so once I have determined that I really can't deal with the site, it will go away. My rule since the beginning is I would only allow an ad on my pages if it were something I believed in deeply. For now, they get a pass because there are numerous features which interest me.

Chief amongst these would be its connection to Filmspotting, a show I enjoy greatly, and also allows you to add the show's two critics to reside on your page as "experts." While their savaging of Bringing Up Baby a couple of months ago makes me doubt the veracity of this statement, I do respect their opinions to the larger degree. Because the charge of the site is its clear focus on movie criticism and nothing outside of that, it also, right now, seems remarkably free of the usual teenie random clickers, who as a rule generally give little thought to their opinions on a larger scale, something that quite obviously plagues Flixster, as if it were a gathering place for people who have only seen films with Jennifer Garner.

For now, the widget stays, incorrect covers and all. Perhaps I will discover some hidden method on Spout where I can choose the cover I wish to include (Flixster doesn't allow this either); perhaps I won't. But let me have my fun for now. I'm sure I will discover something else in a week or so that make me rethink the entire process all over again.

Comments

Hmmm... I may have to check this place out. I'm in the same boat regarding all these movie rating sites, but that widget in the corner is pretty neat and shiny. I must have one.

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