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What are we going to do about the site traffic?

Posted by Baelzar on Saturday, July 4, 2009

276 members? Ugh.

The competition is much more varied than when the original CCA existed.

What's the answer? I'd like to see the new CCA back in it's rightful place.

The Swollen Goi...
Location:
Posts: 14343
Posted: 11 years 34 weeks ago

We could do a membership drive. We could invite friends. We could create some crossover drama with another site. We could whore ourselves on other sites. We could fake a scoop. We could get a real scoop. We could keep Digging. We could start Redditing. We could offer door prizes. We could all post more in an effort to give the impression that this place is super happenin'.

I've invited three or four folks. They've registered. Ipsilon and Felt Pelt managed a post or two. Ipsilon may be back for more. Felt Pelt is a busy man.

It ain't no never mind to me. I'm happy with the group we have.

Did I ever post that longish post I planned to post about how I thought the success of movie message boards in the late nineties/early aughts was bound up with Star Wars prequel enthusiasm, about how it was a certain age group, primarily, that was connected to this movement, and about how most of them decided they outgrew message boards around the same time there were no more prequels to discuss? I suspect that most of the hangers-on in movie message boards are too old to suffer youth, and much of the youthful folks have brains that are wired differently, and can't relate to the Internet's elder statesmen. The youthful folks stay away. People "our" age tend to stay away, too, if they didn't get sucked into the movie message board black hole along with us back in the late nineties.

tstone
Location:
Posts: 76
Posted: 11 years 34 weeks ago

It's simple. The internet is a bigger place than it was during Corona's previous incarnation. Just the movie places alone have exploded, compared to the mid to late 90s.

But this is a quality site. Time, patience and publicity can still win the day.

In a universe of infinite possibilities, there indeed may be someplace where you don't SUCK. Fear the LURKING ASS
Corporal_Hicks
Location:
Posts: 1664
Posted: 11 years 34 weeks ago

The solution is simple: The prequels need to be remade.

Sent from Dalton's IPad.
Patrick Sauriol
Location: Canada
Posts: 20119
Posted: 11 years 34 weeks ago

Thanks for starting this conversation. It's a topic that's always on my mind. I thought that I would roll in and tell you guys what my side is.

The site's now been back for 6 months. There's been a few exclusives (the NEW MOON pictures, the V script review, the THING sequel review, the GREEN LANTERN and THOR casting scoops) but it really hasn't translated into new readers. The readership is growing but it's slow growth, not double-digit growth. There's a few things that I believe are answers as to why CA 2.0 isn't getting 100K readers a day and has 1K registered members:

1. As tstone said, the number of movie news websites has grown significantly since CA 1.0 went offline. Slashfilm, First Showing, Film School Rejects, to name three, seem to have all sprouted within the past 3 years. Add to that the older players, the Manias, AICN, CHUD, Dark Horizons, Sci Fi Wire, Jo Blo, Latino Reviews, and you have a lot of sites competing for the same number of eyeballs. Then there are the corporate sites that are also competing for the same traffic, like MTV's Splash Page or their Movie Blog, or UGO's Movieblog, IGN's Movies site, Yahoo's Movies page, the Gawker collection of sites, etc. And then there are the sites that specialize in just one film, like The Leaky Cauldron or the 10 billion TWILIGHT sites. The competition is fierce.

2. The competition and rules of the game have changed. Some of the sites that I mentioned above have different ways of covering news and I don't follow the rules that they adhere to. In complete honesty, the motivation of several sites seem to be getting as many hits/traffic as they can any way possible, right up to poaching the exclusive content that a site has and republishing it on their site moments after it appears on the original site. I see Slashfilm as the main culprit; they take images and scoops and place it in a news story on Slashfilm. Sure there's a link to the original site's story but by that point, who cares? If you've seen the photos and read the content of the exclusive, why would you bother going to check out the original story? The gawker sites (io9, Defamer, etc.) are notorious for doing this also. In my opinion it's disgusting but what can I do to change the way they operate? Nothing. And believe me, I'm not the only one that's noticed and complained about it.

3. CA 2.0 has been trying to find its own way. When the site relaunched there was a lot of questions in my mind about the manner in which I'd report the news and the info in the film databases. Now, it's evolved that the news stories that I write generally can follow a style similar to a blog's entry, where I can give my opinion and additional knowledge about the project. The info in the film database pages is much drier and almost devoid of opinion. I like it like that and I haven't heard any feedback from readers one way or the other about it. The downside of doing news stories is that it takes longer to write that content up. It's not just me cutting and pasting a news story that just broke in the trades (and there are several sites that do this, and seem to get more traffic because the news stories on those sites are online shortly after breaking in the trades.) Look at this story I did about Unbound Captives (http://coronacomingattractions.com/news/madeleine-stowe-loses-role-gains...) and the way it wound itself through development: that took an hour to write, and when I saw the comments from Badfish and Trazalca praising the depth of the story it gave me a boost. But that's the only time I've gotten that kind of compliment. I've made a conscious decision to take a harder road with CA 2.0 and provide better coverage and info and not be another copy and paste site. The downside to that is that I'm not getting the same traffic as a c-n-p site -- yet.

4. Sites don't like to mention other sites. I've gotten a few links from the big boys for the exclusives but by and large a movie site is very quiet about mentioning other sites and linking to them. Case in point: Coming Soon hasn't linked to a story of mine yet. I've notified the editor a few times and once I received a reply that the exclusive I had at the time wasn't in the sort of guerilla/unconfirmed style of reporting that CS does. Of course I've seen similar stories to the one I was alerting CS about before on there. But here's the thing that I've learned being back in the game: the majority of site operators want their readers to stay on their site, not surf somewhere else. The feedback that I've received from all of the people in the website biz that would talk to be off the record is that CA 2.0 is an awesome looking site. No one else is doing film database pages and certainly not in the way that CA does. Nowhere else can you vote on a hype level of a movie like on CA. So if you're running a different movie site, why would you let your readers know about this other movie site that they might like better than yours? It's a shitty thing to say but I've heard it from several people know and I've come around to believe that there's something to it.

5. My sources have dried up/moved on. I've been out of the game for a few years and I just don't have the same kind of network that I had before. That's not to say that I don't have any inside moles; I do, but it's not in the same numbers that I used to have. It's gonna take time to create new relationships with studios and insiders. CA isn't even hooked up with half of the studios for their online press list because they don't know who I am or treat CA as a new site. One week ago today Disney flew a dozen online press into Vancouver -- my freaking home town and where I live -- to visit the set of TRON 2. I wasn't invited even though I had asked the Canadian Disney rep about it months ago. And to make matters worse, none of the visiting onliners asked me if I wanted to drop by and say hi at dinner. In almost every way it's like I'm starting over, not just with studios and insiders but also with the readership and the movie website community.

OK, all that said there has been things that I've been doing to grow the site. I'm on Twitter, both under an individual account and a Corona News Feed but I don't whore myself on there the way some social marketing advocates suggest you do. I post daily content. I've been adding new films to the film database as much as I can. I just created a news partnership with IMDb that draws CA's RSS feed for news stories and republishes it on IMDb, and that seems to be getting a stream of new readers. But there are things that I should be doing and I'm not. I could be getting more exclusives but I haven't been pounding the streets for them. I could be updating news so there's always fresh content on the site in the morning. I could be doing more to attract registered users, either with contests or recruitment drives. Sure, how many hours you have in the day plays a part in how much I can get done, and plus there's also things that I don't like doing because I feel that I shouldn't have to do them, but my mind is always open to changing the battle plans if I think it's warranted.

Like I said at the start of this message, building the site is always on my mind. It's the first thing I think of when I get up and the last when I go to bed. I love you guys and thank you for wanting to help the site grow and expand. Maybe there are some things we can think of and try out, but I also want to open the floor to anyone to ask me a question or make a suggestion about ways that I can make the site more appealing to you, established readers, as well as any new ones. I've been meaning to ask this question for a while now and this seemed like the perfect place to toss it out there and get feedback. Tell me what you like, what you don't like, what works, what's confusing, what you want to see more of.

No matter where you go, there you are.
Corporal_Hicks
Location:
Posts: 1664
Posted: 11 years 34 weeks ago

Better yet, the prequels need to be remade AND we need to get a production assistant who sits outside of McCallum's office to give us the low-down.

Sent from Dalton's IPad.
Patrick Sauriol
Location: Canada
Posts: 20119
Posted: 11 years 34 weeks ago

Oh, and here's one other thing to take into consideration about the numbers: there's always been less people surfing in the summertime as opposed to the other seasons. People are on vacation or they're spending less time sitting in front of a screen and doing things like going outdoors. In every year of the 14 years that I've been writing online, a site's traffic has always dipped in the summer. Believe it or not, right now is the slow time of the year for movie websites.

No matter where you go, there you are.
Space Tycoon
Location:
Posts: 2464
Posted: 11 years 34 weeks ago

Corporal_Hicks wrote:

Better yet, the prequels need to be remade AND we need to get a production assistant who sits outside of McCallum's office to give us the low-down.

AND we need free beer.

Space Tycoon
Location:
Posts: 2464
Posted: 11 years 34 weeks ago

Patrick Sauriol wrote:

Believe it or not, right now is the slow time of the year for movie websites.

I can believe it. This is the time when all of these masterpieces we've been following and debating for months and years are finally dropped on the public...

By the way, is there a page here yet for Spielberg's Kip Thorne "Interstellar" project? THAT is something I want to see.

Patrick Sauriol
Location: Canada
Posts: 20119
Posted: 11 years 34 weeks ago

No page for INTERSTELLAR yet. I haven't heard anything about that one in a couple of years, so it hasn't been a priority for me. I'll do some checking and see if I can get a page for it started soon.

No matter where you go, there you are.
CadderlySoaring
Location:
Posts: 88
Posted: 11 years 33 weeks ago

Hey guys...

Patrick has pretty much nailed it in his thoughts above. The nature of the business has changed dramatically these past few years that starting anew from scratch is very difficult to overcome.

Plus, the amount of "back-scratching" needed to get you on a set these days is a bit ridiculous. I still get sick to my stomach everytime I hear that Pat got snubbed for something because they don't "get" CA 2.0 or know who Patrick Sauriol is.

Seriously? Really??

Yep. All that matters now for most industry insiders is that ComScore, which most studio reps look at when deciding who gets a set invite and who doesn't. If your ComScore isn't good enough, you won't get the invites and you'll be generally ignored by a lot of people who have popped up while CA was resting. And it's not just that. Our ComScore has been great the past year but since we're not constantly "back-scratching" inside Hollywood, the invites are less than some competitors who have worse traffic numbers. It's a bit of both which continue to make it hard getting your name out there.

Another issue is his thoughts on linking, which is spot on. I've noticed the same style from some movie blogs that do link to the original story but their link is at the very bottom of their story. To me, this is very devious. By that time, their reader has already read the story and won't need to click on the original link. Same goes for some websites which link within their stories but they don't actually name the original scoop's website name. Instead they hyperlink at the bottom with the word "here". Without any name attribution whatsoever.

Again. Very devious.

How hard is it to say "Patrick Sauriol, via Corona Coming Attractions", "Ryan Rotten, via Shock Til You Drop", "Robert Sanchez, via IESB"??? It's not that hard. But there's some editors out there who think they should do their best not to promote other editors on other websites. As if they'll lose readers to the scooping website.

And of course, the corporate mindset is always an issue as well. There's been a few times where I really loved what Patrick had to say on an op-ed piece but I couldn't get away with linking to it over at Mania. His Sarah Connor thoughts is a prime example. If it was a straight up news scoop from him, I'd link to it in a heartbeat. But an opinion piece from competitor? I couldn't get away with that. So there is that corporate issue/link policy that always gets in the way.

I'm of the group who can't wait to see CA back on top (or right below Mania, hah) and will try helping out any chance I can. But there's always obstacles in the way and it's going to be a tough road the first year.

Baelzar
Location:
Posts: 213
Posted: 11 years 33 weeks ago

Hey Patrick! Great site! RAWRRR!

I think number 5 on your list is the most important...and likely the most difficult to fix. If you get the scoops, they will come.

How can you proceed to grow your network again? How did you do it the first time?

"INDEED!"
Patrick Sauriol
Location: Canada
Posts: 20119
Posted: 11 years 33 weeks ago

"How can you proceed to grow your network again? How did you do it the first time?"

The first time it happened it was because I was in the right time and the right place. I was the first on the scene, remember? Once you are breaking exclusives others begin to take notice and start sending you more scoops. It's a snowball effect. Now, that said, when I look around the movie website community I don't see a lot of exclusive scoops happening anymore. I think the studios and agencies have tried to close the door the best they can and I also think that the studios reached out and gave the ones breaking scoops some exclusive access, which eased the need for a site to get an exclusive scoop any way that they could.

Growing the network again will take time, it's as simple as that. People who were in jobs 5 or 10 years ago have changed employment. Some insiders (2 that I can think of off the top of my head) don't want to give me anymore scoops because they fear reprisal from the studio system. It's just one of those things where I have to establish CA's reputation again as a place where scoops are broken.

BTW, that INTERSTELLAR page is now up: http://coronacomingattractions.com/movie/interstellar.

No matter where you go, there you are.
mckracken
Location:
Posts: 965
Posted: 11 years 33 weeks ago

Patrick, you're doing an awesome job with CA2.0 and dont let that set visit for Tron 2.0 get you down, those dozen websites that got in probably had a really lousy time anyway, and had to kiss a lot of ass too.

As for your members numbers? with triple digit members numbers you have a problem with spammers and all sorts of internet trash, with some modest numbers you have REAL Loyal posters instead of spammer-bots and trolls and troublemakers. Keeping out the rif-raff is paramount.

I do notice that Mania (which we're still spamming CCA2.0 there), Dark Horizons and Joblo, AICN seem to have many more daily news articles. Here I click on the images that I see in the ever changing flash window faster than I would click on a news story down below.

it just seems to me that if you took the time to add a news story into the flash wheel and find a decent picture for it, then its somehow "better" than the news stories that are listed below without a picture.

(by the way, the article for the Zombieland trailer rocks.. and guess WHY I clicked on that? cause of the picture!)

on a side note buddy, you're constantly being mentioned by Luke and I on our radio show UCF (the unknown comic Fan) and we're on itunes.com and we're on podomatic.com also (as well as facebook) whether it be for a comic news story, or a comic-to-movie scoop... we'll always try mentioning Corona in some way shape or form (just be aware that online radio doesnt support html links, we can only mention Corona and hope that somebody will type it into a browser and become a member.)

Plus you'll always have Kaeos and the gang supporting you on saturday nights on ustream.tv also!!!

keep up the good work... loved the Zombieland trailer

Corporal_Hicks
Location:
Posts: 1664
Posted: 11 years 33 weeks ago

Am I right that Coming Attractions had corona.com before the beer had it?

Someone jog my memory, please!

Sent from Dalton's IPad.
The Swollen Goi...
Location:
Posts: 14343
Posted: 11 years 33 weeks ago

I believe Coming Attractions was a ".bc.ca" site, but it might have been ".com" in addition to being ".bc.ca."

I've thought about doing an iTunes podcast. I can guarantee you that the me presented for said podcast will be the me-est me imaginable--maybe even a me-er me than the me-est me imaginable. I wouldn't mind a shot at being a me-er me than the me-est me I can be.

Strider
Location:
Posts: 1430
Posted: 11 years 33 weeks ago

The original CA was a ".bc.ca" url, at least that's how I always got there.

www.gamingoutsiders.com
Corporal_Hicks
Location:
Posts: 1664
Posted: 11 years 33 weeks ago

Strider wrote:

The original CA was a ".bc.ca" url, at least that's how I always got there.

To be honest, I'm really not sure how I got there.

I get confused sometimes.

Sent from Dalton's IPad.
Patrick Sauriol
Location: Canada
Posts: 20119
Posted: 11 years 33 weeks ago

For those that remembered that CA 1.0 was on a "bc.ca" URL, you're right. I went with CoronaComingAttractions.com for CA 2.0 because people seem to remember the site and refer to it as either Corona or Coming Attractions, so I went with the best of both worlds. That said, I also own two other dot com URLs that I could use if I want to brand CA as such: TheRealComingAttractions.com and TheReelComingAttractions.com.

McKracken, you raised an interesting point with the flash image wheel on the main site. I usually make a new image if I feel the story is big or important enough or if it's something I think is cool and want to bring more attention to it, like the A-Z of Awesomeness story. I hadn't considered that by not updating it enough people are assuming that there is no fresh content on the site. On an average weekday I've been doing 2-8 news stories a day, plus 2-10 updates to the film database pages, not to mentioning adding new film pages, so there is plenty of new content but maybe not everyone is discovering it, or wants to click on a headline below the flash image. I do see a lot of traffic to the movie database "all" listing, which leads me to believe that people are checking out the database pages. The TRANSFORMERS 2 DB page saw phenomenal traffic for the past 2 weeks.

I appreciate all of the efforts everyone is making to get word out about the site, but don't kill yourself because the solution isn't as simple as shouting the word out from the rooftops. There's a bunch of factors that go into how to draw traffic as well as a core base of loyal users to a site, and right now CA has a core base of loyal users. Later this year I want to improve the message forums for you guys soon and give you more stuff to do to reward you for being the faithful. I think the biggest 2 things that I could do would be updating at midnight and getting more exclusives, and I'm going to concentrate on doing those things in the near future.

No matter where you go, there you are.
Corporal_Hicks
Location:
Posts: 1664
Posted: 11 years 33 weeks ago

Has anyone been banned yet?

Sent from Dalton's IPad.
The Swollen Goi...
Location:
Posts: 14343
Posted: 11 years 33 weeks ago

If you haven't, then chances are slim that anyone else has.

Corporal_Hicks
Location:
Posts: 1664
Posted: 11 years 33 weeks ago

I've never been banned before. I wonder what it's like?

Sent from Dalton's IPad.
Patrick Sauriol
Location: Canada
Posts: 20119
Posted: 11 years 33 weeks ago

No one's been ban-hammered yet but I had a problem a couple of months back with the amount of spam accounts being made. Every day there were about 5 of them being made and every day I would delete them. I finally got the developers to create a captcha verification now for registration and the problem went away overnight.

There hasn't been any problems on the forums at all. Everyone here has been very cool and gracious. I haven't even had the need to find moderators for the forums.

No matter where you go, there you are.
Space Tycoon
Location:
Posts: 2464
Posted: 11 years 33 weeks ago

Thanks for the Interstellar page, Paddy. :)

Kaeos
Location:
Posts: 417
Posted: 11 years 33 weeks ago

I never got a chance to experience the original CA, it was always a legendary, mythical place of lore amongst my posting peers at Cinescape. But for my 2 cents, I like how the site is clean, uncluttered and easy to read. I don't have to hash through a frenzy of stuff I don't care about to get the stories I wanna read. Plus, honestly Pat really does "write" as opposed to simply copying and pasting someone else's article, as you guys were talking about earlier in the thread.

Plus it's pretty damn cool that the boss at this joint let me interview him :)

The Best Music, and The Best New Talk Radio! www.iTMIRadio.com
Jakester
Location:
Posts: 5753
Posted: 11 years 33 weeks ago

Kah could post pictures of herself and her boy toys.
Traffic from me alone would increase by 50-100k hits an hour.

Richard Gozinya, Harold Snatch and Wilbur Jizz. Together we are the law firm Gozinya, Snatch and Jizz.