Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
What it is: The Emmys site is divided into two parts, the academy’s site and the EmmyCast. The former has information about internships, events and news. The EmmyCast (which was farmed out to a San Francisco Web firm) is a little showier but still lacking. Why so sparse? The academy is a nonprofit organization, so it doesn’t have a lot of money to throw at the site for a bunch of bells and whistles. The academy site itself, which has its own small budget, is overseen by a guy in the computer systems department who works on the Web page in addition to his other duties. Except for the EmmyCast, the site’s sole purpose is to dispense information about the academy, which it does perfectly well.
How it is: With that in mind, let’s turn our attention to the EmmyCast. Right now, it’s kind of sad. But Web master Henry Magallon says that for Sunday night’s show, there’ll be instant updates of winners, more games (a TV trivia game was added very recently) and a searchable database of all Emmy winners. But at three days and counting, they’re cutting it a little close.
Currently, the only nod to past Emmy shows is a list of 1996’s winners. Which, by the way, reminds us that “The Dennis Miller Show” took home two statuettes last year--doesn’t exactly make you want to go running to the television to watch this year’s show.
What it is: Rate a few movies, get a few recommendations of what you might like to see among current releases, rentals and classics. That’s the simple version, anyway. What really happens is that you rate movies you’ve already seen, and Movie Critic’s filtering technology establishes a pattern of the kinds of movies you like. Based on your pattern and the ratings other users have given, Movie Critic is able to give you an idea of movies you might like to see. The technology at Movie Critic was developed by LikeMinds, a San Francisco tech firm that also maintains the site. LikeMinds doesn’t have a Movie Critic staff, but Rebecca Cherkoss, a project manager at the company, checks the mail and adds current movies to the database.
How it is: Amazingly accurate. After I rated 12 movies--then 62 more--the site spit back recommendations, about 85% of which sounded like reasonable choices for a persnickety moviegoer like me. Of course, that average may change after I check out the recommendations.
RARE (Ratings Analysis and Recommendations)
What it is: RARE touts itself as a personal entertainment guide, and it works pretty much the same way Movie Critic does. Rate a few movies and get some ideas about others you might like to see. The RARE site is maintained by David Anderson, who works at a Web firm in the Bay Area. RARE is simply a hobby for Anderson; he makes no money doing it, nor, he says, does he intend to make any money from it in the future. Anderson doesn’t publicize the site and, in fact, doesn’t even seem to want to talk about it when asked. RARE makes use of social filtering technology--people rate stuff, a program analyzes a database of ratings and predicts patterns. Anderson’s site is just a warmup activity for the technology, which he uses at his real job. Anderson doesn’t even visit the site on a daily basis.
How it is: RARE differs from Movie Critic in that it adds your moods to the mix. At RARE, you rate movies based on your mood, and you’ll get recs that correspond. They also have categories based on “best,” “worst” and “unusual” recommendations. Which all sounds kinda cool, except that I didn’t want to see any of the things selected for me.
Please send comments and entertainment-related Web site suggestions to Krissy Harris via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org