Peter_pbn's profile
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Tue, Jan 4, 2022 4:38 PM

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Subgenre keywords

The keyword guide has new guidelines on subgenres. There is a long list of possible keywords.

Some entries such as crime-documentary and music-documentary seem unnecessary given that genres like Crime, Music and Documentary can be combined in any search. These keywords seem to violate your existing rule against repeating genres: "For example, we have the genres Romance and Drama so you can submit these as genres to the title rather than submitting the keyword romantic-drama."

Some of the new entries duplicate existing keywords. For example, do we need police-procedural-crime when we have police-procedural, which can be combined with the Crime genre in a search?

Is classic-animation a subgenre? How would you define it?

Some entries just seem awkward, like docudrama-drama or winter-sports-sport, which may mean your contributors (like me) won't use them.

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11 months ago

I agree with your comments, and I would also like to point out that the new guidelines on subgenres should be clarified to explain that the list of "accepted values" is not intended to be an exhaustive/exclusive list. I can think of a lot of acceptable subgenre keywords that are not on the list. 

Employee

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11 months ago

Hi Peter_pbn & keyword_expert -

Thanks for your feedback.  We appreciate that some of the keywords do seem awkward, we'll take this on board for future iterations.  I'll pass your comments on to the relevant teams for their consideration.

Although some of these are possible with advanced search conditions, these keywords have been created to drive new search experiences to aid title discovery for users, please watch this space.  We are working on a draft to provide further guidance in the submission guides for how these subgenres will be defined.

Cheers!


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@Michelle​ I agree with the criticisms.  Keywords SHOULD NOT usually include a genre since one has the option of combining ANY keyword with a genre in a search.  (There are a few exceptions, like "dark-comedy," "gothic-horror," etc.)   Such erroneous keywords are superfluous and unnecessary.

And, of course, no subgenre keyword should combine two genres, i.e. "romantic-comedy," "musical comedy," etc.

After the "timeframe" silliness and now this, what's next? There are many other more pressing keyword  concerns, including basics like duplications, plurals, etc.

(edited)

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There needs to be an audit of all keywords that combine two or more genres as an erroneous keyword, i.c., musical-comedy, comedy-drams, crime-drama, etc.

A keyword including a genre attached to another word also need to be audited, with appropriate adjustments made, i.e suspense-thriller (with suspense remaining a keyword, while thriller is listed as a genre).

Some contributors (especially new ones) don't seem to understand the difference between a genre and a keyword.

(edited)

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9 months ago

I know it's already been raised by @Peter_pbn, but some of these keywords make very little sense, especially the redundant ones.  "Sitcom-comedy?""Docudrama-drama?" "Motorsports-sport?" Really?

"Basketball-sport?" I think everyone knows basketball is a sport, without tacking "sport" on. Why wouldn't it work to search within the "sport" genre using the existing keyword "basketball?" By creating some of these new subgenres, the unfortunate result is to duplicate and bifurcate the keywords, so that "basketball" and "basketball-sport" coexist, the latter of which is redundant (at least currently).

And why is it necessary to have four different "superhero" subgenres: "superhero-action," "superhero-adventure," "superhero-fantasy," and "superhero-sci-fi?" Isn't it enough to just add the keyword "superhero" and search by the main genres? 

As has been discussed in another thread, why is the British spelling of "whodunit" used for the subgenre keyword "whodunnit-mystery?"

Why do all the subgenres include the main genre within the keyword itself? Is that a requirement? Is a subgenre not acceptable if it doesn't include the main genre within the name of the keyword (e.g., "social-guidance," "video-nasty," "giallo")?

I think the list of "accepted" subgenre keywords could use an overhaul.

(edited)

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9 months ago

Again, the main guideline is: Unacceptable: Repeating genres - For example, we have the genres Romance and Drama so you can submit these as genres to the title rather than submitting the keyword romantic-drama. For an exceptional genre on an episode that does not relate to the overall series, please see the -episode special keywords below.

The list of subgenres needs drastic revision.  There are many on that extensive list that contradict the above guideline (particularly with unnecessary duplications), impede searches, and, frankly, make no sense whatsoever.

And, it even excludes other acceptable and important subgenres! ("screwball-comedy," for example, which I did an extensive audit on several years ago to distinguish it from another subgenre, "neo-screwball-comedy.")

Please, revise this list.  AND, there will need to be lots of auditing BEFORE deletions.

(edited)

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9 months ago

One interesting note for my fellow contributors: now that certain subgenres have been added to the list of acceptable keywords, IMDb staff have also "flagged" many genre words so that, when these words appear within keywords, they will require manual approval by IMDb staff before the keywords may be deleted or changed (as opposed to automatic approval).

By way of background, the vast majority of keyword edits are automatically approved (at least for top contributors). I say "automatically" here, but it may take a few minutes for the edits to be processed and show up. The point is that no human being on the IMDb staff ever sees these edits before they are approved.

A long-standing exception has been when certain words appear within keywords, especially when keywords are being added to a title. These include words like "rape" and "porn" within keywords.

Recently, around the same time as the "accepted" subgenre keywords were unveiled, IMDb staff have apparently added numerous words to the list that require manual (staff) review for keyword edits. I have personally observed this for keywords containing terms and phrases like "war," "crime," "action," and "adult." I assume the same will be true for keywords including "romance," "comedy," "horror," etc. 

For example, I have seen my requests to delete or change the following keywords slowed down for manual processing: "environmental-crime," "avengers-infinity-war," "ukrainian-russian-war," "action-film." During the same time these requests to delete or change these keywords were pending, hundreds of other keyword deletions were approved.

Note that each of these keywords included "war," "crime," or "action," separated by a hyphen from the rest of the keyword.  "War," "crime" and "action" are all genres. There has been a very obvious flag placed on certain genre words when contained within keyword deletions and changes.

The takeaway is that IMDb staff are trying to establish some safeguards that help protect genre-related keywords from deletion, and it appears they have cast the net pretty broadly (for example, they chose to flag all deletion of any keyword that happens to include the word "war," rather than limiting that flag to deletion of specific "accepted" subgenre keywords such as "fictional-war."). 

I'm not saying this is a good thing or bad thing -- I just observed this recently and wanted to share it with fellow contributors.

If nothing else, this explains some of the slight processing delays that @bradley_kent and I have experienced the past few days while we have been deleting invalid genre keywords

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p.s. Here are some examples of keywords that will be "held up" for manual processing by IMDb staff, just because they contain a genre suffix or a "timeframe-" prefix.

KEYWORDDELETION

avengers-infinity -war
Thank you for your contribution - this item is awaiting processing by our data editors.
Estimated processing date15 March 2022

KEYWORDDELETION

bollywood -comedy
Thank you for your contribution - this item is awaiting processing by our data editors.
Estimated processing date15 March 2022

KEYWORDDELETION

corporate -crime
Thank you for your contribution - this item is awaiting processing by our data editors.
Estimated processing date15 March 2022

KEYWORDDELETION

environmental -crime
Thank you for your contribution - this item is awaiting processing by our data editors.
Estimated processing date15 March 2022

KEYWORDDELETION

fictional -war
Thank you for your contribution - this item is awaiting processing by our data editors.
Estimated processing date15 March 2022

KEYWORDDELETION

hollywood-entertainment -news
Thank you for your contribution - this item is awaiting processing by our data editors.
Estimated processing date15 March 2022

KEYWORDDELETION

hollywood -history
Thank you for your contribution - this item is awaiting processing by our data editors.
Estimated processing date15 March 2022

KEYWORDDELETION

holy -war
Thank you for your contribution - this item is awaiting processing by our data editors.
Estimated processing date15 March 2022

KEYWORDDELETION

interracial -romance
Thank you for your contribution - this item is awaiting processing by our data editors.
Estimated processing date15 March 2022

KEYWORDDELETION

interspecies -romance
Thank you for your contribution - this item is awaiting processing by our data editors.
Estimated processing date15 March 2022

KEYWORDDELETION

planetary -romance
Thank you for your contribution - this item is awaiting processing by our data editors.
Estimated processing date15 March 2022

KEYWORDDELETION

space -western
Thank you for your contribution - this item is awaiting processing by our data editors.
Estimated processing date15 March 2022

KEYWORDDELETION

teen -romance
Thank you for your contribution - this item is awaiting processing by our data editors.
Estimated processing date15 March 2022

KEYWORDDELETION

teenage -romance
Thank you for your contribution - this item is awaiting processing by our data editors.
Estimated processing date15 March 2022

KEYWORDDELETION

timeframe-22nd-century
Thank you for your contribution - this item is awaiting processing by our data editors.
Estimated processing date15 March 2022

(edited)

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@Michelle 

IMDb really needs to rethink the "block" it has put on approving deletions of keywords that happen to contain genres as suffixes within the keywords (e.g., "hollywood-entertainment-news," "teenage-romance," "framed-for-crime," "exiled-royal-family," "avengers-infinity-war," "environmental-crime," "space-western," "culture-war," "tug-of-war," "vietnam-war," "interracial-romance," "danish-royal-family," etc.

The 2022 title Aylan Baby was heavily keyword spammed with irrelevant keywords, which totaled nearly 2,000 keywords at one point. Over the past few days I have carefully deleted most of these keywords, which are blatant spam. But many of my submitted deletions of keywords that happen to include genres as suffixes have been denied for the reason "unable to verify." An example is submission # 220315-230230-159000

As a result of IMDb's failures to approve my deletions, the keywords for this title are still a mess, even though I have managed to delete 90% of them. 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10449310/keywords

I have also had difficulty lately deleting the keyword "ukrainian-russian-war" in favor of the more appropriate "russo-ukrainian-war." I assume these problems with deleting "ukrainian-russian-war" are because it contains "-war" (a main genre) as a suffix within the keyword. Here are some denied deletions as just a few examples (I could give you plenty more):
220308-161058-056000
220307-202430-546000
220307-192850-086000

220307-190651-033000

IMDb could fix these problems immediately by removing the "block" on deletions of keywords that contain genres as suffixes. There is really no need for such a block.  It makes no sense to broadly block keyword deletions just because they happen to include a main genre as a suffix. The result is that completely irrelevant keywords will remain on the website, and contributors will be discouraged from even trying to delete them.

Please rethink this recent change in policy.

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9 months ago

This "supposed" list is absolutely ludicrous and needs a drastic and thorough revision.  Obviously, whoever created this list DOES NOT KNOW what a subgenre is!  

There are numerous "things" on this list that merely combine two genres, which are already in the database under genres, I.e. biographical-documentary.  Such duplications are absolutely unnecessary.

There are also numerous "things" on this list that just combine an already existing keyword with a genre, which can easily be searched by entering a keyword, and then the genre, i.e. basketball-sport. docudrama-drama, etc.

One also cannot delete these ridiculous subgenres that are considered to be, apparently, "protected" keywords. 

Who created this mess anyway?  This problem needs severe and immediate attention.

(edited)

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@bradley_kent​ I wish the IMDb staff had pitched the subgenre list on the forum first, before springing it on everybody.

On a related note, I keep watching the "documentary-film" keyword grow by the hundreds each day. It is now up to 1,100+ titles. I'm not trying to start a conspiracy theory here, but I wonder if this is IMDb staff taking a first step toward allowing main genres as keywords. Or it could just be a single contributor who is unaware that main genres are not currently allowed as keywords. 

Are you sure that the "accepted" subgenre keywords cannot be deleted from titles at all? Or are your submitted deletion(s) possibly still pending? I know there is a bigger backlog than usual in getting keyword revisions accepted.

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@bradley_kent​ Even though I still dislike repetitive subgenre keywords like "motorsports-sport" and "docudrama-drama" I will play devil's advocate for the moment and point out that one good thing about these keywords is that we know they signify genres (and hence themes) of titles.

For example, the (oddly formatted) keyword "basketball-sport" tells us that it's an entire movie about basketball, and not just a movie with the keyword "basketball."

This topic is something @Skavau has been asking about lately -- how do we use keywords to differentiate between the overall theme(s) of a title (e.g., a movie about basketball) and a simple plot point of a title (e.g., a movie that happens to include a basketball in one scene)?   The subgenre keywords are one (limited) way to do that.

Still, "basketball-sport" just sounds weird. We already had better keywords in many cases, like this one:

basketball-movie (32 titles)

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9 months ago

After thinking about this some more, I am warming up to the idea of allowing keywords that combine more than one genre into the same keyword.

The examples Peter mentioned were crime-documentary and music-documentary. While it is true that these keywords would violate the preexisting rule against combining genres in a keyword, it is also true that we now have a different set of guidelines that expressly "accepts" many such keywords. So what we truly have is two guidelines that conflict with each other.

To resolve this conflict, I see little harm in deleting this language from the guidelines:

Repeating genres - For example, we have the genres Romance and Drama so you can submit these as genres to the title rather than submitting the keyword romantic-drama.

I think we have to ask ourselves, what is the rationale behind that guideline, and what problem was it trying to avoid? What would be the harm in allowing genre-combination keywords? Is it true that some potential combinations of keywords also constitute subgenres (which have always been allowed as keywords)? Why exactly should keywords like "sports-documentary," "news-talk-show," "comedy-game-show" and "sci-fi-short-film" not be allowed? 

While it is true that genre combinations can be found by using genres in searches, does allowing the same information to be replicated in the keywords truly cause any problems? And what about titles that have four or five genres assigned to them? Would the use of a two-genre keyword for such a title allow contributors to emphasize the two genres that are most relevant to that title (e.g., using a keyword like "sci-fi-horror" for a title that also has other genres like Adventure and Fantasy assigned to it)?

Clearly, the conflict between the two guidelines should be reconciled. But some serious thought should be given to allowing keywords that combine more than one genre in the same keyword (perhaps with some new parameters, like no more than two genres in a keyword, and some guidelines for how such keywords should be formatted).

I do continue to believe that the list of "accepted" subgenre keywords is a really bad list, for all the other reasons that have already been stated in this thread (awkward phrasing for some of them, use of the British spelling "whodunnit," a ton of valid subgenres have been omitted, the intro to the list should not imply that it is an exclusive list, etc.). 

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9 months ago

This would be opening the floodgates to millions and millions of new keywords.  Generally, I think that IMDb's guidelines are quite good.  If only those guidelines would be followeded.

(edited)

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@bradley_kent​ 

This would be opening the floodgates to millions and millions of new keywords.  

Definitely not millions. Probably more like thousands.

The real questions here are whether such keywords would be relevant, useful, and not cause any problems. So far, the only arguments against them are that they are unnecessary and would duplicate the genre listings. On the other hand, I think some of them could be quite useful, much like the preexisting subgenre keywords, like "neo-western," "giallo," "japanese-horror," "zombie-horror," etc. I could see an equal benefit from keywords like "sports-talk-show," "sports-documentary," "sci-fi-short-film," etc. 

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If a title has Sport and Talk-Show as genres, it is a sports-talk-show.  If a title has Sport and Documentary as genres, it is a sports-documentary.  If a title has Sci-Fi and Short as genres, it is a sci-fi-short-film.

Start duplicating everything and the number of keywords WILL run into the millions and destroy the organizational structure that IMDb has created.

Aren't duplications to be avoided?

Bring out the thesaurus and we can duplicate everything, over, and over, and over,  again

(edited)

Skavau

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5 months ago

All this change has caused is keyword duplication of terms that mean literally the same thing.

"Alien Invasion" is a widely understood thematic concept. It doesn't need "sci-fi" as a suffix.

"Space Opera Sci-Fi" makes no sense. All Space Opera is sci-fi. We now have two competing terms.