At present, we decide which movies to watch on a case by case basis, with a new question for each viewing. I propose that we start a single meta question thread and keep it going indefinitely, and every time we are ready to watch a movie, we pick the one with the most upvotes.

This system would encourage participation, and make it easier to keep track of the voting. A suggestion that loses once will still be in the running for the next go round. The possibility that your suggestion will win would no longer be dependent upon your keeping track of a succession of different questions, and repeating the same suggestion time after time.

The problems caused by having a new question every two weeks, and people not knowing that a new question had been asked, would cease to exist. There would be one place to check in on how the voting is going, and how your suggestion is doing.

One of the problems with the current system is that a new question is asked every two weeks, and whoever submits the first answer is likely to attract more votes than later answers. This discourages people from participating after the first day or two. If we adopted my proposal, everyone would have an equal footing, regardless of when they submitted their suggestion. The advantage of submitting a suggestion early would be negated by the fact that the process is ongoing, and every valid suggestion will be likely to win eventually.

When a movie is watched, that answer would be deleted, and the remaining answers would become the focus of the voting. This would have the added benefit of allowing people to see which movies had already been watched, and therefore, should not be suggested again.

The biggest problem with the system now in place is that people just aren't participating. The last few times we've watched a movie, there have been 3 or 4 participants (and Shaun of the Dead was just me and Richard), which isn't much fun. I think this is largely a result of the voting system. If you don't notice that a new question has been asked, you won't know that a movie event is about to happen. If you notice the question too late, the votes will already be in, you won't bother to submit a suggestion because you know it won't stand a chance of winning, and therefore, you won't be interested in watching the movie. An ongoing thread will attract attention and encourage participation.

This is the way the SE system works in every other situation - once an answer is submitted, voting on it continues indefinitely. The best answers rise to the top of the heap. I see no reason why this situation should be any different from the rest of the site.

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  • For the record, the number of active participants has risen (albeit inconsistently) and the number of lurkers has increased each time. – Valorum Aug 15 '15 at 0:44
  • We also had a couple of late entrants that attracted a sizeable number of votes. – Valorum Aug 15 '15 at 0:45
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    @Richard - The Thing had four or five participants. Spaceballs had three or four, if I'm not mistaken. Invasion of the Body Snatchers was about the same. Shaun of the Dead was just me and you. The Day the Earth Stood Still was back up to 4 or 5 people. Not a consistent increase, by any means. – Wad Cheber stands with Monica Aug 15 '15 at 0:49
  • Not consistent, but I've noticed an uptick. Comment edited. – Valorum Aug 15 '15 at 0:52

No. I think that opening a new question each time is the better solution

Why not have one thread?

  • Curating a single thread and identifying which film is the winner will require multiple edits of the question over time, creating confusion.

  • Less experienced users could also become confused as to why the top film isn't being shown that week.

  • People might waste votes on films that have already been selected.

  • This system would require me (or whoever) to repeatedly select and de-select an accepted answer

  • There would be an in-built survivor bias among relatively poorly performing films. They would accrue votes over time simply be being around the longest.

  • The level of votes for existing films would discourage people from posting new answers. Why bother when you can see that a film is already at +7?

  • Opening a new question each time fits better with the Meta:SE model - You ask a question, the community chooses their preferred answer.


This is a secondary issue, but I do think that we're learning lessons about what works in driving participation; more choice, shorter lead times, publicising the meta question, etc. I simply don't see how this idea would help.

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    I don't see why you would need to revise the question, or why the top movie wouldn't be shown. It is possible to watch the top movie without accepting an answer. Your last point doesn't make sense to me either. The model is that votes accrue over time, and voting is ongoing. – Wad Cheber stands with Monica Aug 15 '15 at 1:13
  • @WadCheber - You'd need to revise the question to indicate which is the present winner. – Valorum Aug 15 '15 at 1:16
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    Why? It would be obvious. All you'd have to do is announce which movie we were going to watch. – Wad Cheber stands with Monica Aug 15 '15 at 1:18
  • Also, I would like to vote on movies only when the event is at a time when I can participate. – b_jonas Dec 28 '16 at 21:35
  • @b_jonas - I suspect that this question died a death because no-one cares either way. – Valorum Dec 28 '16 at 21:59

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