Microsoft just published a case study on Flickchart, one of my favorite sites on the net and one of my favorite BizSpark Startups. To me, this site shows off the awesome power of Microsoft Software in the hands of great coders and artists. So check out the case study and visit the site at http://flickchart.com.
Movie Buffs Build Movie-Ranking Web Site Using Flexible Software
One day in late 2006, film-buff friends Jeremy Thompson and Nathan Chase were reviewing the Internet Movie Database list of the top 250 films as voted by users, and couldn’t believe that Pulp Fiction was ranked higher than The Empire Strikes Back. The movies were rated individually using stars, which Thompson and Chase felt was a fuzzy measurement for determining overall greatness. “We agreed that if you had viewers compare only those two films, the rankings could be different,” Thompson says.
Simple Idea: Which Film Do You Like Better?
With this simple idea—ranking movies by comparing just two at a time—the startup Flickchart was born. Thompson, a Web programmer, and Chase, a Web designer, built a rudimentary prototype of their movie-ranking Web site in just one week using Microsoft software. Over the course of the next two years, working nights and weekends, the pair refined and polished the site until it launched publicly in September 2009. Within two months, the site attracted more than 30,000 registered users, 3,000 followers on Twitter, and more than 35 million movie rankings.
While most movie-ranking Web sites ask viewers to agonizingly rate the whole universe of films using stars or percentage ratings, Flickchart offers fans a simple choice: Which film do you like better—movie A or movie B? After you choose between the first two films, Flickchart asks you to choose between two more. As you continue ranking, the site creates a personalized list of your favorite movies. The site combines everyone’s lists to arrive at the “best movies of all time” according to the Flickchart community.
In addition to seeing which movies you like best, you can filter lists by decade, year, actor, director, or genre. Another useful list displays the highest-ranked movies that you’ve never seen, which serves as a recommendation system to help you decide what to watch next. You can view friends’ lists filtered in all of these same variations and, soon, generate a list of the highest-rated movies that you and your friends have never seen—something that will hopefully produce the perfect movie-rental selection. (more)