All good things come to an end

6 June 2024

It is with mixed emotions that I say good-bye.

What started back in 1997, as an attempt to create work for a friend, grew into the biggest movie site in South Africa, and for many years put food on the table.

I invented the "review aggregation" process, made famous later by Rotten Tomatoes and MetaCritic.

It was a privilege to be one of those who, in my own small way, helped build the early World Wide Web into the global resource that it is today.

I have been part of some on the high points of cinema history, like Titanic and Avatar, and the low points, like watching the demise of the drive-ins and video rental industry.

Now, the cinema industry, as well as other parts of the media mix that have been with us for decades and longer, are going through change. How people consume media has changed, and cinemas have not escaped.

Coupled with that, search engines no longer send visitors, but instead provide searchers with the info they seek, taken from sites like mine. This process will accelerate with the trend towards the so-called Artificial Intelligence powered search engines.

At the end of the day, The Moviesite had to be worthwhile for me to run. Income peaked in 2013, and has been declining ever since, not even taking inflation into account.

I have now reached the point where the amount of time needed to build the movie pages, process the showtimes, and write the mailer (including reading an endless supply of terrible jokes to find a few usable), no longer makes financial sense. Also, the cinema cycle is relentless, it has to be done weekly, even when you go on honeymoon or holiday ... wife was not impressed :-)

So it is time to call it quits.

In the early days, I was often up till the early hours of Friday morning, working on the site. In more recent years, I would look at the sign on my wall, "This too shall pass," and wonder when exactly that would be.

That day is now here.

I am grateful to all those who found the site useful over the years. Your support is much appreciated.

Also, to all those at the film distributors and cinema chains, without whom none of it would have been possible, a very big thank you. I have been working with some of you since last century.

So fare thee well, and all the best. :-)

Ian




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