Welcome to the BFI Film festival, one of the UK’s largest film events. Host to over one hundred films, finding the right movie isn’t exactly a walk in the park. My project takes a different approach to helping user’s decide on a film. By projecting their opinions through visual film boards, user’s create a network of aesthetically pleasing ratings as deciphered by festival goers. User’s engage with one another by reposting comments that they feel are valuable and decide as a community the most highly rated by ‘liking’ films. Thus creating an interest network, based purely around individual’s opinions and the BFI’s film content.

The idea for this project was sparked after reading the mixed reviews of the existing mobile app. Initially intending to build on the existing concept by Kotikan (2011) I decided to change direction after researching the products success. With a download rate of 5000-10,000 (Google Play, 2011) and an overall 149,000 visitors (White, M 2012) to the festival I believe the existing app failed to effectively engage audiences. I began carrying out market research into the most popular and current website themes and investigated user’s needs, to gain a comprehensive understanding of the initial downfalls of the existing app.


Defining Interest Based Networks

To understand whether an interest based network was the right path to go down I began researching their key features and functions. Through researching Catmoji, Thumb and Foodspotting I began to understand the fundamentals of these social systems and the specific characteristics that attract users. For the aims of this project and analysis, the following definition will be used to define an Interest based network:

Jay Jamison (2013) states there are two categories of interest based networks:

1). Subject themed which create strong online communities for users who share one common interest.
2). Social networks that span a broad theme or range of topics but offer a different form of interaction than the standard social network, either through pin boards or questions and answers. Research suggests that although these networks are niche, they’re not small, a prime example being Pinterest, with 11.7 million visitors monthly. (Afetian, 2013)

“People are using social networks not just to socialise with friends and family, but to connect with people who share common interests.”

(Blaise Lucey 2013).

This statement implies the growing popularity of these websites is dependent on user’s ability to engage with content and individuals who share a common interest or goal. I aimed to incorporate this characteristic into my project in order to create a successful interest based network around the BFI’s contemporary film festival.