Skipforward is a distributed recommendation system using a lightweight ontology approach for formalizing opinions about item features. For the Interzone use case, items are stories printed in the Interzone magazine, and their features are genre information, reviews, and a selection of tropes extracted from TV Tropes (see DBTropes for more information). Every user of the system is free to add new items and statements about existing items to the system. Naturally, opinions may differ between users. Skipforward correlates statements of different users and bases its recommendations on that.

What's in it for Interzone readers?

You can...

  • write and browse story reviews
  • assign tropes to stories TV Tropes-style
  • discuss trope annotations
  • find similar stories based on trope annotations (as seen on Item pages)
  • find stories based on their general review ratings, with ratings by people who agree with you weighted higher (Amazon recommendation style)
  • find stories fitting to some specific trope profile (e.g., fast-paced stories involving time machines - see Search)
  • find users with similar taste concerning a specific feature type (as seen on Feature Type pages)
  • annotate stories quickly using annotation recommendations (i.e., requests for feature type statements that improve other recommendations - as seen on Item pages)

Note the system is open source and you can easily download a dump of the data you entered in the system.


A screencast explaining some of the Skipforward functionality can be found here.

Demo Login

Go here: - demo login is read only, and some functionality will not work. Send a mail (malte.kiesel-at-dfki-dot-de) to get a full account.

Frequently Asked Questions

Some generic information can be found on the main Skipforward wiki page.

What are the building blocks of Skipforward?

  • item type - story, game, etc.
  • item - a specific story, a specific game, etc.
  • feature type - a trope (e.g., Action Girl), a genre, etc.
  • feature - a statement by one user, linking an item to a feature type, along with some more info: "Item X (a story) does include an Action Girl, and I'm pretty sure about it, plus I have a comment: ...".

Features and items can be created by users; types cannot (easily).

The red/green bubbles are... what?

This is applicability/confidence settings for one feature. Big green: This is definitely the case. Small red: This is not the case, but I'm not sure. If you let the mouse pointer hover over the bubble, you will see more text about it. In places where you can input applicability/confidence (bubble with blue line under it), you can change the bubble by clicking/holding and dragging, or clicking, then selecting from the choices displayed (again, let the mouse pointer hover over choices for text explanations).

How to add new stories?

Items can be created on the item type web pages. E.g., from Recent Changes, visit some story page, then click on "Story" in the page's heading.

How to change or delete features?

If you made a mistake adding a feature, you can delete it up to two hours later on the corresponding Item's page.

Any navigation tips?

  • most links in Skipforward (for Items, Feature Types, etc.) show explanatory texts if you let the mouse cursor hover over them.
  • use the browser tab functionality and open individual tabs for stories, etc.


  • the Skipforward forum thread on TTA Press forums.
  • direct feedback, account requests: send a mail to malte.kiesel-at-dfki-dot-de
Last modified 12 years ago Last modified on 03/07/12 15:17:50