Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Internet Movie Data Backlog

For over twelve years I have been using the Internet Movie Database (Imdb) as a source of information regarding films (or "movies", if you're American) and their writers, actors, directors, etc. I suppose many of us do take advantage of this highly useful resource. It has loads of amazing features including the listing of actors whose names did not appear on the credits, so at least the site gives the aggrieved and those who desire attention to detail some satisfaction. There's also information about filming locations.

In fact, if you consider just how many films and television programmes have been made over the better part of 100 years, and add the number of actors and technicians, and then consider that each one requires a separate webpage, and then add another one for pertinent trivia, plot summary, full synopsis... that is a lot of web pages and one hell of a ginormous database.

And there's always a "but"...

...it is flawed with inaccuracies that, at times, can cause severe grinding of the teeth. This is because it relies on ordinary people (me, you) to submit information and, whilst Imdb hangs on to the new data for a few days, supposedly getting it checked, the good stuff can end up growing whiskers in the backlog and, inevitably (because ordinary people are not always the best source of information), stuff that isn't factually correct can actuallyget posted. In my experience, by the time you have gone through the rigmarole of freely giving data, by the time it has been – and in some cases not – posted, you have lost interest and moved on.

Since 1998 the database has been owned by Amazon and, when one considers the size of that company and the fact that it uses Imdb as a tool to further its own sales (and who can blame it?), it makes me wonder why the vetting system is so slow and so defective.

And then it expects industry "professionals" and committed film fans to fork out $12.95 per month for even more errors. No, thanks; there are other places to get this information.

No comments:

Post a Comment