Links to IMDb appear whenever we are looking for information about a movie premiere, gossip about favorite actors, or recaps of TV series. The Internet Movie Database, which evolved from a forum about actresses beautiful eyes is one of the biggest, and most influential portals about movie related topics.
Twenty years ago mister Col Needham and his movie obsessed friends exchanged opinions through an email discussion group. Soon this medium was not enough to organize a growing number of letters, so an online forum was created. Since then, the site kept growing, tempting more users, gathering photos, reviews and comments and even spawning regional variations.
Accessing IMDb is not reserved to registered users, In fact, many people visit the site from time to time, only when they want to find an information about a particular film, and prefer not to get involved in comments or discussions. A light user will just check the review and rating, look at a coupl of celebrity pictures, and leave.
Passionate film lovers, however, can find a variety of activities there, with rating and commenting as the most obvious ones. IMDb has it's own rating system, which calculates the points on the basis of the value and number of votes. It usually reflects the user's opinion, but is not immune to abuse. There have been cases of organized groups of users lowering the rating of a film, buy giving it the lowest number of points repeatedly.
Users who want to add their descriptions, summaries and movie details are free to do it, but have to be aware of the moderation - not everything gets posted on the site, especially in the movie information section, where each name or date has to be accurate.
For less then $13 a month, users can gain access to IMDbPro, containing contacts to movie related professionals, detailed rankings, and information about movies in progress.
Social networking features are not fully developed in the free version. Users can create their profiles, but they contain only a bit of basic information and favorite quote. Extensive, detailed and constantly updated profiles are not available here.
This service contains a lot of information and this fact is reflected in the graphic design. Each page is filled with links to movie reviews, updates about the recent premiers or pictures of featured actors, and sometimes its enough to overwhelm a new user. It requires getting used to, it's not very intuitive or smooth. The site's appearance does not shock with it's beauty, in fact, there are no decorations apart from the brown and black colored banner.
IMDb provides the biggest amount of information about films, and an opportunity to discuss them with other users. While some users might dislike the lack of extensive user profiles and self-promotion activities, others will enjoy the focused theme of this site.