IMDb’s Purpose <ul><li>The Internet Movie Database is meant to provide a wide variety of information on movies, including casts lists, directors, shooting locations, trivia, and more </li></ul><ul><li>Though the site’s name refers only to movies, it also catalogs information about TV shows and miniseries </li></ul><ul><li>There is also an IMDb Pro, which requires a fee to use and contribute to, so it is clear that “regular” IMDb is meant for the general population of people interested in movies, actors and television </li></ul>
Basic Searching <ul><li>The basic search box appears at the top of the home page </li></ul><ul><li>You can search by various fields, including Titles, Names, and Keywords </li></ul><ul><li>There are also unusual fields under which you can search, including Plots, Bios, Characters, TV Episodes, and Quotes </li></ul><ul><li>This variety in searchable fields would seem to reflect the needs or search patterns of users </li></ul>
Basic Searching, Continued <ul><li>The search field “Plots” is particularly interesting. It does seem likely that many users probably come to IMDb looking for a movie or TV show whose plot they remember, but whose title they can’t recall </li></ul><ul><li>However, there are limitations to this search method, as I discovered when I searched the term “aliens” </li></ul>
Basic Searching, Continued <ul><li>The results of the Plot search for “aliens” revealed a few key limitations to this search method </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1. The results listed are the “Most Popular” titles with plots matching the word “aliens,” meaning that they I am not getting a list of the most famous alien movie or the movie with the most aliens, but whatever IMDb considers the most popular titles containing aliens. Popularity might mean highest rated by visitors or most viewed.This is not clear either </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. The first two results in my search were episodes of the TV show “The Big Bang Theory.” Not only is this not a show about aliens, but the term actually contained in both plot summaries was “alienation,” obviously not the term I was searching for. </li></ul></ul>
Basic Searching, Continued <ul><li>In this example, it is clear that a user would have to be quite specific in her choice of search terms in order to find the exact movie or TV show she was searching for. </li></ul><ul><li>Perhaps a controlled vocabulary would work to alleviate some of the confusion in searches like the one I conducted. </li></ul>
Advanced Searching <ul><li>The Advanced </li></ul><ul><li>Search contains a few different options for searching </li></ul>
Advanced Searching, Continued <ul><li>Just as with the basic search, these advanced search options are quite creative and seem to reflect the needs of IMDb users </li></ul><ul><li>The “Collaborations and Overlaps” search is particularly interesting, as it once again addresses a query that many movie fans might have - what movie did these two people star in, or how many movies did they make together, or was there any common cast and crew between these two films? </li></ul>
Advanced Searching, Continued <ul><li>One aspect of the “Collaborations and Overlaps” search that makes it more precise than the “Plots” basic search is that when you begin to type in a title, a drop down menu appears and allows you to double check that you have typed in the film you intended to search for </li></ul>
Indexes on the Site <ul><li>IMDb is a pretty vast site, with many various ways of searching and multiple means of organizing the information contained within </li></ul><ul><li>On the homepage, there is an index containing drop down menus, which allow for another, more general way of entering the site as opposed to the specific searches we have already covered </li></ul>
Indexes, Continued <ul><li>This index works to further divide the site, in some ways making it more manageable to navigate, indexable matter contained in the index includes more specific information on TV, Movies, Videos, News, and Community. </li></ul><ul><li>The index listed under “Movies” is the most specific of the drop down menus and contains the most interesting terms. </li></ul>
Indexes, Continued <ul><li>This is the index listed under “Movies” </li></ul><ul><li>Once again, it seems to reflect the needs of the IMDb users, not just the typical subcategories that one might expect to appear in a search box for a movie database </li></ul>
Indexes, Continued <ul><li>One of the most useful links from the “Movies” Index is the Site Index </li></ul><ul><li>At the top of the site index it states, “If you're curious about the wide variety of features here at IMDb or if you're trying to find a particular one, this is the place to come. Though it's not an exhaustive list of every single page here, it's a good road map for finding your way around” ( www.imdb.com ). </li></ul><ul><li>It is a nice feature and somewhat unusual feature for a free internet database to make clear the scope of its index and the fact that it is not exhaustive. </li></ul>
Indexes, Continued <ul><li>As with the other search functions and indexes found on the site, the categories listed on the site index are widely varied and specific to IMDb, including a link to information on the Oscars, Fall TV Preview, a place to give Feedback on the site, and a link to showtimes and movie tickets in the United States. </li></ul>
Conclusion <ul><li>While IMDb is not perfectly organized or consistent, they do a pretty nice job of indexing a ton of information and making it searchable. </li></ul><ul><li>IMDb must deal with the fact that the movie and TV industry is constantly changing, so the information on the site needs to be constantly updated and the fact that people who are searching for information about movies may be looking for different search fields than when conducting other types of searches. </li></ul>
A particular slide catching your eye?
Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.