Meet the Superusers Behind IMDb, the Internet’s Favorite Movie Site

Brumburgh’s botched book project and his habit of putting in five hours a day may be unique, but his explanation for what motivates him is not. Like other so-called supercontributors, he believes he is working in the service of an art form and all who see it. Completeness and accuracy are a source of pride.

As of December 2022, IMDb contained pages for over 625,000 films and over 230,000 television series. The site also now includes podcast, music video, and video game reference information, as well as trailers, original content, playtime, and watchlists. In total, these pages contain over 484 million pieces of data, from a long synopsis of a movie to its exact running time.

Anyone who opens an IMDb account may submit additions and changes to the site. But not all submissions are created equal. The site is governed by a Contributor’s Charter as well as 109 guides, from listing countries (source of funding, not location) to whether wigs are part of the costume department (they aren’t). Submissions are reviewed by IMDb, although the company is opaque as to exactly what this process entails. An IMDb representative wouldn’t say how many moderators and editors the site employs, nor how much content they collect or revise themselves – only that they “have teams and mechanisms in place to review data to ensure it’s accurate and accurate.” reliable as possible.”

At least some of these employees, as well as CEO Col Needham, are also active on the IMDb community forums, where the contribution system itself is constantly challenged and often revised through complaints, suggestions, and debate. The section of the forum devoted to “Data Issues and Policy Discussions” is by far the most active, with nearly 40,000 conversations. A popular post asks to support “MAKE THE UNIT PUBLICIST AN IMDB JOB CATEGORY” instead of confusing the role with “Extra Crew”. A typical employee announcement explains that the site is now able to appropriately categorize podcast series submissions following a successful beta test with contributors. These public negotiations about how the site actually works demonstrate the careful balance their model supports: it should admit as many new contributors as possible, but also encourage some of them to contribute productively. The top 10 users successfully submitted 22,910,419 items last year, or nearly 5 percent of all data items present on the site. To make it into the year-end top contributor rankings, a user had to have produced at least 17,000 entries.

The contributors have diverse tastes and areas of expertise, ranging from punctuation to Indian soap operas – and it’s those interests, more than any business plan, that determine how the data on IMDb grows and changes each year. Les Adams, the Texan with the press books, estimates that his crusade to fix incomplete non-American distributors of American films likely got him on the 2003 Top Contributors list. Christian is an editor and translator based in Spain and the man behind Pegg1976, the sixth all-time contributor for IMDb by the end of 2022. He has made almost 3 million contributions and corrected errors that other users make that IMDb overlooks: accents, capitalization and , in particular character names.

Other Super Contributors work to ensure that content from their country is treated appropriately on the site. Dibyayan Chakravorty, a 31-year-old engineer from Kolkata, India, started contributing to IMDb when he saw how little Indian content contained detailed information. (He’s since become the most popular IMDb polls writer of all time.) Miriam Vazquez Fraga, a journalist ranked 17th on the all-time contributor list, was a student when she first started researching information about Spanish TV shows and their actors add their free time. And for every Dibyayan and Miriam, there is someone dedicated to covering, say, Romanian actors or Filipino films.

Some contributors are called to even more esoteric areas. When Joe Wawrzyniak isn’t working his retail job in New Jersey, he’s trying to find information on the masses of film professionals whose names have never been in the spotlight — or anywhere else, really. Early stunt actors, niche horror writers, dog actors. “It’s a lot of fun and quite challenging to dig up information about these people,” he told me. With over 3,000 biographies written, he is the all-time leader of all time. For information on the lesser-known, Wawrzyniak is tangled in niche online communities and Facebook groups for film and TV, like one for 1980s extras, where he can contact actors and confirm details. Meet the Superusers Behind IMDb, the Internet’s Favorite Movie Site

Zack Zwiezen

Zack Zwiezen is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Zack Zwiezen joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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