Saturday, February 20, 2010

Thank you IMDb

Normally, if I can't think of an idea for a blog post, I go to IMDb and look at the list of people who were born "on this day". Unfortunately, IMDb have changed this list. In the past, there was a nice two-colum list, with the people listed in chronological order. Child actors (that is, those who are only turning 10 or 12 or even younger) would be at the top of the first column, with the second column usually starting off with people born around, say, 1950, and going progressively further back in time. It's a pretty good way of sorting the people, especially if you want to see who has a milestone birthday. I suppose some people might prefer all the people to be listed in alphabetical order, and that wouldn't be such a bad idea, either. Indeed, I've long wished that when several people share a date and year of birth -- and with people in the 30-50 age range, there can sometimes be as many as two dozen people with the exact same date of birth -- they would be sorted alphabetically.

IMDb has changed all this, but not in a good way. When I looked at today's info, there were ten people listed as having birthdays today and ten listed as having died, with links to the full lists. (Seemingly gone are the marriages.) The ten seem to be listed in some order of fame; at least a few well-known people like Sidney Poitier are listed for today's births, and almost all of the deceased are pretty famous. (Although, I'd never heard of Lauren Ambrose or Willie Garson.) The links to the entire list are similarly jumbled, making it difficult if not impossible to find a character actor or costume designer. Worse, there doesn't seem to any way to have the list be changed to either alphabetical or chronological, which ought to be a pretty darn easy thing to do with a database.

So, I went over to the IMDb boards to comment on this and ask how to get the old lists back. Unfortunately, despite the fact that I've got cookies set to keep me logged in, when I tried to start a new thread, I got a message saying they wanted to "verify" my account, which would involve giving them credit card information or allowing them to send me a text message, neither of which I really want to do.

Thank you for screwing things up, IMDb.

No comments: