First of all... why is Mister Astaire the topic of this conversation? Well, for one, because he was a hell of a dancer, but mainly because Fred Astaire is the first record on IMDb, so there, first come, first served.
I want to dedicate this article to all the people who keep asking me for IMDb profile views in their private messages to me, or even in public posts. I assure you, my time (and everyone else's time) can be better spent doing other things than pumping up that meter, but hey, let's dive into it and see what happens.
For those of you who do not know what a STARmeter is, it is a ranking system on IMDb intended to determine how every movie AND ACTOR is ranked. The rank is updated weekly and there is supposed to be a complex equation used to calculate the rank. Well, how complex can it be? This is the web, and if I understand the web, then there are some simple rules out there. Search engines count the backlinks, Alexa counts visits, YouTube counts video plays. Can IMDb be that much different?
What happens if I take someone fairly well ranked like Fred Astaire, who ranks in TOP 10,000 and apply a simple cron-job to simulate page visits? Will that have any effect?
For this task I will use Cronless - a browser-based cron-job manager. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term "cron-job", it's just a task scheduler that goes to a certain URL at a specified interval of time. What interval should I chose? I could select 30 seconds, BUT... I'll go easy... let's invoke the page load every 5 minutes. That's 20 page loads per hour. 480 page loads per day. 3360 page loads per week. Not a whole lot.
This cron-job was created on October 12 at 8AM with an intention to run for one week... Let's see if we can move that needle.
One week later...
Here we are, it's been exactly one week since the cron-job started and the results are in.
As you see, even the items in the top 10,000 can be easily manipulated with a small algorithm. What should that mean to you? STARmeter is just a number. Don't go crazy if it goes down, and certainly, don't compare yourself to others. Just as Justin Bieber will continue having fake followers on twitter, other actors may use the similar technique to boost their ratings. Maybe you're one of those actors, or maybe you never cared about it to begin with. The message is clear: that rank changes weekly and as you can see, it means very little, so I urge you to focus on what's important instead: your acting skills, your credits, even networking.
If you asked me what's more important: going up 1 million points in ambiguous and meaningless rating system on IMDb versus creating a meaningful connection with another creative? I'd say the latter. So rather than spending your valuable time asking people to view your IMDb profile, ask them what they are up to. Maybe they're your neighbor and you can meet up for coffee and chat. Maybe you'll learn something new, make an ally, build a connection. Spend your time wisely and see what's important.