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Alexis P.

4 Level 4 Contributor
  • 26 Reviews
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Experience: Computers & Technology, Entertainment, Reference

Member since July 2018

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26 Reviews by Alexis


I'm someone who's used a number of sites like this. While Penpals Now! Isn't the absolute worst of the ones I've come across, I think it's towards the bottom of the pile.

The one thing that makes this site stand out as particularly bad is that anyone is able to see your email address after clicking to see it. This strikes me as the kind of thing that ought not happen--it's an easy way for people to find your email address and sell it to mailing lists. It'd be much better for the site to have something like Students of the World has (or at least used to have when I used it) where the site lets you type the email but it sends it. That way you'd still be able to email someone you're interested in, but people wouldn't be able to see your email address unless you decided to respond.

My other big issue with this is that some of the people who use this site are 16-18. Previously the site allowed kids aged as young as 13, but they changed that to be compliant with the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation that was implemented in 2018. While they do warn that anyone can see the email address, I feel like this isn't an issue that should come up at all; especially when it's required to give them the email address and when anybody can see that. Knowing how the internet is, and especially given that a site like this can sometimes attract unsavoury people, I'm not convinced the people who run the site have thought this "feature" out.

I think the site itself is a bit of an eyesore as well. While I understand that a site like this most likely won't get a whole lot of ad revenue, surely there's some way of monetising sites like this without the ads regularly taking up half the screen.

The search function is fine; it does what it's supposed to do and is intuitive enough to use. That's really the most I can say about this site--at least the search function is what it's supposed to be. The major downside to the search function here is that the results are limited to five per page while on other sites like this, you might get ten or twenty results per page.

In terms of the actual userbase, there's something offputting about a lot of the people on the site. On any other site like this that I've used, there's always been a few people who've mainly been using the site as a way to find a date or to convert other people to their religion. However, on Pen Pals Now!, there seems to be a disproportionate number of people like this.

I'm not entirely sure if the website designers intended this to be the case or if they were hoping it'd sort itself out over time, but I can't imagine too many people wanting to spend much time there. This is especially the case with younger people, most of whom are probably going to be hesitant to reply to a guy in his fifties telling them about how Jesus saved his life or something.

All in all, it seems like there's really not much positive to be said about this site. If you're looking for something like this, maybe go for another site. You'd probably have a much better time there.


Global Pen Friends has a few things going for it. The search function is easy to use, and it's relatively easy to find people from the countries you're interested in and who are in the general age range you're hoping for. Compare this to Interpals, a site that I've previously said (and continue to think) is the best site like this, where the search function can be haphazard at times.

The obvious downside to this site is that registration can be a little more time consuming than it is for other sites like this. Unlike with other sites where you can fill out your profile at your own pace and as you see fit, this site requires that you fill out something for just about every part of your profile straight away, and with a minimum number of characters filled.

That might be fine for someone who naturally has a lot to say about themselves, but it's not so great for people who might prefer to talk about themselves with other people as opposed to writing about themselves on a public profile. It doesn't help that the minimum number of characters for the "What you're looking for" field is 90. The statement, "I'm looking for penfriends from the United States of America" takes sixty characters, which I personally think would be fine as a reason for that field when you're first signing up. You're almost forced to follow it up with some low level joke like, "Oh, and for someone to scientifically prove that Tonight Alive isn't the best pop punk band ever created."

Once you've filled out the profile, it can take at least two hours, and they say profiles are usually registered within ten hours. Maybe they've had huge issues with spammers in the past that I don't know about, but this is still an incredibly slow sign up speed. With other sites like this such as Interpals, Students of the World, and Pen Pal World, the registration speed is faster--almost instant, in fact; you just need to click the link they email you and it's fine.

The only way to get around this is... to pay a premium fee. And that tends to be one of the common issues with sites like this: they'll do a couple of things really well, but then they'll follow it up with a thing that's either weirdly limited, or they'll want you to pay them money to get the additional features which are more or less standard in other similar sites.

While I understand the logic behind doing stuff like this, I don't think it's really a viable thing when you have sites like Interpals and, for school kids, Students of the World which offer every feature they have for a premium account. Surely a better solution would be to have certain aesthetic things you can put on your profile if you pay a donation or something, but otherwise have it as is.

The other big downside to this site is that it assumes you'll only be interested in a single culture. While they'll try to hide this by asking you to pick a continent rather than a country, this is still implicitly the case. What if you're interested in both German culture and Indian culture, for example? Well, the site assumes that's not going to be the case and doesn't seem to allow for it.

While the search function is great, I think it suffers from a few glaring issues in the registration process. Surely there's been a number of people who've been driven from the site just because they feel it takes a little bit too long for their liking.


The Atheist Foundation of Australia is one of those things I have mixed feelings about.

On the one hand, I agree there is a need for the organisation. Promoting a separation of church and state and advocating for a fact-based worldview on life are good things to be promoting and I think these things are ultimately beneficial to everyone, regardless of their beliefs and background.

On the other hand however, I believe the culture on the site's forums tends to be somewhat insular. Most of the forum's active users seem to either be moderators or admins at this point, and the forum activity seems to be pretty low.

I think a lot of this is just because online atheism is less popular than it was a decade ago. However, by the same token, I think it does the foundation in general a disservice because at times it has produced a culture which can seem unwelcoming to newcomers, even if they broadly agree with the political and philosophical leanings of the site.

It's a shame, because the Foundation probably would be able to do a lot more good for this country if it weren't for some of the excesses of its forum culture.


I think the biggest issue with Outlook is that they try to roll a little bit too much into it. There's no particular reason why they should be trying to integrate elements of Skype into Outook other than the same company owns both products.

Of course, you might be inclined to make the argument that some people want these things, but I don't think there'd be too many people like that. Just about everyone who wants a Skype account already has a Skype account. Really the only reason they might be inclined to do this would be to compete with the gmail IM system--a service that I doubt many people use.

Honestly, if it weren't for this and the constant promotional offers, I'd probably think it'd be fine to use Outlook as your primary email address. Other than these two issues, an Outlook account functions well, and you don't get an excessive amount of spam.


I think there's some tiers to email servers. At the top, there's stuff like Gmail that generally have a reputation for being fairly secure, and then there's some of the B-team servers like Outlook, Yahoo, etc. that aren't always the most secure sites or try to integrate weird features that don't add anything to the user experience.

The bottom tier would be stuff like GMX which are barely passable as throwaway accounts. I can see someone using GMX maybe if they wanted an email account to set up an account somewhere that they were only planning to use for a week or two.

While it takes less than a minute to sign up for a GMX account, there are certain benefits to having a backup email address ready for these accounts. Hell, there's even a reason why you'd want to have a phone number attached to your email address. But none of this matters here because GMX doesn't really give a $#*! about your account security.


When I first heard about this site, I was expecting it to be the kind of site where they're passing some kind of moral judgement against every movie. This was not the case.

Instead they give each movie a score out of ten for each of three categories: one for sex and nudity, one for violence, and one for coarse language. So, essentially the three things that might make a parent reluctant to show a movie to their child.

They'll also give a list of every incident of these things happening on screen in fairly dry language. Consider this from their page on Kill Bill Volume One: "A woman bites a man's lip (or tongue, it's not clear) and pulls, he screams and falls onto the floor motionless, his face and chest are covered with blood, and she is covered with blood. We hear panting and moaning, pan onto a woman with a very bloody and bruised face and see her shot in the head. A woman cuts a woman's arm off: blood sprays and pours and the woman flails and screams..."

This is the kind of language used when they describe the violence they see on screen. It's dry, and it doesn't pass judgement on whether or not these things should be shown to children. It's left up to the parents to decide whether or not it's okay to show their kids this stuff.

At the end of these sometimes monotonous lists of every single violent, sexual, or foul mouthed incident, they'll provide a list of discussion topics related to the movie (presumably so a parent can talk to their kids about what they've just seen), and the general message of the movie. The discussion topic list for Kill Bill Volume One reads, "Respect, murder, mercy, revenge, changing one's life, death of parents."

So while this site could have quite easily have become just a shoehorn for someone to moralise about what a child should and shouldn't see, they seem to have largely avoided this. Instead, they've taken a much more common sense approach to what they're doing: they advise parents that a movie might be violent, sexual, and profane, but they also give a list of discussion topics so that parents can have the opportunity to use any movie as a learning tool to discuss serious issues with their kids.


The best way to describe iMeetzu is that it's a smaller, more niche version of Omegle. I'm not entirely sure who the people who'd be attracted to iMeetzu are that wouldn't just be using the larger, better known Omegle are, but apparently there's around 350 or 400 of them right now.

No, that's not entirely true. There are some legitimate reasons to use iMeetzu over Omegle. When you're using the site's text chat, you have the option of adding pictures to the chat. This option is currently unavailable on Omegle. Plus there's less bots on the site.

However, outside of these two advantages, there's not much reason to use iMeetzu over Omegle. There's still a pretty high number of perverts, and you don't have the option of at least nominally adding tags before you start talking to people.

This probably would be a legit competitor for Omegle if it caught on, but nobody seems to know or care about it for the most part.


Omegle is one of those sites a lot of people have a lot of nostagia for. They remember the glory days of when you could go on there and not encounter any perverts or bots. A lot of people are looking at Omegle through rose-tinted glasses.

Here's the thing: Omegle has always been filled with bots and perverts. Even in 2011, when the site was ostensibly at the height of its popularity, the site had a lot of bots and perverts. The only difference between today and 2011 is that less people use the site, so the perverts and the bots become far more noticeable.

Omegle is one of those sites that I've used on again and off again for several years now. I'm always amazed at how long some of the bots and spammers will use the site. I'm fairly sure that one of the bots on there has been going for something like three or four years now.

There are some genuine people on the site, but don't expect to be having long lasting conversations with them. Most of the people who use Omegle are people who aren't looking to make new friends or anything, they're just looking to waste a bit of time before they have to go do something else.

So long as you go in knowing that most of the real people on the site are just there to waste time, you'll be fine. But that's the kind of expectation you should really have of any chat room, not just Omegle, so I think that's more than fair.

If the powers that be in charge of the site would crack down on all the bots, the site would probably be okay. I don't think it'd ever be the best site ever, but it'd be a passable place to spend a bit of time if you're bored. As is though, you'll probably walk away frustrated after twenty or thirty minutes because of all the bots you encounter.


People complain about the mods and admins of Christian Forums banning people who disagree with Christianity. To be quite frank, I'm not entirely sure what people expect from a forum like this--it's literally a forum for Christians to discuss Christianity. There should be no real expectation that this would be an open forum for debate with non-Christians.

While there are places on the forums set up for debating theology, I think the trouble is that these kind of discussions have to be moderated quite heavily. Due to the personal nature of religion, it's extremely difficult for many people to debate it as merely an intellectual thing. For many, their religion isn't just an intellectual exercise, it's a part of their identity: their church life is a part of their identity, or their lack thereof is a part of their identity.

Maybe the mods could do things differently when it comes to these discussions, and maybe the standards should be more clearly communicated. This has always been an issue with the social internet, though: community guidelines and exactly where the line between acceptable and unacceptable input is rarely communicated effectively.

To some extent, it's difficult to do that, because ultimately it is a judgement call. However, I think how much criticism of Christianity will be tolerated on a Christian forum is one of the things that absolutely needs to have some kind of guidelines. But I think any kind of firm guidelines with clear examples of what is and isn't accepted won't go down well with non-Christians like myself due to the culture on these forums.

Culturally speaking, Christian Forums tends to be filled with the worst stereotypes of Christians. These are your Republican voters who think Jesus will be coming back in the next twenty years, the people who think they can pray the gay away, and the kind that have issues with a large chunk of secular culture.

But this is exactly the kind of person you would expect to be going to a forum like this. These aren't your culturally Christian people who might go to church once or twice a year or who are from some of the more progressive churches, these are the people who not only identify as Christian, but some have even mistaken their religion for a whole personality.

In light of this, the issues with the moderation when it comes to dissenting opinions aren't too surprising. If anything, they're to be expected.


Let's say you're somebody suffering from depression or a similar mood disorder. That's fine, it's more common than most people realise, and it's nothing to be ashamed of. You should see a therapist for it, though.

This is advice that most of the users on Take This Life are receptive to. Of the people I interacted with on the site, the overwhelming majority of them were seeing a therapist and had been prescribed medication. For them, these forums were a support group rather than anything else.

However, Take This Life should probably be taken as evidence that mental health support groups should probably have some kind of mental health professional or social worker heading things to keep them on track. Without it, the group will eventually plummet into a perpetual feedback loop of negativity.

That's essentially what's happened with Take This Life. While intended as a support group, many threads plummet into perpetual negativity. Everyone's situation is completely hopeless; everyone's fighting a war they're doomed to lose. It's a defeatist mindset that I'm not entirely sure is helping anybody on the site.

Perhaps this line of thought is completely accurate for some of these people. Perhaps for some, it really is this bad. However, one of the common symptoms of depression and other similar mood disorders is a sense of hopelessness. Of course any support group that is overwhelmingly populated by those suffering from this kind of mindset is going to end up like this if there isn't someone there dedicated to guiding some group discussions.

While sites that attempt to provide a more productive approach to the online mental health support group exist, to my knowledge many of them are sites like ReachOut which are aimed at a very specific demographic. There really isn't anything that can fill the gap for a depression support group that is guided by a mental health professional of some description.

The more cynical part of me suspects that this is impossible. With Take This Life in particular, there's over 32,000 registered users and about 130 active users. This is according to the analytics at the bottom of the site's home page. Unless there was a very strong, concerted, well funded effort to make a more productive counterpart to this site work, it probably wouldn't work.

Plus, let's not forget that a number of the people who'd be drawn to a site like this are drawn there because they don't want to have to deal with professional therapists for a while. Maybe that's fair enough.

I don't think that Take This Life stands alone in the criticism that there needs to be some kind of guiding force to support groups like this. Certainly the mental health subreddits are prone to the same sort of issues that you see on this site.

While the intentions of Take This Life are inarguably noble, I feel like there's a better way of doing this. Perhaps I'm being overly optimistic in thinking that could ever be the case, however.

(If you or anyone you know are contemplating suicide, please consider calling a suicide hotline.)


Mibba is a very user-friendly site. It's easy to work out how to use it, which makes it pretty easy to post content there. That's pretty much what you want for a site that was primarily aimed at teenagers (or at least was when I was using it).

From a design perspective, Mibba's interface looks fine. It certainly looks a lot better than sites like fanfiction.net and AO3. There's a part of me that thinks the site looked a lot better in 2010 when you could essentially do up your profile like you could with a MySpace profile, but I think that's a more nostalgic part of me that's romanticising my teenage years. God knows that some of the profiles on both MySpace and Mibba were an eyesore when you had the option of doing that.

While marketed as a site for aspiring authors, there definitely are certain genres of fiction that will typically go down well. The number one genre I ever wrote was smutty fan fiction. No matter how much praise I got for my other (admittedly quite lackluster) stories, it was typically my smutty Harry Potter fan fiction that got the most views.

That kind of thing is great if what you really want to do is write fan fiction. However, if you want to write anything else, you have to either be really good at gaming the social networking aspects of the site or you have to be posting at just the right time for a lot of people to see your work.

So while Mibba is easy to use and it certainly looks a lot better than some comporable sites, there's no denying that there's an aspect of it that's essentially a glorified fan fiction website. But you can quite easily turn that around and say that about any site like this: even places like Wattpad that tried to be the "serious" writing website for "serious" writers essentially became just another fan fiction site after a while.

Mibba is fine for what it's trying to be. It may not be the best site like this--I don't know; I haven't really used any sites other than this--but it's pretty easy to use and parts of the community weren't too bad.


A long time ago, this site tried to cover the same kind of niche that Students of the World covers. It was the e-pal site where the ads would let people contact you via email without having to put your email address up for anybody to see. The difference was that E-pal World was open to everybody while Students of the World was mostly catering to students.

In 2013 or 2014, the owners of the site made the decision to make the site more like a social networking platform. The new design of the site was something of an Interpals knock-off, if Interpals was done on even more of a shoestring budget.

This was a decision that made sense to some extent. The old design, much like the design Students of the World has almost always had, was perpetually stuck in the nineties.

However, the decision was a mistake. The new design wasn't much to look at, and it wasn't necessarily as user friendly as the previous iteration. It wasn't as user friendly as Interpals either, a site which I'd generally consider to be the gold standard for a site like this.

While the site was nothing special, I wanted to give it another try today. It seems like the site is down now, though there is still a listing for it on Google. Their Facebook page is still up as well, with a single status update from February 2014. That status is a simple description of what the site is, and seems pretty similar to the description of the service that was present on the site itself for a long time.

I think the mistake they made was that they wanted for the site to be more of a social media type thing. This wasn't necessarily why the people signing up for E-pal World wanted to use the service, though: some, especially Baby Boomers it seemed, were using the site because it gave them an excuse to use their email address. These aren't the same people who were hoping for a social media website--those people mostly go to Interpals, which was the case in 2013-2014 when the change was made as well.

I can understand the appeal of a decision like that, though. To some extent, you would hope that a huge change like that would help the site make money. However, I doubt even Interpals, with all of its regular users, would be making that much money in a year. With an epal/pen palling website, you're probably never going to be making huge amounts of money because it's such a niche interest.


Goodreads is like a counterpart to IMDb--while IMDb is mostly geared towards movies and T. V. shows, Goodreads is all about books.

However, in terms of actual usability, Goodreads suffers. While the base functions that make up the site--the ability to rate, review, and list the books you've read--are intuitive enough, a lot of the other functions can be difficult and decidedly less intuitive if you don't already know what you're looking for.

There's also the issue that the mobile app version of the site is even less intuitive, and makes some of those base functions that make the site desirable at all difficult. This isn't the kind of thing that you want from your site, especially when there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of viable alternatives.

In terms of the culture on the site, a lot of the reviews are essentially trash that don't tell you a whole lot about the actual quality of the book. They tend to either be quite shallow one-paragraph reviews that read more like a blurb a publisher would write for the book, or they're so. Gif heavy that it's difficult to get through them at all.

While Goodreads is a good concept, it needs a bit of work to make it everything it could be.


A long time ago, I thought Facebook was great. This was in 2008-2011 when it was mostly just kids in high school and in university who were using it (I was 14 in 2008). But as it became more popular and more baby boomers and Gen Xers starting to use it, it started to go downhill as it slowly became more and more inundated with the most mind-numbing political memes and personal drama imaginable.

From a business perspective, having the site be as open and as accessible as possible makes sense. It's no secret that Facebook makes a whole lot of money from knowing everything about everyone. But from a personal level, I don't think it's worked out so great.

Social networking sites are often at their best when they have some kind of niche that they're geared towards. Reddit is a forum site that's geared towards having a lot of different communities talking about the things related to the theme of the subreddit. Tumblr is a social network made up of various fan communities and special interests as well, but in a microblogging/photo blogging kind of format.

But what does Facebook have going for it? It's the site for keeping up with old friends and with family members who live a long way away. It's a great idea on paper, and for the most part it has been a profitable one, but in reality, it turns out that if you let these people connect with each other in an online environment, they're mostly going to be sharing the most inane stuff imaginable. The people I thought were great once upon a time turn out to be the most annoying people.

Unfortunately, it's also socially required to have an account. Our culture assumes you're trying to hide something if you don't have a Facebook profile now, even if the reality is that you just don't want to know every passing thought of everyone you've met.

So I think it's one of those sites that would work better if it was mostly geared towards people who are/were still in school. Once the scope of the site expanded beyond that, the site began to spiral downhill.


If you sign up for Netflix wanting it to essentially be pay T. V. but without the hassle of having to sign up for a dozen expensive packages just to get access to the four or five shows you actually want to watch, you're going to get what you pay for.

Here's the rub though. If you live outside of the United States, quite often the selection of shows that aren't produced by Netflix will seem to be fairly limited. While it's great that Netflix is producing quality content such as Orange Is The New Black, Stranger Things, and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, it can come as an incredible disappointment that the shows you were a huge fan of ten or fifteen years ago aren't there.

So the actual content can be a bit of a mixed bag. It seems like a lot of the not-produced-by-Netflix content is just Bollywood movies and Korean dramas. Sure, that stuff has its audience, but how many people in Australia are actually watching that stuff?

But this is a fairly minor gripe against an otherwise good service. Netflix does provide a good range of original shows, many of which are of pretty good quality. And, unlike some of the shows on YouTube Red, you know that there's some quality control people around instead of the decisions being made solely based on who's currently popular.


How it works is that you're in control of a nation. Your nation will get issues every so often (once every couple of hours early on; but once or twice a day later). You decide what the right choice is based on the options given to you and you get some consequences based on that.

For most issues, there's no clear-cut right or wrong answer. Many of the options are designed to have both positive and negative effects. While some issues will have one answer that'll clearly be disastrous, the other two or three will usually be at least somewhat reasonable choices.

The issues are written to be humourous. The results are usually written to be that way, too.

While some other users have said the game is designed to frustrate conservatives, I don't think that's necessarily the case. Everyone understands that in the real world, whatever policy choices politicians make are going to have benefits and they're going to have drawbacks, regardless of which side of the political spectrum they're on.

It's the same with Nation States. If you think otherwise, you're probably not very good at nuanced thinking. You're probably also bad at knowing the difference between a fictional game (which Nation States absolutely is) and reality.

But generally, the game's pretty good. I'd definitely recommend it to people.


YouTube is the biggest and most ubiquitous video sharing site on the internet available today. It's gotten to the point where there's no real way to compete with the site simply because it has enough money behind itself to always be improving itself.

The downside of YouTube being so ubiquitous is that it's almost impossible for there to be anyone competing with the site. It's just too expensive for anyone to really be doing that unless a major corporation decides to throw endless amounts of money at them.

Because of this and because there's always been issues with YouTube having to negotiate its way through the corporate hell of finding advertisers, the relationship between YouTube and the people who make a living from making content for the site has always seemed fraught. There's regularly some new scandal about a new YouTube policy or because they're enforcing the terms of service in a way people perceive as inconsistent, or because there's some issue with ad revenue.

I think YouTube's ubiquity kinda hurts it as well. Really the site's only recourse if an advertiser says there's too much offensive content on the site is to essentially say, "Sure, but at least we're not 4chan or a porn site." There's no option for them to say, "Yeah, but look at the company practices of this other site; this kind of thing is industry standard."

In terms of usability, YouTube is the gold standard of video hosting. There's probably never going to be another site that's quite as good as this one when it comes to ease of use. As much as people like to complain about the site being worse than ever before, I think in a lot of ways, it's much easier to use than it was in '08 or '09.

While the standards for what's considered monetisable content on YouTube has seemed to get stricter as the years have gone on, I think this is mostly because the site has grown more concerned over what's going to fly with advertisers as the years have gone on. As it stands right now though, there's still plenty of channels who are doing content about anything you can imagine and many are still able to find an audience.


As other reviewers have noted, Reddit is very much the kind of site where it's as good as you want it to be, so long as you do the legwork of curating your front page properly.

One of the bigger criticisms I see of the site is that a lot of people feel like their speech is being censored. I don't see a whole lot of censorship happening on the main subreddits, to be honest. The times I have noticed comments being deleted have tended to be times when one or two users have been presenting their viewpoints in ways that simply weren't contributing to the overall discussion rather than which end of the political spectrum they were on.

While there are a lot of liberal subreddits, there's also subreddits that are very conservative leaning. Plus for the most part, the furthest left a lot of the former default subreddits like r/AskReddit tend to go as a whole is centre-left. There's generally enough conservatives on the site to keep it from going further left than that for the most part, regardless of what some critics have to say about it.

Generally, I tend to think that the people who complain about their speech being censored are probably people who need to learn to present their ideas in a more constructive manner. No particular subreddit is guaranteed to safeguard your free speech rights beyond giving you the opportunity to present them in a way that benefits the conversation, which is what happens for the most part, with the exception of a few subreddits here and there. Ironically, r/The_Donald is one subreddit notorious for banning people who disagree with them.

While I generally like the site and think it's easy to waste a lot of time there, a lot of the userbase is made up of some of people so whiny, they make the stereotypes of Tumblr users seem reasonable by comparison.


This site can be useful if you're looking for coping strategies for stressful times during your teen years, often the advice given on the site lacks the nuance or the awareness that sometimes there are no positive solutions to your situation.

It's a good thing that the site knows that it's not a replacement for actual therapy, as people on there will often tell you to seek psychological help if you're concerned about your well-being or showing signs that you should be.

During the couple of years that I frequented the site, the biggest drawback was that the forums would be redesigned every couple of years. Often they'd be hosted by a different site, so often you would have to sign up for a new forum account every two or three years once this happened. The last time I checked, they'd seemed to have seen the error of this practice though and have had the same set of forums since 2012.

Because this site is mostly aimed at people in their teens and their very early twenties, you'll often find that the people on there cycle out of the forums every couple of years. So while a large part of the forums hinges on the idea of there being this tight-knit online community, it often lacks a strong enough old guard for anyone to really believe this is the case.

Generally though, if you're in the site's target audience, this isn't going to be too much of a problem for you. But the people who run the site did find a way to skirt around the issue of there being no real old guard on the site: often the moderators and administrators are active in the community, acting as a guiding force for some of the more serious discussions on there. Some of the mods and admins seem to be from the same group of mods and admins that were around when I signed up for the site in late 2009 or early 2010.

Unfortunately, there's rarely enough nuance to the conversations for it to be worth using if you're hoping for any kind of in-depth understanding of the issues being discussed, or even for a perspective more nuanced than the high level of optimism that pervades the site.


I think this site was a lot better when the forums were there. Now, it's difficult to tell if a movie has any sort of cult following even if the score's a bit low (like with Drop Dead Fred) unless it's a movie that's notoriously bad (like Troll 2, The Room, or Sharknado). While there still are the reviews, it can be difficult to gauge how much of a following there is for a movie based entirely on IMDb reviews.

Beyond this though, the site is incredibly helpful. It's definitely been a good guide for me to find new movies I hadn't considered watching before in the past, and it continues to be this way for me to the present day. Generally though I think the best way to treat the user scores is as a general guide to whether or not people like the movie rather than as a factual reflection of the movie's quality, as it's quite easy for a movie to get onto the Top 250 within a couple of weeks of being released.

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