Clerkdogs.com is a site that allows users to enter the name of a movie, and returns a list of other, similar movies that the user will likely enjoy. The site has a database of thousands of movies, which was built by having dozens of former video store clerks assign hundreds of thousands of ratings to the movies. The movies are rated in categories such as Suspense, Action, Romance, Complexity, Character Depth and four other categories. The site uses a scale of 1 to 10 to rate the movies in each of these categories. The results returned by a search include movies that have similar ratings in each of the categories, with descriptions such as Same Hero, Similar Suspense, or More Action.
The idea behind Clerkdogs was to build a human-edited database of movie recommendations, and they have succeeded at this task. As an example, entering the movie “Sum of All Fears” returns matches for “Clear and Present Danger” (a rather obvious choice) and “The Siege” (not so obvious). A total of 8 matches were returned, with descriptions ranging from Superior Prequel to Similar Style. Users can click on any of the matches and receive a description of the movie from the site’s database. Users can also see the movie’s entry at IMDB (Internet Movie Database), add the movie to their Netflix queue (this featured worked seamlessly with the Netflix site), or view the movie’s page at Blockbuster.Show more screenshots »
Clerkdogs.com was launched to public beta in November 2008 by Stuart Skorman, founder of Reel.com, which was sold to Hollywood Entertainment during the dot com boom for $100 million. Stuart Storkman currently serves as CEO of the company. The site has experienced steady growth since its launch, and currently has tens of thousands of unique monthly visitors. The site has an Alexa page rank below the 250,000 mark.
Clerkdog’s main competition comes from sites like IMDB and Reel.com. While these sites can make recommendations to users, the recommendations are mainly based on genres, and don’t take into account the number of factors considered by the builders of the Clerkdogs database. There is no substitute for the human factor in recommending movies. And the site actually complements, rather than competes with Netflix or Blockbuster. Netflix users are probably familiar with a similar feature on the Netflix site which provides recommendations to users based on the movies that they have already watched.
The Clerkdogs site has a very Web 2.0 look and feel – clean and uncluttered. There are no advertisements displayed on the site. The site is very responsive, with searches and page loads happening quickly. Navigation is intuitive, with a convenient top menu bar located on every page on the site. The site’s integration with Netflix, IMDB and Blockbuster worked seamlessly and quickly.
Registration is not required to view movie matches at Clerkdogs. However, if the user wishes to receive mailings of site news and movie recommendations from the site, there is a registration available. The registration process asks for email address, a username, password, first and last name, sex and date of birth. In addition it asks you to enter your 5 favorite movie genres and your 5 favorite movies in order to personalize the experience at the site.
Clerkdogs is free, there is no premium membership offered or available.
Clerkdogs is recommended to movie buffs in general, and particularly recommended to those who have watched so many movies that they have trouble finding something to watch that they will like. The site’s recommendations are spot-on, and the site is very easy to use. The site is continuing to implement new features, including Critic’s Reviews, Awards and Trailers, and should get even better over time.