The Science Behind the Impulse

For the end user, everything is impulse. We may sit and ponder, analyze, reduce, quantify and qualify. But it all comes down to that click moment: judgments are made in the blink of an eye.  We all have our own personal paradigms, and exploring on the web isn’t likely to change that; more so to reinforce existing ones.

It is impossible to appeal to everyone; be it wax beans, kangaroo burgers or squid. Everything, excluding math, is subject to personal taste.

Some sites are deceptively simple; others are too busy, busy, busy. I prefer the slow invitation. Most sites tend to whomp you on the head right off the bat. Look at me!  I find that rather numbing; it’s the MTV approach. Filtering noise will become an increasingly important factor in the new social architecture.

For the curious, or careless: you can all too easily find yourself in alien territory.

I’ve chosen three sites to benchmark, which are indirectly competitive with each other. Demographics are about the same: mostly male, 20 – 40s age bracket. All of them appeal to movie fans; all of them have good readability.

1. is a movie download & purchase site; of the three, it has the broadest audience (as it offers the widest range of products and services).

2. Grindhouse Database is geared for the cult movie enthusiast; this audience is more interested in the non-Hollywood film industry; and the more “obscure” the film, the better.

3. Monsters In Motion is the most exclusive of the three, geared for hard core sci-fi movie fans and memorabilia collectors.


Jaman is a commercial/entertainment site with an extensive movie database emphasizing “offbeat” cult and b-movies,  featuring video downloads (both free and purchasable).

Jaman is a busy site, crowded with attention grabbers (like being in a virtual shopping mall); much of it competes for your attention simultaneously; but there’s plenty to choose from. It has an extensive database with high end graphics and scripting.

Main page features How To: Find Movies, Watch Movies, and Socialize – allowing users to login and review movies they’ve watched on Jaman.

Jaman includes an ingenious “Movie Mood Selector” whereby the user can move a series of sliders, and the site will make suggestions based on user choices.

The slider bars are Serious/Funny; Mellow/Charged; Deep/Shallow; Tears/Bullets.

If I move all the sliders to Serious, Charged, Deep, Bullets, it will offer on-target selections such as Charles Bronson’s Death Wish (ultra violent bummer), Orson Welles’ The Stranger (not violent but definitely deep and emotionally charged); but is a bit scattershot, including a very charged bullet-type actioner Van Helsing – a film definitely NOT deep or serious. Random or deliberate? Not sure, but it works.

You can buy/rent online; and Jaman presents a very compelling urge to whip out the credit card. Are they competing with Netflix?

Website Grader gives Jaman a 97 rating.

Here is their traffic report from

At worst, the site is too noisy – too much competing for your attention at once – and it may load very slowly with older systems or slow connections.


Grindhouse Database is an information/entertainment site,  a data base geared for the off-off-beat audience.

Fairly comprehensive; a lot of material; “Grindhouse” refers to movies that don’t make the “A” list theaters (dominated by Hollywood and whatever the next Star Wars movie happens to be); these are films that run in what we used to call “grindhouse” theaters tucked into 42nd Street in NYC (and the former Lincoln Theater in New Haven); sticky-floor thrillers, chillers, soft/hard exploitation pics. It’s retrograde, and deliberately so.

Site is more straightforward, not as slick as Jaman; a bit more like browsing through a catalog (it’s a browsing database). Its emphasis is more on information than outright selling.

Organization is a bit clumsy, more like a fanzine or newsletter. For example, “Getting Started” should be on top and lead you further in; I think this site assumes you already know what you’re in for, and it’s not for the novice.

There’s an honesty, but an initial randomness in its organization. Site should open with the introductory page. That should be the lead – offer a quick clear exposition of what “grindhouse” means in movie terms. Personally, I like a doorway page, providing it doesn’t take a long time to load. Some sites make magnificent doorways, but take far, far too long to load.

It’s also a quasi-social site. GD has a Twitter link. I fired off a quick tweet for a movie suggestion to add to their database and they responded almost immediately (and enthusiastically)!

Website Grader gives GrindhouseDatabase a 96 rating.

Here is their traffic report from


Monsters In Motion is a commercial site, offering a wide range of collectibles for the “hard core” sci-fi nostalgia enthusiast, offering pre-built and make-your-own models.

Expertise in offering very precise models of nostalgic sci-fi and monster movie characters; a way of making ephemeral visions into realities.

Wow! If you’re into this, you can max out your credit cards in no time. Exceptional demonstrations of visual models you can build yourself, or buy pre-made for display.

This site is for the sci-fi movie fan who will burrow further than most to find memorabilia related to his/her favorite films. Almost all of them are nostalgic (from the 1950s upward).

Forgotten Prisoner of CastelMare is a perfect example of niche market: originally made in the 1960s by Aurora (now called Polar Lights). Seemingly simple plastic put-together model of a chained skeleton in an old dungeon. Yet this became one of the most sought after models in Aurora’s history. Why? Must have struck a nerve in the niche.

Website Grader gives MonstersInMotion a 76 rating.

Here is their traffic report from

One Response to “The Science Behind the Impulse”

  1. # says:

    Life is one particular lengthy procedure for monotonous. Samuel Butler

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