October 17th marked the 20th Anniversary for the Usenet born Internet Movie Database (IMDB).
At the bottom of this IMDb page, as part of a great 20th anniversary section of the site with movie info, trailers, etc. from the past 20 years, you’ll also read this:
October 17th [: Our founder, Col Needham, writes a series of Unix shell scripts which make the lists that were being collected at a Usenet group called “rec.arts.movies,” searchable (the lists were filmographies for actors, actresses, directors and something called the “dead list”). The ability to search existing data is one of the key components of the Web experience, and it immediately makes the lists more meaningful and useful. Though the name was still six years off, IMDb, the Internet Movie Database is, in essence, born.
Here’s a Quick Look at a Small Part of IMDb History:
- Project One: “THE LIST” (found on rec.arts.movies USENET Group)
- Project Two: “Movie Ratings List” and “Movie Ratings Report” (found on rec.arts.movies USENET Group)
- 1990: Both Projects Combine to Form the “Combined LIST & Movie Ratings Report” and then “rec.arts.movies movie database”.
- 1994: “Cardiff Internet Movie Database” (First Web Interface; Continues as a Volunteer Project)
- 1996: Internet Movie Database Ltd. Incorporated in the UK (Domain Record Created on January 5, 2006)
- 1998: Amazon.com Acquires the Internet Movie Database Company
As part of its 20th anniversary, the Internet Movie Database has been presenting a series of exclusive interviews with actors and filmmakers about their work, careers and, yes, how much they love IMDb. Turns out Kevin Spacey really digs it, though it sounds to me like Oliver Stone might think IMDb is actually a person. Most of them have been a lot of fun.
Jesse Eisenberg of “The Social Network” describe IMDb as “a singular site doing something that no other site does and you guys I’m sure will have a movie one day about the lawsuit that came out of the creation of IMDb.com/Pro”
Today, the site is one of the largest movie sites in the U.S., with 25.6 million unique visitors in August, according to comScore inc. That ranked it No.1 above Yahoo with 24.3 million and Fandango with 13.4 million.